Association of Professional Futurists (APF)

The Association of Professional Futurists is a global community of professional futurists committed to leadership and excellence in the futures field. Our members provide unique perspectives to help people anticipate and influence the future.

The APF aims to set the standard of excellence for foresight professionals. Members include futurists from businesses, governments and non-profits, consulting futurists, educators, and students in futures studies. 

We meet regularly, host active electronic discussions among practitioners, provide professional development programs, recognize excellence in futures works, and offer a rich body of ideas and information about the future for the public.

We invite you to browse the site to find out more about what we do. If you are interested in joining, visit the Membership page where you can apply online. Here's a brief brochure about the APF and one for students. And, if you have any questions, please do get in touch.

The Learning Remix
Atlanta GA, October 15-17

The theme of the APF 2015 Annual Gathering will be the future of learning. The event will feature outstanding speakers, workshops, installations, and play. We will explore the major forces that are aligned to disrupt the world of formal and informal learning over the coming decade.

Come join us as we deconstruct and remix these myriad challenges and opportunities and do what we do best: generate not just future scenarios but ground-breaking concepts that could change the world. 


Here's the Atlanta Gathering Learning Remix webpage. 

Contact Joe Tankersley ( with questions. 

image: Atlanta GA Chuck Koehler flickrcc

Excellence in Leadership Awards 2015

The APF recognizes Maree Conway and Ken Harris with Excellence in Leadership awards for their extraordinary service. Certificates were presented at the Annual Reception and Awards Presentation in San Francisco on 25 July 2015.

Maree Conway, Thinking Futures, took APF’s membership data from an unruly mess of several lists and incomplete information to a full-fledged database that links profiles and engagement to financial and membership for each member. This fully integrated system enables members to maintain and access their own data. Furthermore, Maree nurtured the program through the first five years, communicating with members and managing their questions and concerns. Maree’s work put the APF on firm footing as a proficiently-run organization.

Ken Harris, The Consilience Group and Tech Cast, founded the Most Significant Futures Works awards program in 2007 which recognizes excellent publications in professional futures works. Initially a virtual book club, under Ken’s leadership, MSFW grew to an annual program with awards in three categories: methods, content, and images of the future. Ken managed heated differences with smooth leadership, practicality and evidence. This award was presented posthumously to Ken’s widow. Ken is deeply missed in the APF community. 

APF’s Leadership Awards are presented to members whose efforts have exceeded several criteria: created an important initiative, led it to a successful program over five years, and is handing it over to another generation. With the bar set so high, only one other has been awarded. In 2012, Verne Wheelwright, Personal Futures, was recognized for creating and implementing the Student Recognition Program.

The Board of the APF would like to thank the leaders, including committee and task force chairs and members for their important contributions in developing a more relevant, robust Association of Professional Futurists.  

2015 Most Significant Futures Works (MSFW) Awards
MSFW Awards were announced at the Annual Reception and Recognition in San Francisco 25 July 2015. Sixteen works were nominated and six were recognized for excellence. See full list of winners here. Rules for nominations can be found here. 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 literary  or artistic works. 

If you have questions,
please contact Andy Hines, MSFW Chair.

2015 Student Recognition Program (SRP) Awards
The 2015 Student Recognition Program winners were announced at the Annual Reception and Awards Presentations in San Francisco on April 25th. You can find the 2015 list of recipients here. Winners were recognized in Undergraduate and Graduate categories, individually and in teams, and include an Alternative Media award. 

If you have questions, please contact Jim Breaux, SRP Chair. 

2015 San Francisco July 24-26

Professional Development Seminar -- SOLD OUT!

Will all our work be done freelance? A robot in the next cubicle? How long will the 60+ stay on the job? What's our role as futurists in helping our clients understand and work with the changes? As well, futurists are evolving and expanding their profession in new directions. How will that change us?

APF's professional futurists explored what the changing future of work means to us, in an interactive experience with knowledgeable members of our community and outside speakers.  

Send questions to Jennifer Jarratt.

Note, Pro Dev was held in three venues, starting Thursday evening. 

When: Friday July 24th, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (in time to return to WFS Conference Hotel for 4:30 pm key note speaker.)
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m., Workshop Cafe, 180 Montgomery Street (on way to General Assembly.)
Working sessions: General Assembly's library, 225 Bush Street, 5th floor 
Happy Hour: Thursday July 23rd, 5:30 - 7:30, Klyde's Wine Bar, 386 Geary

APF Town Hall, Saturday lunch - Members Only  
On Saturday, July 25th, we hosted a lunch meeting to discuss the future of professional foresight via the Professionalization Task Force and ongoing shifts in APF's offerings, including more global and online events, to engage both the growing global membership. 

When: Saturday, July 25, 2015, 12:30 to 1:50 pm  
Where: Contemporary Jewish Museum  

Registration is now open here.  Send questions to Cindy Frewen.

APF Annual Reception and Awards Presentation
Saturday happy hour, Guests Welcome

On Saturday, July 25th, we hosted a wonderful event in San Francisco to welcome members and guests, and to honor awards recipients: Most Significant Futures Works, Student Recognition Project, and the second year of Emerging Fellows.   

When: Saturday, July 25, 2015 approximately 6-8pm 
Where: E&O Kitchen and Bar 
314 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 

Send questions to Verne Wheelwright or Cindy Frewen. 

Other APF Events in San Francisco
We had a limited number of copies of a special edition of Compass created for the WFS conference at the Professional Development Day. Saturday evening at the Annual Reception, and at the WFS bookstore.

APF Members Presenting at WFS San Francisco: A Guide 

Each year the Association of Professional Futurists puts together a list of its members who will be speaking at the World Future Society’s annual conference. APF members have provided some of the best presentations at WFS each year, and this year looks to be no different!

Here's the Guide (pdf). 


APF members presenting at WFS 

This year featured 38 presenters from the APF in wide variety of sessions. 

Rosa Alegria Joel Barker

Clem Bezold Alisha Bhagat

Jim Burke Stuart Candy

Maree Conway Adam Cowart

Cornelia Daheim Cindy Frewen

Thomas Frey Joyce Gioia

Fabienne Goux-Baudiment Linda Groff

Bob Harrison Glen Hiemstra

Andy Hines Katie King

James Lee Zhan Li

Richard Lum Mathew Manos

Wendy McGuinness Sam Miller

Katherine Prince Richard Yonck

Herb Rubenstei Omar Sahi

Yvette Montero Salvatico Wendy Schultz

Gray Scott Frank Spencer

Jeff Suderman Jason Swanson

John Sweeney Aubrey Yee

Terry Collins Alisha Baghat

APF Virtual Gathering - June 2015

This V-Gathering was inspired by a conversation on the APF Listserv on the Apple Car and other driverless vehicles. A half hour of ideas by professional futurists was followed by a hosted exchange with attendees. 

When: June 02, 2015 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT/US (13.00 New York)

Speakers: Paul Graham Raven, John Jackson, Cindy Frewen 

The well attended event explored global futures of transportation, focused on self-driving cars and why Apple and Silicon Valley is interested in automobiles. Paul brought a policy perspective, Cindy discussed design and user experience, and John talked about Apple's role and the potential of luxury vehicles. The idea of cars as a third place and other alternative forms of transportation turn out to be very freeing for people. A number of links and statistics were shared by attendees. The lively discussion surely could have extended for another hour. Thanks to all who came and offered their expert knowledge. Thanks to Jim for organizing so well despite his flooded home from Houston storms. 

Send questions to V-Gatherings Chair/Host Jim Breaux


Last Friday London Gatherings occur in the Spring and Fall with three or so events during each series, six total per year. 

Extreme Cities - Seen through the Manoa Scenario Planning Method

There were two events on the 24th April, both linked by the theme of the future of the city. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first event in the morning (09:30 for a 10:00 start) exposed participants to a structured method of thinking ahead, the Manoa Scenario Planning methodology. This session was also a hands-on opportunity to learn this scenario building method, led by Wendy Schultz and Andrew Curry.

For questions, contact Andrew Curry.  

The future of Metro Vitality

The second APF event on the 24th April (13:30 for a 14:00 start) was a collaboration between the Club of Amsterdam and the Association of Professional Futurists. This session focused on the human aspect of the future of cities. The soft architecture of cities. People in cities seem to have more in common with each other than with people living in their own country outside of the city. Are we watching a deep global change in values and understanding, led by the boom in city living?

This collaborative gathering with the Club of Amsterdam used their approach of a short set of talks then a facilitated across floor dialogue.
The speakers for the event were
  • Josef Hargrave  Associate, ARUP Foresight 
  • Dan Hill Executive Director, Futures and Best Practice, Future Cities Catapult
  • Charles Landry international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change

For questions, contact Nick Price.  

Last Friday London Gathering:

Arctic Futures and the Postnormal Perspective

London futurists explored Arctic futures in an informative and served as the inaugural event for Last Fridays in London. Guy Yeomans, London futurist, and John Sweeney, University of Hawai'i - Manoa presented their research on this dynamic region.

When: 30 May 2014 430 pm to 700 pm
Where: The Futures Company

Contact Andrew Curry or Nick Price with questions.

Guy Yeomans, UK based futures consultant specialising in the Arctic, opened up the topical part of the session. Guy took on the hard job of translating a complex picture into a pragmatic primer for the subsequent postnormal futures session. He made good use of visualisations and graphics to avoid getting stuck in detail. This content seemed to be engaging for both members and non-members.

John Sweeney, from the University of Hawaii, then lead a two part presentation. First introducing the concept of postnormal futures and the three tomorrows method which went down well particularly with the APF members. Including hard futures content is good for that audience section. John then went into bridging the postnormal framework into the Arctic futures ground Guy had set up.

The third section was group work in three groups. Guy and John had some Arctic Futures scenario seeds for the groups to build out. Each group created a postcard visualisation of their possible future. This new format for APF events creates an intimate, high level learning dialogue for members and visiting futurists.  

2014 Gathering: Convergence in San Francisco March 31 - April 2

The APF’s Annual Gathering explored how the Maker Movement, Social Entrepreneurs, and the Collaborative Economy are converging to create emergent change.  The gathering took advantage of San Francisco’s rich resources with learning journeys to Impact Hub and TechShop, two organizations active in making and co-creating. Participants used narrative foresight tools to discuss what these changes may mean for society and the foresight profession. 

A fantastic time, among the best APF gatherings, which is saying a great deal. Thanks to Art Kleiner, Chris Ertel, Nancy Murphy, and Jason Tester (IFTF) for their excellent presentations.  

Special thanks to Christian Crews, APF Board Member and Gatherings Chair.
image: Marc Dulmulder flickr cc

2014 Most Significant Futures Works Awards 

The MSFW Core Team has closed nominations for the 2014 Awards and the jury process was completed. Winners for the 2014 Most Significant Futures Works for publications completed from 2009 to 2013 was announced at the APF Reception and Awards Presentation in Orlando Florida, Saturday July 12th. Rules for nominations can be found here. 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 literary  or artistic works. 

If you have questions, please contact Andy Hines, MSFW Chair. 

2013 Most Significant Futures Works Awards

The MSFW nominations for the best futures works published from 2008-2012 were awarded at the APF's Reception and Awards Presentation in Chicago in July. The list of 2013 MSFW winners can be found here. The Core Committee thanks members who nominated publications. Nominated works include those that advance methodology and practice (seven nominations), analyze a significant futures issue (twelve nominations), or illuminate the future through literary or artistic works (four nominations). Awards were made at the Annual Reception, Saturday evening, 20 July 2013 in Chicago. Twenty member/judges reviewed 23 publications. For questions, contact Ken Harris, 2013 MSFW Chair. 

Emerging Fellows 2013-14 Speak Out #4futr
Check out the weekly blog posts by the 2013-14 Emerging Fellows. You will find exciting, thoughtful ideas about futures by new futurists who are still discovering her or his way into the field. They ponder deep ideas about their own futures, chase contagious futures, and question the direction of the field as well as other futures.
Simeon Spearman writes about "Big Data": 
Simeon Spearman
"My initial answer to the challenge of dogmatically data-driven deciders is to reiterate that at the end of the day, our value as futurists is to provide the “second derivative perspective,” or rather providing insights on how the rates of change are changing."   
Don't miss these weekly essays, posted Mondays on the Profutures blog 

2014 Future Day March 1 - Six Organizations Unite

Future Day The Association of Professional Futurists joins other futures organizations to celebrate Future Day. Where ever you are at noon March 1, you can join us for an open discussion on foresight and futures studies. Catch the intro video here:

Register here: Future Day

2013 APF Events in Chicago July 19 - 21

The APF hosted three events in Chicago.
  • Friday all day: Pro Dev Seminar at Catalyst Ranch
  • Saturday lunch: Leadership Forum/Town Hall at the Chicago Hilton 720 South Restaurant
  • Saturday eve: Annual Reception & Awards at The Firehouse

Plus on Friday evening, Jim Breaux organized a river cruise, which was spectacular.

Here is a brochure of APF Chicago Events and APF at WFS Presenters' Schedule July 18 - 22. Thanks to Jason Swanson for creating the brochure.

2013 Pro Dev Seminar Friday July 19 #apfpd13

The APF Pro Dev Seminar was the best.  

At Pro Dev Day in Chicago, Friday July 19th, around 45 members explored via presentations and hands-on activities best practices and emergent ideas for strategic foresight. The Catalyst Ranch was absolutely amazing, a visual feast of color and artifacts. Thanks to Heather Schlegel or Jennifer Jarratt for creating a terrific experience!      

Here's the agenda (pdf). 

Annual Reception & Awards Saturday July 20 at The Firehouse!

At the APF annual reception Saturday eve July 20, 2013, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, over fifty people convened at the Firehouse in Chicago. The new Emerging Fellows and winners of the Student Recognition Project and the Most Important Futures Works winners were announced. Terry Grim, Foresight Alliance/University of Houston received a first place award for Category 1: "Advance the methodology and practice of foresight and futures studies" for her article in JFS on the Foresight Maturity Model.  Heather Schlegel and Jim Breaux were recognized for their exemplary student work. Emerging Fellow Bridgette Engeler-Newberry received her certificate. Congratulations to all! 

Town Hall Exchange
Saturday July 20 Lunch at the Chicago Hilton

APF leaders held a round table discussion on the Future of Foresight Project and the APF's next Strategic Plan 2014 - 2016. The Future of Foresight essays are posted in the community section (members only, sign in required). and the current Strategic Plan (2011- 2013) being implemented is here. 

You can shape the field and the APF's role in it. The ideas discussed will be documented and posted for members. Planning for the next Strategic Plan will begin this fall. The FO Foresight white paper will be modified and made public shortly. Contact Cindy Frewen with questions.
Annual Gathering - Orlando Florida
Play: Simulations, Games, The Future 
2-4 May 2013 (Thursday to Saturday evening) #apfg13

At the 2013 APF Gathering, an historic number of people experienced one of the best gatherings filled with fantastic ideas, fun, and community. 

Wendy Schultz said, 

"a terrific and stimulating three days, exactly what I expect of our colleagues. The visits to IST and ADL were interesting and useful, and the Saturday workshop with Starr Long and Mary Flanagan enlightening and fun." 

Special thanks to all our speakers and the Gatherings Team!  

Gatherings Team: Christian Crews, Gatherings Chair/Board Member, Joe Tankersley, Cohost/Board Member or Emily Empel, Cohost for Orlando. 
Image: Wikipedia


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