The Futurist

The Futurist, subtitled A Journal of Forecasts, Trends and Ideas About the Future, is a journal that explores social and technological changes, with forecasts, trends and ideas about the future. Founded in 1967, The Futurist is published bimonthly by the World Future Society.Articles focus on the topic of sociology. The Editors of this journal are Edward S. Cornish and Jeff Cornish.

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 1, January-February

Anticipating Wild Cards in World Affairs: How to Avoid Being Blindsided by the Future
"We can predict with certainty that we will be surprised" is the unsurprising conclusion of political economist Francis Fukuyama. AIDS, 9/11, Katrina--the catalog of catastrophes supporting Fukuyama's assertion seems to grow daily, from the rapid growth...
Fighting the Cult of the Amateur: A Web 2.0 Critic Takes on the Confederacy of E-Dunces
In his new book, The Cult of the Amateur (Currency, 2007), blogger and Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen explores today's new participatory Internet, often referred to as Web 2.0. He argues that too much amateur, user-generated, free content is threatening...
Genetic Ethics and "Superbabies": Drawing the Line between Preventing Ailments and Bestowing Advantages
Genomic research has been on a sprint since 2003, when researchers with the International Human Genome Project completed their map of the nucleotides that form human DNA. Some researchers believe that in the next few years science will be able to recognize...
Girls' Education: Key to "Virtuous Circle"; Schooling Offers Many Payoffs for Girls and Society in Developing Nations
Access to education not only improves the economic prospects for girls in developing countries, but it also helps ensure their reproductive health, according to a policy brief from the U.S. based Population Reference Bureau (PRB). "The strong link...
Good News, Bad News, and Your News
Any reasonably comprehensive overview of trends will likely have both good news and bad news, and so it is with Millennium Project director Jerome C. Glenn's synopsis of the latest State of the Future report. The planet has become more crowded, more...
Money from Trees: Rising Support for Carbon Caps Means New Choices for Farmers and Landowners
Growing food and raising livestock contribute more carbon dioxide to the Earth's atmosphere than does transportation, according to the United Nations. Agriculture is one of the leading causes of deforestation, a key global warming contributor. By...
Nihilism, Fundamentalism, or Activism: Three Responses to Fears of the Apocalypse
Widespread fears of an apocalyptic future elicit equally dangerous responses: nihilistic thoughts and decadent lifestyles that accelerate environmental destruction, or fundamentalist intolerance that exacerbates social-political conflict. The only...
Poetry in the Digital Age: Can Electronics Charm the Elusive Muse of Poetry?
Poetry is arguably one of the most intimate and spiritually connecting forms of public communication that humanity has yet devised, an art that speaks from one heart to another. Is there any place for a computer in this relationship? To judge from...
Scanning the Global Situation and Prospects for the Future: The Latest Annual State of the Future Report Reveals That Most of the World Is Improving, While Grappling with Crime, Environmental Degradation, Breakneck Progress, and Mounting Uncertainty
People around the world are becoming healthier, wealthier, better educated, more peaceful, and increasingly connected, and they are living longer. At the same time, the world is more corrupt, congested, warmer, and increasingly dangerous. Although...
The Age of Distraction: The Professor or the Processor? Due to Academia's Reliance on Technology and the Media's Overemphasis on Trivia, We Are Failing to Inform Future Generations about Social Problems That Require Critical Thinking and Interpersonal Intelligence
In the midst of the consumer technology boom of 1999--the diffusion of cell phones, laptops, music players, and gaming consoles--I began work on the concept of the "interpersonal divide," or the social void that I observed developing as more people...
The Consumer Is the Medium: Digitally Empowered Consumers Are Rewriting the Rules of Business. Bye-Bye, "Influentials."
"The medium is the message" and similar McLuhanisms about how information and power are distributed have been overtaken by events. Now, with new technological developments and the unanticipated ways people are using new technology, we need an equally...
The Economic Value of Nonprofit Organizations: Just How "Profitable" Are Nonprofits?
The nonprofit sector contributes twice as much to a nation's gross domestic product as utilities do, and about as much as the construction and finance industries, according to a report by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies....
The Experience Economy: The High Life of Tomorrow; in a World Saturated by "Luxury Goods," What Is the Future of Luxury? A Consulting Futurist Explores New Trends in Living Very Well
The Burj Al Arab, the world's tallest and only seven-star hotel, is located in Dubai, the Las Vegas of the Persian Gulf. Built on an artificial island 919 feet from Jumeirah Beach to encourage its sense of exclusivity, privacy, and opulence, it is...
WorldFuture 2008: Seeing the Future through New Eyes
July 26-28, 2008 * Hilton Washington * Washington, D.C. Preconference Courses: July 25, 2008 Professional Members' Forum: July 29, 2008 Why should you attend the World Future Society's 2008 conference? To participate in meetings and info-sessions...