Futures Special Issue (2021)

The Virtual Curated Special Issue (VCSI) for which this paper was produced was several years in the making. Its origins lie in conversations held during a World Futures Studies Federation in Norway during mid-2017. Initially it was intended that the issue would be guest edited, but this proved too difficult for busy people. Thus, in late 2019 Ted Fuller, the editor of Futures, very kindly took on this task. Some 20 people were invited to contribute, over half of whom produced publishable work. Six key topics covering different aspects of my work were defined. A selection of earlier publications from each topic was provided to authors addressing that topic and are also made newly available via this issue. Some people chose to address the given themes and related material. Others used them as a springboard to pursue various issues in the light of their own work, experience and views. Overall, the collection provides a collective and reliable overview of some of the central themes and concerns of my career over this time.

I’m greatly indebted to each of these colleagues who responded to the invitation and produced work of exceptional quality. There is probably no greater honour than to have the support and interest of talented people who themselves lead productive lives and have their own body of work and legacy to our field and beyond. One can never really capture the essence of individuals but these distinctly insightful and varied accounts go a long way toward doing just that. So, again, my sincere thanks are due to each of those who took part. I should also add that the following items are pre-publication versions provided with full permission to reproduce them here. This collection begins with my own introduction. Read more…

Meredith Bowden. Developing futures methods to face the civilisational crisis. Open here

Alex Burns. Foundation Professor of Foresight… Open here

Marcus Bussey. Precarity and beyond. Open here.

Jim Dator. Critical futures and the Knowledge Base of FS. Open here

Jay Gary. Smashing conformity. Open here

Andy Hines. Guiding foresight into the future. Open here

JP Jakonen. Carrying fire: A way forward for Integral Foresight Open here

Luke van der Laan. Disentangling strategic foresight? Open here

Rowena Morrow. A priceless gift. Open here

Chris Riedy. The critical futurist: RS’s foresight practice. Open here

Caroline Smith. Futures is a quest for meaning. Open here