More Post-Pandemic Resources, Moves in the Field, Remembering Irv Buchen, and more

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Volume 6,
Number 6
June 1, 2020

Protesting Injustice, Fighting for Futures

As this issue of Foresight Signals was being prepared, the United States saw widespread protests surrounding the death of an African American man while in police custody. While it is too early to gather the kinds of resources and analyses from futurists that we have done with the COVID-19 pandemic (see below), we note that the Brookings Institution, for example, has already provided some timely materials about race in American public policy. We welcome any insights our readers may offer on the issue. Contact consulting editor Cindy Wagner at

More Foresight Resources for Post-Pandemic Planning

Futurists are diligently preparing reports, webinar series, and other resources for their clients, the general public, and the foresight community to help envision and create action plans for a post-pandemic world. In addition to the work we listed in the May 2020 Foresight Signals we note the following.

Resources and Scenarios

  • Toffler Associates’ “COVID-19: What Now and What Next” is a series of resources to help clients “navigate the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Our goal is to help you lead your team through this unprecedented crisis and prepare for the new normal waiting for us on the other side.” Among the assets are a webinar, blog series, and more, offering “insight on how things are changing now and how we can expect them to continue evolving into the future.” [Learn more]
  • Futuribles International has produced an updated version of the first scenarios the group constructed at the end of March. Covid-19 crisis: scenarios for the end of 2021 “does not seek to remove uncertainties but to frame them by credible hypotheses and scenarios,” it says. The set of five scenarios, centering on France and Europe, “aims to be progressive: the reflection proposed here must be completed (in particular on its international dimension), reassessed, modified as events and data open and close possibilities.” See also “Covid-19, what next?

Books and Articles

  • Aftershocks and Opportunities—Scenarios for a Post-Pandemic Future, published by Fast Future, includes several essays by principal futurists Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, and Alexandra Whittington. Contributors include Sohail Inayatullah (“A New Planetary Narrative”), Sheila Moorcroft (“Five Ways Our Post-Lockdown World Could Change for the Better”), Bruce Lloyd (“The Case for New Progressive, Socially Focused Economic Initiatives”), and 18 other international futurists. The book is now available digitally in several formats for $12.95, and print issues will be available June 14 for $15.95. [Learn more]
  •, publisher of an English-language online news magazine for news and information about 21st century Israel, has collected thoughts of several Israeli futurists about post-pandemic scenarios. “Futurists everywhere predict a post-coronavirus economic recession and fundamental changes in how we socialize, shop, work, learn, travel and eat.” Contributors include David Passig, an international consultant on technological, social, and educational futures, and Roey Tzezana of Tel Aviv University and a senior adviser to the World Future Society. [Read “What will the world look like after corona?” by Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21c (May 13, 2020)]
  • Lifeboat Foundation advisory board member José Luis Cordeiro has provided a special report for the site titled “A New Renaissance: Crisis (危機) = Danger (危)+ Opportunity (機).” Excerpt: “Covid-19 is becoming a great lesson for humankind. It has shown that we must work together because global problems require global solutions. This experience will eventually serve as a learning lesson for other global challenges such as climate change or terrorism, for example. There will be new pandemics in the future, but we will be more prepared to overcome them quickly thanks to exponential technologies.” [Read more]

Videos and Podcasts

  • Information Technology & Innovation Foundation has launched a new podcast program called Innovation Files. Recent pandemic-related interviews include a discussion on the COVID privacy challenge with Amitai Etzioni, director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University. Others featured in the series are David Moschella discussing COVID’s impacts on technology, the tech industry, and tech policy and James McGregor on the post-COVID China challenge. [Learn more]
  • FuturePod’s series on COVID-19 and “Foresight in the Time of Coronavirus” includes interviews with Rowena Morrow on “how the futures tool of scenarios has been quickly and broadly taken up and used by leadership in Australia to help navigate this time”; Bridgette Engeler on “the unintended consequences of the pandemic”; Peter Bishop on “how a new era is possible, though not guaranteed”; John A. Sweeney reminding us “that futures are still plural, and the importance of holding the space for possibilities”; and Riel Miller on “how this pandemic is a powerful opportunity to make a fundamental change in how humans make choices.” [Learn more]
  • The Seeking Delphi podcast, hosted by Mark Sackler, features new interviews focusing on COVID-19’s impacts. Strategic investment manager Jim Lee spoke on economics and investing issues (two-part interview), and architect Cindy Frewen addressed urban and social issues affected by the pandemic. [Learn more]
  • Futurist author and speaker Gerd Leonard has produced a short video on COVID-19’s potential impacts, titled The Great Transformation. “Huge challenges and many hardships are certain BUT this total reset will also catalyze many new beginnings,” he says. [View video]

Think Tanks

  • The Think Tanks & Civil Societies Program will hold its third Global Virtual Think Tank Town Hall meeting online June 30 to “save lives and livelihoods.” The opening panel will discuss how think tanks “are responding to the strategic and operational challenges posed by the pandemic and their plans for meeting the policy challenges facing their respective countries.” The meeting will feature breakout working group sessions and a closing “call for action and a discussion of the most effective ways to promote the strategies and proposals generated by the Working Groups.” [Register or learn more]

Several international think tanks have offered access to their COVID-19 and pandemic research, data, analysis, commentary, and other resources, including:

Futurist Help Wanted

The Institute For the Future (IFTF) is seeking a mid- to senior-level research director “with an ability to work across multiple domains to help catalyze long-term futures thinking.” The position is full time, based in Palo Alto, California, and includes domestic and some international travel. Because IFTF is currently working in a distributed virtual environment, the candidate should be prepared to collaborate remotely. Applicants should submit a two-page writing sample with résumé and cover letter by June 5 to [Learn more (PDF)]

New Publications and Reports

  • The latest issue (April 2020) of World Futures Studies Federation’s journal Human Futures is now available. Among the features is an interview with Fabienne Goux-Baudiment, founding director of Progective, conducted by the magazine’s editor-at-large Claire Nelson. Goux-Baudiment argues for embedding futures studies into the engineering curricula as a way to help strengthen foresight capacity in the design of sustainable systems in the future.
  • Future Today Institute, founded by Amy Webb, has released its annual report on technology trends. Marketed to decision makers, 2020 Technology Trends provides valuable insights about emerging disruptions and how to spot them, along with scenarios on a wide variety of topics, strategic guidance for leaders, and weak signals for the next decade. A PDF download of the report is free, and a 368-page softcover edition may be ordered from Amazon. [Learn more]
  • Forthcoming: The Association of Professional Futurists will publish the 2020 update of the Knowledge Base of Futures Studies (KBFS) as an e-book, prepared by futurists Richard Slaughter and Andy Hines. Previously produced as a CD-ROM since 1994, KBFS helps foresight practitioners “master the foundations, methods, practices, and synergies of our field.” APF members will receive the e-book as a member benefit in July. [Learn more]

Moves in the Field

  • Strategic futurist and speaker Nancy Giordano has launched a twice-weekly video interview series, Femme Futurists Society. Inspired by the recent Forbes article “50 Leading Futurist Women,” the series will feature “compelling conversations with the thoughtful women shaping our world.” [Learn more]
  • Nikolaj Sveistrup, founder and director of Urban Agenda, has joined the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies as an associated partner, where he will focus on urban development. With 70% of the world’s 10 billion inhabitants by 2050 expected to live in cities, “the most important megatrend right now is urbanisation,” Sveistrup says. [Learn more]

In Memoriam: Irving H. Buchen

Business and educational futures scholar Irving H. Buchen died November 20, 2019. He was 89. Born in the Bronx, Buchen was a longtime resident of Fort Myers, Florida, where he served as an adjunct member of the business doctoral faculty at Capella University and dean of management studies for the St. Clements University Group.

Buchen was a prolific writer and enthusiastic contributor to the World Future Society’s Futurist magazine for more than 40 years. Among his noteworthy articles are “Blundering to Success? Learning from Failure” (March-April 2014), “A Radical Vision for Education” (May-June 2000), “The Faculty of the Future” (November-December 1987), and “Futuristic Conference in Romania” (February 1973). His last published book was Executive Intelligence: The Leader's Edge (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). [Learn more]