World Future Society



We believe in the power of the futurist mindset to create new narratives for a thriving humanity.  How Can I Shape the Future?  Everyone’s talking about the future.

For over 50 years, the World Future Society has been at the forefront of defining what it means to be a Futurist.  Whether you are a professional futurist, or focusing on social impact, disruptive business, or exponential technology — there is a futurist in each of us.  Yet sometimes it seems as though we are firing off in all different directions without a clear, collective purpose — a common goal for humanity.  Our potential is so much greater together. As unique individuals, how can we actively participate in shaping our collective future?

We Are the Futurist Community

Founded in 1966, the World Future Society has spent the past five decades building future studies from the ground-up through publications, global summits, and advisory roles to world leaders in business and government.  Historical members and authors have included legendary minds such as Buckminster Fuller, Gene Roddenberry, and Margaret Mead.  Today, we are an ecosystem of futurists, visionaries and builders, charging forward with the belief that a thriving future for all of us requires us to strategize, construct, criticize, and collaborate.  From every corner of society, we are exploring beyond the edges of the map and linking across boundaries so that you can be a part of charting a collective course for humanity.

Help Us Build New Narratives of the Future

The future is not determined. It does not have to be a continuation of a familiar storyline–we cannot leave the defining decisions of our time in the hands of obsolete, failing systems. We must be active, creative participants in shaping a new narrative to define human existence.  We can write that story together.

Join us as we explore the future of human purpose.





The Futurist Mindset

To thrive in this world of accelerating change, we believe one must build and develop the Futurist Mindset.

The world may be changing faster than we can currently internalize and it is clear to see that our collective, short term focus is not preparing populations nor organizing resources efficiently to progress in the face of our greatest challenges. It is because of this realization that we are working to democratize and grow the Futurist Mindset across the globe.

The Futurist Mindset: is a way of understanding yourself, others and the world / universe around you.

Benefits of a Futurist Mindset: If you possess a Futurist Mindset you will thrive at shaping the future. The Futurist Mindset goes far beyond just being able to think about the future and into a way live with purpose and passion as we strive for something more while we grow to understand who we can become and our place in the cosmos.

How do I Know if I Possess a Futurist Mindset?: There are different types of intelligences, personality traits and competencies that tend to lend themselves to somebody possessing more of a Futurist Mindset than another**.   Read on here.

Building New Narratives

Our current global “storyline” isn’t working. We need new narratives for a thriving future.

Every aspect of human life is rooted in narrative.

The human brain functions in narrative. Our minds are continuously hashing and rehashing storylines about our life, our relationships, our career, and our place in the community. Our cultures are based on narratives that define rules and norms; they are what give meaning and context to the world around us, and they subconsciously shape (and constrain) our possibilities and our futures. We believe them with little questioning, and all of our decisions and behaviors are based on these foundational storylines. The stories we tell ourselves about how the world works — what is possible, and what’s not — these stories shape societies, move economies, and determine our entire existence.

Narratives have gravitational force.

Some are so massive, so deeply ingrained, that they pull everything into their orbit. Some narratives propel us forward, while others hold us back. When narratives go stale, they keep us locked-in to patterns that no longer serve us, and they limit future possibilities.

Our future is built upon our narratives.

The future is constantly unfolding as a continuous series of “next steps” in the collective storylines from every human brain, every organization, and every culture. To take control of the future, we must seize control of our societal narratives.

Today’s narratives aren’t working.

Accelerating technological growth and rapid societal change are rendering modern narratives obsolete. With automated labor on the horizon, and the existential threats of AI, nuclear weapons, and climate change looming over our future, the “winner takes all” mentality of capitalism is unsustainable. In such a complex world, old approaches — to our health, education, politics, and even our overall human purpose — are leaving too many people behind.  Read on here.

Become a Future-Focused Company

Everything we do is rooted in giving you and your organization — for-profit or not-for-profit, large or small, a greater choice in the future.

There are many ways for you to get your business involved in the World Future Society. We invite you to explore the links below.  Let’s shape tomorrow, together here.

The Human Purpose Project

We need to change the big conversations about the future.

Big conversations are happening about the future.

There’s a ton of interest right now around automation, exponential technologies, and the jobs of tomorrow. Amidst such rapid social change and economic uncertainty, people are scared of what the future holds. They want to know what jobs will be like in the future, how their industry will be disrupted, and what kind of education and training are needed to stay relevant. There’s a great deal of anxiety around the implications of what is coming.

There’s something missing from these conversations.

While it may seem as if we’re talking about the future of the economy, the future of education, and the future of work, we’re actually talking about something much more fundamental than these sectors of life. What’s beneath all of these areas of life?

What is the future of Human Purpose?

This is the big question. All of our collective fear and anxiety around AI, automation, and the jobs of tomorrow — it’s not really about “jobs.” It’s about our worth and dignity as human beings. It’s about how we spend our time, our effort, and our energy. It’s about the contributions we want to make. Who do we need to become in order to feel whole in the wildly different future in front of us?

We need to change the conversation.

Although AI and automation might be disruptive, they are full of new opportunities and new possibilities. We need to remember that human civilization has been through big shifts before: when we moved from hunter-gathering to farming and cities, and from farming to industry. We need to remember that the future isn’t something that’s happening to us, it’s up to us to build the future we want.  Read on here.


Famous Members & Contributors

R. Buckminster Fuller (b. 1895, d. 1983)

“Bucky” Fuller believed technology could be used to improve the life of everyone on “Spaceship Earth.” A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Bucky spread the idea that given Earth’s limited resources, humanity could make significant positive, eco-conscious impacts. Fuller is also renowned for inventing the geodesic dome, sometimes referred to as a lattice-shell dome.

Alvin Toffler (b. 1928, d. 2016)

Alvin Toffler coined the phrases “information overload” and “future shock.” Toffler’s reach was worldwide, even identified by China’s People’s Daily as one of the 50 foreigners who shaped modern China. His first major book about the future, FUTURE SHOCK, was a worldwide best-seller, selling 6 million+ copies.

Ray Kurzweil (b. 1948)

Ray Kurzweil’s work emphasizes the future integration of biological and non-biological intelligence and technology. Kurzweil co-founded Singularity University with Google and NASA Ames Research Center. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002.

Herman Kahn (b. 1922, d. 1983)

Herman Kahn’s work focused on national security and public policy, especially the application of game theory to thermonuclear war. Kahn believed that nuclear war could be won rather than viewing it as a lose-lose situation. Kahn founded the Hudson Institute think tank with former colleagues from the Rand Corporation. At the time of his death, Kahn was working on an educational program designed ''to redress the imbalance of unrelenting negativism'' in public school curricula on the future.

Al Gore (b. 1948)

Former Vice President Al Gore is an environmental activist and advocate with a track record of supporting robotics and biotech, among other advanced technologies. He is credited with popularizing the phrase “information superhighway” and is perhaps the most famous of the Atari Democrats, so called because of their commitment to tech as a job creator and economy driver.

Peter Drucker (b. 1909, d. 2005)

Peter Drucker, who has been called the “founder of modern management,” advocated that private corporations had as much responsibility to society as the public sector. He presented the concepts of management in corporations with a focus on workers over profit and production. Drucker saw human capital as key.

Carl Sagan (b. 1934, d. 1996)

Well known for his research on and search for extraterrestrial life, Carl Sagan was deeply involved in the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, messages sent into space as outreach to other life forms. The majority of his career was spent at Cornell University, where he was a Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Sagan’s show Cosmos has been viewed by 500 million people worldwide.

Margaret Mead (b. 1901, d. 1978)

Margaret Mead is best known for her work in cultural anthropology, particularly in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Mead’s work was controversial, drawing criticism from both sides of the nurture vs. nature debate. Mead’s “nurture over nature” work impacted feminism and the 1960s sexual revolution.

Gene Roddenberry (b. 1921, d. 1991)

Perhaps best known for his role creating the Star Trek television series, Roddenberry also flew numerous combat missions during World War II, flew commercial flights for Pan American World Airways, and worked in the Los Angeles Police Department.

Gerald Ford (b. 1913, d. 2006)

President Gerald Ford became the 38th President of the United States upon the resignation of Richard Nixon; in fact, he had become the 40th Vice President after Spiro Agnew resigned.

Neil deGrasse Tyson (b. 1958)

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium (which he also visited as a child) at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City, a part of the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson, an astrophysicist, also hosted a Cosmos television series, a successor to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke (b. 1917, d. 2008)

Sir Arthur C. Clarke was co-writer on the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke was a prolific science fiction and nonfiction author, as well as an experienced scuba diver who made several underwater discoveries. Clarke served as the first Chancellor of the International Space University.