Journal of Futures Studies 
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Book Launch

Infectious Futures: Reflections, Visions, and Worlds through and beyond COVID-19, is an anthology of 28 essays written during the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, published by Tamkang University through JFS digital. It explores the symptoms, causes and futures of COVID-19 and offers a wide range of perspectives that provide pathways out of the pandemic, as well as strategies to deal with epidemics and pandemics into our futures. (see Table of Contents below).

The launch will feature an introduction to the book content, and a conversation between editors and participating authors discussing the kind of thinking required to anticipate, prevent, prepare and respond to the pandemics of the 21st century. All attendees will also get a complementary PDF copy of the book.

As part of the launch the Journal of Futures Studies is running a meme competition that invites the public to contribute a meme that responds to our call to action:


 ~ How do we make futures thinking / analysis / studies infectious? So that we are better prepared for future epidemics and pandemics? ~


Remembering Hazel Henderson

As part of the launch we will take a few minutes to remember Hazel Henderson, one the book authors who recently passed away. A brilliant futurist, innovator and scholar / writer, she left a remarkable legacy of thinking and action - a planetary citizen par excellence.

Meme Competition

To infect and to be infected - this is a reality of our biological existence. We have co-existed with viruses during our evolutionary history.

As a consequence, humanity has lived with, suffered from and overtime learned to overcome and control viral outbreaks. It was only through science that the dynamics of viral pathogens were finally understood, and effective responses could be crafted.

COVID-19 was no exception, as the virus jumped probably from one species to another, then to humans, with devastating effect, hitching rides across our globalized transport systems to spread across the world and become a fully fledged pandemic.

But the COVID-19 pandemic also saw something different. While viruses can be seen as small portions of nucleic acid that only are able to replicate within a living cell, we also live in the era of the “meme”, the smallest combination of information - ideas and images able to replicate. Just like biological viruses, memes can also “go viral” as ideas spread exponentially.

Thus, alongside the biological virus was the unprecedented spread of ideas related to the virus, some based on science, others on conspiracies, misinformation or fake news. One could argue this new informational sphere is as fundamental to existence and wellbeing as the biological - as it is only through the spread of truthful, factual and scientific knowledge that we are able to combat COVID-19, let alone our other challenges.

The pandemic has thus spawned a variety of conspiracies and misinformation, which have spread to a variety of hosts. Some of these memes have a very high R number, they are highly contagious. Different memes took hold in particular communities that held worldviews that are ideal conditions for these memes to spread: ultra-nationalists looking for others to blame, alternative health communities distrustful of big pharma, the politically divergent against authoritarianism. The informational public sphere is an infected space, full of pathogenic memes.

Instead of being infected by conspiracies, misinformation or fake news, we need to infect the public discourse and imagination with rigorous and ethical futures thinking. We named this book “Infectious Futures”, because we share an understanding that for humanity to navigate the next waves of epidemics and pandemics of the 21st century, futures research, analysis and thinking will be a fundamental resource required. Exploring the futures of a COVID-19 world requires integrative thinking, an interweaving of science, politics, geography, biology, culture... So… how do we infect the informational public sphere with futures…foresight…anticipation?

As part of the launch we invite you to join this meme competition. You are tasked with creating a meme that answers the call:

  • "How do we make futures thinking / analysis / studies infectious? So that we are better prepared for future epidemics and pandemics?"

Editors and authors at the book launch will vote on the best memes, and the winner will get US$50 dollars and be featured on the JFS website as the winner. Two runner up winners will get a free hard copy of the book and also be featured on the JFS website.

Competition Rules

  • Any one can create a meme - it is open to any member of the global public

  • Must have at least image and text, but can also be a video-based meme, gif or a number of image frames

  • The meme must be tweeted on twitter with the hashtag #infectiousfutures and must also tag @JFSdigital

  • The meme must be posted between the 16th of July and midnight 24th of July, 2022.

  • The winner will be decided by book authors at the launch event through an online voting process (TBD)

  • The criteria for voting will be memes that 1) best express the call to action and 2) that authors like most

  • Book authors cannot vote for themselves


Here are some example of memes we've found which concern thinking about futures. These are just given as examples of memes, they do not necessarily address the specific call to action.



Table of Contents

Infectious Futures: Reflections, Visions, and Worlds through and beyond COVID-19 features these chapters:

  • Wildcards Are Our Teachers In A Co-Creative Cosmos, José Ramos

  • Infected By The Future, Sohail Inayatullah

  • Neither A Black Swan Nor A Zombie Apocalypse: The Futures of a World with the COVID-19 Coronavirus, Sohail Inayatullah & Peter Black

  • Let's Take Bold Action on Health to Avoid Future Pandemics, Susann Roth & Najibullah Habib

  • COVID-19 Both Is And Is Not A Black Swan (And That’s Ok): Futures within and Beyond a Time of Crisis, John A. Sweeney

  • Three Scenarios For The Future Of Education In The Anthropocene, Kathleen Kesson

  • Pandemics: Lessons Looking Back From 2050, Fritjof Capra & Hazel Henderson

  • Collective Intelligence To Solve The Megacrisis, William E. Halal

  • Minimising Conflicts Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic, Ivana Milojević

  • COVID-19 & Pandemic Preparedness: Foresight Narratives And Public Sector Responses, Ivana Milojević

  • “System Of Life” A Metaphor For Re-Imagining the COVID-19 Pandemic, Rafeeq Bosch

  • Creating A New Renaissance: Can Responses To COVID-19 Pivot Us A To A Transformed World?, Sohail Inayatullah

  • Pandemic-3.0: From Crisis To Transformation: Exploring The COVID-19 Challenge And Opportunity With Synergistic Pathways And Visual Foresight, Joe Ravetz

  • Post-Pandemic Worlds For Society, Government And Economy: Aftermath And Opportunities, Otto C. Frommelt

  • Applying The Futures Wheel And Macrohistory to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Phillip Daffara

  • Ancestors Of The Future: The Poetry And Potency Of Language, Marguerite Coetzee

  • What Will A Post Virus World Look Like?, Garry Honey

  • Triple-A Governance: Anticipatory, Agile And Adaptive, Jose Ramos, Ida Uusikyla and Nguyen Tuan Luong

  • Chrysalis: What Emerges from the COVID-19 Pandemic, Jose Ramos

  • How To Keep A Future Perspective In A Crisis, Karen Morley

  • Narrative Foresight And COVID-19: Successes And Failures In Managing The Pandemic, Ivana Milojević & Sohail Inayatullah

  • COVID-19 And The Futures Of Pakistan: Inclusive Foresight And Innovation, Sohail Inayatullah, Puruesh Chaudhary, Syed Sami Raza and Umar Sheraz

  • The Islamic World And COVID-19 Futures, Sohail Inayatullah

  • Looking For Alternatives Under COVID-19 Conditions: Islamic Religious Education in Kazakhstan, Yelena V. Muzykina

  • The Significance Of Futures Scenario Planning In Assuring, Viability Of Higher Education In Disruptive Crises: A Case Study Of Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka In Response to the COVID-19, Fazidah Ithnin

  • Infectious Futures: A Conversation, Jose Ramos, John A. Sweeney, Peter Black, Rafeeq Bosch, Abril Chimal, Otto C. Frommelt, Fazidah Ithnin & Joe Ravetz

  • From Mourning To Dreaming..., John A. Sweeney

  • COVID-19 is Here – ‘It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed’, Peter Black



Who We Are

The Journal of Futures Studies is a publication of Tamkang University, Taiwan, supported by the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies.

The Journal of Futures Studies is a globally-oriented, trans-disciplinary refereed journal. Its mission is to develop high-quality, futures-oriented research and thinking based on the evolving knowledge base of Futures Studies.

JFS will highlight recent and upcoming editions and news from the journal, with a view toward making it easy for you to both access articles and essays as well as share them with your colleagues and networks. JFS aims to bring you:

    Epistemologically focused studies on the construction of possible, probable and preferable futures,
    Emerging methodologies in futures studies, including integrated, layered, and critical approaches, as well as empirical, interpretive or action-learning based approaches,
    Applied Futures (for example, case studies in the use of futures thinking for organizational transformation),
    Alternative futures of particular subjects (for example, genetics, nano-technology, utopianism, social movements, or particular areas, such as East Asia).

The editors invite contributors in the areas of foresight, forecasting, long-range planning, visioning and other related areas. Find out about submitting an article.

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