Creating Your Futures Readiness

About Jennifer  image
Professor Jennifer Gidley, PhD
Author, Climate Educator, Psychologist, Futures Researcher.
Forbes "World's Top 50 Female Futurists" List.

Jennifer is a global thought leader and advocate for human-centred futures in an era of hi-tech hype.

She is unique in the Futures world for her exceptional scholarship, mature wisdom, and grounded understanding of people as they face an increasingly uncertain world. Her inspiring human-centred insights speak to all audiences and enable hopeful, yet practical, strategies for creating better futures.

Jennifer's most recent project is the founding of Global Futures Education, as a platform to provide high-level online education for professionals and executives. Over several years she has created a series of executive-level online courses on 'Grand Global Futures Challenges and Solutions'.

An innovative program creator, she has designed, developed, and/or instructed, several innovative online courses in futures studies and foresight in Australia, Iran, and the USA. This included design and development of an online MSc in Strategic Foresight at Swinburne University, Melbourne, and an Executive Education level course “Introduction to the Art and Science of Futures Studies” for a scientific think tank and consultancy in Tehran, Iran. More recently she co-curated the European Commission “Future Forward” project in collaboration with TED-Ed.

Find out more about Jennifer's climate crisis concerns, her motivation to create a climate futures education program, her inspiration for this work, and her hope that we can act on climate turnaround urgently with knowledge, integrity and speed.

She is a globally respected consultant, speaker, and educator. Her international engagements have included futures-focused projects in Europe (Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Spain & Sweden), Asia (Malaysia, Shanghai & Taiwan), Latin America, the Middle East (Egypt, UAE and Iran), the UK and the USA. Inspired by the philosophy and pedagogy of Rudolf Steiner, she has been an innovative educator for over forty years, including running a Women’s Learning Centre in the ‘70s, and founding and leading an independent school in regional NSW in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Jennifer is an Adjunct Professor, Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS)  Sydney, and has held academic posts in four Australian universities. She is a Fellow at the Botin Centre, Santander, Spain, and a non-Resident Fellow of TRENDS Research & Advisory, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has held a Visiting Professorship at Olomouc University, Czech Republic and a Visiting Research Fellowship at SciencesPo, Paris, France;

As the longest serving elected President (2009-2017) of the World Futures Studies Federation (founded in Paris in 1973 and a UNESCO and UN ECOSOC partner) her leadership transformed the organisation. Heading this global peak body for futures studies scholarship, she led a network of hundreds of the world's leading Futures scholars and researchers from over 60 countries. In just eight years she rebuilt WFSF from a tired, legacy organisation into the most influential and respected Futures NGO in the world. She also presided over WFSF-UNESCO Participation Projects to develop future leaders in DR Congo, Egypt, Malaysia, Philippines, Mexico, and Haiti.

Jennifer is an advocate for human-centred, participatory futures approaches that foster human agency, empowerment and individual engagement in long-term thinking, sustainability, and regeneration. Many of her publications, research projects and consultancies offer insight into these vital futures domains.

Jennifer's PhD dissertation on 'Evolving Education' was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. She has published over fifty academic papers and serves on the editorial boards of several international academic journals. She has also co-edited two academic books 'The University in Transformation' (2000), and 'Youth Futures (2002)'.

Her recent academic books include:
'Postformal Education: A Philosophy for Complex Futures' (Springer, 2016)
'The Future: A Very Short Introduction' (Oxford University Press, 2017)
'The Secret to Growing Brilliant Children' (Bear Books, 2020)
- ‘The Future’ is the first Oxford University Press book on futures thinking. It is now used in futures studies programs in Universities around the world, and is translated into Arabic, Turkish, Italian and Greek, with several other translations now in progress.

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About Global Futures Education image
Global Futures Education is a platform that provides high-level online education for professionals and executives wanting to confront and manage the intensifying global challenges of the 21st Century and to find solutions that enable them to take leadership.

Global Futures Education was founded by Professor Jennifer Gidley, PhD as an extension of her international futures consultancy and almost decade-long leadership of the world’s foremost futures organisation, a UNESCO partner. Jennifer's leading-edge insights that inform and enrich the programs were developed over decades of research and are introduced in her highly successful Oxford University Press book The Future: A Very Short Introduction, now in multiple translations and required reading in university futures studies courses worldwide.

Each online course draws together over 100 learning resources including videos, articles, reports and other digital assets from a vast trove of authoritative sources. The courses are curated into a coherent, accessible matrix within a highly professional, and easy-to-use LMS Learning Platform, which can be white-labelled for organisations wanting to use their own branding.

These Courses are regularly updated, and will allow anyone to gain key knowledge and understanding that fast-tracks career opportunities and personal relevance in a rapidly changing and risky world. What makes these Courses so valuable in a crowded marketplace is the high-level, yet practical, insights that uniquely provide a balance between known exponential challenges and existing solutions.

Those who complete these Courses will join others internationally at a similarly high level, who have advanced their futures-readiness through Jennifer's co-curation of the European Commission's “Future Forward” project, run in collaboration with TED-Ed.

The Global Futures Education program comprises three comprehensive online courses totalling 36 lessons to be rolled out over 6-12 months:
1. Global Futures of Climate. LAUNCHED.
2. Global Socio-Cultural Futures. LAUNCHED.
3. Global Geo-Political Futures. LAUNCHED.

Each course includes 12 lessons. To develop critical and integrated thinking, the paradox modality is used with 50% of the lessons demonstrating the challenges and 50% introducing the counter-trends and emerging innovative solutions. Most importantly these courses provide solutions to all of the challenges we face.

ENROL here.


For over 20 years Jennifer's innovative programs have centred on creating courses in futures studies and foresight, delivered directly, or virtually, and licensed by corporations or educational institutions.

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Jennifer provides unrivalled expert, high-level advisory and consulting worldwide to NGOs, corporates, educational institutions, government departments, private foundations and think tanks.

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Jennifer brings a refreshingly warm, open and down-to-earth personal style to her speaking. Her scholarship, wide experience, maturity and deep understanding of people’s needs is valued by her international clients.

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About Futures image
"Futures Studies is the art and science of taking responsibility for the long-term future consequences of our decisions and actions today." - Jennifer M Gidley: 'The Future. A Very Short Introduction'

From the beginning of time, mankind has been driven by a fear of the unknown and a yearning to know what the future holds. It was always believed that 'The Future' was set in stone and therefore predictable, and anyone who claimed to see into the future would gain enormous advantage.

But in 1925 classical physics was swept aside by quantum mechanics and we discovered there never was a single, predictable future! What science realised was there are multiple possible futures and we are not victims of Fate, but powerful agents of creative change.

Importantly, Futures Studies is not short-term 'trend-spotting', the darling of the data-driven and high-tech worlds, that are still trying to predict a highly selective future, by extrapolating from a narrowly curated past.

Knowing there is no one predictable future, makes us free to imagine alternative futures and work towards creating those futures we prefer—for self and humanity.

By working collaboratively for positive change, whether in the area of climate change, alternative energy, humanitarian causes, health, economics, or transforming education, we can create a critical mass for creating positive futures.

Far more than most of us realise, we all have the capacity to create our desired futures. As the only space where we have a degree of freedom, the future is a site of great power. Who holds that power in your life, if not you?

As a species, we have never been more conscious, more globally connected, or more capable of radical positive change than we are today. With the instantaneous communications available millions of people can be mobilised in an instant to act for good causes, if only the understanding, passion and will are engaged.

The type of future we actually create reflects our values, ethics, morality, and level of consciousness.

Jennifer has been working in the futures studies field for 30 years as a course developer, foresight educator, academic researcher and President of the World Futures Studies Federation (2009-2017). She has published widely in the field and is a globally respected speaker and consultant.

To access some of Jennifer's dozens of futures publications see her Profile

A Human-Centred Approach to Global Challenges

Introducing Big Picture Futures: A Human-Centred Approach to Global Challenges.

Extract from Keynote given to Oxford University Press Marketing Team. 2023.

The Future: A Very Short Introduction

“Gidley has given us a stunning description of the new field of futures studies and of how we humans can help choose, and shape, the coming future.” - Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Wendell Bell, PhD, Yale University

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Postformal Education: A Philosophy for Complex Futures

This book explains why the current education model, developed in the 19th century industrial era, has failed and is now obsolete, and how it can be reimagined for the 21st century.

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The Secret to Growing Brilliant Children

This book tells you everything you need to know about adapting Steiner's revolutionary educational approach to the 21st Century, to create healthier futures for your children.

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Redefining Re-Globalization as Planetization: Upgrading Global Knowledge Futures (global-e Journal, 2023)

Redefining Re-Globalization as Planetization: Upgrading Global Knowledge Futures (global-e Journal, 2023)

What exactly might re-globalization mean in relation to higher education futures, particularly after the major disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic and in face of Russia’s Ukraine war since February 2022?

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What does the future hold? (Kathimerini Magazine, 2022)

What does the future hold? (Kathimerini Magazine, 2022)

Psychologist Jennifer Gidley, one of the most important scientists in the field of future studies, talks to "K" about what awaits us. Not with some crystal ball, but with more scientific methods.

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Humanity’s Great Creativity Reset: Designing Worlds beyond the Grand Global Futures Challenges (Routledge, 2022)

Humanity’s Great Creativity Reset: Designing Worlds beyond the Grand Global Futures Challenges (Routledge, 2022)

The grand global futures challenges will create major problems for the futures of humanity if not reversed. Exploring alternative futures will inspire people to imagine, design, and create worlds beyond the disturbing trends enabling humanity’s great creativity reset.

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Futures Studies: An Evolving Radical Epistemology (OUP, 2021)

Futures Studies: An Evolving Radical Epistemology (OUP, 2021)

This chapter examines and critiques the changing socio-political implications that accompany the shift from the concept of a singular future to the pluralization of futures.

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Postformal Psychology: The new “Normal” in Times of Exponential Change (Springer, 2021)

Postformal Psychology: The new “Normal” in Times of Exponential Change (Springer, 2021)

Until recently, social and cultural systems were built around our belief that life is fairly predictable. Yet in the 21st century many of our socio-cultural and ecological systems are unravelling. Today’s world is complex and unreliable. Tomorrow is expected to be more so.

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Transhumanism (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021)

Transhumanism (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021)

Transhumanism has a paradoxical, largely overlooked history. The idea of a ‘superhuman’ goes back to Nietzsche’s Übermensch. Contemporary Silicon Valley transhumanists are convinced that humans can only progress through technological enhancement, oblivious to the historical lineage of transhumanism and ways for human beings to consciously evolve.

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  • Brisbane QLD, Australia

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