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Not another bloody book about the future!

Surely there are already too many big-vision books about the future, so why write another one?

So many books about the future!

I must confess that I get frustrated with best-selling books that paint epic visions of the future.

Too often, they seem to sacrifice nuance and thoughtfulness in favor of crowd-pleasing extremes, from how technologies will utterly transform humanity, to how our technological mis-steps will ultimately destroy us all.

And in many cases they’re plagued with a certainty of insight that belies the expertise underpinning it.

And yet I find myself writing books that are part of this very genre. What on earth went wrong?!

I’m pretty sure that I’m as guilty as other authors when it comes to pushing my own ideas about the future. However, as someone who spends an inordinate amount of my time as a professor and academic studying the future and how our actions influence it, I’m deeply aware that there is a gaping chasm between how many of us think about the future, and how we should be thinking about it if we’re to be part of creating a future that is more just, vibrant and sustainable.

To transcend this chasm we need big-picture thinking about the future that draws on multiple perspectives, and that is as accessible to as many people as possible. This is why I write the books I do. And if I’m honest, it’s probably why many of those other authors of big-vision future books do what they do. And why — despite my occasional frustrations — they are important.

At the same time, I hope my books aren’t simply just another “bloody book about the future.” Given how complex the world we live in is becoming, there’s more need than ever for nuanced and informed perspectives on the interplay between our actions and the futures they potentially lead to.

And while I hope my books are highly readable and engaging (and worth the time people spend with them) I also hope that they provide a much-needed perspective on how we think differently about the future.

Goodness knows, looking at the world around us, we need this!

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Andrew Maynard

Andrew Maynard

Scientist, futurist & Professor of Global Futures at ASU. Author of Future Rising and Films from the Future. Writing about tech, society, & the future

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