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. 46, No. 4, July-August

A Future-Driven Life Adventure: From Troubled Youth to Pioneering Futures Scholar, Acclaimed Futurist Wendell Bell Takes Readers through His Life's Highs and Lows in This Candid New Memoir
What do growing up in an alcoholism-plagued household, laboring for minimum wage in a warehouse, and flying an airplane through tropical storms have to do with the future? A lot, according to Wendell Bell, a Yale University sociologist and futurist...
Alternatives to Alternative Energy
Green illusions: the dirty secrets of clean energy and the future of environmentalism by Ozzie Zehner. university of nebraska. 2012. 449 pages. paperback. $29.95. Pursuing new alternative-energy technologies is fine and good, but society will not...
Biofuels Miss the Mark-So Far: Meeting U.S. Goals for Biofuels Will Require New Land-Use and Incentive Policies
To securely meet its future energy needs, the United States passed in 2007 the Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA), setting benchmarks for sustainable, renewable energy production through biofuels development. But biofuels benchmarks are...
Building and Connecting Communities for the Future: The Economic Development Profession Can Be a Positive Force for Change in Communities as We Transition from a Materialistic Economy to a Transformational Society
The global economy has changed fundamentally in recent decades, and the ways that we have traditionally approached economic development no longer work. We are in a transition from an Industrial Society to a new, more organic society and economy....
Change Masters: Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc. Pioneering Business Futurists Explain How They Have Developed the Art and Science of Trend Analysis
Under the leadership of Arnold Brown and Edie Weiner, the futurist consulting firm of Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc., has been a pioneer in identifying and analyzing the changes that affect business and other aspects of human life. This article explains...
Connected: A Future That's Better Than We Think?
It may seem a bit technotopian to praise the gifts that will soon be coming to us from the world's leading innovators, but Peter H. Diamandis (chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation) and his co-author, journalist Steven Kotler, make an excellent...
Defusing the Megacity "Bomb"
The Real Population Bomb: Megacities, Global Security & The Map of the Future by P. H. Liotta and James F. Miskel. Potomac. 2012. 248 pages. $29.95. The most urban growth this century will take place in countries that are least prepared for...
Doing Right by Robots
Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics edited by Patrick Lin, Keith Abney. and George Bekey. MIT Press. 2012. 386 pages. $45. The rise of intelligent robots is inevitable, but we must not rush it, caution this volume's 27...
From Smart House to Networked Home: Two Foresight Specialists Describe How Tomorrow's Integrated, Networked, and Aware Home Systems May Change Your Family Life
In the last decade, a range of digital technologies and services have hit the market and moved quickly from niche use to the mainstream. Consider that just seven years after being founded, Facebook is used by more than 50% of the online population...
Harvesting Vehicles' Waste Heat: An Innovative Car-Exhaust Mechanism Could Raise Cars' Energy Efficiency by 20%
Most of gasoline's stored energy never actually powers a single car, according to General Motors (GM) researchers. Half to three-fourths of gas energy is lost as waste heat spilling out of the cars' tailpipes. But GM and competitors BMW and Ford are...
Integrated and Innovative: The Future of Regions
Challenges facing city and regional governments today may spur a movement toward improving the creative resources of tomorrow's citizens. Investing in the arts may help communities capitalize on shifting paradigms. Creating a city of the future,...
Knowledge of Evolution Is Power
Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters by Daniel J. Fairbanks. Prometheus. 2012. 328 pages. Paperback. $19. Evolution did not just take place in humanity's past, according to Utah Valley University geneticist Daniel Fairbanks. He argues that...
Preview of Future Inventions-Futurists: BetaLaunch 2012: The World Future Society's Second Annual Innovation Competition Will Allow WorldFuture 2012 Attendees to Preview a Few of the Life-Changing and Society-Altering Artifacts of the Future
The future is open to infinite possibilities for innovative thinkers. Those who have been selected to show-case their work at the World Future Society's annual conference, WorldFuture 2012: Dream. Design. Develop. Deliver, have put their creative efforts...
Revolutionary Health Local Solutions for Global Health Problems: Better Health Care Doesn't Have to Be Costlier, as a Number of Innovative Health Practitioners Are Showing. in India, Venezuela, and Elsewhere, the Strategic Use of Technology, Community Involvement, and Resource Reallocations Are Enabling Health-Care Providers to Treat More Patients More Effectively, All While Spending Less Money
Health-care cost hikes and soaring demands for services loom world-wide. Countries everywhere grapple with how to provide more care with fewer resources. Glimpses of hope are around us, however. At the community level, innovative health practitioners...
Sensing Brain Injuries: Smarter Helmets Could Lead to Rapid Detection of Concussions
The year is 2015; the new quarterback for the Clairmont High School Gladiators is about to attempt a 20-yard pass. He arches his arm, but before he can throw he's sacked by a 300-pound defensive lineman from the opposing Washington Tigers. There's...
Shakeups in the "C Suite": Hail to the New Chiefs: How Technology Is Altering Corporate Jobs and Creating New Community Relationships
When Facebook announced its new timeline for brands format, one of my friends in advertising commented, "Wow, if you think about it, in one fell swoop, Facebook has basically elevated the Community Manager role as the most important job function at...
The Abundance Builders: Progress Occurs When Inventive People Solve Problems and Create Opportunities. Here Are Just a Few of the Breakthroughs That Offer the Brightest Prospects for a Future That Leaves Austerity an Deprivation Behind
The potential for abundance--that is, pervasive opportunities for prosperity, as opposed to lives of luxury for all--depends on our ability to exploit break-throughs in key exponentially growing fields. This article will explore a few of the leaders...
The Individual in a Networked World: Two Scenarios: Collaborative Agent Bots? A Walled World under Constant Surveillance? Two Information Technology Experts Parse the Future of Human-Network Interaction
One of the most useful and formal futurism exercises in recent years was the work in 2006-2007 of the Metaverse Roadmap project. It was driven by John Smart, Jamais Cascio, and Jerry Paffendorf, and originally conceived of as a brief for the future...
The Secret Life of Date in the Year 2020: A Futurist for Intel Shows Ho Geotags, Sensor Outputs, and Big Date Are Changing the Future. He Argue That We Need a Better Understanding of Our Relationship with the Date We Produce in Order to Build the Future We Want
My job as Intel's futurist is to look 10 to 15 years out and model how people will act and interact with devices in the future. I explore a vision for all computational devices. Basically if it has a chip in it, it's within my view. The driving force...
Trend Analysis in Action
Here are a few examples of the trend analysis work that Weiner, Edrich, Brown has produced for our clients: * In the mid-1970s, seeing how life cycles were changing and how this could affect the life insurance business, we convinced a major insurer...
Waterways to Connect Communities: A Program to Develop Rivers and Lakes Will Promote Local Stewardship and Tourism
A new National Water Trails System aims to increase community access to water-based outdoor recreation. At the same time, the restoration of local waterways will promote tourism and economic development through encouraging an ethic of stewardship,...
Whose Economy Is It, Anyway?
Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government--and the Reckoning That Lies Ahead by David Rothkopf. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012. 414 pages. $30. Public-sector versus private-sector interests--it's a power struggle that has...
WordldFuture 2012: Dream. Design. Develop. Deliver
Friday evening, July 27, 2012, through Sunday, July 29, 2012 Preconference courses on Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27, plus a workshop-based Education Summit on Friday, July 27. Professional Members Forum on Monday, July 30 Sheraton Centre...