The futures of futures studies
Pushing the boundaries of futures thinking
26 October 2023 (Thursday), 11:15-13:00, cowork

Development tendencies, turning points, and possible future research directions of futures studies

In order to contribute to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WFSF, the presentation offers a comprehensive review approach to evaluate the development tendencies and turning points of FS. Even though futures thinking has always comprised part of human history, scientific based FS initially evolved in the 20th century. Rooted in sociology and policy sciences, FS had become a generally accepted academic discipline by the 1960s when it became unequivocally visible in the international scientific community. In the 1970s, focus was placed on discourses on global problems and preferred futures. FS then developed a global institutional community and become a mature discipline by 1980s and 1990s. Futurists by then had already mutually shared theoretical perspectives, objectives, ethics, methods, and had produced a wide range of empirical results. From the turn of the millennium, active discourse took place on the forthcoming role of FS. By that time, theoretical, methodological, and practical knowledge foundations of the discipline had also appeared in internationally well documented curricula. Since around 2010, the discipline has been characterized by development of practical foresight projects. The presentation uncovers how attitudes, approaches and paradigms to the future changed in course of time. Based on notable trends and identified research gaps, it formulates up-to-date expectations and research directions within which FS might develop in the future.

Associate Professor
Corvinus University of Budapest