HomeAbout futuresEDGEDesigning the futureDiscussion papersInternet linksBooks & IdeasQuotationsTips & TricksContact

futuresEDGE is brought to you by Jamie Saunders.

Jamie runs an email list (with message archive) with topical and hopefully provoking and useful material about and around the future(s)...

subscribe by sending an email to

futuresedge-subscribe  (at)  yahoogroups.co.uk


February 02007 - Wales Futures Network Launch - http://www.futures.cf.ac.uk/news_events/nl-network-launch.html JMS guest speaker

January 02007 - New Labour looking to 02107... Treasury Long-term opportunities and challenges in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (October 02006) - http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/spending_review/spend_csr07/spend_csr07_longterm.cfm

2007 - Leeds 800 years old - Here's to 028007...

Leeds - Northern Urban Rennaissance? Conference - December 02006 - JMS presentation awaiting upload - http://www.geog.leeds.ac.uk/conferences/ucc/

Greenhouse Britain - "Losing Ground, Gaining Wisdom" - Adapting to climate change and sea level rise in British Isles - http://www.climatechallenge.gov.uk/whats_being_done/projects/gainingwisdom/default.aspx

Cardiff International Futures Conference - September 02006 - JMS presentation awaiting upload - http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/socsi/futures/conference/

(Whatever happened to 02006...)

January 2005 - Sustainable Communities Summit

Launch of Future of England study on English Regions...ODPM 5 year Strategy "People, Places, Prosperity", future of local leadership, citizen engagement & neighbourhood arrangements etc etc

Future of localities / local government in UK - see http://www.odpm.gov.uk/localvision ties in with activities on 'creating sustainable communities' www.odpm.gov.uk/eganreview

Permaculture Design School futures presentation,  Autumn 2004 - presentation pending upload

June 2003 - Latest published piece on the Strategy Unit's local government foresight study - from eg magazine - Univ of Westminster (ERIC)

February 2003 - Strategy Unit Research Projects launched

the future of local government & the future of London

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have asked the Strategy Unit to carry out

1) an analysis of: the key social, economic and political trends likely to impact on local government over the next 10-15 years; the scenarios that may alter the future environment within which local government operates; and the implications of key trends and scenarios for local government over the next 10-15 years

2) a study of the long-term issues facing London and its role as the UK’s capital and as a world city. The study will help to inform long-term policy-making.

20th February 2003 - Futuresedge get-together, Central Leeds email foresight (at) futuresedge.info for flyer and details...

Cabinet Office Strategy Unit report on Risk and Uncertainty released. Promotes foresight and active horizon scanning...see


October 2002 - "Looking forward to the 'long now': linking a 'futures' mindset to sustainability"  eg magazine article by Jamie Saunders (3 page pdf)

eg Magazine v8  No9 - October 2002 - post World Summit on Sustainable Development edition - "the WSSD is over - now where to from here...what about towards the 'long now'?

eg magazine - promoting local sustainable development is published by the Environment Resource and Information Centre, University of Westminster



27th September 2002 - futures get-together, Leeds - email:foresight@futuresedge.info for more info and to reserve a place


September 2002 Foresight Futures - 2020 Revised scenarios and guidance
Guide for using scenarios as a means of looking beyond normal commercial horizons to identify opportunities and produce more robust strategies. Contains 4 alternative scenarios of change in the UK over the next 20 years.

SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex. Frans Berkhout (co-ordinator)


Jamie's Foresight article published in Volume 4 Number 2 of Foresight, 2002

"For many years futures research has been considered a Cinderella activity or beyond the pale. But there are growing indications that futures thinking is at last becoming accepted as valid approach and is being embraced by a wide range of organizations in a variety of contexts. The articles in this issue of foresight provide further evidence that futures methods are becoming part of the mainstream of analysis and planning in both the public and private sectors. Indeed, looking at these articles, perhaps we can go further and suggest that futures methods and thinking are being seen as an essential part of organizational transformation and growth...

Jamie Saunders describes how the receptivity of Blair's government to foresight in the UK, a topic which has been discussed in this journal in past issues, has opened the door to futures methods at the local level through the UK's modernization programme for local government. The driving force of course is the desire of the New Labour government to modernize the public sector. Part of this involves measures to modernize and transform local government and to develop a framework for local governance for well-being and sustainable development within this wider modernization of the nation-state. Saunders refers to "a quiet revolution" which is "creating major opportunities for foresight, futures research and anticipatory management at a local level and for developing processes that focus civic attention on a regular basis on long-term challenges and implications for personal, corporate and political action". If Saunders' analysis is correct, here is a remarkable example of how long-term thinking is becoming embedded within institutions of government at the day-to-day level.

Colin Blackman - Editor -

A quiet revolution: opportunities for local futures in the UK

Jamie Saunders (pp. 10 - 20)

Keywords: Governance; Leadership; Local Government; Community; Planning; Sustainable Development

Article Type: Comparative/evaluators

Content Indicators: Research Implications-*; Practice Implications-**;

Originality-**; Readability-**


Free access on a 30 day trial basis or if you are a member of the UK

Futurist Network (which is free to join via



feedback on the article is welcome via foresight@futuresedge.info


This site aims to offer information that can help us live on the edge between the past and the future.

Living in the present appears to squeeze us into a 'culture of immediacy' (Radford, 1997) in which our horizons are shortened and our ability to think about consequences and our legacy to future generations remains a major challenge to individuals, communities and humanity.

Living on the edge seems to need us to 're-learn' how to explore uncharted territory - a major uncharted territory at that - the future, in all its uncertainty, unpredictability and complexity. From the cowboy films of my youth, the scouts remind me to develop ecological awareness, environmental scanning and to be the first reporters of challenges and opportunities ahead. If the past is likely to be an unreliable guide to the future and past evidence but one factor in our decision making then we need to develop the capability and confidence to face the future with our minds open and our vision clear.

At present, this web site is still under construction. However, in due course it will feature access to materials on foresight, futures, sustainability and other insights into having a futures edge.

How do we learn to live in four dimensions ?

In the meantime I would like to hear from you. You can contact me at: foresight (at) futuresedge.info

For inspiration and in continued hope - Jamie (January 02007)