The future is almost within reach, but the portents are challenging. Now is the time to consider whether the world in fifty years will be a better or worse place for most people.
Innovation and agility may be the new buzzwords, but if they are to mean more than increased efficiency and wealth for the few, the big task is to try to imagine the future before it arrives and then to try to shape it. The megatrend analysis points to profound changes in the way we live, work and survive as global warming becomes real, automation transforms work, cities change the way we live and genetic science promises remarkable longevity.
Imagining the Future features original writing by two Nobel laureates, Al Gore and Peter Doherty, and leading writers and thinkers who explore what these trends may mean. They illustrate the truism that the future is already here, just unevenly distributed. Detailed on-the-ground reporting teases this out in relation to energy supply, climate change, manufacturing, genetic medicine and rural production.
This year marks the five hundredth anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's Utopia, making it a fitting time to try to imagine the future by learning from the past and taking the warnings seriously. Imagining the Future provides a road map to signal our way through and beyond the sleepy delirium of contemporary life.
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Edited by Julianne Schutlz and Brendan Gleeson, Griffith Review 52: Imagining the Future includes essays from Tim Flannery, Kathy Marks, Cathy Alexander, Tony Davis, Leah Kaminsky, Peter Doherty, Andy Merrifield, Glyn Davis, Jane Gleeson-White and many more, as well as Al Gore in conversation with Don Henry.
This edition is published with the support of the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.
'I am always delighted to receive a copy of the Griffith Review. On many occasions, I have shared inspiring contributions with colleagues and friends. As with its predecessors (Griffith Review 52: Imagining the Future) provides a vast range of stimulating and thoughtful presentations. My sincere appreciation and best wishes to all associated with this unique Australian initiative.' Dame Marie Bashir
'The usual dynamic blend of fiction, essay, memoir, reportage, poetry, pictures and inter- views is here but this is something different: an attempt to interrogate an under-examined past, grapple with a confronting present and offer a road map to an uncertain future.' William Yeoman, Weekend West Australian
'What a truly outstanding article - from one of the country’s most agile and nimble minds. A delightful read and most thought-provoking. Many thanks.' Peter Ormonde, The Conversation
For Sydney Ideas, Griffith Review editor Julianne Schultz is joined by University of Sydney scientist Professor Thomas Maschmeyer and distinguished contributors Kathy Marks, Tony Davis and Paul Daley in a conversation around themes arising from our urgent need to address the world ahead.