Dr Joseph Voros is a highly-respected internationally-known educator of Big History and Futures/Foresight. He was present on the first day of the Swinburne Master of Strategic Foresight program in 2001 and taught up to literally the very last day of the course in 2018.
Joe considers himself a “civilisational-transition futurist”, thinking about the coming civilisational transition and the potential futures for humankind which lie in and beyond it. He talks about Big History, moving beyond “surface” trend analysis towards understanding deeper system structures and even deeper historical dynamics, as well as using scenarios and looking out for ‘wildcards’.
Interviewed by: Rebecca Mijat
More about Joe
LinkedIn: Dr Joseph Voros
Twitter feed (personal): https://twitter.com/JosephVoros
Twitter feed (research): https://twitter.com/TheVoroscope
Some of the papers, books, TED talks etc mentioned in the episode
Generic Foresight Process, with Big History and ‘Threshold 9’:
Voros, J 2017, ‘Big History and anticipation: Using Big History as a framework for global foresight’, in R Poli (ed.) Handbook of anticipation: Theoretical and applied aspects of the use of future in decision making, Springer International, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-31737-3_95-1
Futures Cone blog post (excerpted from above chapter):
Voros, J 2017, The Futures Cone, use and history, The Voroscope [weblog], Feb 24, https://thevoroscope.com/2017/02/24/the-futures-cone-use-and-history/
Anthropocene conference presentation (with Futures Cone and aliens!):
Voros, J 2015, ‘The Anthropocene, “Threshold 9” and the long-term future of humankind’. Presented at The Big History Anthropocene Conference: A Transdisciplinary Exploration, Big History Institute, Macquarie University, Sydney, 9-11 Dec, Session 6, Dec 11. https://youtu.be/Z7gU3ZsSWr0
More aliens, analysing scenarios about discovering them:
Voros, J 2018, ‘On a morphology of contact scenario space’, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol. 126, Jan, pp. 126-137. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2017.05.007
That strange galaxy…
Voros, J 2018, Is “Hoag’s Object” an “engineered” galaxy?, The Voroscope [weblog], Jul 18, https://thevoroscope.com/2018/07/18/is-hoags-object-an-engineered-galaxy/
Big History and Futures Education:
Voros, J 2018, ‘Big History as a scaffold for Futures education’, World Futures Review, vol. 10, no. 4, Dec, pp. 263-278. doi:10.1177/1946756718783510. Special Issue: ‘Foresight Education, part 2’, P Bishop (ed.).
Andy Hines and Peter Bishop’s book:
Hines, A and Bishop, P 2015, Thinking about the future: Guidelines for strategic foresight, 2ndedn, Hinesight, Houston, TX, USA. https://www.andyhinesight.com/books/thinking-about-the-future/
Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History:
Related Book on giving up social media entirely, and why: www.jaronlanier.com/tenarguments.html
Articles compilation (including a 6-week experiment on trying to avoid the ‘big 5’ tech giants): https://kinja.com/kashmirhill
Podcast with NBC’s Chris Hayes about that 6-week experiment: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/how-block-big-tech-kashmir-hill-podcast-transcript-ncna973201
Book: Zuboff, S 2019, The age of surveillance capitalism: The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power, Public Affairs, New York. https://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/shoshana-zuboff/the-age-of-surveillance-capitalism/9781610395694/
Related Article: Zuboff, S 2019, ‘Surveillance capitalism and the challenge of collective action’, New Labor Forum, vol. 28, no. 1, Jan, pp. 10-29. doi:10.1177/1095796018819461.
Interview with Naomi Klein: https://theintercept.com/2019/03/01/surveillance-capitalism-book-shoshana-zuboff-naomi-klein/
Cal Newport on Digital Minimalism
Graham Turner’s work on The Limits to Growth
Turner, GM 2014, Is global collapse imminent? An updated comparison of The Limits to Growth with historical data, MSSI Research Paper No. 4,Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, The University of Melbourne.
Article on Descent Futures: Floyd, J 2014, ‘Sense-making and acting for descent futures: Human and cultural pathways’, Foresight, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 586-607. doi:10.1108/fs-11-2013-0061
Blog: Floyd, J 2012, ‘Beyond this brief anomaly: An inquiry into energy and society’, weblog.http://beyondthisbriefanomaly.org