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Aspirational guidance for wiser futures: toward open-sourced ascension from ego-centric to eco-centric human communities

Oliver Markley (Professor Emeritus, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX, USA)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




This paper aims to explore and demonstrate how the meme of aspiration can help guide human cultures through an epochal transformation triggered by a global megacrisis and leading to sustainable maturation of human cultures.


Aspirational futures process, intuition-based visioning and “Type II” thinking that has high credibility for knowledgeable experts but low credibility to most others.


Megacrisis is a Type II wild card needing anticipatory mitigation via strategies such as are suggested. While descent paths may be a suitable meme for technical professionals, ascent paths to higher levels of civilizational maturity are a better guiding image for the public. Aspirational methods whose core involves intuition-based creativity, wisdom and co-creative emergence are a vital complement to rational/analytic futures methods, especially in times of epochal change and uncertainty when a new “regime” of guiding world views, institutional processes and innovative technologies may emerge.

Research limitations/implications

Results represent a high degree of uncertainly as well as “fringe” thinking needing to be more widely considered.

Practical implications

Strategic suggestions based on Type II thinking are a unique category for “leading edge” funding and application.


The Type II perspective offered here is unique and offers a promising approach for transformative megacrisis mitigation.



© Oliver Markley, 2015

Constructively critical comments gratefully received from Mark Bailey, James Lee, Ruth Miller, Jose Ramos, Richard Slaughter and Peter Schwartz. Lloyd Walker rendered the artwork for the epochal transition drawing in Figure 4.


Markley, O. (2015), "Aspirational guidance for wiser futures: toward open-sourced ascension from ego-centric to eco-centric human communities", Foresight, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 1-34.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Authors

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