World Future Society

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The World Future Society (WFS), founded in 1966, is a community of futurists and future thinkers.[1] Through publications, global summits, and advisory roles to world leaders in business and government, WFS members are credited with establishing the foundations of futures studies. Notable members and authors have included Buckminster Fuller, Herman Kahn, Gene Roddenberry, and Margaret Mead.

In 2018, World Future Society reestablished itself as World Future Society Presents LLC, d/b/a World Future Society®. Within the WFS membership community, the organization hosts ongoing projects, conversations, and events focused around topics including the future of human purpose, how we manage our societal systems, emerging technology, AI, and advances in education and neuroscience. Membership in the World Future Society is open to anyone worldwide.


The World Future Society was founded in 1966 by Edward Cornish, with the purpose of gathering together brilliant minds to tackle the current challenges affecting the world.[2][3]

By 1970, the organization had 4,000 members representing a variety of different backgrounds and industries, with chapters and committees in 56 cities across the globe. Prominent members and contributors have included Ray Kurzweil, Peter Drucker, Carl Sagan, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.[4]


Beginning in 1971, the World Future Society has hosted annual summits, forums, and events. WFS Annual Summits have hosted as many as 7,000 participants at a single event. Today, the World Future Society hosts monthly online Q&As and virtual events in the World Future Society membership community with leading futurists, entrepreneurs, speakers, authors. Recent guests have included Rod Roddenberry and author and economist Ted Chu, Phd.[5]


Current board chair & CEO[edit]

Julie Friedman Steele: 2016–Present

Past presidents and executive directors[edit]

Amy Zalman: 2014–2016[6]

Timothy Mack, Esq.: 2004–2014[7]

Edward Cornish: 1966–2004


In additional to several print and electronic journals, WFS Founder Edward Cornish published Futuring: The Exploration of the Future (Oct. 2005).

The Futurist magazine[edit]

The Futurist magazine was established in 1967, with Edward Cornish serving as the founding editor.[8] From 1967 to 2015, it was a full-color bi-monthly magazine. Today, it is an online publication that reports on technological, societal, and public policy trends, along with topics related to the future of human purpose. The Futurist was nominated for a 2007 Utne Independent Press Award for Best Science and Technology Coverage.[9]

World Future Review academic journal[edit]

The World Future Society previously published the academic journal World Future Review. This journal was published independent from the World Future Society starting with Volume 8.[10]

Impact and Legacy[edit]

The first graduate programs in Futurology were founded by WFS members in 1975 at the University of Houston and in 1976 at the University of Hawaii. Today, Futurology is taught at hundreds of universities across the globe[citation needed], and these methods are routinely used by businesses, governments, and consulting firms.

World Future Society members have also contributed heavily to advising businesses and governments worldwide on areas including public policy and decision making. Founder Edward Cornish himself served as an advisor to three U.S. Presidents, and WFS members were the head of leading foresight consultancies including SRI International, RAND Corporation, and the Global Business Network.

Additionally, WFS members helped found the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment and the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future, which was composed of more than 100 members of the U.S. Congress including Al Gore.


  1. ^ "World Future Society". World Future Society.
  2. ^ World Future Society (2014-07-11), World Future Society Legacy Video, retrieved 2018-04-10
  3. ^ "DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD | Earth Policy Institute". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  4. ^ justin (2016-12-16). "Learning to Think Like a Futurist with World Future Society". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  5. ^ "World Future Society". World Future Society. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  6. ^ "Amy Zalman - School of International Futures". School of International Futures. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  7. ^ "Tim Mack, Founder | AAI Foresight". Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  8. ^ Lewenstein, Bruce V (April 1987). "Was There Really a Popular Science 'Boom'?". Science, Technology, & Human Values.
  9. ^ "The Futurist Magazine Nominated for the 2007 Utne Independent Press Award". PR Leap. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  10. ^ "World Futures Review - SAGE Publications Ltd". 2015-10-28.

External links[edit]