January 2002 Archives

A guide to regional foresight

A hefty guide (1MB PDF) to performing foresight studies in regions (generally a geographical area smaller than a nation). Discusses what foresight is for, the different kinds of foresight exercises, and how to structure and implement the exercise. Includes a bunch of case studies towards the end. It all looks pretty sensible. Just a shame it's over 100 pages of bright blue text...

E.O. Wilson on humanity's future

An interview with the sociobiologist on what the long-term future holds for humanity and the rest of the planet. He's optimistic that we'll collectively see sense before it's too late: "I think people are smart enough to act in the global interest when they see it is their own interest writ large."

Personal scenario planning

Joel Garreau looks at the benefits of doing a scenario planning exercise around your own future. Will your long-term plans hold up in a a variety of alternative futures? A good article for describing scenarios to those who aren't aware of them. He focuses on the GBN's method of using two axes, each with opposite outcomes of a critical uncertainty.

The Arlington Institute's FUTUREdition

I can't remember reading any of these erratically-published email newsletters before, but I suppose I must have received them. A few interesting links in there (like NASA's bionic eyes), but it does give the impression that most of The Arlington Institute's scanning is done at the BBC's Sci/Tech news page. However, despite its lack of wow factor and its interminable length, the newsletter does serve as a useful summary of how mainstream events fit into a series of interesting trends.

This is quite something, possibly. What with the confusing interface and the sheer mountains of information here it's hard to tell exactly whether this is any use. However, it's still impressive, and great to browse around. A selection of large databases (some of which are free to use after registering), containing all sorts of odd stuff about the world. Try selecting the 'Word Problems-Issues' database and searching for something like 'future.' Then just browse among related issues and get horribly, totally lost. (via Futurist Update)

Looks like they do some interesting stuff. According to the WFS' Futurist Update they have a Successful Societies initiative, focussed on which factors indicate whether a society will be succesful. Sounds fascinating, but I can't find anything about this project on the site. (via Futurist Update)