Toffler’s Future Shock Turns 50

In 1970, futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler were thrust upon the world stage by the publication of their international bestseller, Future Shock. The title describes a condition whose characteristic “shattering stress and disorientation” would inevitably be brought about by “too much change in too short a period of time.”

Whether the Tofflers’ warnings about the acceleration of technological and social change have proved prophetic or apocryphal, their insights were—and continue to be—potent catalysts for contemplating our probable, possible, and preferred versions of the future.

 After Shock (John August) edited by John Schroeter, will mark the 50-year anniversary of the Toffler’s seminal work. It brings together more than 100 of the world’s foremost futurists in a compendium of compelling essays that offer surprising reflections on the classic text while presenting a remarkable view of the future. Contributors include Ray Kurzweil, David Brin, George Gilder, Newt Gingrich, Alan Kay, David Krakauer, Martin Rees, and many others, After Shock charts extraordinary, exciting, and startling pathways to the future we can all begin to create today.

After Shock‘s foreword is written by Deb Westphal. For over 10 years Westphal served as CEO and Chairman of the Board for Toffler Associates, a future-focused strategic advisory firm founded by Alvin and Heidi Toffler in 1996. “After Shock,” Westphal says, “is a collection of powerful voices advocating for the Tofflers’ dedication to future consciousness. It represents the empowerment of individuals to proactively create the future, rather than being idly subjected to it. This is what the Tofflers spent a lifetime championing. It is their legacy. And the legacy will continue to live through the incredible work and contributions of the amazing people you will get to know through After Shock.”

John Schroeter is executive director at Abundant World Institute, which is comprised of a society of the world’s foremost technologists, futurists, and entrepreneurs. Abundant World Institute is a social enterprise dedicated to identifying and defining exponential solutions to global grand challenges in several areas of tremendous human consequence: energy, healthcare, education, and the environment.

Schroeter is co-author of the award-winning book Moonshots—Creating a World of Abundance, with Naveen Jain and Sir Richard Branson. He is the publisher of the iconic Popular Electronics, Mechanix Illustrated, and Popular Astronomy magazines. ◊

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