Remembering

This section is devoted to remembering colleagues and friends who have died.

david_patti_berry_2010_smallDavid Berry, Media analyst, Futurist and friend

I first met David Berry through the World Future Society (WFS). Although an American organisation based in Washington it had a London-based chapter during the 1970s. David was part of that group. He’d started heading across the Atlantic for WFS meetings several years earlier. So when we first met in the late 1970s he was already on speaking terms with some of the leading futurists of the time. Not only that – he also had links with the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) and many of its leading people. David was therefore the first British person I knew with a broad, international view based on personal knowledge and a very wide network of forward-looking people. Read more…

tom_at_gluepot_dsc1288_ver-3Tom Oliver, Wildlife photographer

Tom Oliver and I were drawn together by a common interest – a passion for birds and bird photography Until I met Tom I was pretty much a confirmed ‘loner.’ Read more…

 

 

 

 

frank_fisherFrank Fisher, Social innovator, colleague and friend

In 1986 I was invited to Australia to address a conference entitled Futures in Education organised by the then Commission for the Future (CFF). While there I noted some huge differences between it and the UK environment. I’d finished my PhD in 1982, been out of work for a year and, by chance, received a post-Doctoral fellowship from the then Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). But that was it. Once the fellowship was over, I was stranded. No one wanted a freshly minted futurist. Foresight projects had yet to be invented. Then came the call from Australia. Read more…

hedley_richard_2006Professor Hedley Beare, Respected educator, co-author and colleague

I first met Hedley Beare when I came to Melbourne to address the Futures in Education conference during November 1986. Like many others I was immediately struck by his geniality and openness, his quiet manner and generosity of spirit. He was someone you immediately trusted and knew you could rely on. So it was with enormous pleasure that in 1989 I joined his Department at the University of Melbourne as a ‘lecturer in futures and social education.’ Unlike many, then and now, Hedley understood the rationale for this particular description and, furthermore, did everything he could to encourage and support it. Read more…

allen_toughAllen Tough, Canadian Futurist, long-standing colleague, co-editor and friend

Allen Tough was a ‘second generation’ pioneer of the futures field and, apart from his family, will be remembered most fondly by his students and those who, like myself, had the pleasure of working with him. I first met Allen at a series of World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) meetings in the late 1980s. Even then he played a prominent role. He took on the task of organising ‘Cutting edge ideas’ sessions at a number of conferences. These attracted a good deal of attention and interest in part because the format dictated that every presentation – without exception – was always brief (maybe five or ten minutes.) If someone went over time Allen would ring a bell and the speaker be asked to wrap up. This was achieved, however, with great good humour and the lightest of touches.  Read more… 

jlm_taiwan_2005Jan Lee Martin,  Futurist, colleague and founder of the Futures Foundation, Sydney

I first met Jan in Sydney in the mid-1990s. Back then she was described as a ‘corporate communications’ specialist. As time passed we seemed to meet up more often. Then, after she set up the Futures Foundation in 1995, we began to meet more regularly both in Sydney and elsewhere. She was determined to make a difference and spared no effort to engage people and organisations in thinking and acting more consciously about and for the future. Read more…

Anita Sykes-Kelleher’s tribute to Jan  

Jan Lee Martin was one of Australasia’s best-loved Futurists. An avid reader of the world’s great writers on philosophy, ethics, futures studies and happiness, Jan made a significant contribution to the field of Futures Studies. In 1995 she founded the Futures Foundation, edited its newsletter, Future News and, for the next 10 years, Co-Chaired the Australasian Node of the Millennium Project. Following the liquidation of the Futures Foundation in 2008 subsequent to Jan’s selling the business in 2002, Jan worked closely with a small group of futurists to establish a new Australian futures program, FutureMakers, and mentored us encouraging our plans to form the Centre for Australian Foresight. Read more…

adolph_thirroul_2012_002_smallerAdolph Hanich, Chemical engineer, consultant, counsellor, friend and co-founder of the Australian Foresight Institute at Swinburne University

Adolph was born in the Yugoslavian village of Krndija in November 1941. His family belonged to the Danube Swabians, who were descended from 18th-century immigrants. These had been recruited to re-colonise the area after the end of the Ottoman Empire. During World War Two, however, ethnic genocide was employed in part to clear the area for collectivisation under Tito. Adolph was named thus as a symbolic gesture of protection. Nevertheless, in October 1944, as the Russian army approached, he and his family fled the conflagration on horse-drawn wagons.  Read more…

neville_richard_2016001Richard Neville, media personality, futurist and friend

Like many others I was aware of Richard Neville’s role in the 1960s and 70s counterculture. Although living overseas at the time I knew about the 1971 obscenity trial in London and was pleased to hear of the subsequent acquittal. While I’d not participated in the drugs scene or had any real interest in Leary’s mantra (‘tune in, turn on and drop out’) I liked the way that Richard and his collaborators were willing to challenge what I then saw as the stifling conventionalism of British post-war existence. Read more…

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rj_21c_1992Robert Jungk, writer, futurist and mentor

I first met Bob Jungk in the 1980s – which was rather late in his long career. At the time I did not really appreciate the role he’d played in so many lives, not least of which was to lead the opposition in Germany to nuclear power. Nor had I read his best seller Brighter Than a Thousand Suns, first published in 1956. But I do have a clear memory of him taking the podium at a World Future Society meeting in the USA right after a featured ‘big name’ speaker. He glowered at the audience and, in his thick German accent, wondered aloud how it was that he appeared to have ‘boarded the wrong aircraft.’ It was his way of saying how strongly he disagreed with the previous speaker’s emphasis on the latest technical wonders. As I soon learned he had, after all, spent half a lifetime warning of the dangers of technology-led views of the future and arguing passionately for more nuanced, human approaches and the wider use of foresight. Read more…

rs_rjungk_salzburg_smallObituary, WFSF Bulletin 1992 (To open click here)

One Man Revolution, article from 21C, Commission for the Future, Melbourne, Issue 6, Winter 1992, pp 40-45. (To open click here)

 

 

My Friend Roger Brown 1947 – 2016

Roger and I met in 1965 during our first year as students at Chester College. We became firm friends right away. Rog later liked to mention that, at the time, we were sometimes described as ‘the most exclusive club’ around! He was from Bingley on the outskirts of Bradford and it was through him that I gained a deeper appreciation of Yorkshire – its dales and moors, its varied settlements and ruined abbeys. During one holiday break I rode my Lambretta scooter all the way North from Portsmouth to Bingley. It seemed to take forever. From there we explored many places including Skipton, Bolton Abbey and Fountains Abbey. I still have slides from that first memorable visit to Fountains. It was all due to the quality of light in the afternoon sky. The sun was like a burnished bronze disc that lit up the stones and seemed to make them glow. On subsequent visits this impressive monument has always seemed cool and literal by comparison.

Roger opened other doors for me as well. Two in particular were folk music and the American beat poets. It was partly due to Roger’s active interest in both that I became an enthusiastic member of the college Folk Club. Everyone looked forward to the monthly events when top performers such as Irish folk singer Martin Carthy would take us into their worlds of memory and music. It was also due to Roger that I read Alan Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and, in later years, visited the City Lights bookshop in San Francisco, well known as their literary base in previous years. After the first year students were moved out of the college dorms to accommodation in surrounding digs. For a while Roger went to France to study French and it was here that he met his future wife, Linda (who, strangely enough, was from my home town of Portsmouth). When he returned we arranged to have adjacent rooms at the same address. The friendship continued.

One of the wackiest things that occurred began with a photo I’d taken of Roger, pipe in mouth, droll expression, hamming it up in a Chester cafe. In 1969, before leaving College, we gave each other a parting gift. Roger gave me a folder of poems called Crooked Talons (which I still have) and I decided to paint his portrait. When it was finished, however, we both thought it was just too boring and conventional. So I went overboard and painted over the original in bright blues, yellows and greens. It was hardly a work of art but Roger and Linda hung it in their living room for a while before necessarily exiling it to the loft. Roger and Linda married in Portsmouth in April 1969. I was able to be Roger’s best man as I was fulfilling my probationary year there at the time. My best friend had somehow managed to end up living in the very same town where I’d grown up and where my parents still lived.

For a while Roger and Linda lived in nearby Gosport on the other side of Portsmouth harbour. So once or twice a month he’d take the ferry one way or I’d take it the other. That arrangement ended, of course, when I left the UK for Bermuda where Jill Elford and I married in August 1969. So for the next 6 years we only corresponded occasionally. Except for 1972 when Jill and I returned to the UK for a holiday. Then, just before we were due to return, we accompanied Roger and Linda on a driving tour to Normandy for a short but enjoyable trip. We visited many places but the most memorable was undoubtedly Chartres cathedral.

 

 

 

 

Jill and I finally left Bermuda in 1975 and returned to the UK for good. We moved to the Lancaster area and so caught up with Roger and Linda whenever we were in Portsmouth to visit my parents. There’s a photo taken in 1989 by my son Rohan of Roger and I sitting outside a pub in Old Portsmouth. He and I visited one last time in 2010, shared old stories and an enjoyable Indian meal in a restaurant around the corner from their house.

You only have a very few true friends in a lifetime and Roger was certainly one of the few. I will always miss him and never forget his humour, laughter, knowledge and warm Yorkshire accent!

A brief outline of Roger’s life has been assembled by his wife Linda and celebrant Simon Reason. You can read the document here. On a lighter note I’ve added the words of a song from our Chester Folk Club days that Roger sang better than anyone. It’s called The Hermit and you can read it here.