to the Future:
the Concept of Cultural Maturity
Charles Johnston, MD
Institute for Creative Development
How do we best understand the future? We can miss that the simple
attempt to do so is a radical enterprise - something both new,
and suddenly essential. We've all had classes on history, on the
past. But very few of us have had classes on the future, this
in spite of the fact that the future is where we, and certainly
our children, must ultimately reside. And if by chance we've had
a class on the future, the odds that it provided significant insight
Certainly the most
commonly encountered thinking about the future doesn't help us
greatly. The evening news rarely takes us beyond the next electoral
or business cycle. And the competing advocacies of the political
left and the political right most often leave us stuck in all
too predictable ideological claims.
of self-proclaimed futurists rarely get us a great deal further.
Most futurists focus their attention on technological advancements
- on inventions yet to come and how they may change our lives.
This is a worthwhile focus, but by itself leaves the most important
questions unanswered. Ultimately our future well-being depends
much less on specific tools we may invent than whether we can
manifest the ability to use those tools wisely. The most narrowly-conceived
of technology-focused futures thinking is in the end "techno-utopian".
It makes new technologies the answer, in effect ignoring that
the human dimension has any significant role to play.
We also sometimes
encounter an almost opposite kind of futures thinking. We can
find the future described in terms of human transformation, most
commonly of a spiritual, New Age sort. Such thinking is often
well-intended, but in the end it stops just as short. At best
it represents naïve wishful thinking, proposes outcomes that
are simply not possible. At worst, it describes results that on
close examination we realize we would never want to have been
Over the last thirty
years, the Institute for Creative Development, a Seattle-based
non-profit think tank and center for advanced leadership training,
has worked to refine a very different way to think about the tasks
ahead. The concept of Cultural Maturity applies a "developmental"
perspective to understanding culture - and in particular, to making
sense of the critical cultural questions now before us. Cultural
Maturity is a specific notion within Creative Systems Theory,
a comprehensive framework for understanding purpose, change, and
interrelationship in human systems.
The concept of Cultural
Maturity looks in detail at how our times are challenging us to
rethink modern age institutions and values that we have assumed
to be ideals and end points. It describes how the most important
issues before us will require new skills and capacities if we
are just to effectively understand the questions, much less formulate
useful answers. It argues that our times are demanding - and making
possible - an essential kind of "growing up" as a species.
that is involved in this need "growing up" takes considerable
reflection. My latest book Cultural
Maturity: A Guidebook for the Future
is 640 pages long. (An introductory companion volume, Hope and
the Future, is a more manageable 150 pages.) But while the concept
necessarily stretches how we customarily think, in the end what
it describes is common sense, simply a maturity of common sense
that we have not before been capable of.
While Cultural Maturity
is not as easy a notion as the simple phrase "growing up"
might suggest, most of us get-whether consciously or not-that
something like what the concept describes will be necessary. Certainly,
we appreciate that a sane and healthy future will require that
we be more intelligent in our choices. We recognize that dealing
with nuclear proliferation in an ever more technologically complex
and globally interconnected world will be very difficult unless
we can bring greater insight to how we humans relate. Similarly,
people recognize that addressing the energy crisis or environmental
concerns more generally, will demand a newly sophisticated engagement
of hard realities. People's more immediate frustrations also show
a beginning appreciation of the need for greater maturity. With
growing frequency, people today respond with disgust - appropriately
- at the common childishness of political debate, and at how rarely
the media appeal to more than adolescent impulses.
And most of us also recognize something further. We appreciate
that it is essential, given the magnitude and the subtlety of
the challenges we face and the potential consequences of our decisions,
that our choices be not just intelligent, but wise. Cultural Maturity
is about realizing the greater nuance and depth of understanding
- we could say wisdom - that human concerns of every sort today
demand of us.
We get a first glimpse of Cultural Maturity, certainly its necessity,
with the recognition that human culture in times past has functioned
like a parent in the lives of individuals. It has provided us
with our rules to live by, and, in the process, a sense of identity
and connectedness with other. Such cultural absolutes have also
protected us from life's very real uncertainties and immense complexities.
In today's increasingly multi-faceted world, such guideposts serve
us less and less well.
The implications of this loss are Janus-faced - at once it brings
disturbing absence and new options. Combined with how our world
has become more risk-filled and complicated, this weakening of
familiar rules can leave us dangerously overwhelmed and disoriented.
And at the same time it reveals possibilities that before could
not have been considered.
Importantly, this is not just new possibility in some "anything-goes"
sense. The concept of Cultural Maturity describes how the "growing
up" that generates today's loss of past absolutes also creates
the potential for new, more mature ways of understanding and relating.
More than just a loss of guideposts is involved. Cultural Maturity
brings specific cognitive changes that offer the possibility of
more systemic and complete ways of being in, and making sense
of, our worlds.
The concept of Cultural Maturity helps us in three primary ways.
First, it provides a new guiding narrative in a time when stories
we've traditionally relied on - from the American Dream to our
various political and religious allegiances - serve us less and
less well. Second, it identifies needed new skills and capacities
that we can practice. Third, the concept of Cultural Maturity
helps us develop the more sophisticated conceptual tools the future
will increasingly require. (Cultural Maturity's cognitive changes
make possible new kinds of conceptual frameworks - Creative Systems
Theory being one example.)
In the end, the concept of Cultural Maturity is about leadership,
though this in a particular sense. Its concern is not just good
leadership, but the specific kind of leadership the future will
require. It is also about leadership understood most expansively.
It is about what the future demands of all of us - personally
and in associations small and large. What it entails is pertinent
to leading nations or organizations, but just as much it concerns
making good choices as lovers, friends, or parents. Ultimately,
it is about leadership in the choices we make as a species.
You can find culturally
mature perspective applied to current critical cultural issues
as well as reflections on the continuing evolution of Creative
Systems Theory at the Cultural
Future Now Show with
month we roam through current events, discoveries, and challenges
- sparking discussion about the connection between today and the
futures we're making - and what we need, from strategy to vision
- to make the best ones.
Future Now Show
Future Now Show
Siegel, Founder, Consciousness Hacker, USA
Katie Aquino, aka Miss Metaverse, Futurista,
Paul Holister, Editor, Summary Text
of us invest significant time in pursuits, from religion to meditation
to mountain treks, where a prime goal is mental or spiritual,
such as enlightenment, contentment or inner peace. Generically
one might say the goal is feeling better mentally. Now suppose
we could use modern technology and the latest scientific knowledge,
from neurology, brain imaging, brain stimulation, research into
meditation etc., to hack directly into our consciousness and tweak
it to achieve these desired mental states? This show tells us
of a group of people with diverse skills, all joined in a quest
for new ways of achieving this old and primal goal. If technology
can help more people get there, how might the world change?
journey to 2115: Two futurists, two stories - Story 1
In this essay, two futurists from different backgrounds, gender
and status who only met online will tell two separate stories of
the world set in the year 2115. The authors draw on both factual
information and imagination to craft the narratives. Each of the
stories addresses global challenges to the future of human survival.
The stories are expressions of serious problems of the current and
future world told in an amusing yet useful way.
Two Futurists, Two Stories
This essay is a creative expression of personal images of the
future set in 2115. Two futurists, who have only met online, explore
possible futures for humanity in the next one hundred years. Each
of the authors approach the project from different worldviews:
East/West, Male/Female, Student/Teacher. The time horizon of one
hundred years is the only common thread, aside from an agreed-upon
checklist of global challenges, but otherwise there has been no
collaborative effort to tell the stories. The project's primary
purpose is to allow those who teach and study foresight to capture
and reflect on creatively-generated personal future scenarios.
In this essay, storytelling is the only purpose. This purpose
is seen as opposed to the typical futures project that aims to
synthesize hours of research and mountains of reference material.
We hope to show that individuals who are well-versed in material
and information about the future (i.e., students and teachers
of futures studies/foresight) can tell valuable stories about
the future by allowing creativity to lead the way.
II. Story 1: Aliasghar's
Aliasghar Abbasi, Technology Foresight Group, Department of Management,
Science and Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran,
Title: In Search of the Origins
Setting: Planet One, Planet Earth
Date: A distant time in the future, 2015 to 2115
Main Character: X625, half human half machine
Some far faraway time in the future
I could hear a continuous beep as I tried to open my eyes. Where
am I?! I was lying in bed and gazing at the ceiling. I activated
my sensors to tell me my location and status. It tells me that
I am in a laboratory and I was just born! Dr. Andy Aria, my creator,
shows up with his team.
Andy: Welcome X625, you are one of our greatest projects. You're
half human, half machine, and you look like an ordinary young
man, you will not get old and till the end of your time you will
look the same.
Me: Why am I here?
Andy: We'll soon place a small chip in your brain which gives
you all the information you need. But to tell you in brief, you
are now in Planet One. People here in Planet One do not exactly
know where they came from. We did a big project to find out our
origins and now after years of research and exploration we firmly
believe that we came from the Earth, a very small planet in the
Solar System, in the Milky Way galaxy. We spotted a period of
time in which we probably first came from there to here. That
period of time is equivalent to only one hour of our time, but
in comparison to the time on Earth, that is 100 years. Your mission
is to go there and live among its people through that period of
time and transmit the information you get to us.
Quarter One: 2015 to 2040
Arriving on Earth
It's 2:00 pm, October 1st, 2015 and I just arrived on Earth. I
hid my spacecraft and left it in a rural area near Baghdad, the
capital of Iraq. Nevertheless, my spacecraft was spotted by a
sect called SPIP fighting against Iraqi government while I was
landing, few minutes later a vehicle full of armed men stopped
for me. Some fierce men took me with themselves thinking the spacecraft
was a modern warplane and I was the pilot, they captured me that
led to five-years in captivity. The Iraqi army found my spacecraft,
which they believed belonged to SPIP and spread the rumor in media
that one of the world powers is supporting SPIP by arming them
with this creepy weapon. They worked on the spacecraft for few
years but couldn't figure out anything about it, later China offered
$10 billion to buy it from the Iraqi government, and they agreed
on it so they sold it to China, hoping to decode and make a copy
of it. Although I doubt if they even realized how it worked. Many
countries, including some European and Middle Eastern countries
with the U.S as the leader, were fighting against SPIP along all
these years. Finally after five years they succeeded by destroying
most of SPIP and reclaim the lands SPIP conquered. I was then
set free by Iraqi troops but as they realized I was unable to
identify my nationality they supposed I lost my memory and therefore
decided to post my picture online with the nickname Andrew, but
nobody showed up for me. The government of India agree to grant
me asylum, so I moved to Mumbai. Although I lived the few first
months isolated because I was afraid of people, I later adjusted
myself to their customs and language and now I was considered
an Indian citizen.
Chinese Prophet Arises
During the time of captivity I heard the guards talk about news
that shook the world: a new prophet! The day I heard it I never
thought it would change my life. Mr. Yang was a respected man
originally from Tibet, he gained most of the attention in western
China where Buddhists first believed him when he claimed to be
the messenger of God to bring about peace to the world. On the
other hand, many religious extremists including former SPIP members
were mad at Yang. The SPIP militants were from a variety of nationalities
and after their collapse they came back to their motherlands and
organized groups to fight Yang and his supporters. Yang was then
deported by the government of China to Mumbai, India in 2024.
That was then when I first met him.
In the slum where I lived, he started inviting people to his new
religion which he called 'The Sole Religion'. His words were so
magical that almost nobody could resist. Yang was a middle-aged,
tranquil man with good attitude toward people. We became friends
right after the first time we met. He even let me live in his
shack. A late night in December, I was standing beside Yang as
he was talking to a group of followers when a car explosion happened
in front of us, which was believed to be a terrorist attack targeting
Yang. That night I lost my left foot to the explosion. I had the
ability to regrow my foot, and the next day people surprisingly
referred to it as Yang's miracle, which gave him an even more
positive reputation and I was happy too, because nobody suspected
anything unusual about me.
There were several attempts after that to kill Yang. After all,
the Indian government could not bear the pressure of Yang's presence,
therefore, Yang was once again deported in 2026, this time to
Denmark and I went along with him. By that time he had become
a mythic figure among people of India and China with the support
of many outstanding characters like the Dalai Lama. However, there
were many extremists who wanted him die especially in the Muslim
world, which believed the last prophet was theirs. There were
rallies in many Islamic countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan
condemning the Sole religion. Conflicts between the followers
of Sole religion and other religions and Muslims in particular
worsened the situation of minority Muslims living in Burma, India
and China until they had to abandon their homelands and migrate
to other Islamic countries, particularly to Pakistan, Indonesia
and Iran. Yang, however, was safe in Denmark and so was I. Denmark
and Yang seemed the right place and the right person to stay with.
I decided to stay there as long as possible. Yang needed me to
monitor the media for him so that he could make best decisions
in exile, and it was also beneficiary to me as my main mission
was pretty similar to this.
Non-Religious People, Fascinated by Sole Religion
Yang surprisingly could convince the non-religious people of Denmark
to follow him! Thanks to social networks he could get more and
more noticed every day by the help of his fans and followers.
In the mid-30s, followers of Sole religion existed in most countries
located in East Asia, Europe and North Africa making it the most
popular religion of all time by over three billion followers.
Not many religious people were happy about the new belief system
that was growing amazingly fast. The Pope and leaders of some
Islamic countries held a summit in Rome in 2036 expressing concerns
about the new religion. As a result, they could persuade many
influencing religious characters to unite against Sole religion.
Shiite Maraji' (plural of Marja, the supreme legal authority)
in Iran and Iraq and Sunni leaders of the rest of Muslim world
declared jihad against Solists. Consequently, Middle-eastern,
North African and some South East Asian countries plus several
European nations allied. The U.S and Russia, however, remained
The movement was not fierce from the start but gradually turned
into a brutal, full-scale war in 2037 leaving millions of mortalities
in involved countries. One year later and when the war was in
its worst condition, some masked men could successfully enter
the living place of Yang and me in spite of all security arrangements
and kidnapped us. We then had been transferred to the Netherlands
to be judged at the International Criminal Court, where Yang was
charged with crimes against humanity, but he was shot and murdered
by an angry Christian in front of the court. Yang's Murder made
those who were against him happy. Yang's tragedy made him an everlasting
hero among his followers, though. On the day of the trial, the
lawyers labeled me as Yang's mastermind and ultimately, I was
sentenced to 20 years in prison for collaborating with Yang in
stimulating religious sentiment in 2039. I was not sad about it
as I had access to daily newspapers and that allowed me to stay
connected with the outside world.
Quarter Two: 2040 to 2065
Energy, Cheaper Than Ever
In early 2040s, Japan's JAXA and India's ISRO in a mutual conference
announced that they discovered an unknown material in Mars called
the Magical X, with only 100kg of this, Japanese official said
we are able to light the Earth for centuries. On the other hand,
Chinese mission to mine the moon to extract Helium 3 was successfully
accomplished in 2037. Consequently, oil prices dramatically dropped,
which had some positive common effects on all countries like the
end to air pollution, but it also made the situation hard for
some middle-eastern and North African economies that were just
recovering from the side effects of the holy wars and were highly
dependent on oil money. These countries included Iran, Iraq, Kuwait,
UAE, Qatar, Algeria, Libya, Sudan and Nigeria. Egypt and Saudi
Arabia, however, were safe for the sake of money they made from
It encouraged other oil export nations to adopt different strategies.
Iran focused on tourism as the ultimate solution to their critical
situation. They chose the strategy of attracting tourists to their
natural and historical attractions and so did Iraq. Lacking natural
or historical attractions, Kuwait founded a center for science
and technology and electronic technologies in particular. In 2044,
they used American, German, Russian, Chinese and Japanese experts
to help them with the process, as a result a powerful center was
created known as the Silicon Valley of the Middle-East that they
hoped to help them with their economy. UAE created the Small World
City in 2048, an enclosed, museum-like city which had the top
100 attractions of the world in the exact size, shape and climate.
Not all of these countries were successful in achieving their
goals due to internal strict regulations that made the tourists
unwilling to visit their countries, and that made their position
even more vulnerable.
One Generation of Geniuses
In 2051 and after almost a century of study on Albert Einstein's
brain, scientists could finally devise an injection that could
shape embryo's brain exactly as Einstein's. The UN made the syringe
available freely worldwide which literally could make the next
generation geniuses. Again in some countries like Saudi Arabia
and Pakistan they refused the new drug because they believed it
was against their religious beliefs, some other African countries
plus China and North Korea refused it too, for they distrusted
the west and found the new free drug fishy.
Discovery of Planet One 'a super habitable and rather close
Discovering habitable planets were not a new thing to the world,
but every time you heard a news like that you would hear that
traveling to these planets are not possible because of the huge
distance, but the November evening news in 2057 was different.
Scientists believed that traveling to at least one of the newly
discovered planets that was very close to us in cosmos scale was
completely plausible in near future.
In 2058, Chinese experts declared that the spacecraft they received
from Iraq in the late 2010s was probably some kind of a time machine
and did not belong to the current era and therefore can't be copied
by today's technologies.
Moving to Japan
While serving my sentence in prison, I met a young man named Hiroto,
he grew up an orphan, and was only 9 when he lost his parents
in a volcano eruption. Hiroto was a computer geek sentenced to
10 years of confinement for hacking the website of a well-known
trade brand. He was quite sociable and always wanted to talk about
different issues with me. In 2059 we were both freed, and knowing
that I have nobody to stay with, Hiroto asked me to go with him
Life in Tokyo was amazing, they'd built another city underground,
for security and safety reasons. Japanese authorities believed
that this way was safer especially when it came to natural disasters
like earthquake, tsunami or volcano eruption. Wealthy people who
belonged to royal families lived in the underground city.
In Tokyo no human worked, all the works were done by smart robots.
They conducted military affairs, they worked as surgeons, prison
guards, policemen, firefighters and they also ease rehabilitation
of the planet when possible. Work was separated from money and
wealth, so there was no objection to these robot workers. In 2061
money and cards became history; instead of money you got credit
and that was like info saved on you; no need for cards and signatures,
the device could read the whole you.
Science and technology made good progress all over the world but
it seemed to decline in ethics, for instance the police became
a private business! You could order normal investigation for free
or special investigation for a fee. There were also severe conflicts
over many issues including natural resources and mainly water
in many nations. Some people rose up for their rights against
cruel rulers, and these consequently resulted in many countries
divided; more than 1000 countries existed to this date.
Humans made good progress in science and technology at making
almost any necessary human organs or fluid, ranging from artificial
blood to an artificial womb and brain by the early 60s, yet they
strived for more. Inspired by salamander, after nearly a century
of study, researchers could devise a medication that help human
organs to repair themselves, or regenerate, so if you hurt your
eye or lost part of your body all you needed was time for your
body to revive itself or regrow if you lost it. They eradicated
many severe problems like poverty and diseases like AIDS and cancers,
made a life elixir that resisted aging, extending human life expectancy
up to 160 years which was almost double of life expectancy of
humans of all time.
At midnight August 3rd, 2064, however, something terrifying happened
that no advanced technology could solve. The sky was lit by an
unexpected meteor rain, the size of each was incredibly huge hitting
the earth and mostly the Arctic region. This caused a considerable
amount of polar ice to melt, causing a great problem for some
nations like Russia, Canada, north European countries, Alaska
and Greenland. The meteors were hollow, containing an extremely
poisonous gas that was released throughout the atmosphere killing
millions of living creatures instantly. Before scientists even
noticed what happened, there was already a catastrophic tragedy
taking place. With melting of the polar ice, some of the deadliest
viruses that were inactive for thousands of years became active
again, thereupon, all seas and oceans around the world were contaminated
by it resulting in perish of billions of sea creatures, floating
on the surface of the free waters. The catastrophe was spreading
so fast worldwide taking the lives of hundreds of thousands every
minute, resistance of human body to antibiotics made the situation
unbearable to any being.
Some Japanese scientists that were involved in space activities
decided to escape to another planet as the ultimate and only chance
of surviving. They sent the coordinates of their destination to
their colleagues at European Space Agency, and to some others
in India and USA, and left Earth to the alternative planet. Undoubtedly
at least one of these groups made it there but not sure what they
faced in their new homeland. There are two scenarios though: if
life already existed there, depending on whether there were intelligent
or wild life, it could be enjoyable or challenging for them to
survive. If life did not exist, they had the challenge of living
like primitives without any access to facilities and technologies
they once enjoyed. Anyway, the shock of the incident and shame
of leaving earth like that must had been prevented them from telling
the truth to their children and that way it remained a mystery
to the first and next generations of Planet One. This planet is
fifty times bigger than earth and is like a paradise to humans
of Earth with greater resources, no borders, no disease, and people
live in peace with no police, no court and no prison as well.
Quarter Three: 2065 to 2090
Beginning of a New Era
Since my vital organs were machines, neither the dreadful virus
nor the poisonous gas in the air could affect me. It was also
true about the super smart robots that were mostly powered by
solar energy. I guess there were numerous humans and a few kinds
of animals and plants surviving, though. The Tokyo robots changed
their tasks to collecting and burning the corpses and cleaning
the city. This made Tokyo the only seemingly alive city in the
I had to find a way to transmit my observations to Andy on Planet
One. I organized all robots available in Tokyo in a group and
by February 2066, we started a new life independent of humans.
I had the resources and work force, all I needed to do was to
find a way to make it happen. We made some machines within years
which were of no good use. One hopeless night in 2076, while I
was reading the archive of technological news of JAXA I noticed
a news from 2058 that said my spacecraft was held at Shanghai
Science and Technology Museum! It was the sweetest news ever,
I could get back to my homeland, all I needed was to go there
and fly it back to where I came from but since my mission supposed
to be a 100-year period I had to stay for some few more decades
in Earth to make sure if the group that left the Earth to Planet
One were the only ones who did it and were real ancestors of people
in Planet One. With no media, I had to experience everything myself.
Besides, I needed to collect some evidence, probably find some
hair of astronauts that traveled to Planet One at their workplace
for the DNA test, so I began a journey to former European Space
Agencies and different countries involved including USA, India
and China as my final destination because my spacecraft was in
Shanghai. My robot buddies helped me with that and within a few
years I had all the evidence I needed.
Emergence of New Life on Earth
During the travels I found out that the world's vegetation was
changing, some kind of weird plant emerged that could imbibe the
poisonous gas of the atmosphere and turn it into Oxygen. This
plant paved the way for life to gradually get established on earth
again. The surviving beings of the world were mostly insects by
early 80s, but after some time I could see different types of
plants and trees growing here and there. Some creatures began
appearing but this time they were kind of different from former
habitats of earth, they were tiny amphibians feeding off of plants
with no eyes and some different kind of navigation systems. By
late 80s, some of them turned to eat some other kinds of themselves,
guess I was witness of evolution just from the beginning but this
time they were going to be totally different from previous Earth
Quarter Four: 2090 to 2115
Aliens Seize the Earth
The earth was recovering. The Ozone Layer for instance, was completely
recovered by the early 90s, and the air was fresher than ever.
Polar ices were freezing again, sea creatures were appearing again
but no sign of human activity. One summer day in the mid-90s,
my fellow robots and I were walking in the Amazon jungles, tracking
the signs of life when we faced a huge creature that did not seem
friendly at all. I tried to make contact with it but as she noticed
us, she attacked us and destroyed one of our fellow robots. That
made the other robots get defensive using their weapons to kill
the beast. We later noticed that she was not alone and there were
plenty of them in the Amazon, and we had to escape for we were
low in number and could not defeat them. While we were retreating
we could see hundreds of them landing on earth from the sky above.
I believe what happened to earth in October 2064 was the attack
to exterminate life on earth and make it theirs.
I had to leave earth in 10 years or so anyways, but my fellow
robots were going to stay and take revenge on the occupiers. The
Japanese super smart robots had the ability to reproduce themselves
but under certain conditions and only in their lab in Tokyo. We
went back to Tokyo and within a few years we were able to produce
thousands of robots. Most of them stayed in Tokyo to protect the
city, and some others went with me to Shanghai for my mission
was over and I had to leave Earth to my homeland. I made a copy
of my memory and handed it to my fellow robots in case if humans
appeared once again on earth, they don't get confused about their
history. October 2115, after 100 years of stay on earth, I left
earth to Planet One.
(end of Story 1)
Technology Foresight Group, Department of Management, Science
and Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
424 Hafez Ave, Tehran, Iran, 15875-4413. +989195905905; firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Whittington, College of Technology (Adjunct)
University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
4800 Calhoun Street, Houston, Texas, 77204 +17137434110; email@example.com
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SL, Director, Club of Amsterdam
Ukrainian Dilemma and the Bigger Picture
by Hardy F. Schloer, Owner, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG, Advisory
Board of the Club of Amsterdam
impact of culture on education
by Huib Wursten, Senior Partner, itim International and
Carel Jacobs is senior consultant/trainer for itim in The Netherlands,
he is also Certification Agent for the Educational Sector of the
more demand for meat means for the future
Pelletier, The Happy Future Group Consulting Ltd.
peace and generosity
by Elisabet Sahtouris, Holder
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... and many more contributions.
Top Secret Weapons
By Discovery Channel
For more than fifty years, DARPA
has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments
in breakthrough technologies for national security.
The genesis of that
mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in
1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time
forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic
technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside
of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission,
transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities
into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included
not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision
weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern
civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition
and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers
small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices.
about the Future
Tracking and Analysis System
KITRIS enables tennis
players to quickly and effectively improve their performance
and achieve a higher level at tennis. The system is based on
a consistent analysis and evaluation of training sessions and
matches that are provided to both players and coaches in the
form of comprehensive feedback.
green infrastructure and health
Part of the Foresight
future of cities project.
This paper looks at how we can improve
the health and wellbeing of people in our towns and cities through
the use of green infrastructure. It defines this as
the network of natural features - green spaces, rivers and trees
- that provide us with ecological services, such as flood protection.
UNESCO's Marine World Heritage. Narrated by Gisele Bündchen
for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World
By Jared Green
In Designed for
the Future, author Jared Green asks eighty of todays
most innovative architects, urban planners, landscape architects,
journalists, artists, and environmental leaders the same question:
what gives you the hope that a sustainable future is possible?
Their imaginative answers - covering everything from the cooling
strategies employed at Cambodias ancient temple city of
Angkor Wat to the use of cutting-edge eco-friendly mushroom board
as a replacement for Styrofoam - show the way to our future success
on earth and begin a much-needed dialogue about what we can realistically
accomplish in the decades ahead.
Featuring an international
roster of leading design thinkers including:
pioneer Janine Benyus
Curator Barry Bergdoll
Educator and author Alan Berger
Environmentalist and author Lester Brown
Architect Rick Cook
Urban Planner Paul Farmer
Critic Christopher Hume
Architect Bjarke Ingels
Landscape designer Mia Lehrer
Architect Rob Rogers
Critic Inga Saffron
Artist Janet Echelman
Space Station - interactive panorama
here to explore in full screen
Just before ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti left the International
Space Station after 199 days, she took up to 15 pictures inside
each module. Now, the images have been stitched together to create
this interactive panorama.
These panoramas offer
a snapshot of the International Space Station as it was in June
2015, after moving the Leonardo storage module to a new location.
Explore the modules
and zoom in to see more detail. Use the map or the arrow icons
by the module hatches to move to another section. You can explore
every part of the Space Station except the Russian modules for
now the complete Station will be available later this year.
Click on the play
icons to watch Samantha explain or demonstrate an item, and click
on the text icons for web articles.
Finally, we recommend
exploring in a full screen to do justice to this immersive interactive
The tour was improved
by the assistance of Thomas Rauscher in Vienna, Austria, who helped
to stitch the images together for some modules.
Portrait: Karlheinz Steinmueller
Steinmüller (born November 4, 1950 in Klingenthal) is
a German physicist and science fiction author. Together with his
wife Angela Steinmüller he has written science fiction
short stories and novels that depict human development on a cosmic
scale, grounded in an analysis of social structures and mechanisms.
Angela and Karlheinz Steinmüller were not only among the
most widely read authors in the GDR, ranking at the top of a 1989
poll of most popular science fiction authors in the GDR, but their
works continue to be republished.
Dr. Karlheinz Steinmüller is a founding partner and Z_punkts
scientific director. He is responsible for corporate and public
Foresight projects. Since the early 1990s, Mr Steinmüller
has been working as a future researcher, among others for the
Sekretariat für Zukunftsforschung (SFZ Secretariat
for Futures studies) in Gelsenkirchen. He has graduated in physics
and has been working as a scientist and a freelance author of
science fiction novels. As part of the masters programme
in Future Research at FU Berlin, he lectures on foresight methods.
Karlheinz Steinmüller, Scientific Director at Z_punkt, recently
gave two lectures at the World Conference of Future Research.
The first lecture started from the premise that we are in desperate
need of standards and quality criteria for Future Research. Standards
and quality criteria are more than just a dry academic exercise,
for foresight practitioners they are also an important reference
point for the quality of their own work. The discussion about
who determines the criteria and how they are obtained is still
on-going. Steinmüllers lecture gives an initial insight
and overview. The discussion will be continued at the annual meeting
of the Future Research Network in October 2015.
The second lecture
was devoted to the question of how future researchers can draw
attention to their subjects whether in research or in the
corporate context. Karlheinz Steinmüller, himself an experienced
science fiction author, explained in Turku how bleak scenarios
can be recounted and how they can draw attention to your own issues
and problems, or rather how you can predict them. He did this
with the help of several examples, including the extinction of
bees. This led to the development of artificial insects to pollinate
plants, but they suddenly becoming a swarm and started attacking
people and animals! The talk was based on the idea that if we
dont invent the new threats ourselves, then we wont
be able to protect ourselves against them.
Both lectures are
available a download.
Studio Guest: Dr. Karlheinz Steinmüller, Futurologist
| Tomorrow Today
The Future Now Show!
Event in Amsterdam
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details including time to be announced
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