Association of Professional Futurists

Publications by the APF

The APF has several publications including Compass, the internal newsletter. Compass is the APF’s quarterly publication and is viewable by members only on the Compass page (sign-in required). Special issues of Compass and other select publications are available below for everyone.

Below is a selection of white papers and reports written by APF members for the APF. The intention of all these publications is to advance the discipline of foresight and promote the field to the public.

Foresight Competency Model (2016)

The APF’s professionalization team has finalized the first known Foresight Competency Model. The competency model suggests what one should be capable of doing in order to be a professional futurist. The Competency Model Team — Cornelia Daheim (Germany), Jay Gary & Andy Hines (US), and Luke van der Laan (Australia) — drove this effort that involved many others and took more than a year to complete. This final version is APF’s view of futurist competencies at this point in time. It is offered to the large futurist community in the spirit of stimulating further discussion of what it takes to be a professional futurist. Indeed a competency model is not intended to be static or fixed, but rather to evolve along with the field it describes.

This APF Foresight Competency Model is “final” in the sense of this initial effort. We will, of course, revisit and update the competency model in the years ahead as needed. The Board suggested a more contemporary design for the competency model graphic — thus the original pyramid structure used with the DOL/ETA approach was replaced with an updated graphic aligned with APF design and branding. This new design was unveiled at the 2016 Town Hall Meeting in Washington DC on July 23rd. It was extremely well received — kudos to the design team on a job well done!

The Competency Model publication was first shared with the public August 3, 2016 on the APF blog https://apf.org/2016/08/03/final-version-foresight-competency-model/.

The Future of Foresight (2017)

The next publication will be a working document entitled The Future of Foresight. Dr Riel Miller is leading the effort, which will include essays by Jennifer Jarratt and Dr Peter Bishop. Town Hall meetings in Toronto, Canada and Oxford, England plus the APF listserv are supplying input from members. The document aims to define the field in terms of professional practice, the future of the field, and APF’s role in it. It is expected to be published at the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018.

The Future of Futures (2012)

In honor of its Ten-year Anniversary, the APF launched its first publication, The Future of Futures, as a legacy project. We are delighted to make available this elegantly designed book in both digital and limited print editions, authored by the Association of Professional Futurists and edited by Andrew Curry, with contributions from over a dozen professional futurists.

The Future of Futures (2012) features an illustrated history of futures thought, a gallery of futures artifacts, and excerpts from APF’s Compass newsletter, Most Important Futures Works awards, and Student Recognition Project winners.

Organized in sections of Past, Present, and Future, you’ll find essays and reviews by: Tom Abeles, Marcus Barber, Peter Bishop, Christian Crews, Andrew Curry, Cindy Frewen, Tanja Hichert, Andy Hines, Oliver Markley, Jim Mathews, Riel Miller, Noah Raford, Wendy Schultz, Richard Slaughter, and Verne Wheelwright. Here’s a link.

Special Issue of the Journal of Futures Studies (2009)

Sohail Inayatullah, editor of the Journal of Futures Studies, invited the APF to create a special issue about the practice of foresight. Eight essays were selected from twenty-three submissions and cover reframing issues, timelines, scenarios, organizational futures assessments, aspirational futures, personal futures, and community development. Contributors are: Jennifer Jarratt, John Mahaffie, Peter von Stackelberg, Andrew Curry, Wendy Schultz, Stephen Millett, Terry Grim, Clem Bezold, Verne Wheelwright, and Steve Gould.

Dr Peter Bishop and Rowena Morrow, co-editors, explained their approach:

We saw opportunity and synergy in the relationship. We knew that the best practitioners reflect deeply on their practice, and the best intellectuals ultimately direct their work to the world of practice. Therefore, we took Inayatullah’s offer as an opportunity to give the foresight practitioner a visible way to contribute to the intellectual heritage of the field and to give the practicing futurist a publication that contributed to their practice. Hence this special issue of the Journal of Futures Studies was sponsored, written and edited by members of the Association of Professional Futurists.

The two criteria we used to solicit and select articles for this issue were (1) an interesting and intellectually rigorous contribution to the field of futures studies and (2) a practical contribution to the practice of those who work in the field. So we strove, quite simply, to find articles that were interesting and novel because they made an important intellectual statement about the field, but also ones that reflective practitioners could use in their practice. In order to balance and achieve these twin goals, we had to avoid the extremes of interesting, but highly theoretical research and the relatively mundane step-by-step approach to practice without any spark of intellectual interest. In the end, we wanted the readers of the Journal to be intrigued by and interested enough by what they learned to use it to inform their practice.

Our goal frankly was really a vision, the vision of a publication that served the reflective practitioner, a concept that Schein conceived of many decades ago. It is a vision that avoids the false dichotomy of thought and practice, of theory and action, of the academy and the marketplace. While there are numerous and extreme examples of both in the world of publication, we were greedy enough to want it all–to publish sound ideas that also had practical utility.

You can find the special issue of JFS by APF futurists here (scroll to May 2009), and the introduction by Peter Bishop and Rowena Morrow “Reflective Practice and Practitioners” here.