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Four images of the future

James Dator

Professor James Dator has spent nearly five decades in the discipline of future studies. In this article, he suggests that all images of the future can be described within four categories that he calls continued growth, collapse, disciplined society, and transformational. He argues that four big variables—energy, the economy, the environment, and government—have shifted in ways that make them so obviously part of the future they must be incorporated into all of our future-thinking. This article is adapted from an address given to the New Zealand Futures Trust workshop in March 2013. A video of the original address can be found on this website:

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