Call for Papers: World Future Review!

Current Issue CoverWorld Future Review is currently accepting submissions concerned with futures research. The journal publishes foresight literature addressing topics informed by technology assessment, policy analysis, operations research, issues management, competition research, and more. To find out more about the manuscript submission guidelines and how you can submit your manuscript to World Future Review, click here.

In the recent June 2016 issue, World Future Review featured articles that addressed social movements and futures research, the operational process for organizational foresight, and the health of futures studies. In addition, a new article published online by authors David N. Bengston, Jim Dator, Michael J. Dockry, and Aubrey Yee entitled “Alternative Futures for Forest-Based Nanomaterials: An Application of the Manoa School’s Alternative Futures Method” delves into four alternative futures for forestry. The abstract for the article:

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Forestry and forest products research has entered into a robust research agenda focused on creating nano-sized particles and nanoproducts from wood. As wood-based materials can be sustainably produced, the potential of these renewable products could be limitless and include high-end compostable electronics, paint-on solar panels, and lightweight materials for airplanes and cars. Others warn about potential serious negative health and environmental consequences. Either way, wood-based nanomaterials could disrupt forestry as we know it. This article is a summary and analysis of a collaborative research project exploring the futures of wood-based nanomaterials within the context of the futures of forests and forest management within the United States. We start by describing the history of forestry through the lens of the U.S. Forest Service, then describe nanotechnology in general and wood-based nanocellulose specifically. Next, we outline the Manoa School alternative futures method, and how we used it to design and carry out a “complete futures of x” project. Following the Manoa School approach, we describe four alternative futures for forestry and forest management. We conclude with implications for the future of forestry, forests, and forest-based nanomaterials, as well as a discussion on the implementation of a complete “futures of x” project.

You can read both the June 2016 issue and the article “Alternative Futures for Forest-Based Nanomaterials: An Application of the Manoa School’s Alternative Futures Method” from World Future Review free for the next two weeks. Want to stay up to date on all of the latest research from World Future ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Wood image attributed to Dennis Hill (CC)

The March Issue of World Future Studies is Now Online!

8371340296_1181947d22_zThe March 2016 issue of World Future Review is now available and can be read online for free for the next 30 days. The March issue includes articles that delve into future studies’ curriculum and the breadth of future studies in relation to climate change. In the article, “Understanding the Breadth of Studies through a Dialogue with Climate Change,” author Jennifer M. Gidley discusses how climate change and an evolutionary perspective provide a framework to think about developments in future studies. The abstract for her paper:

This article explores the breadth of the futures studies field by creating a dialogue with some prominent approaches to climate change. The first half of the article takes an evolutionary perspective on the development of the futures studies field. I show how developments in the field parallel the broader epistemological shift from the WFR Orange Covercentrality of positivism to a plurality of postpositivist approaches particularly in the social sciences. Second, I explore the current scientific research on climate change including issues related to mitigation, adaptation, and coevolution. Finally, I apply my futures typology that includes five paradigmatic approaches to undertake a dialogue between futures studies and climate change.

Click here to access the table of contents for the March 2016 issue of World Future Review. Want to know about all the latest from World Future ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Iceberg image credited to Christopher Michel (CC)

Introducing the New Editor of World Future Review!

We’re pleased to welcome the new editor of World Future Review, James Allen Dator! Jim Dator graciously provided us with some information on his background:

James Allen Dator is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor in the College of Architecture, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa; Co-Chair and Core Lecturer, Space Humanities, International Space University, Strasbourg, France; Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Futures Strategy, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Daejeon, Korea, and former President, World Futures Studies Federation. He recently became editor in chief of the World Future Review. He also taught at Rikkyo University (Tokyo, for six years), the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, the University of Toronto, and the InterUniversity Consortium for Postgraduate Studies in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.

He received a BA in Ancient and Medieval History and Philosophy from Stetson University, an MA in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Political Science from The American University. He did post-graduate work at Virginia Theological Seminary (Ethics and Church History), Yale University (Japanese Language), The University of Michigan (Linguistics and Quantitative Methods), Southern Methodist University (Mathematical Applications in Political Science).

He is a Danforth Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and Fulbright Fellow.

World Future Review is the source for information about future studies as WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointan academic discipline and consulting discipline. Jim Dator shares the following:

What will distinguish WFR from other futures journals is that (as a rule) it will not have articles about “the future” or “the futures of x”, but rather about futures studies as an academic and consulting discipline—the roots of futures studies, its present state, the preferred futures for futures studies itself.

I am especially interested in anything that states what you see are, or should be, the intellectual roots of futures studies, not only in terms of other futurists, but more generally: what scholars, schools of though, ideologies, social theories, methods, underlay what the early futurists thought and wrote? What now? What should underlie them?

What assumptions do we make about “time”? “Where” is the future? What is the role of human agency vs. other forces (such as technology, for example) in shaping the futures. Your thoughts on the role of language in shaping our ideas about futures (as Bae Ilhan has done about East Asian languages vs. English/French futures studies, for example). I imagine there are aspects of Hungarian that lead to certain ideas about the futures that are different from English, French, or Spanish. Or maybe not!

Interested in submitting a manuscript to the World Future Review? Find out more about submission guidelines here!

 

Book Review: The Third Globalization: Can Wealthy Nations Stay Rich in the Twenty-First Century?

51w5r5VDcuL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_The Third Globalization: Can Wealthy Nations Stay Rich in the Twenty-First Century? Edited by Dan Breznitz, John Zysman . Oxford, UK and New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. 432 pp. ISBN 978-0199917822, $105 (Cloth); ISBN 978-0199917846, $39.95 (Paperback).

Hiram Samel of the University of Oxford recently took the time to review the book in the October Issue of ILR Review.

From the review:

A marked lack of sustainable economic growth has become an unfortunate but predominant characteristic of wealthy nations in the seven years following the ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointfinancial crisis. Whether policymakers pursue fiscal stimulus or austerity, the outcome has been far from satisfactory. Notwithstanding Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s argument that financial crises require a longer recovery time, is it possible that policymakers have the mix of policies wrong? The vast majority of wealthy states, after all, liberalized markets in the past two decades with the hope of emulating U.S. innovation and growth only to find instead they needed to reinsert themselves when capital and labor markets stalled. Given this failure, how prepared will the same states be for the next era of global competition, when emerging economies such as China and India that have benefited from rapid technological advances begin to leverage their economic and intellectual scale?

The authors of The Third Globalization address this question with a series of essays framed around a dilemma the editors, Dan Breznitz and John Zysman, term the “double bind.” In psychiatry, individuals face a double bind when they are unable to decide between conflicting statements from highly valued but distinct actors. In adapting the concept to political economy, the editors argue that politicians and policymakers in wealthy nations face similar indecision. On one hand, they need free markets to stimulate innovation and growth while, on the other hand, they need to reassert control of markets to foster social stability. The question is, can they do both at the same time?

You can read the rest of the review from ILR Review for free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the latest research and reviews like this sent directly to your inbox!

Muhammed Saidul Islam on Why Farmed Fish Costs More Than You Think

fresh-fish-for-sale-1342715-mIf your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier or lose weight, you mostly likely came across advice to eat more fish. The American Heart Association, for example, recommends 3.5 oz servings of fatty fish two times a week. But things can get a little confusing at the grocery store when you’re faced with the dilemma of getting a piece of salmon labelled “wild caught” or “farmed.” What’s the difference? Why not go with the cheaper option?

In the latest issue of World Future Review, associate editor Rick Docksai interviewed Muhammed Saidul Islam, author of “Confronting the Blue Revolution: Industrial Aquaculture and Sustainability in the Global South.” In the interview on aquaculture business, Docksai and Islam discuss sustainability, workplace conditions, marketing schemes, and more.

In coastal communities throughout the developing world, farmers are WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointcordoning off swaths of beaches, lakes, and rivers to cultivate stocks of fish, shellfish, and shrimp for markets in the more affluent parts of the globe. These “aquaculture” industries, as the fish farms are known, satisfy a massive global consumer demand for seafood while bringing considerable business profits to the farmers and distributors who make their livelihoods in them. But the business carries a heavy price for the communities in which the aquaculture industries set up shop, according to Muhammed Saidul Islam, an assistant professor of sociology at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Islam investigates the expansion of aquaculture businesses up-close in his new book, Confronting the Blue Revolution: Industrial Aquaculture and Sustainability in the Global South (University of Toronto Press, 2014), and finds widespread destruction of marine estuaries, wetlands, and coastal forests in their wake. What’s more, nearby farmlands and subsistence fishing industries have been ruined as a result of these aquaculture farms, to the point where whole communities have risen up in protests—protests that local governments have often suppressed with shockingly brutal force. Meanwhile, the farms are dependent on large cadres of impoverished workers who suffer many overuse injuries and debilitating infections due to slavishly long hours, poor sanitation, and lack of health care.

You can read “The Hidden Cost of Seafood: An Interview with Muhammed Saidul Islam” from World Future Review. for free by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the latest news and research from World Future Review sent directly to your inbox!

What Does the Future Hold?

gaia-shine-1158741-mWelcome to 2015! You may have already noticed that the hover boards and flying cars we were promised in “Back to the Future Part II” have failed to appear. There also seems to be a severe lack in the teleportation and time machine department. That summer home on Venus? Better use that money on something a little more practical.

Fortunately, the future is brimming with possibility. All one needs to ask is: what if? That’s what drove the authors in the latest issue of World Future Review. Can genetic modification ensure the survival of humanity? Will the internet evolve into a “global brain”? What role will intelligence machines play in the workforce?

Thomas Simko and Matthew Gray even apply the question of “what if” to the current energy crisis in their article “Lunar Helium-3 Fuel for Nuclear Fusion: Technology, Economics, and Resources.”

The abstract:

Nuclear fusion of helium-3 (3He) can be used to generate electrical power with little or no WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointradioactive waste and no carbon emissions. Some forty-four tons of this fuel could meet the electricity needs of the United States for a year. Although rare on Earth, an estimated one million tons of 3He has collected on the surface of the moon. While it would cost approximately US$17 billion to develop a mine producing one ton of 3He per year, such an operation is commercially viable over the medium term given the estimated value of that ton of fuel: US$3.7 billion. This article outlines the technical and economic issues related to 3He and its extraction, and it presents a novel approach to estimating the worth of the fuel. The potential of 3He as a future energy source is set in the context of global energy forecasts and international efforts to investigate lunar 3He resources—including a recent Chinese mission.

You can read this issue of World Future Review for free for the next two weeks! Click here to view the Table of Contents. Want to keep up on all the latest research from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Book Review: Will China Democratize?

bookChina_0In the shadow of the 25 year anniversary of the Tiananmen square crackdown, the recent Hong Kong protests have generated interest in how China will respond. Could China ever adopt a democratic government?

Andrew J. Nathan, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner. Will China Democratize? Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. 311pp. $29.96.

You can read the recent review by Peter F. Eder of the World Future Society in the March 2014 edition of World Future Review:

Juntao Wang, describing what he calls a “gray transformation,” agrees with several other optimistic authors, including Harry Harding and Cheng Li, that democracy will [most likely?] evolve non-violently. Competition among divergent social interests and political factions will produce incremental progress toward strengthening civil society, place checks and balances among governmental agencies, and expand accountability as the standard of legitimacy. These authors all believe that changes that have already taken place are moving China toward a significant transition away from being a totalitarian state.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointOther essayists are less optimistic. Andrew Nathan calls China’s system “resilient authoritarianism.” This view emphasizes the ruling party’s ability to carry out an orderly leadership succession, the increasingly meritocratic nature of political advancement within the CCP, and the creation of institutional safety valves for venting social discontent. A network of bureaucrats and entrepreneurs creates a bulkhead that contains changes unfavorable to the party.

Contributors such as Arthur Waldron, Gongxin Xiao, Bruce Gilley, and Minxin Pei offer complimentary views. Collectively they argue that, over time, internal power struggles, corruption, and burdensome authoritarianism will lead to inevitable but not predictable events and that a crisis will open the way to democracy.

You can read the rest of the review from World Future Review by clicking here. Want to read all the latest reviews and research from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!