Griffith Review Edition 52

IMAGINING THE FUTURE

That great imponderable, the future, looms larger than ever, troubling our dreams, darkening our screens with visions of dystopias, apocalypse and the walking dead.

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

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.

Imagining the Future: Notes from the frontier

Accompanying the print edition of Imagining the Future is an exclusive e-book, Notes from the Frontier, in which Sam Alexander and Bronwyn Adcock reflect on their differing attempts to make the future happen. The ebook is available to download for free as a PDF here

This edition is published with the support of the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.