News

Middle East and North Africa Chapter Report

Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University is keen on implementing futures education and embracing this emerging field of futures studies among its academic courses and degrees. From the inception of Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Center for Futuristic Studies (PMFCFS), it launched an introductory course in Futures Studies, designed with the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF).  [Click Here To Read More].



Federal Foresight Advocacy Alliance and Creation of New U.S. Office of Strategic Foresight

Washington, D.C. – March 1, 2024 – Today, World Futures Day, the Baldrige Foundation proudly celebrates the launch of the Federal Foresight Advocacy Alliance (FFAA), a new collective endeavor of leading foresight and strategy experts dedicated to the creation of a U.S. Office of Strategic Foresight to navigate the 21st century’s myriad threats, complexities, and opportunities [Click Here To Read More].



Report of the Chinese Delegation on the 25th World Conference of the WFSF in Paris

The China Society for Futures Studies, an institutional member of the WFSF, has released the official report of the Chinese delegation regarding their experience at the 25th World Conference of the WFSF held in Paris in 2023. To access the first section in English, first enable AI translation in your web browser, then click here. For the second section, click here.



Join the Global Conversation on Building a Better Tomorrow

March 1st The Millennium Project and five other international futurist organizations will host the 11th annual World Futures Day – a unique 24-hour online conversation around the world exploring possibilities for our shared future. [Click here to read more].



WFSF President Keynote Speech: Future Possibilities for Relations between Humankind and Nature Need to be Articulated in New and More Affirmative Ways 

Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) 23rd Futures Conference focused on the wide variety of ways we see futures and how futures studies can empower people, societies, and organizations for creating more just and sustainable futures. ‘Empowering Futures – Long-term Governance, Democracy and Futures Research’ conference was organised during 14–15 June in Turku, Finland and on 16 June 2023 online [Click here to read more].



UN Summit of the Future publishes the WFSF written input

Washington, D.C., USA, 2 February 2024 – In preparation for the zero draft of the Pact for the Future, the co-facilitators of the UN Summit of the Future: Multilateral Solutions for a Better Tomorrow, Germany and Namibia invited written inputs from Major Groups and Other Stakeholders (MGoS), other civil society networks and organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and academia. Stakeholders were encouraged to reflect on the scope of the Pact for the Future outlined in the UN General Assembly Decision 77/568 and to provide concise, concrete and action-oriented recommendations structured around the elements of the Pact for the Future. Among the contributors, the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) has submitted a noteworthy input, reflecting the commitment to advancing global futures studies and shaping a sustainable and equitable future. [Click here to read more].



Back to Basics: What Makes a Futurist?

This debate aims to give voice to contrasting views on arguably the most pressing yet unanswered question in the larger field of futures studies and strategic foresight: who is a futurist/foresight professional (and who is not)? (Click here to watch on YouTube).



Second World Summit on Parliamentary Committees for the Future

The Second World Summit of the Committees of the Future in Montevideo, Uruguay, brought together over 300 parliamentarians, experts and practitioners representing 70 parliaments from around the world between 25 and 27 September 2023. Jointly organized by the Parliament of Uruguay and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the meeting built on the outcomes of the First World Summit held in Finland and was enriched by the participation of over 25 prominent international experts (click here to read more).



Evolving Pathways of the Futures Studies Histories in the World

The academic lecture at Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU), Evolving Pathways of the Futures Studies Histories in the World, traces the historical development of futures studies. Beginning with an exploration of its roots from ancient to modern times, the lecture covers the identification of waves, traditions, and schools that have shaped the discipline. It highlights the influential authors and milestone publications contributing to its evolution. The institutionalization of futures studies, its connections to related disciplines, and its role place in research, education, and academia are examined. The lecture also deals with the practical dimensions, addressing the professionalization of the field as a trade or industry and its application in real-world contexts. Notably, the speaker emphasizes the often-overlooked non-Western contributions, including from the Middle East and North Africa, providing a global perspective on the diverse pathways of futures studies (click here to read more).



46 Events in 2023 Prospective Studies Seminars

The World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) is pleased to announce the release of its report detailing the success of the Prospective Studies Seminars held throughout 2023. The series of events, supported by the Latin American Vice Presidency of the WFSF, brought together visionaries, experts, and scholars to explore and discuss the futures of various disciplines (click here to read more).



The Landscape of Foresight Networks in the Asia-Pacific

This paper provides an overview of the most compelling futurists and foresight networks and organizations operating in Asia and the Pacific. It shares some baseline views, assessments, and perspectives on the flavor (diversity) and landscape (horizon) of how futurists and foresight organizations advance foresight, improve the standard and evaluation of futures studies, and impact including how futurists collaborate and network to impact science, technology, and innovation initiatives and policies. (Click here to read more).



WFSF Nordic Chapter, Future of Democracy, Conference – Reykjavík – 2024

Join us to co-create concrete measures to ensure that democratic values are used to tackle our wicked global challenges. We invite you to take part in discussions, workshops, do-shops and talks to develop specific concrete solutions and ideas to speed up processes for citizen participation, enthusiastic youth engagement and group-action. (Click here to read more).



European Think Tank Conference in Berlin

Dr. Erik F. Øverland, WFSF President, is one of the most experienced Foresight experts in Norway and Europe. He has written several books and scientific articles on futures research and foresight. He speaks at the European Think Tank Conference in Berlin:  (Click here for more).



The conference is organised around the concept of liminality, and additionally have events around the Federation’s anniversary. Therefore we selected the following themes for the conference:(Click here for more).


The State Of Foresight Studies in the World

Victor V. Motti, Director of the World Futures Studies Federation, speaks in the Symposium “The State of Foresight Studies in the World”, co-organized by The Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), and the Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University. (Click here for more).


The Summit of the Future (September 2024) is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance cooperation on critical challenges and address gaps in global governance, reaffirm existing commitments including to the Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Charter, and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system that is better positioned to positively impact people’s lives. (Click here for more).


World Future Day – Young Voices 2023

World Future Day is held every year on March 1st to spark a global conversation on the future. We want to make sure young people are also part of the conversation. After all, it is their future we are all talking about. Teach the Future & Millennium Project, together with partners and friends, initiated the young voices edition. Together with partners from around the world, WFSF institutional member, Teach the Future, hosted live events on Zoom to inspire young people and imagine possible futures together. (Click here to read more)


Jerome C. Glenn, WFSF Full member, and Volodymyr Zelenskyy named Joint 2022 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award Winners

He is working to protect the human race from extinction. For example, his The Millennium Project is calling for a new UN office to coordinate global research to prevent human extinction in an open letter to the UN Secretary-General, working with 200 leaders. (Click here to read more). 


Challenges and prospects in the international field of futures studies

Dr. Erik F. Øverland, President – World Futures Studies Federation, WFSF, gave a lecture titled Universal Perspectivism? Challenges and prospects within the international field of Futures Studies, in 2018 at the Asbar World Forum. (Click here for more).


The WFSF 24th World Conference was held on 26th – 29th of October 2021 in Berlin, Germany. The conference theme reflected the broad dimensions and dynamics of futures studies and describes an arena in which we explore the expansiveness of our imagination – an open universe prepared to deal with the grand challenges of our time, beautifully articulated as desirable visions of sustainable progress and hope. On the conference website you can watch the playback of all the video recorded sessions of the conference. (click here for more). 


Dr. Michael Marien – 50 years of fragmented futures


PMU International Futures Conference | 7th-8th December 2022


Strengthening the PhD in Futures Research


Eleonora Barbieri Masini passed away

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. (click here to read more). 


In Focus: World Futures Studies Federation


A partnership between WFSF and Futures TV to promote Futures Studies and the WFSF agenda. The new mass media project – Futures Television (https://futurestelevision.com/) – is a futures studies specific channel that will start broadcasting via Roku TV. Roku has a 180 Million subscriber base — a platform to distribute futures related content free of charge to the masses. Click here for more information. 


Planetary Futures of Health and Wellbeing

15–17 June 2022 │ Turku, Finland │ Online

Finland Futures Research Centre, WFSF institutional member, and Finland Futures Academy are proud to organise their 22nd Futures Conference next summer! This time the event titled ‘Planetary Futures of Health and Wellbeing’ will create a unique cross-disciplinary platform where participants can meet, share, and discuss new ideas concerning futures of health and wellbeing. Call for Participation (Click Here). 


2021 APF End of Year Awards Ceremony: Reimagining Futures


4th International Conference on Anticipation,

16-18 November 2022, Tempe, Arizona USA

We encourage submissions that pursue diverse topics– climate change, transitions to justice, AI, energy, poverty reduction, economic systems, health and wellbeing, innovation, food security— across a range of sectors, and embracing different disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches. We especially invite contributions that center questions of equity, fairness, diversity and inclusivity and question who imagines futures and with which impacts. Call for Participation (Click Here). 


The World Futures Studies Federation offers its standards to institutions interested in achieving accreditation in futures studies. Institutions offering programmes which meet the Federation’s standards will be credentialed as an Accredited Foresight Programme. Accreditation will extend for a period of five (5) years. Review of accreditation will be available every five (5) years to ensure programmes continue to maintain high quality standards of the Federation. Request Accreditation Now (Click Here).


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WFSF Executive Board Member, Dr. Luke van der Laan, interviews Professor Richard Slaughter, a former WFSF President (2001-2005), about his new book titled “Deleting Dystopia: Re-asserting Human Priorities in the Age of Capitalism”. The book will be open access and available for download for free via creative commons licensing on 4th August 2021 (click here). You can watch the book interview video on YouTube (click here). 


 

WFSF Director is recognized for his exceptional ability in strategic foresight by the US government. Washington, D.C. 21 July 2021—The US government grants permanent residency in the category of E21 National Interest Waiver (NIW) to Mr. Victor V. Motti, the Director of the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) and author of the recent book on Alternative Planetary Futures, for his exceptional ability in the art and science of futures studies (click here to read more).
 

 

Hangzhou, P.R. China.– 21-22 May 2021. Upon the invitation by the WFSF institutional member, NCUK Hangzhou International Study Centre, WFSF President Dr. Erik Øverland participated in the Symposium on the Futures of Sustainability & Institutions Addressing Sustainability. The proceedings of this Symposium has been published online and accessible in this page (click here). You can read the presentation slides of the WFSF President, titled “Sustainability and Futures: Moving beyond the Natural and Artificial” in this page (click here)( see pages 46-47/56).


WFSF President Dr. Erik Øverland was interviewed by Peter Hayward, WFSF member. Dr. Øverland is an academic researcher based in Norway. He lead the Norway 2030 project in which he experienced working across international and knowledge disciplines. He has a strong Philosophical foundation to his futures research, especially Constructivism. He sees scenarios as a powerful aid to developing futures focused policy. Listen to the podcast (click here)


WFSF General Assembly was held virtually on 29 May 2021. Chaired by the WFSF President Dr. Erik Øverland based in Oslo, Norway, the GA ratified the results of the Executive Board election of 2021. You can read the biographies of the new Executive Board here. 


WFSF Executive Board member, Mr. Lucio Mauricio Henao Velez, from Colombia has celebrated March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day. He has made a compilation of the planetary list of leading female futurists around the world who are contributing to the field of futures studies. You can watch the video (click here)

 


WFSF President was interviewed by Alex Fergnani, WFSF member, about what WFSF is and does -The challenge of advocating for preferable futures while objectively presenting a range of scenarios -The role of the WFSF in the current society and its political positions -The future(s) of professional associations within the field of futures & foresight -What new members can expect from WFSF -Current WFSF initiatives to promote and expand the field of futures and foresight. Watch the interview (click here).


UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit 2020 (8-12 December)

From 8 to 12 December 2020, the UNESCO High-Level Futures Literacy Summit provided testimonials from around the world that being futures literate changes what people see and do. From high ranking leaders in the public and private sector to activists, artists, students and professors, the Summit showed how people become futures literate and the impact it has on all aspects of life. Dr. Riel Miller, Head of Futures Literacy in UNESCO and Executive Board member of the WFSF organized the Summit. The WFSF was very active in the UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit 2020 and organized several exciting events. You can access the content presented in the WFSF Virtual Booth at this Summit as well as the video recordings of the presentations (click here).


Wendell Bell (September 27, 1924 – November 3, 2019) was a futurist, fellow member of the WFSF, and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Yale University. His areas of specialisation included sociology, social class, race, family life and futures studies.

In November last year (2019), the futures community unfortunately lost Wendell Bell. He was a giant of our field and while his writings will continue to make a contribution, there is no longer an opportunity for anyone to meet Wendell, or to learn from him through personal experience.

FuturePod have asked Richard Slaughter, a former President of the WFSF and Tom Lombardo, a fellow member of the Executive Board of the WFSF, to have a conversation about Wendell. Click here to listen 


WFSF member, Ryuta Minami, has created and is curating the Japanese website of WFSF. Through this initiative we hope that people in Japan in particular the younger generation learn more about futures studies and build their own preferred futures. This initiative was accomplished with the approval of President Dr. Erik Øverland to activate national bodies of the Federation in the future.


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WFSF Fellow member, Dr. Stuart Candy, has co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Futures Studies, about the intersections of Design and Futures. This is an interdisciplinary garden he’s been working in for about a decade and a half. It has been booming in recent years: witness the ascent of design fiction, experiential futures, speculative design, design futures, strategic design, speculative enactments; and their various ties to transmedia storytelling, alternate reality games, worldbuilding, larp, and immersive theatre. It’s exciting and gratifying to see so much activity in this hybrid space.


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The Millennium Project has produced short 2-3 minute videos on each of the 15 Global challenges. Each video gives short statements about the current global situation of the challenge and then set of recommendations to address the challenge. These are available on The Millennium Project YouTube channel. For those who cannot access YouTube, they are available in China.


Pentti

University of Turku grants a €30,000 Pentti Malaska Futures Award for a visionary, boundary-crossing, research-based solution that supports the building of more sustainable global futures. The late Dr. Pentti Malaska, the renowned futurist from Finland, was President of the WFSF during 1993-1997 and its Secretary General during 1990-1993. Click here to read the main criteria for the innovations participating in the competition.


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Javier Alejandro Vitale Gutierrez, member of the Executive Board of the WFSF, organized PROSPECTA LATIN AMERICA 2017. This publication, now available in Spanish for free download, contains a series of presentations prepared in infographic format that were presented during the Third National Congress of Prospective – PROSPECTA ARGENTINA 2017 and Fourth Latin American Congress of Prospective and Futures Studies – PROSPECTA LATIN AMERICA 2017, held on October 12 and 13, 2017 at the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the National University of Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina). The activity was organized by the Center for Prospective Studies of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the UNCUYO, the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Foresight Networks (CYTED-617RT0531), and the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF), among other institutions.The objective of the congress was to generate a space for exchange of knowledge and experiences that contribute to the development of strategies to plan and manage the dynamic, uncertain and complex futures of innovation, economic and social development, water policy and management, education, territorial planning, agriculture and food, and employment.


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Peter Hayward, full member of the WFSF, Rebecca Mijat and Mendy Urie, two graduates of the Master of Strategic Foresight program that WFSF ex President Richard Slaughter (Australia), established in 2001 have launched a curated set of podcasts with the Futures and Foresight community; by the community for the community. FuturePod aims are threefold: a) To honour those who developed our field, b) To support those who work in this space, and c) To encourage new voices to join us. Using professional recording studios for live interviews they started with local community members but they want to extend Futurepod to include community members outside Australia. They are launching with a dozen starter podcasts and they hope to add 3-4 every couple of months after that. They are planning on adding WFSF voices to the community in early 2019.


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Finland Futures Research Centre, an institutional member of the WFSF, has a call for abstracts open until December 2018. The forthcoming Futures Conference 2019 will focus on the concept of agency in action and research for futures. ‘Constructing Futures’ emphasizes opportunities and challenges related to the need for building and critically evaluating capabilities necessary for sustainable futures. The conference invites participants to think of agency in different levels and contexts. Whether in a private commercial context, or in civil society, or in global or local communities, to what extent are futures being constructed through participation that reflects moral agency and leads to better futures for all? Can Futures Studies, as an applied practice, make a difference?


Tom Lombardo

Dr. Tom Lombardo, member of the Executive Board of the WFSF, has done a video interview on “Heightening Future Consciousness for Creating A Flourishing Future”. 


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The Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award was directed towards identifying and supporting young foresight innovators from around the world. In total, the competition secured 76 entrants from 37 countries, with the overall award presented at the SOIF annual strategic foresight retreat in the UK.


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The new issue of Human Futures, our WFSF-Magazine, was published. This issue reports from our conference in Jondal last year. In addition you will find contributions from Tom Lombardo, Peter Bishop, Claire A. Nelson, Johan Galtung, Lucio Henao, Richard Slaughter, Luis Ragne, Alethia Montero Baena, Javier Vitale and  Johanne Hartwig (Hardanger Academy), Here is the link to the Magazine: https://joom.ag/AUkY
 

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If a futurist’s job is not to predict the future as it will actually play out, then what is it?  “It is about challenging today’s management,” says Erik Øverland, president of the World Futures Studies Federation, an organisation that has been looking to the future for more than 40 years. “Big industrial enterprises see we are living in a complex world. You will do much better if you examine different possible futures. What we do is the opposite of prophecy.”