Mead - Chapter 18
The genesis of the interdisciplinary field of Futures Studies, as
understood today, is frequently dated to about 1968, when much of the
Western world was aflame with anxiety and protest.1 In Europe,
university students were in open revolt against various aspects of
their academic tradition that they alleged to be outdated, pretentious,
irrelevant or undemocratic. In America, there were massive protests
against the war in Vietnam, and dramatic eruptions of rioting over the
assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The year 1970 saw
the first Earth Day, which added a powerful impetus to the emergence of
a worldwide "green" movement.
There was general awareness that the world was in serious trouble, and
that the future looked perilous. This awareness, and the conviction
that anticipation and visualization were needed, became important
factors in the emergence of an identifiable Futures Studies movement.