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World Future Society

Note: This is one of the more credible websites on this topic. They were carefully selected from a range of wacky and outrageous ones found on our search! If you want wacky, type in futurist on a search engine and brace yourself!

World Future Society publishes The Futurist, Futures Research Quarterly and Future Survey and has an annual conference. Of particular interest to Health Promotors are the Futurist's Top 10 Forecasts:

1. The number of centenarians worldwide will increase from 135,000 today to 2.2 million people by 2050.

2. By 2010, biomonitoring devices that resemble wristwatches will provide wearers with up-to-the minute data about their health status.

3. Exercise will promote mental well-being as well as a healthier body, helping people fight chronic pain, depression, chemical dependence, and even schizophrenia.

4. Tiny electronic microchips implanted in a person's forearm could transmit messages to a computer that controls the heating and light systems of intelligent buildings.

5. The twenty-first century could see widespread infertility and falling birthrates.

6. Farmers will become genetic engineers, growing vaccines as well as food.

7. The worldwide consumption of meat will double by 2050.

8. Ninety percent of the world's 6,000 languages could go extinct by 2100.

9. Water scarcity could threaten 1 billion people by 2025.

10. Human population will level off by 2035, while pet populations will increase dramatically.

Some notable hits and missing from the Futurist magazine's forecasts of the year 2000 are:

-Hubert H. Humphrey was right in 1967 when he predicted that hereditary defects would be corrected through the modification of genetic chemistry by 2000. He was wrong in predicting that bacterial and viral diseases would be virtually eliminated.

-Arthur C. Clarke correctly anticipated the Internet when he predicted that "a great global library will be developed" by 2000; he was incorrect in predicting that planets would be colonized.

-And Isaac Asimov was wrong in 1969 when he predicted that nuclear power would meet virtually all of our energy needs "by the year 2000."

And for the really long range view:

Futurist Graham T.T. Molitor, vice president of the World Future Society and an editor of The Encyclopedia of the Future (Macmillan 1996), is trying to look a thousand years ahead:

Molitor is anticipating a series of new eras that will unfold during the coming third millennium. They will be as important as the Agricultural Age, the Industrial Revolution, and the Information Age have been to earlier generations. "The current Information Age has relatively few remaining years of dominance - possibly as few as 20," writes Molitor in the December 1999 issue of THE FUTURIST magazine. Molitor expects a "Leisure Time Era" to emerge by 2015 and dominate the world economy until 2100. Leisure-oriented businesses - everything from bars to video stores to opera houses -- will account for 50% of the U.S. gross national product shortly after 2015," writes Molitor. He predicts that new technology and ongoing trends will result in shorter workweeks, longer holidays, and earlier retirement for workers in the leisure era By 2015, people will be able to devote over 50% of their time to leisure. . (Editor's note: we've heard this prediction before!)

Subsequent waves of change will bring the Life Sciences Era, the Megamaterials Era, and the New Atomic Age. Beginning in 2500, the New Space Age will see humans establishing space-based travel businesses and space colonies to mine the resources of the solar system.