Association of Professional Futurists

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.

2017 MSFW Award Winners

Category 1: Advance the methodology and practice of foresight and futures studies

Designing an Experiential Scenario: The People Who Vanished, Stuart Candy & Jake Dunagan, Futures, 86, Feb 2017, pp. 136-153

A comprehensive description of an experiential futures project that integrates theoretical insights with specific examples and detailed descriptions of how those insights become “real” experiences. It includes a useful “how to be a good experiential futurist” section.

“A very original, solid piece of work. Especially ideal for developing an emotional hook between participants/the general public and futures work…” and an “excellent case study to generate and articulate traction in the emerging area….setting the context for how this aspect of foresight fits into the broader practitioner landscape.”

Let’s Talk about Success: A Proposed Foresight Outcomes Framework for Organizational Futurists, Andy Hines Journal of Futures Studies, June 2016, 20(4):1-20.

Introduces a framework to help organizational futurists and their clients get clear on intended outcomes and the achievement of success involving the integration of foresight into the organization.

“Significantly advances the foresight profession by helping to resolve one of the most vexing problems facing the professional futurist: “How to define and measure success at four inter-related levels (Practitioner, Project, Organizational, and Field), in each of three principal phases of futures work (Learning, Deciding and Acting).”

Category 2: Analyze a significant future issue

Disruptive Futures: Nuclear Weapons Summit, (principals: Creative Santa Fe (Cyndi Conn, Executive Director), N Square Collaborative (Erika Gregory, Managing Director), Nuclear Threat Initiative (Deborah G. Rosenblum, Executive Vice President), PopTech (President, Leetha Filderman), Santa Fe, New Mexico, December 4-7, 2016, Conference

This three-day event took participants through a diverse set of learning and ideation exercises to develop scenarios regarding the existential threat of nuclear weapons. The ideational exercises included engagement of the local public, speakers (ex-Secretary of Defense William Perry), site tours (e.g., Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory), thinking exercises (QiGong and Native American singing), and formal linked foresight exercises, with the final output a free live presentation in the form of a free public performance at a theatre in Santa Fe.

“I admire the new and fresh ways the organizers tried to approach the problem of nuclear disarmament….and visually a nuclear-free future. Use of games, team visualization, social memes, symbolism, interspersing with the public at large was interesting.”

“Significantly advances the foresight profession by helping to resolve one of the most vexing problems facing the professional futurist: “How to define and measure success at four inter-related levels (Practitioner, Project, Organizational, and Field), in each of three principal phases of futures work (Learning, Deciding and Acting).”

MFSW Awards were announced at the Annual Reception and Recognition in Seattle on July 29, 2017. Twelve works were reviewed by the judges and three were recognized for excellence. 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 years awards can be found here.

 

 About

APF Certificates of Achievement are given to authors of all recognized works.

Awards

Two-year membership in APF.

Who’s Involved

The Core Committee is MSFW Chair Andy Hines, Cindy Frewen, and Rowena Morrow. We gratefully acknowledge the enduring contribution of former Chair Ken Harris, now deceased, who was the driving force of the team from its inception till 2014. MSFW remains one of his many legacies.

The 2017 Judges

Nur Anisah Abdullah, Liz Alexander, Josh Calder, Bob Frame, Dave Hamon, Robin Jourdan, Jim Lee, Michael Lee, Tricia Lustig, Oliver Markley, Sam Miller, Guillermina Baena Paz, Gabriele Rizzo, John Sweeney

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.