Chapter 1. Introduction – Our Emerging Foresight Field

IV. A Brief History and Future

We end our introductory chapter with a brief summary of the history of foresight, dividing it into six major eras of development, from the European Enlightenment to the present day. This history is a US-biased perspective. You may disagree with the bias, eras, scope, and claims of this particular history, and we look forward to your feedback for future editions. Hopefully this overview will at least be of interest to those who like big picture views and historical context. It should spur you to do your own research and arrive at your independent conclusions.

Next we consider some of the realities of our current plutocratic political environment in most of our advanced industrial democracies, and some of the ways our accelerating digital technologies may offer pathways out of that condition. Finally, we observe the glimmerings of a Foresight Renaissance ahead, and ask what contributions you may want to bring to that renaissance in the remaining years of your career. No matter what we do, as the next chapter will argue, it’s going to be a wild ride ahead, with lots of opportunities to help others to thrive better than ever before.

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