Interest in the future blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic after World War II (WWII). Formalized methods were developed in the defense sector but swiftly spread to the corporate world. Various groups, public, private, and governmental, became enthusiastic about reflecting on the future. The American and European approaches to reflecting on the future, to applying foresight and la prospective varied; however, there was cooperation. A chronological overview, this article follows the philosophical gaze of Bertrand de Jouvenel, the French writer and futurist who coined the term futuribles and founded a center that would become Futuribles International. Its current president, his son, Hugues de Jouvenel, outlines the background of this Paris-based center for foresight thinking and studies, which aims to integrate a sense of the long term into decision making and action. To this end, Futuribles performs various scanning functions, publishes reports plus a specialized journal, and trains a diverse clientele in foresight methodology. Moreover, Futuribles International honors the tradition of public intellectual discussions (roundtable series) in the spirit of serving an informed citizenry. The author reminds readers of the necessity of foresight today when unelected multinationals play an unprecedented role yet fall through the cracks of almost all national and international regulation.
World Future Review – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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