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Foresight International

Foresight International (FI) exists to help create and sustain social foresight. It does this through:

  • Assisting the growth and development of Futures Studies, applied foresight, practitioners, organisations and new methodologies;
  • Communicating and collaborating widely with individuals and progressive international organisations; and
  • Developing and distributing a range of high quality resources, products and services.

FI continues to develop and apply integrally informed capabilities in several areas including: business, government, education and the third sector. Specific areas include professional development, leadership training, secondary and tertiary programs. FI produces books (in hard copy, ePub and PDF formats, CD ROMs, USBs, videos and other materials) that have a range of uses in many different organisational contexts.

Richard A Slaughter

Richard A Slaughter completed one of the first PhDs in futures studies at the University of Lancaster in 1982. He is an internationally recognised futurist / foresight practitioner, author, editor, teacher and innovator who has worked with a wide range of organisations in many countries and at all educational levels. He has built a reputation through futures scholarship, educational innovation, strategic and social foresight and the identification of a knowledge base for futures studies (KBFS). Currently he is based at Foresight International (FI) in Brisbane. He is in particular associated with two broad approaches to futures work: critical futures and integral futures. A summary of the emergence of the former can be found here. Readings on integral futures are here.

After stints at several universities he was invited by the VC of Swinburne University in Melbourne to set up the Australian Foresight Institute. During 1999 to 2004 he was Foundation Professor of Foresight there and pioneered new approaches to advanced foresight training and research. A research program on Creating and Sustaining Social Foresight was funded and supported by the Pratt Foundation and produced a series of leading edge monographs located here. He is a long standing fellow of the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF). During 2001 – 2005 he was its President.

He is a prolific writer and holds several editorial positions. These include: board member of Futures (Oxford, UK), Foresight (UK), the Journal of Futures Studies (Tamkang University, Taiwan) and series editor of The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies (FI, Brisbane). His first book was Birds in Bermuda (Bermuda Bookstores, 1975). He is co-author of Education for the 21st Century (Routledge, 1993), author of The Foresight Principle – Cultural Recovery in the 21st Century (Praeger, 1995) editor of New Thinking for a New Millennium (Routledge, 1996) and co-editor of the World Yearbook of Education 1998: Futures Education (Kogan Page, London 1998).

He has published a series of futures resource books and an edited volume of essays: Futures for the Third Millennium: Enabling the Forward View (Prospect, Sydney, 1999) as well as a collection of papers by various authors from The ABN Report entitled: Gone Today, Here Tomorrow: Millennium Previews (Prospect, Sydney, 2000). A number of his publications have been revised and re-issued on a series of CD-ROMs, beginning with the Knowledge Base of Futures Studies vols 1-5 (FI, 2005) and Towards a Wise Culture: Four ‘Classic’ Futures Texts (FI, 2006). In 2006 a set of three DVDs on Pathways to Foresight was produced and published by Peak Futures, Colorado, USA, and FI. The introduction is here.

He is the author of Futures Beyond Dystopia: Creating Social Foresight (Routledge, London, 2004) and, with M Bussey, of Futures Thinking for Social Foresight, a compendium of teaching resources and strategies which is also available on CD-ROM (Tamkang University Press, 2007, 2nd edition, FI, 2012). With an international team of researchers Richard completed a study on the State of Play in the Futures Field (SOPIFF) for the Foundation for the Future, Seattle in 2008, later published in Foresight 11, 5, 2009. In 2010 he published a much-praised overview of the global predicament in The Biggest Wake-Up Call in History (FI, 2010) followed by To See With Fresh Eyes: Integral Futures and the Global Emergency (FI, 2012).

He has received professional recognition from several sources. These include three ‘Most Important Futures Works’ awards from the Association of Professional Futurists. The first was for the 2005 Knowledge Base of Futures Studies, Professional Edition, CD-ROM. The second was for a special issue of Futures on Integral Futures Methodologies in 2008. The third was for The Biggest Wake-Up Call in History. During 2009 Richard was appointed as Patron of the Asian Foresight Institute which was based at Dhurakij Pundit University in Bangkok. Then in 2010 he was voted one of ‘the best all-time Futurists’ by members of the Foresight Network, Shaping Tomorrow.

While attempting to slowly ‘wind back’ a 40-year commitment to futures work he remains active on several editorial boards and in mentoring members of the ‘next generation’ of foresight practitioners. With Josh Floyd he guest edited a special issue of Foresight (vol 16 no 6, 2014) on ‘Descent Pathways.’ Similarly with Anita Sykes-Kelleher and others, he continues to assemble materials for a History of Futures in Australia. Other fruitful activities include thinking about writing his memoirs, advanced photographic work (wildlife, street art and restoring antique images), art, film festivals and grandchildren in the UK and Australia. Finally, with the support of the APF he and Andy Hines have recently embarked on a new update of the KBFS – The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies 2020.

Richard’s weblog, which contains commentaries, reviews, recent work, You Tube clips, image galleries and other resources, is here.

Laurie Slaughter

Laurie Slaughter was a teacher, consultant and facilitator for over 30 years in a wide range of local, national and international educational settings. These included government and non-government schools and school communities (P-12), universities, TAFE, private sector, and non-education public sector institutions. Her specialist areas included personnel development, change management and school reform.

Since 2004 she has redirected her energies to volunteering for a variety of community organisatons, in particular The Smith Family. Most recently her focus has turned to supporting an increasing brood of precious grandchildren. She remains committed to the development of social foresight albeit in a less conspicuous manner.