Anticipatory Democracy

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Jose Ramos:

"Anticipatory Democracy was coined by Alvin Toffler as his prescription for Future Shock in his book by that name (Toffler 1970). Clem Bezold, working with Toffler, then edited a book of examples (1976) as a vision for a state of affairs in which citizenry were engaged in considering, imagining and influencing society.

Toffler defined Anticipatory Democracy as: "The simplest definition of anticipatory democracy ... is that it is a process for combining citizen participation with future consciousness" (Bezold, 1978 in Bezold, 2010).

Functioning on a state government scale, AD makes a strong case that social policy to address wicked problems in a democratic society is perhaps best developed using large-scale futures methods which consult with a broad base of citizens to discover a shared vision for a preferred future. The experience of large-scale projects like “Alternatives For Washington” (reviewed in Bezold (2006)) demonstrate the strengths of the approach at this scale. Bezold’s approach with AD is to inform the policy of the state institution by drawing on the knowledge, ideas and passions of the populace and the approach has been successfully used at the local and state level in the USA. Could a similar approach work for global wicked problems?" (