18 April 2006

Has futurism failed? [The Wilson Quarterly]

Be the first to share

The Wilson Quarterly
The Wilson Quarterly has published a long article on the history and current state of futurism, which gives a good overview of the growth of the field over time, its “high-water mark” (in 1980), its decline and some of its new tendencies.

“While formal study of the future declined in the United States, dozens of other countries launched elaborate foresight exercises to examine their futures in the post–Cold War order. These countries included Norway (Norway 2030), Germany (Futur), Great Britain (UK Foresight Project), Finland, Australia (Australia 2013), New Zealand (The Foresight Project), the European Commission (Europe 2010), Poland, and Kenya (Kenya Scenarios Project). The future is also being seriously explored through work on other topics, such as “sustainable development”—but again, more outside the United States than within.”

“These efforts have surprising parallels in the private sector. While long-range planning in the public sector is frequently denigrated in the United States, many corporations are intensely interested in thinking about the future. Management schools and professional journals are full of discussions about the need to create “learning organizations” and other means to institutionalize constant adaptation to change. Businesses devote enormous resources to efforts to anticipate new markets, products, and technologies, and they are avid consumers of traditional economic and demographic forecasts. Many of the best-run transnational corporations have been developing sophisticated efforts in such fields as environmental scanning, issues management, and scenario-based planning.”

“Another hopeful development is the emergence of images of the future that appear to be both positive and realistic and that transcend many of the divisions and arguments of the past.”

Read full story

Related stories:
America’s romance with the future
Doom and demography

(via Noise Between Stations)

Be the first to share
15 August 2015
What is the ‘sharing economy’? A perspective from Seoul
As a Fulbright grantee, Emily Hong spent part of the last year researching the sharing economy in Seoul. One of her main findings? Korea actually has two. The first is small-scale, hyper local and socialist in …
11 August 2015
Thingclash: putting human values in the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to be one of the most far reaching and fundamental shifts in how people interact with technology and their environment since the advent of the Internet. But, the rush …
13 June 2015
Examining the proliferation of magical narratives in technology
There has been a lot of talk about magic lately in critical, cultural and technological spaces; what it does, who it is for, and who are the ones to control or enact it. As a …
1 June 2015
Exploring the ‘next nature’ that people and technology are creating
The Next Nature website sets out to radically shift our notion of nature: Our image of nature as static, balanced and harmonic is naive and up for reconsideration. Where technology and nature are traditionally seen as …
17 May 2015
We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril
In 2009, W Brian Arthur published a remarkable book, The Nature of Technology, in which he formulated a coherent theory of what technology is, how it evolves and how it spurs innovation and industry. Technology, …
17 May 2015
Policy paper: Making Good our Future
Making Good our Future: Exploring the New Boundaries of Open & Social Innovation in Manufacturing Policy Paper prepared for the European Commission May 2015, 49 pages As part of the Social Innovation Europe initiative, the European Commission has …
9 May 2015
Modernizing the US immigration system with user-centered design
Vivian Graubard describes on WhiteHouse.gov how the U.S. Digital Service is working on modernizing the USA’s still largely paper based immigration service, pairing a better technical base with user-centered design. We traveled to USCIS (United States …
5 May 2015
Why people don’t trust energy-saving gadgets
People’s reluctance to share data about their energy use is likely to stand in the way of “smart” technology designed to promote energy efficiency, experts say. A study, published online in Nature Climate Change, finds that …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles