Thinking about the future is inherent in everyday life and a
necessary part of business planning and policy development.
In the English language at least we usually talk about the past,
the present and the future, all in the singular. This implies that
there is one past, one present and that there will be only one future.
But human decision making is concerned with directing the future
towards situations that the decision- makers consider more favourable
than would occur without the actions, which follow from their decisions.
This implies the potential for alternative futures dependent on
the decisions and actions we take.
This may appear to make the future different from the past and
This series of presentations explores the concept of alternative
futures and relates it to the past and present. In doing so it suggests
that there are also alternative pasts and presents and that understanding
them is an important part of dealing successfully with our potential
The future: forgotten but ever present
Examines the role of
the future in the everyday life of individuals and organisations,
including companies and government.
Presents an argument
for more careful consideration of the future in the 21st century.
Why do futures?
Provides a rationale for futures work and explores
the reasons for thinking about multiple or alternative futures
rather than a single future.
Some difficulties of thinking about the future
Explores the problems we experience in attempting to deal with the
inherent uncertainty of the future.
Foundations of Futures Studies: Human science
for a new era. Volume 1 History, Purposes and Knowledge Wendell
Bell, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ 1997
Futures for the Third Millennium: Enabling
the Forward View Richard A Slaughter, Prospect, St Leonards,