Futuring - The Exploration of the Future by Edward Cornish:
This is a book I really love. Edward Cornish is the president of the World Future Society and he makes it clear that we (the whole world) are currently experiencing a time of tremendous transformation. He masterfully writes about the theory, practice, and benefits of Strategic Foresight and how to realistically prepare for what lies ahead.
In Futuring, Cornish pushes his time horizon out to the 2040s and explores current super-trends describing what that future might (notice how he says “might”) look like. These trends include; technological progress, economic growth, improving health, increasing mobility, environmental decline, and increasing deculturation (loss of traditional culture). More importantly, from my perspective, is Cornish’s blend of the history of Foresight, with modern best practices including; systems thinking, scenario-based analysis, and practical lessons.
He even includes advice about the use of science fiction to explore and shape the future, and in that regard he has been instrumental in helping me choose my vocation. Cornish describes exploring the future in poetic terms reminiscent of the Great Explorers from history who traveled to all parts of the as yet unknown globe. My own vision for exploring the future is similar, but instead of tall sailing ships, I prefer the Flight of the St. Paul.