Eleonora Barbieri Masini

Dr. Eleonora Barbieri Masini led a fascinating life and greatly contributed to Futures Studies and futures scholars. She passed away June 28th, 2022. She was 93, born in Los Amates (Guatemala), on November 19, 1928.

Dr. Eleonora Barbieri Masini was “in the right place at the right time” in the creation and development of futures studies. She was a deeply ethical and human person, whose honest and tenacious attitude facilitated international institutions (in particular the World Futures Studies Federation), opening the way to intercultural studies, futures studies and human ecology. A tireless traveler and personal friend of the leading futures researchers from around the world, Eleonora had great influence on the training of futures researchers in various regions of the world.


Dr. Masini was positive, studious, respectful of differences, conciliatory, and a builder of alternative futures — she was the soul of futures studies. Eleonora made a significant contribution to this field. Facing the mainstream of futures studies in the 1970s, which favored a techno-economic approach, Eleonora emphasized aspects such as human and social foresight. Her work focused on the visions of the future; the development of capacities and values that emerge when addressing qualitative, human and social issues; challenged futures studies to rethink and highlight the role of women, family, ethics, culture, equity and the environment.

Eleonora’s purpose was to recognize the many visions of diverse futures: giving voice to those who do not conventionally participate in futures initiatives  (women and children). She sought interconnection and dialogue through resolving conflicts and creating spaces of harmony. 

For all the above reasons, and the enormous coherence between her life, her work, and her being — Dr. Masini was one of the important founders of futures studies and a wise guide for the new generations to continue to see futures studies not just as about technology and economics but futures as if people (especially children), culture and the environment matter. 

She was the founding Chair of The Millennium Project Node in Italy in 1998.

This book is an acknowledgment of her deep and broad impact. It is divided into three parts: her life and work, her voice, and what Eleonora saw through the window of her students, colleagues, and friends. It relates her biography and academic development, presents key articles in her subjects of interest, and presents a collection of texts about her personality and her work, written by a wide range of great thinkers of future studies. It is a well-deserved tribute that aims to collect and share her thoughts to a broad audience interested in the future of humanity.

Selected Bibliography

Reconceptualizing Futures : a Need and a Hope, in World Futures Society Bulletin, Vol. XVI, n. 6, 1982.

Visions of Desirable Societies, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1983.

E’ prevedibile il futuro? (Is the Future Foreseeable?), in Verso il 2000, Laterza, Bari, 1984.

Concepts, in Reclaiming the Future: a Manual for African Planners prepared for UNDP, Tycooly International, London, 1986.

La previsione umana e sociale, (Human and Social Forecasting), Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Rome, 1986.

Women as Builders of the Future, in Futures, Butterworth, vol. 19, n. 4, Surrey, 1987.

Women and the Young in Perspective, in Futures, Vol. 12, n. 1, Butterworth, Surrey, 1989.

A Sociological Approach to Tolerance, Religions, Cultures and Tolerance, Past and Present, Ankara University, 1990.

Human Resources in Developing Countries, in Futures, Vol. 22, n. 10, ButterworthHeinemann, Surrey, 1990.

The Family and its Changes in the Italian Community in Canada, in La Società in Transizione, Italiani ed Italo-Canadesi negli anni ’80, ed. Raimondo Cagiano de Azevedo, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1991.

Women, Household and Change, with Susan Stratigos, United Nations University Press, Tokyo, 1991.

Futures Studies and the Trends Towards Unity and Diversity, in International Social Science Journal, n. 137. Blackwell Publishers for UNESCO, Paris , August 1993.

The Futures of Cultures, Vol. I, II, UNESCO-FOS, Paris, 1992.

The Futures of Asian Cultures, with Yogesh Atal, UNESCO Principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, 1993.

Why Futures Studies?, Grey Seal, London, 1993.

La Prevision Humana y Social, Centro de Estudios Prospectivos, Mexico, 1993.

The Futures of Cultures, ed., UNESCO, Paris, 1994.

Art and Science: Studies from the World Academy of Art and Science, guest editor, in World Futures, Vol. 40, ns.1-2, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, Basel, 1994.

La Previsione: idee, protagonisti, nodi problematici (Forecasting: Ideas, Protagonists, Problematical Issues), in Futuribili, n. 1, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1994.

Donne e famiglia nei processi di sviluppo, (Women and Household in Development Processes), ed. con Susan Stratigos, Italian edition of “Women Household and Change”, ISEDI, Torino, 1994.

Futures Studies and the Trends Towards Unity and Diversity, ISSJ-UNESCO, Paris, 1994.

Impact of Mega-City Growth on Families and Households, in Mega-City Growth and the Future, United Nations University, Tokyo, 1994 .  

The Creative Role of Women in a Changing World : The Case of Women in Developing Countries, in Leonardo, Vol. 27, n. 1, 1994.

Paz y Prospectiva (Peace and Futures), in Paz y Prospectiva, problemas globales y futuro de la humanidad, Eirene, Universidad de Granada, 1994. Guest Editor

La Previsione, idee, protagonisti, nodi problematici (Forecasting, Ideas, Actors and Problematic Knots), Futuribili n. 1, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1995.

Future Perspectives of Work in Europe, with Luca Rondini, Cahiers de la Fondation Prospective et Innovation, Paris, 1995.

Studio sul futuro,metodi e prospettive , (Futures Studies Methods and Perspectives) in Rassegna Teologica N° 3 May June 1995.

Two Scenarios in the Social Area, Profutures seminar, 1995, in print. The Relationship between Art and Science, in LEONARDO, vol. 29, n.1, 1996.

Profezie a confronto. Profezia e futuro dell’uomo come profezia, ( Prophecies and the Future of Man as a Prophecy), in Chiesa e Profezia, ed. Gianfranco Calabrese, Edizioni Dehoniane, Rome, 1996.

Women’s Visions: Poverty and Beyond, in Futures Beyond Poverty, WFSF, 1996.

The Relationship between Social Sciences and Futures Studies from the 60’s to the Present, in Society and Economy Quarterly Journal of Budapest University of Economic Studies, 1997/4.

Conference Overviews: the Relationship between Art and Science, in Leonardo, vol.29, n.1, San Francisco, USA,1996.

The Role of Futures Studies in a Global Society, in Society and Economy in Central and Eastern Europe, Quarterly Journal of Budapest University of Economics Sciences, n. 3, 1998.

Gli studi sul futuro e l’Italia, (Futures Studies in Italy), in I limiti dello sviluppo 1972- 2022, Futuribili, Franco Angeli editore, Milano, 1998 ed.

Eleonora Barbieri Masini and Giorgio Nebbia. Limits to Sustainability in Sustainable and Equitable Development, in Il contributo italiano alla realizzazione della Carta della Terra 50th
Anniversary of the United Nations, Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze, Rome, 1998.

Futures Studies from the Experience of a Sociologist Who Tries to be a Futurists, in American Behavioural Scientists, Sage Publications, California, 1998.

Rethinking Futures Studies , in Ziauddin Sardar Rescuing our Futures, Adamantine Press limited, UK, 1999.

Futures Studies and Sociology: a Debate, a Critical Approach and a Hope, in International Review of Sociology, Vol. 9, n. 3, 1999.

A Directory of Women’s Groups in Emergency Situations (editor), Rome, 1999.

Scenarios as Seen from a Human and Social Perspective, In: Technological Forecasting and Social Change, North Holland, Vol. 65, n. 1, September, 2000.

Previsione umana e sociale, (Social and Human Forecasting) in: Rivista di teologia morale, Centro editoriale Dehoniano, N. 128, anno XXXII, ottobre-dicembre 2000.

Expression of Poverty in Women: Creating a Future Beginning from Present Problems and Resources, in: Homeward Bound, The Salesian Method of Education and Young People at Risk (eds. M. Borsi, M.A. Chinello, R. de Pilar Mora, E. Rosanna, B. Sangma), Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Rome, 2000.

Verso una società interculturale, Possibili scenari in Italia e Colombia, (towards a Multicultural Society,Possibile Scenarios in Italy and in Colombia) (editor with A./ Angulo, P. Conversi, J. Medina Vasquez), Università Gregoriana, UNESCO-CIDS, Rome, 2000.

Penser le Futur, Dunod, Paris, 2000. Tansdisciplinarity, Futures Studies and Empirical Research, in Tansdisciplinarity: Recreating Integrated Knowledge, (ed. M. Sommerville, D.J. Rapoport), EOLSS Publishers, Oxford, 2000.

Global Ethics, an Overview, in Futura, Finnish Society for Futures Studies, 4/2000.

Limits Beyond the Millennium: a Retro-prospective on “The Limits to Growth”, in: Futures, Vol. 33, n. 1, February, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 2001.

Preface, in: Futures Studies in the European ex-Socialist Countries (eds E. Novaki, V. R. Varga, M. Kalas Koszegi), UNESCO, Futures Studies Centre, Budapest, 2001.

Experiences by National and International Women’s Groups, (ed.) Win Emergency and Solidarity, Rome, ed 2001.

New Challenges for Futures Studies, in Futures, n. 33. 2001.

Mellontologhikés spudés ké kinoniloghia. Mia sizintisi, mia krotikì ké mia elpida, in Nea Kinoniologhia, n. 34, 2002.

Etica presente e futuro (Ethics, Present and Futures), in Etica e impresa al femminile, Aidda, 19 aprile 2002.

Prognozovanie a spolocenske vedy, in Spray n. 3, 2002.

Un futuro sostenibile per tutti?, (A Sustainable Future for All?) in Il futuro come responsabilità etica, (ed.di F. Compagnoni, S. Privitera), S. Paolo, Milano, 2002.  

Culture, Globalization and the Role of Women, in Traditional Religion Culture in a New Era, (ed. R. Bachika), Transaction Publisher, London, 2002.

A Vision of Futures Studies, in Futures, Vol. 34, n. 3-4, April/May,2002.

Globalizzazione ed esclusione femminile (Globalization and Women’s Exclusion), in I diritti umani nella scuola oggi: come viverli, come insegnarli, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, 2002.

A Sociologist’s Experience, in Advancing Futures, (ed. J. Dator), Preager, London, 2003.

“Prihodnost je treb zgraditi”, in: Vzgoja n. 17, 2003.  

L’ecologia umana nella metodologia e nella previsione delle scienze sociali (Human Ecology within Methodologies and Futures Studies in Social Sciences), in Civitas et Iustitia, n. 1, 2003.

Globalizzazione, un problema di governance (Globalization a Governace Problem), in Etica per le professioni n. 3, Fondazione Lanza ,2003.

Human Resources Challenge: Major Potentially Disadvantaged People, in Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems, EOLSS, UNESCO, Paris, 2003.

Women and Family and Sustainable Development, in:Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems, EOLSS, UNESCO, Paris, 2003.  

Prospectiva y acción in: ( ed. J. Bindé) Las claves del siglo XXI, Editions UNESCO, Paris, 2003.

Donne nel mondo in mutamento, ( Women in a Changing World) in: Donne e teologia, (ed. C. Militello), Edizioni Dehoniane, Bologna, 2003.  

Globalizzazione ed esclusione femminile (Globalization and Women’s Exclusion), in I diritti umani nella scuola oggi: come viverli, come insegnarli, Rome, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2002.

Values and Actions for the Future, in Action for the Future, Budapest Futures Course 2003, WFS Budapest, 2004.

Perché gli stili di vita possono fare la differenza? Scenari possibili (Why Life Styles can Make a Difference), in: Notiziario, Quaderni della Segretaria Generale della CEI, anno VIII, n. 21, Settembre 2004.

Reflections on World Futures Studies Federation, In: Futures 37, 2005.

 Social and Cultural Issues Emerging from the NTW: a Foresight Approach with some Recommendations, in Converging Technologies, European Commission, Brussels, 2005.

Il ruolo attivo delle donne nei processi di sviluppo, (Womens Active Role in Development Processes) in La voce delle donne, Cooperazione Italiana allo Sviluppo, Rome, 2005.

Women’s Role in Building Alternative Futures: Towards a Global Network of Women, in (ed. T. Mack) Creating Global Strategies for Humanity’s Future, World Future Society, Bethesda, 2006.  

Women’s Contribution to the Future of Democracy, in (ed. M. Mannermaa, J. Dator, P. Tuhonen), Democracy and Future, Committee for the Future, Finland, 2006. The Legacy of Aurelio Peccei, Club of Rome and Fondazione Aurelio Peccei, European Coordination Centre for COR, Vienna, 2006.

Donne, Culture e Pace (Women, Culture and Peace), in Cercasi un Fine, n. 16, 2006.

About James Wellesley Wesley, in Futures Bulletin, WFSF, Vol.32, n.3, July 2007.