Dear Mr. President...
The good folks at Worldchanging asked me to offer up a hundred words for what the new president of the US should do in the first hundred days in office. I figured that most of the folks they asked would come back with some kind of environmental thing (and I guessed right), so I went a different path. Here's my reply:
Jamais Cascio, Co-Founder, Worldchanging/World-Builder-in-Chief, Open the Future
Although the present crises demand much of our time and attention, the next president must have a longer-term view of the challenges we'll face this century. The creation of an official Foresight Agency -- pulling in talent and insights from across the spectrum of official government departments -- would both formalize and legitimize the practice of looking ahead at emerging threats, technologies, and opportunities. The UK's Foresight Directorate offers an example of how this might work. We can no longer afford individual departments looking only at their narrow areas of interest; we need a cross-disciplinary view of tomorrow.
Mildly self-serving, perhaps (although I wouldn't expect to get a job with said Foresight Agency), but it's something that I strongly believe. Futurism is a tool for making better decisions about an increasingly complex and uncertain world -- and better decisions are desperately needed right about now.
Other folks weighing in include Bill McKibben, Simran Sethi, Hunter Lovins, and (of course) Bruce.