Planetary Futures Projects

We would like to emphasise the notion of Planetary Futures in the light of the increasing challenges that we face in relation to environmental, psycho-social and politico-economic domains across the planet. From a number of philosophical and theoretical perspectives it is being suggested that we are now in a Planetary Era (see Edgar Morin: Homeland Earth, 1999).

Ecologists are calling for a planet-wide response to global warming and rapid climate change; evolution of consciousness theorists refer to the emergence of planetary consciousness (see Jennifer Gidley, 2008); leading-edge political scientists point to the rise of a global imaginary (see Manfred Steger, 2008); and innovative educational researchers stress the need to globalise the research imagination (see Jane Kenway and Joannah Fahey, 2008).

It is vital that futures pedagogy is informed of these emerging perspectives and incorporate them into their projects and programs. We particularly welcome contributions from futures researchers, practitioners and educators who think and work beyond nationalistic boundaries and take a planetary approach to futures pedagogy.

For more information on the above-mentioned theories and approaches please contact the Project Coordinator, Dr Jennifer Gidley.

The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

In the Planetary Era, in the wake of a couple of decades of politico-economically dominated globalization, the plight of indigenous people requires special attention from futures educators. The affect of globalization on the further marginalisation of indigenous people and cultures is the focus of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII).

The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

For further information, see the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

UNESCO Foresight and Anticipation Program

The global objective of the anticipation and foresight programme is: “In order to capture the complexity of the global developments, especially those related to the emergence of knowledge societies, UNESCO will undertake and draw on future-oriented studies and scenarios. This effort will seek to analyse and capture the main components and processes inherent in knowledge societies with a view to articulating a common and shared vision and to design strategies for developing open knowledge societies” (Medium-Term Strategy for 2002-2007: 31 C/4).

For more information, see the UNESCO Intersectoral Platform on Foresight and Anticipation

WFSF Iberoamerican Chapter

The IberoAmerican chapter represents Latin America, Spain and Portugaul. To get more information see the WFSF website under WFSF Chapters.

Coordinator: Guillermina Baena Paz (WFSF Executive Board Member 2009-2013)

The Global Village of 100 People

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following:

57 Asians, 21 Europeans , 14 from the Western Hemisphere (both north and south), 8 Africans;

70 would be non-white ; 30 would be white;

52 would be female; 48 would be male;

70 would be non-Christian; 30 would be Christian;

6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth, and all 6 would be from the USA;

80 would live in substandard housing;

70 would be unable to read ;

50 would suffer from malnutrition;

1 would be near death and 1 would be near birth;

1 would have a college education ; 1 would own a computer.

The full original 1990s report by Donella Meadows can be found at the Sustainability Institute: Donella Meadows Archive

International Survey of University Futures Courses

This is a planet wide survey of universities that offer futures courses, from full-degrees to short courses, current as of 2008. Research undertaken by Jose Maria Ramos on behalf of WFSF.

The information from this Survey can be accessed at the WFSF website under Futures Studies Tertiary Futures Education.

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Support Planetary Futures

WFSF would like to support the implementation of Planetary Futures Pedagogical Projects, particularly in non-OECD countries.

The WFSF Online Centre for Pedagogical Resources in Futures Studies is seeking sponsorship to start a research fund to support such projects.

Interested Sponsors please contact the Project Coordinator: Dr Jennifer GIDLEY