The Finnish Society for Futures Studies

(If you are interested in the newly released biography of Pentti Malaska, please check the publication page and scroll down for the info in English. Or, if you are looking for information on the upcoming ”How Do We Explore Our Futures?” methodology book, please visit this page.)

Everyone is interested in what the future of humankind will be like. Through the choices each of us makes, we determine whether tomorrow’s world will be a better place for humans to live. The purpose of futures studies is to investigate the various kinds of futures that are possible. By utilizing the results of futures research to make well-informed choices, humans can exert a positive influence on their own destiny.

The Finnish Society for Futures studies was established in 1980 on the recommendation of the government’s Central Board of Research Councils. 14 Finnish institutions of higher education were the founding members. At the moment, the Society has 14 institutional members and almost 700 individual members.

The following accomplished individuals have been invited as Honorary Members of the Society: Prof. Matti Vapaavuori, Prof. Ilkka Niiniluoto, Prof. Ilkka Virtanen, Prof. Olavi Borg, Prof. Eleonora Masini, Prof. Esko Kalimo, Director Jerome C. Glenn, Dr.Phil. Marja-Liisa Viherä.

Goals
The Finnish Society for Futures Studies aims to influence the long-term development of Finnish society by advancing futures research and its utilization in our country. Our efforts in promoting futures studies focus on the following objectives:

  • to develop the material, organizational, and intellectual bases for futures research in Finland;
  • to advance higher education grounded on futures research;
  • to foster contacts among futures researchers as well as between the researchers and those who could utilize their work;
  • to maintain contacts with research institutes and researchers in foreign countries;
  • to communicate the latest results of futures research to the Finnish public and to emphasize the necessity of such research.

Activities
Since its establishment the society has, as the only body of its kind in Finland, played a unifying role among Finnish researchers connected to the field. It has coordinated futures-related research across a broad range of academic disciplines. The traditional activities of the society have included a major annual seminar in the summer and a regular series of meetings and seminars during the academic year.

As a member of the World Futures Studies Federation, the Society encourages Finnish participation in conferences and other international activities in the field.

The society has also been keenly interested in the activities of the Club of Rome. In 1984, the society established the Finnish Committee of the Club of Rome to insure close ties with this international organization. The committee’s three-fold aim is to maintain contact to the Club and publicize its activities in Finland; to relay information on Finnish research and public debate back to the Club; and to discuss the evolution of Finland’s role in the global community. Nowadays, the Finnish Committee is a separate organization.

Publications
All members receive the society’s journal Futura, four times a year. The journal contains feature articles (some of which are peer reviewed), research reports, and seminar presentations, and it functions as a forum for the exchange of information and opinion. Most articles in Futura are in Finnish. Our other publication series include the Acta Futura Fennica series (in which we are soon publishing a book in English!) and the Futures series.

Those interested in obtaining more information on the society, please contact:
Hazel Salminen,
Secretary General
toimisto(at)futurasociety.fi

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