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:

5206270169_1d347ac2c4_z

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!

 

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!

Submit Your Research to World Future Review!

World Future Review is a refereed journal that seeks to expand communication among the researchers and practitioners now exploring trends and alternatives for society. This journal welcomes articles that: 1) assess techniques WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpointfor studying future options; 2) fairly evaluate probable, possible, and optimal outcomes of existing policies and practices in every field; and 3) facilitate the exchange of futures-relevant information among cultures. World Future Review‘s aim is to help all peoples develop sustainable lifestyles and technologies that respect the carrying capacity of Earth’s environment, while promoting new research into areas beyond today’s known limits.

World Future Review is especially seeking the following types of material:

1. Methodological and conceptual papers regarding futures study techniques;
2. Papers based on research, analysis, and modeling of presumed causes and potential developments affecting current social, economic or political conditions;
3. Papers evaluating the actual outcomes achieved by government and corporate planning efforts and/or assessing the common practices of professional futurists;
4. Papers about futures research practitioners (whether individual, corporate, or governmental) and their contributions to the art and science of futures research.
5. Scholarly reviews that compare past efforts at forecasting and/or depictions of future societies in fiction or popular media, with actual events and current trends.

For more information on submitting to World Future Review click here.

Want to know about all the latest futurist research? Click here to get e-alerts sent directly to your inbox from World Future Review!

Top Five: What If?

wf2014_logo_rgb_for_web

This morning saw the beginning of the World Future Society 2014 annual conference: WorldFuture 2014: What If in Orlando, Florida!

WorldFuture 2014 is a collective of some of the world’s most inquisitive and dedicated scholars, asking about the future of a myriad of topics including humanity, government, education, religion and even happiness. Speakers will include Paul Saffo of Foresight at DISCERN, Stacey Childress of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s investment in K-12 Next Generation Learning, Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and many more! You can keep up with the conference on Twitter by using the hashtag #wfs2014!

In honor of the conference, we’re pleased to bring you the top five most read articles from World Future Review.

WFR_72ppiRGB_powerpoint“The Democratization of Innovation: Managing Technological Innovation as If People Matter” by Philip H. Spies from March 2014

“How Digital Outcasts Can Pilot the Future of Health Care” by Kel Smith from June 2013

“Peer Production and Prosumerism as a Model for the Future Organization of General Interest Services Provision in Developed Countries: Examples of Food Services Collectives” by  Katarzyna Gajewska from March 2014.

“Geothermal Energy” by Gioietta Kuo from February 2012.

“Higher Education in the Future Tense: Taking Futuristics to School” by Arthur B. Shostak from March 2014.

Want to know about all the latest news and research like this from World Future Review? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!