Members News & Recent Discussion Themes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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”.
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.
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.”