Most Significant Futures Works (MSFW)
APF recognizes the most significant futures works for the purpose of identifying and rewarding the work of professional futurists and others whose work illuminates aspects of the future. Furthermore, the APF publicly shares those projects in order to educate and inform, and to showcase examples of excellent futures work.
MSFW 2018 Award Winners
Most Significant Futures Works (MSFW) Awards were announced at the Annual Reception and Recognition ceremony at the APF Pittsburgh Gathering, October 4, 2018, at the Kimpton Monaco Hotel. Works are nominated in three categories: Category 1 Advance the methodology and practice of foresight and futures studies; Category 2 Analyze a significant future issue; and Category 3 Illuminate the future through literacy or artistic works. If you have questions, please contact Andy Hines, MFSW Chair. The nomination process for next year awards can be found here.
- Category 1: Advance the methodology and practice of foresight and futures studies
- Rohrbeck, R., & Kum, M. E. (2018). Corporate foresight and its impact on firm performance: A longitudinal analysis. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 129, 105-116. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2017.12.013
Nominating member: Andy Hines
A seven-year longitudinal study measuring the impact of “future preparedness” (captured in a three-step process of perceiving, prospecting, and probing) sorted organizations into one of four segments: Vigilant, Neurotic, Vulnerable, and In Danger. They found that firms with a Vigilant level of preparedness, based on advanced corporate foresight maturity practices, had a 33% higher profitability and a 200% higher market capitalization growth when compared with the sample average.
“I’ve been looking for a study like this to help me elevate some of my discussions with my clients. The authors draw on more well-known foresight work and do somewhat of a “Good to Great” study on internal corporate foresight.”
- Lustig, P. (2015). Strategic foresight: Learning from the future. Axminster, UK: Triarchy Press.
Nominating member: Patricia Lustig
Designed to help leaders in business, other organizations and communities develop their foresight thinking it describes useful tools and hands-on ways to use foresight to futureproof organizations. It helps these people develop sufficient understanding of the benefits of foresight so that they can see not only that they need to use foresight, to develop long-term thinking across a range of futures; but also that they need help from specialists to do so.
“This work contains the go-to guide and toolkit for any foresight professional.”
- Zaidi, L. (2017). Building Brave New Worlds: Science Fiction and Transition Design, Retrieved from http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2123/
Nominating member: Michael Keoshkerian
CLA is used to create realistic images of the future drawing upon interview material from ten diverse students in higher education. The article describes the process of exploration of the primary research using Polak’s categorization for images of the future (Essence vs Influence) and CLA as the theoretical framework to understand images of the future described by the participants.
“An original deep dive into a culturally diverse set of digital natives looking at the future guided through CLA.”
- Kaboli, S. A., & Tapio, P. (2018). How late-modern nomads imagine tomorrow? A Causal Layered Analysis practice to explore the images of the future of young adults. Futures,96, 32-43. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2017.11.00
Nominating member: George Paap
The paper presents new and exciting insights at the intersection of foresight and complex systemic design by examining the worldbuilding processes of science fiction authors. It combines these concepts under the emerging practice of Transition Design.
“A well-researched work that provides a wide systemic view of Transitional change that appears to be flexible and adaptable to multiple purposes.”
- Padbury, P. (2018, September 26). Module 1: An Overview of the Horizons Foresight Method. Retrieved from http://www.horizons.gc.ca/en/content/module-1-overview-horizons-foresight-method
Nominating member: Peter Padbury
Policy Horizons Canada reports to the highest level of the Public Service on a number of very complex public policy issues. They found that standard approaches were not able to cope with the complexity, thus they developed a foresight method designed to address these issues.
“It is a well-crafted, concrete and useful work for futures studies that clearly explains the 7 instrumental steps of the method.”
- Category 2: Analyze a significant future issue
- Prince, K., Swanson, J., & Saveri, A. (n.d.). Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out: The Future of Learning. Retrieved from https://knowledgeworks.org/resources/future-learning-redefining-readiness/
Nominating member: Kimberly Daniels
The authors propose a new foundation of readiness in terms of core social-emotional skills as well as foundational cognitive and metacognitive practices that K-12 learners should master in order to be ready for the new nature of work in 2040, which is brought to life in four scenarios. The findings suggest urgent attention is needed to reframe our approaches to readiness for the success of current and future students.
“As always, education is a policy and a strategic battlefield, but I personally found this piece both persuasive and engaging. I like the use of iconic scenarios to bring the impact of suggested innovations down to impact at the personal (and vocational category) level.”
- Curry, A. (March 2017). The City, The Country, and the New Politics of Place. Journal of Futures Studies, 21(3), 1–14.
Nominating member: Rebecca Ryan
We are seeing a new “politics of place” emerging – where cities and the younger knowledge workers who populate them – are creating more wealth and a fresh set of expectations for politicians. On the other end of the political spectrum, we see those who’ve been “left behind” by social, economic, and demographic. Thus, we are moving to a new form of political alignment based on geography rather than social class.
“A powerful synthesis of ideas on the politics of place presented in a way that is cohesive and convincing.”
- Glenn, J. C., Gordon, T. J., & Florescu, E. (2017). State of the future 19.0. Washington, D.C.: The Millennium Project.
Nominating member: Sam Miller
Updated in 2017, this most recent edition of the State of the Future serves as a go-to resource for exploring for change and opportunity across society’s major emerging challenges. Using both quantitative and qualitative assessments, the GFIS provides a rich resource for foresight practitioners and other researchers seeking up-to-date collective intelligence on important issues, forces, and challenges.
“The content is powerful and compelling. The State of the Future has been reporting on these 15 challenges for 20 years.”
- Category 3: Illuminate the future through literary or artistic works
No winners this year
APF Certificates of Achievement are given to authors of all recognized works.
Two-year membership in APF.
The Core Committee is MSFW Chair Andy Hines, Jennifer Jarratt, Sam Miller, and Rowena Morrow.
The 2018 Judges
Rebecca Ryan, Robin Jourdan, Gabriele Rizzo, Liz Alexander, Tim Morgan, Amy Webb, Timothy Mack , Monica Porteanu, Verne Wheelwright, Laura Schlehuber, Lonathan Cherry, Oliver Markley, Janine Nel, Jan Klakurka, “Nandu” Nandagopal Balagangadharan, Daniel Pesut, Nur Anisah Abdullah, Travis Kupp, Laurent Bontoux, John B. Mahaffie, Guillermina Baena Paz
History of the MSFW
The program was founded in 2007 and first awards were made in 2008. All program winners can be viewed at-a-glance in this summary table.For the inaugural selection, only published books were eligible. Fifty-seven books were nominated. The top ten were recognized by the APF.