The future is not what it used to be. In this volatile era, with the world changing rapidly, people are more curious than ever to know what lies ahead. Will relent consumerism end up destroying our planet? Or can science and technology allow us to innovate our way out of trouble? Perhaps a greater social consciousness and community-based living will take over — or, conversely, the competition for limited resources may result in everyone fighting for themselves. Drawing on these four possible futures, Richard Watson and Oliver Freeman invite us to examine critically the risks and opportunities to come. They discuss the key factors, trends, critical uncertainties, and wildcards that will shape the future, guiding us to a greater awareness of long-term problems and possible solutions — and empowering us not only to adapt to what might happen, but also to shape our future and to generate change. It’s impossible to know for certain what the future holds, but we can remove some of its surprises by engaging in a meaningful debate about the choices we face now. This book shows us how.