about infinite futures

What is Infinite Futures?
Since 1980, my futures work has focussed on facilitating futures fluency: helping groups of people explore -- and celebrate! -- the myriad possibilities that change creates. This focus on process, rather than output per se, has resulted in over a decade of participatory futures work: designing sea-level-rise/environmental management workshops for leaders in the Republic of the Marshall Islands; helping U.S. court administrators envision the future of justice; exploring alternative futures for human endeavours in space with participants at the International Space University; and building alternative scenarios for dental health policy in Great Britain. While such projects required every aspect of futures research -- identifying emerging issues of change, imagining the alternative futures arising from various trends, envisioning preferred futures as goals, planning strategies to create those visions, and monitoring progress towards the vision -- my focus, and the focus of Infinite Futures, is on workshop design, facilitation, and documentation.

What is Futures Research?
Futures researchers track technical innovations, value shifts, geopolitical tides, environmental perturbations, economic developments, demographic patterns, and other trends of change. From these data they create scenarios of possible alternative futures, which are then used as contingencies within strategic planning. Working as facilitators, futures researchers can help communities and organizations envision their preferred futures and compare those visions with current trends and scenarios of possible futures. The process leads to practical planning and policy-making.

"futuro ergo sum"

Dr. Wendy L. Schultz
Fellow, World Futures Studies Federation;
Fulbright Lecturer/Scholar
in Futures Studies, '01-'02;
Faculty, Univ. of Houston-Clear Lake
MS in Studies of the Future

Bio: In July 2002 I had the great fun of drafting three essays for TechTV's Catalog of Tomorrow ; I am currently adapting Catalog content into interactive foresight exercises for this website. From December 2001 through May 2002, I had the honor of joining my colleagues at the Finland Futures Research Centre for a six-month stay as a Fulbright Lecturer and Researcher. I am very grateful to the U.S. Fulbright Commission, the Finland Fulbright Committee, and my colleagues in Turku for this opportunity, and am currently organizing and writing up the resulting research.

From August 1996 through August 2001, I was Visiting Assistant Professor in Studies of the Future at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. During that time I organized two conferences, designed and taught six different graduate seminars, edited the five-year program review, and served for one year as Acting Chair. My sojourn in Houston also included co-designing and teaching a graduate seminar on Public Health Leadership at the University of Texas School of Public Health. My relationship with UHCL and my colleagues in Studies of the Future continues with annual participation in the program's Residential Intensive Summer Session, which offers the Master's program in an innovative combination of immersive, face-to-face classes in two successive summers, joined by year-round on-line activities.

My permanent home is still in Oxford, England [my spouse, Jay Lewis, is the Korea Foundation Lecturer in Korean Studies], where I am currently working with a small group of business and community futurists creating foresight resources for business, government, non-profit, and community leaders. Since moving to the UK, I have also worked with the International Space University, lecturing on futures studies and visioning at ISU's Summer Session `95 in Stockholm, at the inauguration of their Master's program in October 1995 in Strasbourg, France, and most recently at Summer Session '02 in Los Angeles.

Prior to my 1994 move to England, I spent a decade and a half working at the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies (University of Hawai'i at Manoa). While there I developed participatory workshops to enable people to learn various futures techniques and perspectives experientially. My research experience has included, among other projects: designing group scenario-building for Hawai'i's planners; creating a visioning process for U.S. state courts; developing Hawaii's Ocean Resource Management Plan; planning for sea level rise in the Republic of the Marshall Islands; and forecasting world natural gas trade.

I completed my doctoral dissertation, "Futures Fluency: explorations in vision, leadership, and creativity," in 1995, and have served as both an Executive Council member of the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) and as a Course Director for the WFSF Futures Seminar in Dubrovnik, Croatia.


15 February 2003. Email IF.
Copyright © 2003, Wendy L. Schultz
All rights reserved.
Since 1/15/2003, over [an error occurred while processing this directive]
people have explored our infinite futures.

(in addition to the 17,500+ visitors from 10/1/2001-12/15/2002).