Futurist Essay

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1. (b) Futurist Futurists or futurologists are scientists and social scientists whose specialty is to attempt to systematically predict the future, whether that of human society in particular or of life on earth in general. The terms most commonly refer to in interdisciplinary and systems thinking to advise private and public organizations on such matters as diverse global trends, plausible scenarios, emerging market opportunities and risk management. The Oxford English Dictionary identifies earliest use of the term futurism in English as 1842, to refer, in a theological context, the Christian eschatological tendency of that name. The next recorded use is the label adopted by the Italian and Russian futurists, the artistic, literary and political movements of the 1920s and 1930s which sought to reject the past and fervently embrace speed, technology and, often violent, change. Visionary writers such as Jules Verne, Edward Bellamy and H.G. Wells were not in their day characterized as futurists. The term futurology in its contemporary sense was first coined in the mid-1940s by the German Professor Ossip K. Flechtheim, who proposed a new science of probability. Flechtheim argued that even if systematic forecasting did no more than unveil the subset of statistically highly probable processes of change and charted their advance. It would still be of crucial social value. Institutions like RAND and SRI began to engage in long-range planning, systematic trend watching, scenario development, and visioning, at first under WWII military and government contract and, beginning in the 1950s, for private institutions and corporations. The period from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s laid the conceptual and methodological foundations of the modern futures studies field. Dennis Gabor's Inventing the Future in 1964 are considered key early works, and the first U.S. university

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