Anticipation, Sustainability, Futures and Human Extinction
Ensuring Humanity’s Journey into The Distant Future
This book considers the philosophical underpinnings, policy foundations, institutional innovations, and deep cultural changes needed to ensure that humanity has the best chance of surviving and flourishing into the very distant future.
Anticipation of threats to the sustainability of human civilization needs to encompass time periods that span not just decades but millennia. All existential risks need to be jointly assessed, as opposed to addressing risks such as climate change and pandemics separately. Exploring the potential events that are likely to cause the biggest risks as well as asking why we should even desire to thrive into the distant future, this work looks at the ‘biggest picture possible’ in order to argue that futures-oriented decision-making ought to be a permanent aspect of human society and futures-oriented policy making must take precedent over the day-to-day policy making of current generations in times of great peril. The book concludes with a discourse on the truly fundamental bottom-up changes needed in our personal psychologies and culture to support these top-down recommendations.
This book is of great interest to philosophers, policy analysts, political scientists, economists, psychologists, planners, and theologians.
Table of Contents
2. A Serendipitous Trip Through Future Time
3. Existential Risks
4. Our Fate is in Our Hands
5: Why We Should Care About Future Generations
6. Twelve Perpetual Obligations
7. Frameworks and Tools for Actions-Oriented Futures Policy Making
8. Anticipatory Institutions and Perpetual Organizations
9. Passing Through a Socio-Cultural Singularity
10. Futures Thoughts
Bruce E. Tonn is the President of Three, a scientific and educational non-profit whose mission is to foster equitable sustainable futures. He was previously a Professor of Public Policy at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.