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. 40, No. 6, November-December

10 Imperatives for Peace: The Tragedy of the Decades-Old Sri Lankan Civil War Inspired This Development Expert to Think Practically about Peace
For roughly 35 years after Sri Lanka's independence from the British in 1948, this bucolic, tropical nation existed in a state of relative, uneasy peace. But in 1983, escalating conflict and terrorism engulfed the island. Tensions between the Sinhalese...
A Greenhouse-Gas Greenhouse
The problem of decreasing carbon-dioxide emissions without crippling economic growth has confounded some of the world's top thinkers. Recently, however, a tomato grower in the United Kingdom stumbled upon a strikingly straightforward solution: Use...
Building a More-Temperate World: New Materials That Regulate Their Own Temperature Could Cut Energy Costs
In the average U.S. home, heating and cooling units are the largest single consumers of energy accounting for 50% of household energy use that equates to roughly $950 per household per year. Much of that energy inefficiency is due to heat loss in winter...
Drawing Boundaries on Conservation: New Formula Needed for Balancing the Needs of People and Habitats
The trend toward setting aside land for conservation purposes has been accelerating in recent decades. More parks and reserves have been established since 1970 than ever before in history. Currently, more than 11% of the earth's land has been set aside...
Fear and Folly: Learning from Mistakes in Iraq
One of the consequences of the Iraq debacle is that we have yet to fully appreciate the way that the stalemate there has shredded the U.S. reputation for military invincibility. That reputation underpinned the nation's leverage and influence in the...
Fun with Surveillance: Does New Program Point toward Loss of "Privateness"?
The issue of intrusive government surveillance, particularly in the form of security cameras in public places, is one of increasing concern to privacy advocates. However, according to some sociologists and technology watchers, self-surveillance--or...
Globalization or a Rebirth of Nationalism?
From 1945 until today, a combination of economic globalization and political internationalization has been the dominant characteristic of our time. Our generation, therefore, often thinks of globalization as the only model. But a brief glance of history...
Infant Mortality Rate Is Falling: Despite Global Progress, Disparities Leave Many Children at Risk
Globally, the continued reduction in child deaths is a great success story: At just 57 deaths of children under age 1 per 1,000 live births, the world's infant mortality rate is at its lowest level in history, according to UN Population Division figures....
Navigating a World of Complex Threats
Military might, no matter how strong, is a weak tool with which to counter terrorism. This is not to argue that large militaries are obsolete, but rather that the blunt use of force cannot further America's interests against this diffuse, nontraditional...
Outlook 2007: Recent Forecasts from the World Future Society for 2007 and Beyond
INTRODUCTION Welcome to Outlook 2007, the World Future Society's roundup of thought-provoking forecasts, trends, and ideas from the past year. These brief items are drawn from articles and news stories originally appearing in THE FUTURIST. [ILLUSTRATION...
Partners for Progress: Creating Global Strategies for Humanity's Future; Though Our Challenges Are Growing More Complex, Our Tools for Meeting Those Challenges Are Growing More Sophisticated, According to Speakers at WorldFuture 2006
It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and it is becoming increasingly clear that it will take a global village to "raise" humanity--that is, to create a working future for all of the world's people. Whether you are seeking the...
Preserving Balance among the Great Powers
Strategizing 30 years into the future can serve a number of purposes, but in all cases the aim in thinking about the future is not to reach definite conclusions--useless as well as impossible--but to change behavior in the present. During the Cold...
Rethinking Emergency Housing: Hurricane Katrina Left a Number of Unanswered Questions in Its Wake, Such as How Best to House People after a Disaster
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, flooding roughly 80% of the city of New Orleans, claiming more than 1,500 lives, and causing close to $100 billion in damages, according to the Louisiana Recovery Authority. [ILLUSTRATION...
Special Courts for Health Issues: Innovative Solutions Sought for Medical Lawsuits
The case for specialized health courts is receiving new support in the United States as an innovative solution for increasingly complex medical liability lawsuits and other health-related cases. Such courts could reduce the soaring costs of health...
Strategizing in a Complex and Disaggregated World
It is never an easy time to be a military planner, with so many unknowns to anticipate, but the evolving structures of the twenty-first century are rendering the task even more difficult. The number of unknowns has multiplied at an enormous rate. Global...
Strategy and the Search for Peace: For Foreign Policy and Military Planners, the Future Strategic Environment Is Anything but Certain. A Defense Expert Explains Why Some of the Most Practical Strategic Objectives Are Also the Most Noble
There clearly is much about the future we can't predict, such as whether China and Taiwan will war, reconcile, or divorce; whether Russia will truly democratize or remilitarize; when or whether the two Koreas will reunify; what will happen in post-Castro...
Technology's Promise: Highlights from the TechCast Project; an Ongoing Study of Technology Forecasts by Leading Experts Shows Promising Breakthroughs in Energy, Information Technology, Health Care, Transportation, and Other Critical Fields
Rapid advances in information systems are driving breakthroughs in all scientific fields. The decoding of the human genome, for instance, was made possible by the collective use of a dozen supercomputers to decipher the 3 billion bits of information...
The Well-Being of Nations: A Psychologist Offers a New Tool for Measuring National Happiness
It may not be as easy to measure people's happiness as it is their incomes or their education and health levels, but economists and politicians are increasingly making it their business to find out just how happy people are. Analytic social psychologist...
Tofflerama, New and (Mostly) Old
In their unique style, Alvin and Heidi Toffler rework previous notions about societal waves of change and the wealth it creates. But have they missed the emerging Fourth Wave? For more than 35 years, Alvin Toffler has been a "big deal." Due to his...