A New Approach to Considering Current
Affairs, Public Policy, Planning, and Foresight
The world of well-informed books and reports on current affairs is far larger than anyone imagines—at least one thousand titles per year!
In the 2009-2010 period alone, some 60 English-language books have been published on the economic crisis—our most significant short-term concern–and another 80 on the world economy. In the same period, some 90 books were published on climate change and another 60 books on the related concern of sustainability—the most important long-term challenge that we face. Also consider 130 books on world futures (including questions of globalization, global governance, human rights, and population growth), 90 books on development/anti-poverty, 120 books on security (including terrorism, peacemaking, and concerns about nuclear and biological weapons), 60 books on energy, 30 books on the looming crisis of water, 50 books on food and agriculture, 50 books on planning cities, 40 books on crime, 70 books on transformative changes in communication (including impacts of the Internet and the decline of newspapers), 90 books on education (many on school reform), 90 books on health, 80 books on methods to shape the future (including book on foresight, leadership, and change processes), and much more. Numbers in all categories are rising, as new items are continually posted.
All of these books—and many others—are at www.GlobalForesightBooks.org, a new experimental website developed by Dr. Michael Marien, founder and editor of Future Survey (published by the World Future Society in the 1979-2008 period). Each new and forthcoming title includes full bibliographic and author information and a brief abstract, easily accessed by Search Books or by browsing 25 generic categories, specific A-Z subjects, authors, and more than 100 publishers. In all, 1600 titles have been posted.
Too much to grasp? A list of some 10 Recommended Books is provided for each of the 25 generic categories. This is supplemented by a list of some 60 Paradigm-Breaking Books that purport to view matters in a different light, a list of 100 books and articles on “Appropriate Economics for the 21st Century,” and a Book of the Month feature providing a long review of an especially important title.
GFB is the first attempt to catalog all new and forthcoming books on current affairs thinking. Not only does it seek to help people find important individual books, but it enables a broad cross-disciplinary overview of current thinking in complex problem areas. For further information, visit www.GlobalForesightBooks.org and click “FAQ.”
Is GFB relevant to current election-year political discourse in the US and elsewhere? Not at present, as the media obsesses on those with simplistic calls for lower taxes and smaller government—easily-grasped but ill-considered feel-good remedies, likely to aggravate many problems. GFB is a first step toward a richer and more relevant discourse, encouraging well-informed views on a wide range of issues, in the service of building a secure, sensible, and sustainable world that works for all. Check it out!