[Paleopsych] Ideas Bank: 60 Key Works: A Beginner's Guide to the Futures Literature

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Sat Aug 20 20:22:26 UTC 2005

60 Key Works: A Beginner's Guide to the Futures Literature
[Links omitted, for they would have cluttered the text. Click on the URL to get 

    Kjell Dahle, Ideas Bank Foundation, Oslo, Norway:

    This is a presentation of 60 selected works within the realm of
    futures studies. Earlier versions of the beginners guide have been
    published in Slaughter 1995 and Slaughter 1996.
    (1) The books and articles presented deal with possible, probable,
    desirable and undesirable futures. My intention is to give the reader
    a picture of what futures studies is about through a broad range of
    practical examples. For this purpose, brief information is provided on
    the background of each author.

    Some of them may not use labels like "futures studies" or "futures
    research" (not to mention "futurology"), about what they have written.
    But they have all developed or converted knowledge in order to
    contribute to long-term planning, the formulation of visions, or
    social change. This is what futures studies is about.(2)

    To make it easier for newcomers to browse amongst the rich offerings
    presented here, the literature has been categorised into the following
    seven groups:

    Classic Introductions
    Looking back - and ahead
    The world problematique

    As mutually exclusive categories are hard to find in the field of
    futures studies, the categorisation will to some extent be arbitrary.


    The notorious 1960s also meant the start of a golden age for futures
    studies. Having been dominated by a few big North American "think
    tanks", serving military and related industrial goals, the scope now
    broadened tremendously. Futurists developed their own tools in the
    shape of serious techniques and methodologies, and all kinds of
    futurist organisations popped up around the world. I will now present
    some sources to the state of the art in this "new" field of futures
    studies around 1970.

    The dynamic spirit of new academic fields often result in good
    introductury textbooks. This is also the case with futures studies.
    Some books from the 1960s and 1970s are still among the best
    introductions to the field.

    As early as in the middle of the 1960s, a major study was carried out
    for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. OECD
    felt the need for an account of the state of the art of technological
    forecasting as well as practical applications. The work was done by an
    Austrian, Dr Erich JANTSCH, and resulted in the classic "Technological
    Forecasting in Perspective. A Framework for Technological Forecasting,
    its Techniques and Organisation".

    One of the main findings was that, in spite of its increasingly wide
    adoption in industry, research institutes and military environments,
    technological forecasting was not yet a science but an art. It was
    characterised more by attitudes than by intellectual tools. The
    development of special techniques had, however, gained momenteum in
    the last few years. The book thus includes a thorough discussion of
    more than 100 distinct versions of forecasting, grouped under some 20
    approaches in four broad areas. Those are intuitive thinking, and
    exploratory, normative and feedback techniques. Like other basic
    terms, Jantsch defines them in ways that are still highly relevant.

    The same year, in 1967, a quite different classic, "The Art of
    Conjecture", was published in English. The author, Bertrand de
    JOUVENEL, was the founder of "Futuribles International" in Paris.
    Educated in law, biology, and economics, he worked as a journalist and
    author. Later, he became the first president of the World Futures
    Studies Federation.

    Baron de Jouvenel mistrusted pretentious terms such as "forecast",
    "foresight", "prediction" and "futurology", especially since
    prognosis-makers are often credited with aspirations they do not (or
    should not!) have. He wanted futures studies to be taken seriously,
    and thus preferred the unpretentious term "conjecture", stressing the
    uncertainty of the field. Like Jantsch, he regarded the intellectual
    formulation of possible futures (futuribles) as a piece of art, in the
    widest possible sense. By linking historical examples to current
    problems, the book underlines the complexity and unpredictability of
    society, and how difficult it is to make models of the future.

    1967 was also the year of the first big international conference of
    futures studies. It was held in Oslo with 70 participants from more
    than a dozen countries in three continents. The conference was
    designed to meet what was seen as a new trend within futures research.

    After the departure from the military domination, the desire emerged
    to use futurist tools on civilian problems. Could information
    technology, systems analysis, operational research, forecasting,
    anticipating, scenario-writing and "futures creation" be used against
    such enemies as urban sprawl, hunger, lack of education and growing

    These were the major challenges for the participants of the Oslo
    conference, which was used as a source for the book "Mankind 2000". It
    was edited by the main initiators, Robert JUNGK from the Institute for
    Future Research in Vienna and Johan GALTUNG from the International
    Peace Research Institute in Oslo. Jungk and Galtung both had most
    diverse backgrounds, even for futurists. They were to become leading
    international figures within the field in the years to come. Robert
    Jungk was a German journalist, researcher and political activist. He
    inspired the creation of a whole lot of futures institutions around
    the world, academic as well as non-academic.(3) Galtung holds
    university degrees in both mathematics and sociology; has worked in
    five continents; and has been an advisor for ten UN organisations and
    a guest professor at more than 30 universities. He succeeded Bertrand
    de Jouvenel as the president of the World Futures Studies Federation.

    In his contribution to "Mankind 2000", Galtung discusses the
    traditional division of labour between ideologists who establish
    values, scientists who establish trends, and politicians who try to
    adjust means to ends. He claims that futures research rejects this
    artificial compartmentalisation, and tries to develop a more unified
    approach to the three fields. In a postscript, Jungk and Galtung
    advocate an internationalisation and a "democratisation" of the field,
    which should not be allowed to become 'the monopoly of power groups
    served by experts in the new branch of "futurism".

    Some national governments also came to see the potential of futures
    studies. In the early 1970s, a very thorough report entitled To Choose
    a Future" was presented by a Swedish Government committee, led by
    cabinet member Alva MYRDAL. Its task was to give advice on the
    development of futures studies in Sweden. It turned out to be most

    The relationship between futures studies and public decision-making
    and planning is a central issue in the report. According to the
    committee, futures studies should help people shape their own future.
    Like Jungk and Galtung, the committee saw a risk of futures studies
    being the private preserve of influential specialists, thereby eroding
    the democratic and political element in the shaping of the future.
    Advise is given on how to avoid this, for instance always to present
    several possible futures. According to the commission's
    recommendations, the Secretariat for Futures Studies was established
    the following year, attached to the Cabinet office.

    "Handbook of Futures Research" is a US classic of the 1970s,
    containing no less than forty-one articles about various aspects of
    the new field. It was edited by Jib FOWLES, then chairman of the
    graduate program in Studies of the Future which still exists at the
    University of Houston.

    He defines the field as "the effort to anticipate and prepare for the
    future before it unfolds". The first part of the book deals with the
    emergence and international growth of futures research, providing a
    broad survey of institutions, literature, and people associated with
    the new field. The handbook further presents the most common methods
    and procedures of futures research, including scenarios, trend
    extrapolation, the Delphi technique, technological forecasting and
    assessment, simulation, and social forecasting. The dominant themes
    within the field and substantive disagreements among futurists are
    also discussed.

    Most articles in the book are written by heavyweighters within their
    subject. It is also a strength that the difficulties of futures
    research have been given so much consideration. Methodological
    shortcomings, tendencies of elitism, self-altering predictions and the
    problem of values are among the subjects tackled. Finally, the
    challenges to be faced by the new field of futures research are

    "The Study of the Future. An Introduction to the Art and Science of
    Understanding and Shaping Tomorrow's World." is a shorter classic from
    1977. It is edited by Edward CORNISH, who is still the president of
    one of the most important futures institutions, the US-based World
    Future Society. The book was designed to meet the need for a brief,
    readable, general-purpose introductory book.

    Basic principles of futurism are discussed, as well as the US and
    international development of the field. Futurists are seen as persons
    interested in the longer-term future of human civilisation, using
    non-mystical means to identify and study possible future occurrences.
    The book presents methods and case studies, as well as future-oriented
    organisations and the ideas of a dozen leading futurists (except
    Bertrand de Jouvenel and Robert Jungk all are North Americans).

    It was written with the broad assistance from members and staff of the
    WFS, and evolved from the extensive project "Resources directory for
    America's third century". Serving as a contribution to the U.S.
    Bicentennial celebration in 1976, this project was a result of grants
    from the National Science Foundation and the Congressional Research

    André COURNAND and Maurice LEVY's book "Shaping the Future. Gaston
    Berger and the Concept of Prospective" presents "La prospective" as a
    French orientation to the future, radically different from trends
    dominating in the United States and Great Britain. A fundamental idea
    of La prospective is that the future as conceived by man, is a factor
    in bringing about events that are to come.

    Gaston Berger and his successors within this approach thus emphasise
    the importance of human values and education in preparation for, and
    as elements in, planning. This approach is contrasted to many
    future-oriented activities in the Anglo-Saxon world; conceiving the
    future as the inevitable extension of the present and favouring
    short-term partial programs. This book from 1973 presents to
    English-speaking readers the chief idea of La prospective and its
    application to industrial and governmental planning in France,
    especially in relation to the fourth and fifth National Plans. Gaston
    Berger was Director of Higher Education in the French Ministry of
    Education before founding "Centre International de Prospective".

    The dynamic spirit of new academic fields often results in good
    introductury text-books. This is also the case with futures studies.
    Some books from the 1960s and 1970s are still among the best
    introductions to the field. This embarrassing truth was one of the
    reasons why Richard A. SLAUGHTER, now president of the World Futures
    Studies Federation, initiated "The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies".
    Three volumes were published in 1996 and a fourth in 2000.

    Volume 1 considers the origin of futures studies and discusses some of
    the social, cultural and historical reasons for their emergence.
    Volume 2 presents case studies of different futures organisation and
    explores a range of futures methodologies. Images, imaging processes
    and social innovations are also discussed. Volume 3 presents new
    directions in futures thinking and discusses the outlook for a new
    millennium. In volume 4, futurists from all over the world present
    themselves and their ideas.

    One of the grand old men of international futures studies, professor
    emeritus Wendell BELL of Yale University, supplied the field with
    another presentation of the state of the art when he published his
    Foundations of Futures Studies in 1997. For more than 30 years, the
    author has tried to convince sociologists to give priority to futures
    studies. These two volumes demonstrate that there is no lack of
    arguments for such a choice.

    Volume 1, History, Purposes, and Knowledge, delivers what the title
    promises. Among other things, the author discusses - pro et contra -
    whether futures studies is an art or an science, and he describes some
    of the different methods used by futurists. Volume 2, Values,
    Objectivity, and the Good Society, mainly deals with preferable
    futures. After examining the values of a few key utopian writers
    throughout history, he explains the ethical foundations of futures
    studies and how they relate to all action.

    Rolf HOMANN's book "Zukünfte - heute denken morgen sein" from 1998 is
    an excellent introduction to the realm of futures studies in German
    language. It is written in a way that makes it easily accessible for
    individuals and companies without previous knowledge of the field.
    Homann presents the toolbox of futures studies, including trend
    research, morphology, Delfi, scenarios, futures workshops and chaos
    research. Each method is being examined rather critically (and not
    without humour). The book also discusses possible, desirable and
    undesirable futures within fields like work, education, media and sex.
    An important part of the books is the "Glossen"; short satirical
    comments to concepts and themes from the book (often illustrated by
    the artist Regine Scmidt-Morsbach).

    The author strongly believes in a further quick development of
    information technology, making virtual reality an important part of
    our futures whether we like it or not. After presenting main futures
    institutions of the world, the book ends with a draft to a manifest of
    futures rights. The manifest includes the right to have alternative
    visions of the future, the right to choose between them and the right
    to act in accordance with one's choices.


    Time has passed since many of today's futurists became active, and
    looking back can be most valuable. Even for futurists. Michael MARIEN
    and Lane JENNINGS asked a number of prominent people from the US
    "futures vogue" of the 1960s and 1970s to reflect upon how the reality
    of the 1980s differed from what they had anticipated, and what had
    been learned about social and technological change since then. The
    answers resulted in the book "What I Have Learned".

    Some of the 17 contributors update and revise their previous thinking.
    Others summarise lessons learned rather than updating published
    thinking of long time ago. Several contributors acknowledge that
    predicting and prescribing the future is harder than once believed.
    But they all agree that thinking about the future can be useful, not
    only in anticipating certain developments, but also in asking better
    questions and learning more about one's self.

    The German futurist Ossip K. FLECHTHEIM took his look back a little
    earlier. From his US exile, he introduced the word "futurology" as
    early as 1943, searching for a logic of the future in the same way as
    history is a search for the logic of the past. "History and
    Futurology" from 1966 is an adapted collection of this frontrunner's
    most important articles since the 1940s. He tries to assess the fate
    of mankind in the coming centuries as objectively as possible, and has
    been criticized for his belief in this kind of approach. Flechtheim, a
    professor of political science at the Free University of Berlin, was
    an active figure in the public debate almost until his death in 1998.

    Richard A. SLAUGHTER, professor of foresight at the Swinton University
    of Technology, Australia, and since 2001 the president of World
    Futures Studies Federation, represents the next generation of
    futurists. According to his book from 1995, "The Foresight Principle",
    foresight is the process of attempting to broaden the boundaries of
    perception by careful futures scanning and the clarification of
    emerging situations. Foresight is not the ability to predict the
    future, but a way of facilitating desirable individual and social

    The author takes a brief look at the origins and development of the
    Western industrial worldview, considering some of its costs. In our
    time, he sees foresight as consciously working to complete the
    transition to a more sustainable world while there is still time to
    achieve it. Analysis and imagination are key words for foresight. In
    addition, institutions of foresight are needed to secure better
    implementation at the social and organisational level. Examples of
    such institutions are the US Millennium Institute, the International
    Futures Library created by Robert Jungk in Salzburg, and the no longer
    existing US Congressional Clearing House on the Future. Strategies for
    creating positive views of futures with young people are also
    discussed by the author, who holds a PhD in the role of futures
    studies in education.

    In their book "Zukunftsforschung und Politik" from 1991, Rolf KREIBICH
    et al analyse the development of German futures research, which
    reached its peak in the late 1970s. A historical discussion leads up
    to a presentation of the state of the art. After a decade of low
    activity, they find the situation more promising.

    Like so many others, these German futurists have moved their focus
    from quantitatively oriented prognostics to more normative studies of
    desirable futures. Comparative analyses of futures studies in France,
    Sweden and Switzerland are included in the book, which is a result of
    a project financed by the regional authorities of North

    Far more critical voices than those mentioned above have also taken
    their look back. There has been a Western hegemony in futures studies,
    as in most other fields. The diversity and "unpredictability" of the
    actors did not correspond very well with e.g. State Marxism. Georgi
    SHAKHANAZOV's book "Futurology Fiasco. A Critical Study of Non-Marxist
    Concepts of How Society Develops." is a translation of a Soviet work,
    published in Moscow in 1982.

    He saw the field of futures studies as a 'bizarre mixture of valuable
    observations, quasi-scientific nonsense, and anti-communist
    fabrications of the foulest'. Different approaches are discussed, and
    the field is acknowledged for contributing to the gathering of
    knowledge about various features on the road in front of us. But
    according to the author all futurist approaches had in common that
    they 'in no way refute the Marxist-Leninist postulate that socialism
    is inevitable'.

    From his Third World point of view, Ziauddin SARDAR has a somewhat
    more elaborate critique of the development of futures studies. In his
    essay "Colonizing the Future" from 1993, he analyses the evolution of
    futures studies and claims that it is increasingly becoming an
    instrument for the marginalisation of non-Western cultures from the
    future. According to Sardar, even those futurists who are inspired by
    non-Western cultures, tend to produce 'a grotesque parody' of
    non-Western thought. His article was published in the international
    journal "Futures" (a must for anyone who wants to get an idea what
    serious futures studies are about). Rick Slaughter and Sohail
    Inayatullah respond to Sardar's essay in the same issue. Having later
    become the editor of "Futures", Sardar is himself an example of the
    fact that futures studies also has room for critical people born in
    the Third World.

    A special issue of Futures edited by Colin BLACKMAN and Olugbenga
    ADESIDA, published in 1994, was devoted to African futures studies.
    Adesida, an economist/information systems analyst working with the
    United Nations Development Programme's project "African Futures" based
    in Abidjan, claims there is no place where a change from ancestral
    worship to worship of future generations is more necessary than

    This special issue takes stock of progress in the use of futures
    studies concepts and methodologies in Africa, and discusses how such
    studies could be better integrated into decision-making and planning.
    A long-term view and a participatory approach are seen as essential in
    this respect.

    Within the old Eastern block there were also futurists who, to some
    extent, could operate within the main international networks of
    futures studies. A prominent example is Igor BESTUZHEV-LADA, a
    professor of sociology who has experienced all the changes of post-war

    His article "A Short History of Forecasting in the USSR" in the US
    journal "Technological Forecasting and Social Change", gives a most
    thrilling description of the fields problems and achievements in the
    region during different phases up to 1991. For the further development
    of forecasting in his area, Bestuzhev-Lada recommends a normative
    approach focusing on global imbalances. The task is to outline an
    alternative civilisation able to overcome them, and the transition

    The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 had immense consequences for
    futures studies in Eastern and Central Europe. These are analysed in
    Erzsebet NOVAKY et al's book "Futures Studies in the European
    Ex-Socialist Countries" from 2001. Although some contributions look
    more like early drafts, it gives a comprehesive picture of the
    development of futures studies in the different countries involved.

    Even "official" futurists experienced a rather limited freedom during
    the "communist" era. The dismantling of state planning and the
    transition process to a market economy has, however, led to new
    problems. Futures researchers that were once financed by the state,
    have experienced dissolution and even incrimination. In the early
    1990s, the interest for futures studies was rather limited in most
    "Ex-Socialist" countries. People felt that they had had enough of
    detailed planning and dubious forecasts. New politicians were caught
    in "presentism" traps, focusing on short-term tasks only.

    Comprehensive strategic studies for development of these countries
    rarely appeared until the late 1990s, and then most often connected
    with the question of how to meet the EU criteria for becoming future
    members of the union. There is, however, a beginning optimism about a
    new generation of futures studies becoming increasingly demanded in
    the area. Hungarian futurists seem to be in the luckiest situation,
    now as before 1989.


    Some of the most famous futurists in the public eye deal mainly with
    trends; they try to predict which futures are the most probable.
    Post-Industrial Society, Future Shock, and Megatrends are only a few
    of the widely diffused "trend" concepts originating from futures

    In his popular book "The Coming of Post-Industrial Society" from 1973,
    Daniel BELL presented the thesis that in the next 30 to 50 years a
    post-industrial society would emerge, representing a dramatic change
    in the social framework of the Western world. The creation of a
    service economy, the primacy of theoretical knowledge and the planning
    of technology are supposed to be among the central dimensions of this
    new society.

    The United States is used as unit of illustration. Bell (a Harvard
    professor of sociology) launched the concept of "post-industrial
    society" as early as 1962. When it comes to the growth debate, Bell
    finds that both Kahn's post-scarcity ideas and the doomsday
    predictions of "The Limits to Growth" are wrong.

    Alvin TOFFLER launched his famous concept, "Future shock" in 1965. His
    goal was to describe what happens to people who are overwhelmed by
    change; how they manage - or fail - to adapt to the future. His
    international bestseller "Future Shock" from 1970 was a result of
    subsequent conversations between the author (a former journalist) and
    researchers from a wide range of disciplines, as well as
    industrialists, psychiatrists, doctors and hippies.

    Unlike many other futurists, especially those dealing with trend
    studies, Toffler emphasises soft, everyday aspects of the future. A
    main conclusion is that the speed of change can often be more
    important than the direction of change. The time frame of planning
    must therefore be extended if we are to forestall technocracy. The
    growth of futures research is seen as one of the healthiest phenomena
    of recent years.

    Yoneji MASUDA, a Japanese professor of information science, published
    his bestseller, "The Information Society as Post-Industrial Society",
    in 1980. He saw humankind as standing on the threshold of a period
    when information values would become more important than material
    values. This was a result of a new societal technology based on the
    combination of computers and communications technology.

    The first part of the book deals with the question of when and through
    what stages the "information society" will be created. The second part
    presents the author's theoretical and conceptual studies on the
    information society. The discussion ends with "Computopia", the
    author's vision of a preferred global society in the 21st century.
    This society will encourage self-realisation and freedom of decision,
    in contrast to his alternative vision, "Automated State", a horrible
    controlled society.

    Taichi SAKAIYA's "The Knowledge-Value Revolution" became another
    Japanese bestseller within the field. Sakaiya is an economist,
    essayist and novelist, and the author of more than 30 books. His
    starting point is that the industrial society has reached its zenith,
    and that the world is undergoing a gigantic transformation. In the
    coming age, people will no longer be driven to consume more, but will
    turn towards values created through access to time and wisdom. Rather
    than buying a lot of goods and replacing them in rapid succession,
    they will purchase high-priced items possessing preferred designs,
    high-class brand images, high-level technologies, or specific
    functional capabilities, and keep them for much longer.

    "Knowledge-value" is the worth or price a society gives to that which
    the society acknowledges to be creative wisdom". People of the coming
    epoch can be expected to pay a high price for items that correspond to
    the demands set by the social subjectivity of the group to which they
    believe they belong. This will have enormous consequences for the
    industrial world. Developing technology, design, rhytms and images
    that match the social subjectivities of the times will thus be more
    important for their success or failure than the literal products they

    John NAISBITT sold as many as 9 000 000 copies of his book
    "Megatrends", published in 1982. Here, the USA was described as a
    society in-between two eras. Those who are willing to anticipate the
    new era will be a quantum leap ahead of those who hold on to the past.

    Ten empirical, mainly quantitative "megatrends" are presented,
    including the transition from Industrial Society to Information
    Society, from National Economy to World Economy, from Short Term to
    Long Term Considerations, from Centralisation to Decentralisation,
    from Institutional Help to Self-Help, from Representative Democracy to
    Participatory Democracy and from Hierarchies to Informal Networking.
    Naisbitt base his findings on content analysis of local newspapers,
    because he finds trends to be generated from the bottom up.

    The new economic order will not, as forecast by Daniel Bell and
    others, be a service-based post-industrial society, but rather a
    "hyper-industrial" society in which services are transformed into
    mass-produced consumer goods. The microchip and advances in
    biotechnology will lead to a new age that will profoundly transform
    human culture. The new consumer society will be bitterly divided
    between rich and poor. If the North remains passive and indifferent to
    this, Attali feels sure that the peoples of the South will enter into
    revolt, and one day, war. This will be unlike modern wars: it will
    rather resemble the barbarian raids on Europe of the seventh and eight

    An English-American professor of history, Paul KENNEDY, shifted his
    main interest from the past to the future in the late 1980s. As a
    result, an international bestseller on trends was published in 1993,
    called "Preparing for the Twenty-First Century". It gives a generalist
    view of some important global trends of our time. These include
    demographic explosion, the communications revolution, biotechnology
    and threats to the environment. Kennedy then discusses how prepared
    the world's regions and nations are for the challenges that seem to be

    However, in spite of the book's title and size, there is no real
    analysis of practical solutions or of general worldviews. This shows
    how a well-written book about the next century can have appeal, even
    without the futurist tools that could have enabled the author to deal
    more meaningfully with preparations for the 21st century.

    Willis HARMAN's "Global Mind Change" from 1988 is a completely
    different kind of "trend book". The author predicts a societal
    transformation in the form of a paradigm change towards the end of the
    20th century. This could be just as radical as the earth-shaking
    shifts in view of reality that took place when the "modern" worldview
    began to take shape in the 17th century.

    According to Harman, the origins of present global problems are to be
    found in the belief system supporting our whole economic structure.
    The Establishment's solutions only deal with symptoms, instead of
    accepting the need for fundamental change. Within the coming
    worldview, we will accept reality both through physical sense data
    (like today) and through a deep intuitive "inner knowing", being part
    of a oneness.

    Harman's point is not to accelerate or resist changes that take place,
    but rather to help society understand the forces of historical change.
    Dialogue and caring can help us through the process with as little
    misery as possible. The author is a veteran of US futures studies,
    with background in electrical engineering and systems analysis as well
    as psychology.

    Lester BROWN et al's "Vital Signs. The Trends That Are Shaping Our
    Future represents still another kind of trend studies. This is an
    annual series from the Worldwatch Institute in Washington DC, having
    been published in at least17 languages over the last ten years. In
    text and easy-to-read graphs, the 2002 version analyses more than 50
    key indicators of long-term trends that track change in our planets
    environmental, economic, and social health. Topics covered in Vital
    Signs include food, agriculture, energy, the atmosphere, economy,
    transportation, the environment and the military.

    In addition, the series contains special features on less celebrated,
    but still important trends, not normally covered by national and
    international statistical agencies. These include subjects as
    different as pecticide bans, bicycle production, increase in solar
    cells and violence against women.

    "States of Disarray" is a report from the United Nations Research
    Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), presented in Copenhagen
    during the 1995 UN Social Summit. It gives a comprehensive analysis of
    the social effects of globalisation using a holistic and
    multi-disciplinary approach. The report draws upon a big number of
    global research programs, as well as special material form UNRISD's
    worldwide network of scholars, activists and development

    The quickening pace of change is found to have caught much of the
    international community unaware. Capital, goods and people are now
    moving with an enormous speed and complexity, thus creating enormous
    social tensions. The belief in dynamic, well-functioning markets
    resolving problems of human welfare is called a fallacy leading to
    catastrophic consequences.

    At the international level, social organisations have been overtaken
    by transnational corporations and international finance institutions.
    At a national level, many state institutions have been eroded or
    eliminated. And at a local level, the imperatives of market forces and
    globalisation have been undermining communities and families.

    The report explores not only issues like poverty, unemployment,
    inequality, crime and drugs, but also themes such as identity crisis,
    weakening social solidarity and declining responsibility within
    certain institutions. Future implications of globalisation are also

    Current success criteria towards the end of last century were very
    often economic growth, high consumption, and international
    competition. Robert THEOBALD's book "Reworking Success. New
    Communities at the Millennium" from 1997 presents "the required
    success criteria for the twenty-first century". These are ecological
    integrity, effective participatory decision-making, and social

    According to the author, such a change in success criteria will
    necessarily occur at the personal, group, and community level rather
    than through top-down policy shifts. Here is no belief in "mapping"
    reality. Theobald prefers to see reality as an impressionist painting,
    which is partial and incomplete and where patterns shift as one looks
    at it. Such an approach makes it easier to find common ground between
    different positions, which is a must if we are to move out of current

    Other key words for a coming change are, according to Theobald,
    "servant leaders" seeking to empower others rather than control them),
    a new political landscape (those who want to keep the Industrial era
    vs those who are committed to creating a changed culture), and
    decentralised governance with less coercion. Local and international
    Internet fora will also be important. "Exciting and creative things
    are happening everywhere, but at the same time there is a failure to
    appreciate positive local steps.


    The most unpredicted rise of OPEC in the 1970s (in some parts of the
    world better known as the oil crisis), had consequences for the
    futures literature. The risk with delivering short-term prognoses is
    that you may lose your reputation quickly. It was not so easy anymore
    to convince people that they could find the truth about development
    trends in books written by gurus. There was a gradual shift in
    interest from the realm of trends and predictions to the choice
    between alternative futures, in the form of scenarios or utopias.

    Scenario writing had, however, also been used by many trend
    researchers, such as the highly controversial Herman KAHN. Aside from
    what one may think of his political analysis, it has to be admitted
    that he was a key figure behind the development of today's scenario
    building. His 1967 book "The Year 2000" remains an important classic.

    It includes scenarios both for the world society and for the USA, and
    is inspired by methods from military studies. Here they were used to
    explore possible consequences of nuclear war. Kahn, a scholar of
    mathematics and physics, strongly believed in future economic growth
    and prosperity, and that the ecological problems will be solved by
    technological innovation. This book (produced at the Hudson Institute)
    was the first volume from the "Commission on the Year 2000" project,
    sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Basic concepts
    like "surprise-free scenarios" and "standard world" were here
    introduced to the public.

    Scenarios are not necessarily about the most likely future or the
    authors preferred future; they can be more or less probable and more
    or less desirable. Michel GODET has defined a scenario as 'the
    description of a possible future and the corresponding path to it'
    (4). Godet is a professor of strategic prospective at the
    Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers (CNAM), and represents the
    French la prospective-tradition, believing in action and
    non-predetermination. He is the author of 14 books on scenario
    building, of which many have been translated to other languages
    including English. His latest one, Creating Futures. Scenario Planning
    as a Strategic Management Tool has a preface by the US futurist Joseph
    F. Coates.

    Godet here presents five basic attitudes to the future that people can
    choose from: the passive ostrich, the reactive firefighter, the
    preactive insurer, the proactive innovative conspirator and the
    anticipative actor. Anticipative actors blend the reactive, the
    preactive and the proactive attitudes. In football language, they
    blend the star players ambition with caution and urgency! Ostriches go
    with the flow when things happen. Firefighters adapt to reduce damage.
    Insurers try to prevent accidents and look for trend-based scenarios.
    Conspirators try to be innovative. Their scenarios are normative; they
    describe desirable alternatives.

    Godet warns against drafting strategic plans based on proactive
    innovating scenarios alone. Ambitions are not enough. There is a need
    to be preactive, too, in order to prepare for expected changes in the
    future environment. On the other hand, trend-based scenarios are no
    longer the most probable ones, according to Godet. That was
    yesteryear! Today, the most probable scenario in many instances
    corresponds to deep breaks or even breakdown in current trends.

    There are lots of different scenario methods around. Important
    elements are, however, system analysis, retrospective analysis, asking
    the right questions and identifying key variables, analysing the main
    actors strategies, scanning possible futures and evaluating strategic
    choices and options. Through case studies, Godet demonstrates how
    scenario building can be used to prepare action plans for companies,
    organisations and governments.

    A growing number of studies on the year 2000 were initiated during the
    1980s, using scenario methods. Their aim was to analyse long-term
    alternative futures of nations or regions. The Institute of 21st
    Century Studies (now called the Millennium Institute) was established
    to promote and support such efforts. Martha GARRETT of that institute
    edited "Studies for the 21st Century". This large book, published by
    UNESCO's Futuresco project in 1991, provides an overview of about 50
    projects from all continents. Both normative and exploratory studies
    are included. Besides reports from the various projects involved, the
    book presents the methodologies used and discusses lessons learned.

    The professional and national backgrounds of the participants strongly
    influence the approach that the project teams chose in their studies.
    Still, there is a high degree of agreement on certain points, such as
    sustainability being the key to a continuing future for humankind, and
    the foundation of new public attitudes as a prerequisite for changes
    in action.

    An example of a 21st century study is Jim NORTHCOTT's "Britain in
    2010". The main forecasts are on a "most probable" basis, although the
    authors know that 'the one thing that can be predicted with certainty
    is that some of the forecasts will turn out to be wrong'. Three other
    scenarios are therefore added, identifying potential areas of choice.
    The first one is market-oriented, the second is left-wing
    interventionist, and the third illustrates an environmental-oriented
    approach. The report was produced by a multidisciplinary group at the
    Policy Studies Institute (PSI) in London, in cooperation with
    Cambridge Econometrics. It was funded by a consortium of private
    sector companies and government departments.

    James ROBERTSON is a central figure within the New Economics
    Foundation. His book entitled "The Sane Alternative. A Choice of
    Futures." has a far more qualitative approach than most other scenario
    works. The author, having a background from the British Cabinet Office
    and from banking, sees the period up to about 2010 as a critical
    period in the history of humankind. He briefly presents five very
    different futures, all assumed to be realistic.

    The scenarios are "Business as Usual", "Disaster" (giving up in
    advance), "Authoritarian Control", "Hyper-Expansionist (HE) Future
    (even bigger toys and more important jobs for the boys), and "The
    Sane, Human, Ecological (SHE) Future" (a decentralized alternative
    where the limits to growth are not technical and economic, but social
    and psychological). Most of the book deals with the SHE-scenario; what
    it is like and what we can do to develop it further.

    Kimon VALASKAKIS et al's "The Conserver Society" was written to meet
    14 Canadian government agencies' wish to study the implications of
    different policy options (how to turn a potentially good idea into a
    policy option).

    Five separate scenarios are presented, including three "conserver
    societies". These are "Scotch gambit" (do more with less), the "Greek"
    ideal (do the same with less), and The Buddhist scenario (doing less
    with less and doing something else). Two mass-consumption scenarios
    are added, the "Squander society" (do less with more), reminiscent of
    a Roman orgy, and "Big Rock Candy Mountain" (do more with more). The
    project was carried out by the futures research institute Gamma. 15
    experts from as many different disciplines took part.

    The ideas developed are thought to have had significant influence upon
    the development of environmentally based arguments in a number of
    areas such as health and agriculture, as well as providing a general
    context within which the Canadians may cast environmental arguments in

    Rüdiger LUTZ' book "Die sanfte Wende. Aufbruch ins ökologische
    Zeitalter" gives a most comprehensive view of cultural trends,
    accentuating the counter-culture-scene with its critique of the
    industrial society and its practical experiments. Theories of
    development are discussed, as well as classical and modern utopias.
    The author ends up with discussing seven prototypes of possible
    scenarios, all having supporters among futurists.

    These are COMPUTOPIA (the information society), SPACE COLONIES,
    ECOTOPIA, CHINATOWN (a melting pot of multi-million, multi-racial and
    multi-cultural metropols), FINDHORN (spiritually oriented new
    age-communes), DALLAS (a further market-oriented society based on
    social darwinism), and GAIA (earth as a self-organised ecosystem based
    on reciprocity and interdependence). Combinations of the different
    options are also discussed through a multiple scenario approach.

    Ove SVIDEN and Britt ANIANSSON's "Surprising futures" presents notes
    from a workshop in Stockholm, where about 20 leading researchers from
    different continents and disciplines (including Michel Godet) drew up
    five global and regional scenarios up to the year 2075.

    Four of the scenarios were deliberately given a "surprising" content,
    although they need not be more unlikely than the fifth,
    "surprise-free" scenario called "Conventional Wisdom". The workshop
    was run in 1986 by the Swedish research council FRN and the
    International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) in
    Laxenburg, Austria.

    We now move from the comparing of probable (more or less desirable)
    futures, and to works that focus on the "ideal society".


    'Those who rule decide what is reality and what is utopia.' These
    words from the feminist German journalist and author Carna Zacharias
    (5), make it clear that the futures discussed under this heading are
    not necessarily unrealistic or unattainable. In fact, instead of
    "Utopias", it might just as well have been called "Visions" or "Images
    of the future". The Germans also use the term "Zukunftsgestaltung"
    (futures design). But, as the pragmatic Chinese Deng Xiao Ping once
    said, the important thing is not whether a cat is black or white, but
    whether it catches mice. "Utopia" here means more or less fictional
    literature that describes a particular community, desired by the
    author. The main theme is the structure of those communities.

    So, does this kind of literature catch mice? Has it had any influence
    on societal development through the ages? According to the late Dutch
    professor Fred POLAK, the answer is yes. In his classic study "The
    Image of the Future", he demonstrates that idealistic and inspiring
    visions of the past have greatly influenced later developments.

    Utopias (and dystopias) are first considered from the history of
    Western civilisation. Then the author describes what he sees as a
    unique lack of convincing images in our own times. His hope for our
    cultural survival was in a new development of both utopias and
    dystopias. The book demonstrates the advantages of a most
    interdisciplinary background. During his academic career Polak was
    active within law, economy, philosophy and sociology. In addition, he
    was a central figure in Dutch culture, business and politics.

    Probably the most thorough survey of utopian literature is Frank E.
    and Fritzie P. MANUEL's "Utopian Thought in the Western World." He, a
    Harvard professor of history, and she, an art historian, produced the
    book after more than 25 years work on utopian thinking. In
    chronological order they identify historical constellations of
    utopias, bringing us from the ancient Greeks via Christian utopians
    and Thomas More to more modern utopians like Saint-Simon, Karl Marx,
    Edward Bellamy, William Morris and Herbert Marcuse.

    The authors believe in the revival of utopias, as Western civilisation
    may not be able to survive without utopian phantasies any more than
    individuals can exist without dreaming. They predict that "Man the
    innovator" will come up with the unthought-of, leaving model-builders
    and futurological predictors 'holding their bag of forecasts and
    facile analogies in embarrassed irrelevance'.

    Krishan KUMAR's book "Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times", focuses
    particularly on the ability of utopias to capture the popular
    imagination or become the centre of public debate. The bulk of the
    material is about English and American literature of the period from
    the 1880s to the 1950s. Works of five authors (Edward Bellamy, H. G.
    Wells, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and B. F. Skinner) were selected
    for thorough analysis of their roles within the intellectual and
    literary tradition of utopias.

    The last part considers the decline of utopia and dystopia in the
    second half of the 20th century. Special emphasis is put on critical
    discussions of socialist ideology, ecology and the relations between
    utopia and research. Kumar, a Trinidad-born professor of sociology,
    claims that "Futurologists" of the 1960s and 1970s were convinced of
    the imminent realisation of their expectations, and thus saw their
    task as one of scientific analysis and policy prescription rather than
    of utopian picturing.

    The success of Niels MEYER et al's "Revolt from the Center" in the
    late 1970s showed that new visions could still capture the public
    imagination. This book triggered a broad public debate in Scandinavia,
    and sold more than 100,000 copies in Denmark alone (a country with
    five million inhabitants). It was written by a professor of physics, a
    former liberal cabinet member and a famous essayist.

    They analyse weaknesses of the existing social system, describe their
    utopia of a humane society in ecological balance, and discuss ways and
    means of achieving it. An important reform is the introduction of a
    guaranteed basic income. Those who want a material standard above that
    level have the right to do a certain amount of paid work.

    "Visions of Desirable Societies" edited by Eleonora MASINI is a book
    where most of the contributors come from the Third World. It is a
    collection of different images of the future from different
    ideological, philosophical and cultural perspectives. The book
    presents the process of thinking within a United Nations University
    project of the same name.

    The aim was to understand contradictions within and between different
    visions, and to find ways in which they may become more compatible in
    a diverse world. The book is based on papers presented at two
    conferences in Mexico City in 1978/79, arranged by the World Futures
    Studies Federation and CEEM (Centro Estudios Economicos y Sociales de
    Terces Mundo).

    Whereas some authors have asked for more visions in our times, Michael
    MARIEN divided the existing ones into two categories. In his classic
    article "The Two Visions of Post-Industrial Society" from 1977, he
    distinguishes between those who go for a technological, affluent,
    service society, and the believers of a decentralised and ecologically
    conscious agrarian economy following in the wake of a failed

    Marien is the editor of World Future Society's eminent (although most
    US-dominated) newsletter on literature, "Future Survey". It is
    thought-provoking that he, probably the best expert we have on futures
    literature, found 'no evidence that any writer holding either of the
    two visions of post-industrial society has any appreciable
    understanding of the opposing vision'.

    A collection of essays published 15 years after Marien's article,
    leaves a quite different impression. Sheila MOORCROFT's "Visions for
    the 21st Century" consists of essays from 21 invited international
    contributors. The authors deal with where we are and where we might
    want to go. Their topics are as varied as the cultures and academic
    disciplines they themselves represent.

    The type of analysis differs as much as the proposed solutions, but
    the text is still coherent. Most approaches are, despite all their
    diversity, parts of the same problematique. It is up to each reader,
    though, to synthesise and assess which ideas could be parts of the
    same solution. Interconnectedness, interdependence and diversity are
    key words for this anthology.


    Poverty in the midst of plenty, degradation of the environment, loss
    of faith in institutions, uncontrolled urban spread, and insecurity of
    employment. These are some elements of what The Club Of Rome has
    called the "world problematique".

    Donella MEADOWS et al's bestseller "The Limits to Growth" from 1972 (9
    000 000 copies in 29 languages) was the first report commissioned by
    the Club of Rome. Financed by Volkswagen Foundation, an international
    research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    investigated five basic factors which limit growth on this planet:
    population, agriculture, resource use, industry and pollution.

    Data on these factors were fed into a global model. A conclusion was
    that if present growth trends continue, the limits to growth will be
    reached sometime within the next hundred years. To alter these
    dramatic trends, the report advocated strive to reach a state of
    global equilibrium.

    Although "The Limits to Growth" signalled the start of a new era for
    the discussion on global environmental issues, this problematique was
    in no way new on the scene. Rachel CARSON's "Silent Spring" from 1962
    was the first book to make a big global audience question the whole
    attitude of industrial society towards nature.

    The book starts with a "fable for tomorrow", describing a town in the
    heart of America where the voices of spring have disappeared. The few
    birds tremble and cannot fly, no bees pollinate the blooming apple
    trees, and all the fish has died. No witchcraft, no enemy action
    silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people
    had done it themselves.

    "Silent Spring" was much more than a warning from a concerned
    biologist about the problems posed by DDT and other "modern"
    pesticides. Rachel Carson concluded that mankind was standing at the
    crossroads. Her advice was to leave the smooth superhighway of
    progress. This, as well as crude attacks by the chemical industry,
    made her a symbol of the early environmental movement that culminated
    with "The Limits to Growth".

    In the wake of the discussion around this controversial first report
    from the Club of Rome, a number of alternative world models were drawn
    up. HERRERA et al's "Catastrophe or New Society? A Latin American
    World Model." was the first one to take an explicit viewpoint of the
    Third World, but gave less attention to the environment.

    The report proposed measures to satisfy basic needs for food, housing,
    health care and education by the year 2000 (except in large parts of
    Africa and Southern Asia, where it was not seen as possible before
    2050). The study was made by "Fundacion Barriloche", an Argentine
    research foundation supported by the UN.

    The Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, England,
    became a centre of the critical debate on "The Limits to Growth". SPRU
    found little or no basis for the pessimism in the report. In FREEMAN
    and JAHODA's "World Futures" from 1978, methods and assumptions from
    the debate are used to sketch other possible profiles of world
    development in the next 50 years.

    Combinations of high or low economic growth and strong or weak
    international equality result in four different profiles. Future
    supplies of food, energy and non-fuel minerals are discussed in
    relation to these profiles. An assessment of possible technical
    changes is also made. The main problems found were not physical
    limits, but political priorities. The confrontation between the
    "Limits" and "Sussex" groups was intense, and at some conferences it
    is said to have come closer to physical confrontation than
    intellectual debate.

    In the "boom" of world models of the late 1970s, president Carter
    ordered a report that was later carefully filed by president Reagan.
    "The Global 2000 Report to the President", edited by the physician
    Gerald BARNEY, deals with probable changes in the world's population,
    natural resources and environment. The relationships between the three
    issues are emphasised, since there is no lack of separate studies of

    The Global 2000 Report indicates the potential for global problems of
    alarming proportions by the year 2000, unless things are changed. It
    points out that the then current efforts underway around the world
    fell far short of what was needed. The conclusions of the staff's own
    studies are reinforced by similar findings from other recent global
    studies examined and referred to in the report.

    Even more important than Global 2000 was the work in the 1980s of the
    UN "World Commission on Environment and Development", headed by
    Norway's then prime minister Gro Harlem BRUNDTLAND. Its task was no
    less than to re-examine the critical environment and development
    problems of the planet and to formulate realistic proposals to solve
    them. The Commission's report "Our Common Future" was published in
    1987, after four years' work.

    "Sustainable development" is the core concept of the report. As with
    "Global 2000", the main importance of the report is not in its
    innovativeness, but in the official status of its analysis and
    proposals. The work of the Brundtland Commission was generally well
    received, but the report become highly controversial among
    environmentalists for its positive attitude to growth. The commission
    envisions "a new era of economic growth", growth that is "forceful and
    at the same time socially and environmentally sustainable".

    The discussion of the Brundtland report led up to the huge World
    Conference on Environment and Development (WCED) in Rio in 1992. Ten
    years after, very few environmentalists considered the outcomes of the
    Rio process a success. The follow-up of the "Agenda 21" programme of
    action and the other decisions taken by the state leaders has been
    disappointing to most observers. Many of the critical voices on the
    whole Rio process came together in the volume "Global Ecology", edited
    by Wolfgang SACHS.

    Environmentalists from different parts of the world here examine the
    new landscape of conflicts on the international level that emerged
    during the Rio conference. Wolfgang Sachs finds that, although
    environmental and poverty problems were brought into focus, the action
    was handed over to those social forces (governments, agencies and
    corporations) that have largely been responsible for the present state
    of affairs.

    Formerly the knowledge of opposition groups, ecology has after Rio
    been wedded to the dominating world-view, where the cure for
    environmental ills is called "efficiency revolution" or "global
    management". What is to be managed are those things that are valuable
    to the global economy - from germplasm for biotechnology to pollution
    sinks and other commodities that can be traded. This can be at odds
    with how people traditionally care for their own environment locally.

    Although many of the contributors are rather dogmatic in their
    approach, the book raises important objections to the process and
    outcomes of the Rio meeting. As well as to the ritually repeated
    messages from politicians, industrialists and scientists, denying the
    existence of alternatives to the direction the world's economies are

    The Rio conference (also known as the Earth Summit) was held 20 years
    after the first UN conference on environment (in Stockholm). But 1992
    was also the 20th anniversary of "The Limits to Growth". Donella
    MEADOWS et al thus wrote a sequel using the same computer model as in
    their first book.

    13 scenarios for the period between 1990 and 2100 are sketched. In the
    authors preferred scenario the population levels out at just under
    eight billion people, family size is limited to two children and the
    material standard of living is roughly that of present-day Europe.
    "Beyond the Limits" has been far less controversial than "The Limits
    to Growth". Although the sequel was much better received, it has not
    attracted the same large readership as the first book.


    The perspective of change has been more or less involved in the
    categories already presented. But, although one should expect
    especially authors dealing with desirable futures to accentuate
    processes of change, this is not very often the case. Some exceptions
    will be presented here, but first we should again stress that not all
    futurists focus on the need for major change.

    Rajni KOTHARI's "Footsteps Into the Future" from 1974 deals with how
    to make a "minimal utopia" feasible. The basic issue is how to move
    from a world in which there is a growing "divorce" between scientific,
    technological progress and the freedom and wellbeing of human beings,
    to one in which the two are harmonised. Justice, self-realisation,
    creativity and non-violence are important elements.

    The author does not believe in fully worked-out models, and therefore
    warns against 'catastrophic reversals of existing arrangements that
    may or may not produce the desired results'. Kothari's strategy is
    that of "ever widening circles"; stepwise attempts at a number of
    levels. The intellectual task is simultaneously to stimulate new
    attitudes and major institutional changes. The book belongs to a
    series of volumes entitled "Preferred Worlds for the 1990s", initiated
    by the transnational World Order Models Project. Kothari is Director
    of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi and
    founder of the international journal Alternatives.

    In "Envisioning a Sustainable Society. Learning Our Way Out", Lester
    MILBRATH claims that modern society cannot lead to sustainable
    development. After elaborating a vision of a sustainable society, he
    discusses the transition from modern society to a sustainable society.
    Milbrath, a US professor of political science and sociology, does not
    believe that elite change can be very thorough, because true social
    change must affect the everyday behaviour of the people. He sees
    social learning as the most viable route to social change.

    Milbrath is, however, not a believer in change here and now. Things
    must get worse before they can get better. His prescription is to
    prepare for the moment when things get 'bad enough to force us to cast
    about'. Then we can make changes that would be beyond the realm of
    possibility in "normal times".

    Is today's realm of possibilities as narrow as Milbrath and other
    patient revolutionaries (6) think? Less than a year before becoming
    the US Vice-President, Al GORE published his book "Earth in the
    Balance". A conclusion of his analysis is that we must make rescuing
    our global environment the central organising principle of our
    civilisation. He proposes a new global Marshall Plan, consisting of
    five strategic goals. These are stabilising world population,
    developing and sharing appropriate technology, a new global
    "eco-nomics", a new generation of treaties and agreements, and
    education for a new global environmental consensus.

    Gore is an example of important elements within the Establishment, who
    want to bridge the gaps between the dominating worldview and policy,
    and current ecological knowledge. From his point of view, the key will
    be a new public awareness of how serious is the threat to the global
    environment. There will be no meaningful change until enough citizens
    are willing to speak out and urge their leaders to bring the earth
    back to balance. The book was re-issued in 2000, including a new
    foreward from a much more experienced Gore who still believes in the
    same ideas.

    The GROUP OF LISBON's "Limits to Competition" from 1993 shows that
    Gore is not a loner within the establishment. The group consists of 19
    prominent professors, bureaucrats, cultural workers and industrialists
    from Western Europe, North America and Japan. They are concerned about
    the role competition plays in the process of economic and social
    globalisation. Instead of praising competitiveness, they call for
    co-decisions in the form of "global social contracts". All the
    contributors conclude that the benefits of "going together" are
    greater than the inconveniences.

    If we are to move towards this kind of contracts, the initiative has
    to come from the three dominant global powers; Western Europe, North
    America and Japan. The target is a global society that will satisfy
    the basic needs of the eight billion people inhabiting the planet by
    the year 2020. Common endeavours will be the key, and this makes
    global civil society a powerful force. The report stresses the
    importance of systematically recognising and supporting local actions,
    behaviour and experiments at the global level.

    The demand for a "new economics" or a "green economics" is common to
    both oppositional green movements and some more established thinkers.
    Paul EKINS' "Wealth Beyond Measure" from 1992 is a highly illustrated
    guide that presents the state of the art in laypersons' terms.
    Contrary to the view of mainstream economists and politicians, the new
    economics movement puts forward the idea that recovery from recession
    must accord with the imperatives of sustainable development.
    Participatory democracy and economic justice are other important
    objectives for this movement.

    Ekins analyses the effects of ongoing changes and discusses political
    consequences when it comes to the use of ecological, human,
    organisational and manufactured resources. He is a co-founder of the
    New Economics Foundation in London, and of TOES (The Other Economic
    Summit), which has accompanied the G-7 summits since 1984.

    The British-American futurist Hazel HENDERSON believes that a great
    transition of industrial societies in the direction of a sustainable,
    renewable resources based productivity is inevitable. Her book
    "Paradigms in Progress" deals with the nature of this transition.
    According to Henderson, a paradigm is a pair of different spectacles
    that can reveal a new view of reality allowing us to reconceive our
    situation, reframe old problems and find new pathways for evolutionary
    change. The book summarises her own paradigms in progress, offering
    new directions, expanded contexts, connections and possibilities for
    creating "win-win" solutions.

    She sees the ongoing transition towards sustainability as
    multidimensional and nonlinear, and it cannot be mapped in simple
    economic terms. New interdisciplinary models from biology and chaos
    theory (rather than mechanistic models) are needed to capture these
    kinds of accelerating, interactive changes. Hazel Henderson is a
    lecturer, consultant, writer and activist working within a broad,
    international sphere.

    Erik DAMMANN created the popular Norwegian "Future in Our Hands"
    movement, focusing on social equity and a simpler way of life. His
    book "Revolution in the Affluent Society" discusses the need for a
    change of system in the rich world. He argues why it should be
    nonviolent, nondogmatic and come from below the antithesis of what one
    is struggling to overcome.

    He also addresses the role of futures studies, wanting them to be
    linked more directly to people's wishes and expectations. Surveys
    could be used to arouse an interest in crucial choices about values
    and social problems amongst people who otherwise feel that political
    debate goes over their heads. Reports should be handed over to writers
    with the literacy skill to convey their basic ideas in popular books
    and the mass media. They should stress the main initial consequences
    that alternative courses of development will have for various groups.
    His main point is the idea of research not as a means of control, but
    as a means by which the public can consider and actively participate
    in the formation and development of their own futures. Dammann later
    became a co-founder of the Alternative Future Project in Norway.

    Robert JUNGK and Norbert MÜLLERT's "Futures workshops" presents
    another method by which ordinary people can be involved in creating
    possible and desirable futures. Criticism, phantasy and realisation
    are the main elements in a process where concrete utopias and social
    inventions are drawn up. Examples illustrate how participants have
    changed during the process. Futures workshops can thus be an effective
    instrument against what Jungk used to call the "ghost" haunting
    today's world; the ghost of resignation.

    The book also demonstrates what kinds of ideas and practical results
    that can be achieved through this method, which has been especially
    popular in Germany and Denmark. The idea of participatory futures
    studies involving both academic and less academic circles is not just
    a theory. It can be put into practise. Robert Jungk, who died in 1994,
    has probably demonstrated this better than anyone else, not at least
    through his futures workshops. Such approaches are essential for
    futures studies if they are to democratise, not colonise, the future.

    In conclusion, it is worth quoting the words of the late Nobel Prize
    winner in physics, Dennis Gabor: He wrote that 'the future cannot be
    predicted, but it can be invented'(7). Since the future belongs to all
    of us, we all have the right to participate in shaping it. The
    literature surveyed here clearly provides numerous starting points for
    doing just that.

    Kjell Dahle is a political scientist and a World Futures Studies
    Federation fellow, based in Oslo, Norway. He is co-founder of the
    Ideas Bank Foundation and former head of planning of the Alternative
    Future Project. He has also been secretary general of the Centre Party
    of Norway and chief editor of Senterpressens Osloredaksjon.

    This survey is under revision; some important works from the last few
    years are still missing. Updated and expanded versions with new
    literature surveys will be available at www.idebanken.no. A revised
    text will later be part of the next edition of the Knowledge Base of
    Futures Studies (see footnote 1). Comments, proposals and material can
    be sent to Kjell Dahle, Stiftelsen Idebanken, Boks 2126 Grünerløkka,
    N-0505 Oslo, Norway. Or E-mail Kjell Dahle.

    (1) -Richard A. Slaughter (ed.): New Thinking for a New Millennium.
    London/New York, Routledge 1995, pp 84-102. -Richard A. Slaughter
    (ed.): The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies. Victoria (Australia),
    DDM Media Group 1996, Volume 1, pp 126-47. A Millennium Edition of the
    four volumes Knowledge Base is available on CD-Rom from
    (2) Kjell Dahle: On Alternative Ways of Studying the Future.
    International institutions, an annotated bibliography and a Norwegian
    case. Oslo, Alternative Future Project, 1991, p. 16.
    (3) Robert Jungk was also the founder of the International Futures
    Library, Imbergstrasse 2, 5020 Salzburg, Austria. I have made several
    visits to this fabulous library, which has been a main resource for my
    studies of the futures literature.
    (4) Michel Godet: Introduction to La Prospective. Seven Key Ideas and
    One Scenario Method. Futures No 2 1986, pp. 134-57.
    (5) Carna Zacharias: Wo liegt Utopia? Nur wer träumt, ist Realist.
    Munich, Schönberger, 1985.
    (6) In Forsøk for forandring? Alternative veier til et bærekraftig
    samfunn, Oslo, Spartacus 1997 (English short version Toward Governance
    for Future Generations. How do we change course? Futures No. 4 1998,
    pp 277-92), I have discussed five alternative strategies for a
    transition to a sustainable society. These are the Reformists (such as
    Gore), the Impatient Revolutionaries (such as Robert Heilbroner), the
    Patient Revolutionaries (such as Milbrath), the Grassroot Fighters
    (such as Murray Bookchin) and the Multifaceted Radicals (such as
    (7) Dennis Gabor: Inventing the Future. London, Secker and Warburg,
    1963/New York, Knopf, 1964.

      * Barney, Gerald O. (ed.): The Global 2000 Report to the President.
        Entering the 21st Century. A Report Prepared by the Council on
        Environmental Quality and the Department of State. Harmondsworth,
        Penguin, 1982. 766 p. (First published 1980.)
      * Bell, Daniel: The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. A Venture in
        Social Forecasting. New York, Basic Books, 1973. 507 p.
      * Bell, Wendell: The Foundation of Futures Studies: Human Science
        for the 21st Century. ?, Mc Graw-Hill 1997.
      * Bestuzhev-Lada, Igor: A Short History of Forecasting in the USSR.
        Article in "Technological Forecasting and Social Change", 41:3,
        May 1992, pp. 341-8.
      * Blackman, Colin and Olugbenga Adesida (eds.): African Futures.
        Special issue of "Futures" (9/1994).
      * Brown, Lester et al.: Vital Signs 2002. The Trends That are
        Shaping Our Future. New York, Norton/London, Earthscan 2002. 192
      * Brundtland, Gro Harlem (chairman): Our Common Future. Oxford/New
        York, Oxford University Press, 1987. 383 p.
      * Carson, Rachel: Silent Spring. Boston, Houghton Mifflin,
        1962/London, Hamish Hamilton 1963. 304 p.
      * Cornish, Edward (ed.): The Study of the Future. An Introduction to
        the Art and Science of Understanding and Shaping Tomorrow's World.
        Bethesda, World Future Society, 1977. 308 p.
      * Cournand, André and Maurice Levy (eds.): Shaping the Future.
        Gaston Berger and the Concept of Prospective. New
        York/London/Paris, Gordon and Breach 1973. 300 p.
      * Dammann, Erik: Revolution in the Affluent Society. London,
        Heretic, 1984. 173 p. (Norwegian original: Revolusjon i
        velferdssamfunnet - 1979.)
      * Ekins, Paul (ed.): Wealth Beyond Measure. An Atlas of New
        Economics. London, Gaia, 1992.
      * Flechtheim, Ossip K.: History and Futurology. Meisenheim am Glan,
        Anton Hain, 1966. 126 p.
      * Fowles, Jib (ed.): Handbook of Futures Research.
        Westport(Connecticut)/London, Greenwood, 1978. 822 p.
      * Freeman, Christopher and Jahoda, Marie (eds.): World Futures. The
        Great Debate. London, Martin Robertson, 1978. 416 p.
      * Garrett, Martha J. et al.: Studies for the 21st Century. Paris,
        UNESCO, 1991. 642 p.
      * Godet, Michel: Creating Futures. Scenario Planning as a Strategic
        Management Tool. London, Economica, 2001. 269p.
      * Gore, Al: Earth in the Balance. Forging a New Common Purpose.
        London, Earthscan, 2000. 408 p.
      * The Group of Lisbon: Limits to Competition. Lisbon, Gulbenkian
        Foundation, 1993. 182 p.
      * Harman, Willis W.: Global Mind Change. The Promise of the last
        Years of the Twentieth Century. Sausalito, Institute for Noetic
        Sciences, 1988. 185 p.
      * Henderson, Hazel: Paradigms in Progress: Life Beyond Economics.
        Indianapolis, Knowledge Systems, 1991. 293 p.
      * Herrera, Amilcar (ed.): Catastrophe or New Society? A Latin
        American World Model. Ottawa, International Development Centre,
      * Homann, Rolf: Zukünfte - heute denken morgen sein. Zürich, Orell
        Füsli 1998. 191p.
      * Jantsch, Erich: Technological Forecasting in Perspective. Paris,
        OECD, 1967. 401 p.
      * Jouvenel, Bertrand de: The Art of Conjecture. New York, Basic
        Books, 1967. 307 p. (French original: L'Art de la conjecture -
      * Jungk, Robert and Johan Galtung (eds.): Mankind 2000. Oslo,
        Universitetsforlaget/London, Allen & Unwin, 1969. 368 p.
      * Jungk, Robert and Norbert R. Müllert: Futures workshops. How to
        Create Desirable Futures. London, Institute for Social Inventions,
        1989. 123 p. (German original: Zukunftswerkstätten - 1981.)
      * Kahn, Herman and Anthony Wiener: The Year 2000. A Framework for
        Speculation on the Next Thirty-Three Years. New York, Mac Millan,
        1967. 431 p.
      * Kennedy, Paul: Preparing for the Twenty-First Century. New York,
        Random House/London, HarperCollins, 1993. 429 p.
      * Kothari, Rajni: Footsteps Into the Future. Diagnosis of the
        Present world and a Design for an Alternative. New Delhi, Orient
        Longman/New York, The Free Press/Amsterdam, North-Holland, 1974.
        173 p.
      * Kreibich, Rolf et al.: Zukunftsforschung und Politik [Futures
        Research and Politics]. Weinheim/Basel, Beltz, 1991. 410 p.
      * Kumar, Krishan: Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times.
        Oxford/Cambridge (Mass.), Blackwell, 1991. 506 p. (First published
      * Lutz, Rüdiger: Die sanfte Wende. Aufbruch ins ökologische
        Zeitalter. [The Soft Turning Point.] Frankfurt/M; Berlin, Ullstein
        1987. (First edition 1984.)
      * Manuel, Frank E. and Fritzie P.: Utopian Thought in the Western
        World. Cambridge (Mass.)/Oxford, Belknap, 1979. 896 p.
      * Marien, Michael: The Two Visions of Post-industrial Society.
        Article in Futures 5/1977, pp. 415-31.
      * Marien, Michael and Lane Jennings (eds.): What I Have Learned.
        Thinking About the Future Then and Now. New York, Greenwood Press,
        1987. 204 p.
      * Masini, Eleonora Barbieri (ed.): Visions of Desirable Societies.
        Oxford, Pergamon, 1983. 272 p.
      * Masuda, Yonedi: The Information Society as Post-Industrial
        Society. Bethesda, World Future Society, 1983. 171 p. (First
        published Tokyo 1980.)
      * Meadows, Donella H. et al.: The Limits to Growth. A Report for the
        Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind. New York,
        Universe/London, Earth Island, 1972. 205 p.
      * Meadows, Donella H. et al.: Beyond the Limits. Confronting Global
        Collapse. Envisioning a Sustainable Future. Vermont, Chelsea
        Green/London, Earthscan, 1992. 320 p.
      * Meyer, Niels I. et al.: Revolt from the Center. London, Maryon
        Boyars, 1982. (Danish original: Oprør fra midten 1978. 194 p).
      * Milbrath, Lester W.: Envisioning a Sustainable Society. Learning
        Our Way Out. New York, State University Press, 1989. 403 p.
      * Moorcroft, Sheila (ed.): Visions for the 21st Century. London,
        Adamantine, 1992/New York, Praeger, 1993. 178 p.
      * Myrdal, Alva (chairman): To Choose a Future. A Basis for
        Discussion and Deliberations on Futures Studies in Sweden.
        Stockholm, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1974. 162 p. (Swedish
        original: Att välja framtid - 1972.)
      * Naisbitt, John: Megatrends. The Ten New Directions Directing Our
        Lives. New York, Warner, 1982. 290 p.
      * Northcott, Jim (ed.): Britain in 2010. The PSI Report. London,
        Policy Studies Institute, 1991. 364 p.
      * Novaky, Erzsebet et al (eds.): Futures Studies in the European
        Ex-Socialist Countries. Budapest, Futures Studies Centre, Budapest
        University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration 2001.
        213 p.
      * Polak, Fred: The Image of the Future. Amsterdam/London/New York,
        Elsevier 1973. 319 p. (Dutch original: De toekomst is verleden
        tijd - 1968.)
      * Robertson, James: The Sane Alternative. A Choice of Futures. Oxon
        1983. (Revised edition.) 156 p.
      * Sachs, Wolfgang (ed.): Global Ecology: A New Arena of Political
        Conflict. London, Zed 1993. 262 p.
      * Sakaiya, Taichi: The Knowledge-Value Revolution: Or a History of
        the Future. Tokyo/New York, Kodansha International, 1991. 379 p.
        (Updating of the Japanese original: Chika kakumei -1985.)
      * Sardar, Ziauddin: Colonizing the Future: The Other Dimensions of
        Futures Studies. Article in Futures 2/1993, pp. 179-88.
      * Shakhanazov, Georgi: Futurology Fiasco. A Critical Study of
        Non-Marxist Concepts of How Society Develops. Moscow, Progress,
        1982. 230 p.
      * Slaughter, Richard A.: The Foresight Principle. Cultural Recovery
        in the 21st Century. London, Adamantine, 1995. 232 p.
      * Slaughter, Richard A. (ed.): The Knowledge Base of Futures
        Studies. Victoria (Australia), DDM Media Group 1996/2000. Volume
        1: 372 p. Volume 2: 419 p. Volume 3: 396 p. Volume 4: On CD-Rom.
      * Sviden, Ove and Britt Aniansson (eds.): Surprising Futures. Notes
        from an International Workshop on Long-term World Development.
        Stockholm, FRN, 1987. 128 p.
      * Theobald, Robert: Reworking Success. New Communities at the
        Millennium. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island (Canada)/Stony
        Creek CT 1997. 119 p.
      * Toffler, Alvin: Future Shock. New York, Random House, 1970. 505 p.
      * United Nations Research Institute for Social Development: States
        of Disarray. The Social Effects of Globalization. Geneva, UNRISD
        1995. 173 p.
      * Valaskakis, Kimon et al.: The Conserver Society. A Workable
        Alternative for the Future. Toronto, Fitzhenry and Whiteside/New
        York, Harper and Row 1979. 286 p.

More information about the paleopsych mailing list