The future of futurism, with WFS CEO Amy Zalman

August 11, 2014

Changing times demand a re-evaluation of the task of futurists. How should futurist organisations evolve in the light of new global opportunities and challenges?

Founded in 1966, the World Future Society (WFS) is the world’s largest membership-based global organisation dedicated to exploring the future.

At the World Future 2014 conference in July, WFS members were introduced to the Society’s new CEO, Dr. Amy Zalman. Dr. Zalman is only the third CEO in the Society’s long and distinguished history.

London Futurists are very fortunate that Dr. Zalman is visiting the UK so soon after taking up her new appointment, and has agreed share her thinking at this meeting on the subject of the future of futurism.


For nearly 50 years, the World Future Society has:

  • Investigated how social, economic and technological developments are shaping the future;
  • Helped individuals, organizations, and communities observe, understand and respond to social change appropriately;
  • Promoted the application of anticipatory thinking to society;
  • Published the bi-monthly magazine THE FUTURIST;
  • Held annual World Future conferences, with keynote speakers and participants including Buckminster Fuller, Edward Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Al Gore, Betty Friedan, and Ray Kurzweil.

About Amy Zalman:

From the recent WFS press release:

Dr. Zalman brings to WFS a wealth of knowledge and experience, and a multidisciplinary approach to the position. She aims to build on WFS’ strong history as a forum for exchanging ideas and to develop a global network of people, resources, information, and activities that advance the world’s best ideas for creating desirable futures.

By working with a broad set of partners and diverse forms of self-support, Dr. Zalman intends to invigorate a self-sustaining World Future Society that is globally recognized as the preeminent source of information for pioneering ways of thinking about the future.

A long time supporter and member of WFS, Dr. Zalman, 46, is widely recognized as an original thinker on potential futures of national security strategy in the digital age and strategic behavior on an evolving global landscape. To engage WFS in its role as a connector, Dr. Zalman foresees fostering new exchanges of ideas in a wide variety of categories — climate, the environment, entrepreneurship and innovation, philanthropy, education, public sector foresight, and art and entertainment, to name a few.

Dr. Zalman has significant experience identifying leaders and influencers in markets that range from military and national security to media and communications. Previously, she was the Department of Defense Chair of Information Integration and a professor of Strategic Studies at the National War College in Washington, DC, educating future leaders of the Armed Forces, State Department, and other civilian agencies in national security policy and strategy. Prior to that, Dr. Zalman worked at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC, now Leidos), a Washington, DC based science and technology firm, where she developed new market strategies and basic research projects in the government strategic communications sector.

As the founder of Oryx Communications, an intercultural communication and executive education firm, her outreach was global, providing advisory services and information products to organizations expanding in the Middle East and North Africa. Her Strategic Narrative website has been a key influencer in guiding strategy and communications for governments as well as the private sector.

Meeting Logistics:

2pm-4pm, Saturday 16th August 2014.

Venue: Room <to-be-announced>, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room TBA is on the TBA-th floor in the main Birkbeck College building, in Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square). Torrington Square is about 10 minutes walk from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations.

Coffee and other light refreshments can be purchased from the Costa Coffee shop in the reception area of the building, either ahead of or after the meeting.

The event will be followed by a chance to continue the discussion in a nearby pub — The Marlborough Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ.

Event hashtag:


Covering meeting costs: 

A small fee (£5) is payable to attend this meetup. This fee covers room costs. Please pay in advance, online.

This will be refunded if the meeting is cancelled or rearranged, or if the attendee cancels at least 3 days before the meetup.

Alternatively, if there are still seats available, payment can be made in cash at the door on the day. (Requesting payment in advance assists with accurate planning of the event.)

Journalists are welcome to attend the meeting free-of-charge – please contact the organiser, notifying us in advance of your plans to attend.