Cutie Pie Feb 19This book is dedicated to my daughter, Beatrise Smart, born in 2015, right in the middle of this project. Your future is going to make ours look like we were standing still. May all our tomorrows be as bright as yours are today, my darling.


This book demanded five years of love and sweat. Greatest thanks and love go to my amazing wife, Iveta Brigis, who endured many sacrifices while it was written. I am also thankful to my parents, Beatrice Smart and John E. Smart, who encouraged me from my youth to think about the future. Thanks also to my many mentors along the way, including James Grier Miller, Francis CrickJonas Salk, Lee Hood, Peter BishopElle Martin and Fred Wendt, who all recognized that our future will clearly be amazing, even though we may traverse many valleys on the way there. Endless thanks to my mother-in-law, Janina Brigis, Beatrise’s loving Nana, who gave us the freedom to finish this book. I hope you, dear reader, find it worth the time spent.

Like most good things in life, the Guide has been developed as a team. I’d like to acknowledge some of our fantastic FERN and Foresight University teams here.

At FERN, thanks to FERN Executive Director Susan Fant, who produced our foresight professionals survey, Appendix 1 (Peer Advice), and to her team at U. Alabama, who built FERN a beautiful new website. Thanks to FERN Co-Founder Garry Golden, who gave us the original idea for the Guide. Thanks to Josh Davis, FERN Publications Director, who wrote the first version of Chapter 1, and the prototype version of the Adaptive Foresight model. His starting energy got the whole train rolling for us. Thanks to FERN Editorial Director, Zhan Li who helped make the first version of the Guide more readable and useful. Thanks to FERN Research volunteer Anna-Leena Vasamo, whose diligent work gave us Appendix 2 (Leaders). Thanks to FERN Conference Planner Emily Medley for running FERN’s Foresight Careers conference in Washington, DC, in 2013, which kicked off our work on the Guide. Thanks to Kellie Hensley for a beautiful early book cover, and to Clinteshia Ridgeway for logistical support. Thanks to Dan Sutera for our final cover and for excellent marketing advice. Thanks to Dinara Strikis for our simple and elegant title. Thanks to Alvis Brigis, for great discussions on the social issues of accelerating change, and to Aaron Frank of Singularity University for his insights on universal foresight.

At Foresight U (4U), thanks to my business partner Kevin Russell, for designing the online version of the Guide, and seeing the value of making it free and publicly commentable for all foresight thinkers. Huge thanks to 4U Editorial Director Alex Teselkin, who has read through and rewritten parts of the alpha version of the Guide, and greatly improved its relevance and accuracy. Thanks to 4U teammates Tyler Gothelf, Cody Marx Bailey, Kaleb Griepp, Quinn Baetz, and Andrae Browne for their hard work developing and launching Foresight U. Thanks to Houston foresight master’s student George Paap his strategy and editing work.

Major thanks to foresight leaders Sean DakenMaria Andersen, Rohan Roberts, Lara Matossian, Garry Golden, Simon Anderson, Thomas Frey, John MahaffieJosé Cordeiro, Clem Bezold, William Halal, and Jerome Glenn for critical insights and ongoing advice. Thanks to my Evo Devo Universe research group colleagues, in particular Clement Vidal, Georgi Georgiev, and Claudio Flores Martinez for their feedback and encouragement with Chapter 11 (Evo Devo Foresight).

Thanks to global futurists Kevin Kelly and Janna Anderson for allowing the option (still unexercised) to reproduce some of their excellent work in the Guide. A special thanks to futurist Alvin Toffler for two incredible one-on-one interviews as well, which helped greatly in writing the alpha version of the Guide. Alvin was one of my inspirations for entering the foresight field. He passed away in 2016. As arguably the 20th century’s greatest futurist, we were going to ask him to write the forward to Amazon book. His death before we got to print publication offers an immortal life lesson: Tempus fugit, so Carpe Diem!

All the images in this Guide are reproduced here with author permission, or were found using creative commons and other free-use repositories (Pexels, Pixabay, etc.), Google image search with usage rights labeled for reuse, or are fair use (book covers and logos). Images typically link to their sources.

Heartfelt gratitude to my professional foresight colleagues, who continue to generously provide their feedback, additions, and corrections. Though few of those listed below would endorse everything you find herein, everyone below has offered helpful critiques, in search of common ground.

So far, these talented and dedicated foresight professionals include:

Maria AndersenJanna Anderson, Simon Anderson, Michael Andregg, Cody Marx Bailey, Clem Bezold, Alisha Bhagat, Peter Bishop, Anne Boysen, Charles Brass, James Breaux, José Cordeiro, Sean Daken, Nikola Danaylov, Emily Empel, Kaat Exterbille, Aaron Frank, Cindy Frewen, Jay Gary, Georgi Georgiev, Jerome Glenn, Tyler Gothelf, Kaleb Griepp, William Halal, Peter Hayward, Andy HinesTony Kim, Sandjar Kozubaev, Cadell Last, James H. Lee, Michael Lee, Alex Lightman, Scott LemonAlex McManus, John MahaffieClaudio Flores MartinezRaymond Matison, Lara Matossian, Emily Medley, Pero Micic, Ramez NaamGeorge PaapByron Reese, Maureen Rhemann, Rohan Roberts, Kevin Russell, Paul Saffo, Gray Scott, David Stehlik, Dan Sutera, Tim Tyler, Luke van der Laan, Clement Vidal, Cynthia Wagner, Nikki Walker, Verne WheelwrightWilson Wong, Lina Yang, and Carrie Zapka.

Finally, thank you dear reader, for caring about foresight and about our amazing, accelerating world, which gets rapidly better in many general ways, and at the same time more locally disruptive, difficult, and dangerous for some. The more we all learn the benefits of foresight in our lives and careers, the better we can manage the downsides and lead toward the upsides of accelerating change. Again, we look forward to your feedback on what you like and don’t like in the Guide. Let’s make it as good as it can be. Here’s to better futures for us all!

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice