Is America the Land of the Future?

This paper, written over a three year period, probes the 20th Century myth that America is THE land of the future. Much of the content is derived from what Americans themselves have written about the prospects for this influential nation. It attempts to avoid the shrill ‘anti-Americanism’ that is so common these days by taking a hard look at the model of development that it has promoted and that has been taken up around the world. It concludes that the myth cannot be sustained but that there are many paths out of the civilisational ‘dead end’ that current trends appear to foreshadow. The paper was published in Foresight Vol 10, No 4, 2008, along with five other short essays in response. This paper can be downloaded from the ‘General Futures’ page see link to the right.

Four social foresight monographs

Four of the series of ten monographs from the Australian Foresight Institute’s (AFI) research program carried out during 2001 to 2005 have been placed in the Foresight Monographs section. The first provides an overview of the whole program and its main conclusions. The second looks at the transformative cycle (or T-cycle for short), a tool or method for considering ‘breakdowns and renewals of meaning’. The third considers the development and uses of critical futures studies and one of its associated methods (CLA) in part through the bios of those involved. The final item is a succinct and very useful overview of futures in (not ‘of’) education. It is required reading for anyone considering introducing a futures perspective, futures tools and methods, into educational settings at any level.

Together these four publications provide access to several aspects of innovation and renewal in futures thinking and applied foresight. To locate the other monographs please go to:


Best book on strategic foresight

if you’re interested in how to implement strategic foresight there’s no better source than this book edited by Andy Hines and Peter Bishop and published by Social Technologies in 2006. It draws on the work and experience of foresight practitioners around the world and distills this knowledge into six practical steps: framing, scanning, forecasting, visioning, planning and acting. The preface can be found here, along with a link to more info about the book.