The Next Wave

by Verne Wheelwright


The first wave was conceptual and theoretical. There was a realization that throughout history, people had looked for the future. In the 1950s and early 1960s, think tanks and writers developed assumptions and concepts that started with one assumption. The future is not pre-ordained. It followed that if the future was not pre-determined, there must be more than one future available. Alternative futures. From alternative futures, it also followed that some futures will be better than others. Preferred futures. Finally, the realization arose that individuals or groups, through actions in the present, might influence the future (Bell, 1997). These were powerful concepts. The second wave was the methodological wave. Methods were developed by the pioneering futurists that enabled and encouraged exploration of the future. Futures organizations formed. Academic journals came into existence (Anderson, 2009). Books about the future, grounded in the present and utilizing the new methods appeared.(continue…)

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