Future Studies

Timeline created by Julianammc
In History
  • 3,000 BCE


    The kings in ancient Mesopotamian areas tried predicting the future using the position of the stars and step livers. These royal men attempted to build their empires on anticipating the future of economics and politics. (Dragt 2018)
  • -600 BCE

    Oracle of Delphi

    Oracle of Delphi
    Four hundred of years people visited the Delphi site in Greece, relying on the oracles to help them choose the best course of action to the future. Questions varied from crop growth to love life to military strategies. The oracles given by the Delphi priestesses were rather cryptic and ambiguous. How the inquires interpreted the divine communications shaped their future actions.
  • -500 BCE

    Rise of Religions

    Rise of Religions
    In the medieval times the focus of religion played a key role in people's idea of the future.People`s behaviour and actions during their daily life concentrated on getting to an after-life. Many religions also claim that divine prophets have the power to see into the future and change it.
  • Jan 1, 1400


    Instead of the future being determined by the stars, philosophers believed the humans have, to a certain extent, control over their lives. In 1516 Tomas More publishes his book Utopia that initiate a tradition of utopian stories in which idea future societies are described.
  • Enlightenment

    This period shows a rise of reason, analysis and individualism rather than following traditional lines of authority. The concept of the future becomes more open ended and the general view is that people can shape or plan the future in line with their needs to create progress in society.
  • Systematic Futures Thinking

    Systematic Futures Thinking
    In 1902 the article "the discovery of the The Future" by writer HGWells is published in the acclaimed scientific journal Nature. Well`s promote a future forward mind-set as being more creative, masterful an modern than the predominant historical way of thinking. He views are a catalyst for the discipline of futures studies and thinking about the futures studies and thinking about the future in a more systematic way.
  • Planning with military precision

    Planning with military precision
    After the first and the second World War a period of recovery and rebuilding of nations began. Ideas about predictability and manipulability of societies became the norm. and planning agencies popped up, like RAND, a renowned American think tank applying military techniques like scenario planning and the Delphi technique of brainstorming to think about the future.
  • Future Institutes

    Future Institutes
    During the sixties and seventies platforms and networks of the futures studies emerged, like World Future Studies Federation (WFSF)and the World Future Society (WFS). A period of awareness of the dark side of growing prosperity and consumerism began. In 1972 the Club of Rome published their famous report "Limits of Growth"showing the possibles future consequences of exponential economic and population in a world of finite natural resources.
  • Profitable Futures

    Profitable Futures
    Studies into trends and futures became more attuned to generate input for business strategies. Oil Company Shell, for instance, used scenario planned techniques to prepare for this possible futures like a resources crises. When in 1973 a oil crises became reality, Shell had already prepared for this possible future and was able to rapidly change their business strategy to became a world player in the oil industry.
  • Getting with the Gurus

    Getting with the Gurus
    From the nineties onwards the trend gurus enter the scene. these charismatic individuals monitored manly short term future signals. They presented these in visual and engaging way. They inspired many business leaders with fast paced trend talks and stimulate than to be more open to change.
  • The Power of Trends

    The Power of Trends
    World-wild terrorism attacks and economic recessions pave the way for a more open and innovative mind-set in society: if the old ways don't work, than try new ones. Trend researches are joining innovation teams and providing input for innovation strategies. Educational programs integrating trend research in their curriculum are n the rise.