• "Forward Engagement is the name of the concept that I have been developing for the past two years to describe the process of thinking systematically about the longer-range future, and about ways in which public policy might engage the future sooner, rather than later. Forward Engagement conveys a three-part thought: (1) we are facing an acceleration of major historical events, some of them carrying the potential for major societal and international consequences; (2) society in general and government in particular, need to address such possibilities as far in advance as possible, in terms of policies and resources; and (3) there needs to be a system to help government visualize more consistently what may be approaching from the longer-range future, and to deliberate in a more timely way about possible responses."
  • In his new book, Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years, Vaclav "Smil dismisses forecasts in general and even the very idea that humanity can make meaningful prognostications about catastrophes and trends between now and 2050. The core message of his book is that the only thing certain on this planet is uncertainty. The best course is to figure out what is truly worth worrying about over the coming half century—he would say nuclear mega-war and viral pandemics—and act as rational risk minimizers."