Magazine article The Futurist

Toward a More Visionary Outlook

Magazine article The Futurist

Toward a More Visionary Outlook

Article excerpt

The future has never looked more dire, with problems ranging from resource shortages and extreme climate disruptions to terrorism and threats to freedom and democracy. But the mark of visionary thinking is the ability to see the opportunities that can pull us past these problems and reach for a better future.

For nearly half a century, forecaster Marvin J. Cetron has been tracking the major forces shaping global futures. With his colleague, science writer Owen Davies, Cetron has provided the World Future Society a unique, longitudinal examination of these trends; longtime members will note that some of these forces have ebbed over the years (such as the influence of labor unions), while others have reached a critical tipping point (the rise of new forms of terrorism).

The resulting "Trends Shaping the Future" report is published in THE FUTURIST in two parts. In this issue, Part One covers the economy, population trends, values shifts, and changes in the family and worklife (see page 35). Part Two, to be published in the July-August issue, will recount the forces of change in environment and resource issues (particularly oil and other energy sources), technological advances, trends in management and institutions, and--a subject meriting its own new category for the trends report--terrorism. …

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