Tuesday, August 05, 2014
At its annual conference, WorldFuture 2014: What If, in mid-July, the World Future Society honored Lester Brown with its 2014 award “for distinguished service in promoting the vital work of futurists.” See his acceptance speech here.
Lester’s involvement dates to before the founding of the World Future Society (WFS) when he and Edward (Ed) Cornish and their families attended the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ed Cornish established the WFS in 1966 as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C. It has members in more than 80 countries around the world.
As noted on its website, the WFS “investigates how social, economic and technological developments are shaping the future. It helps individuals, organizations, and communities observe, understand and respond to social change appropriately and investigates the benign effects of applying anticipatory thinking to society.
“Through its magazine The Futurist, media, meetings, and dialogue among its members, it raises awareness of change and encourages development of creative solutions. The Society takes no official position on what the future may or should be like. Instead it provides a neutral forum for exploring possible, probable, and preferable futures.”
Lester often spoke at their conferences and published articles in WFS’s magazine, The Futurist. His first piece, which appeared in the August 1969 issue, was entitled “The Optimistic Outlook for World Food Production.” His most recent article, “Food, Fuel, and the Global Land Grab,” was in the January-February 2013 issue.
When Lester launched the Worldwatch Institute, he invited Ed to be a member of the Board of Directors as he wanted to have someone with expertise in publishing and marketing.
“When I started working at the World Future Society, one of the first authors I worked with was Lester Brown,” says Futurist editor Cindy Wagner (left). “He wrote urgently and eloquently in The Futurist about the need to make more sustainable choices in our lifestyles. I took what Brown wrote to heart when I decided to move to an apartment building that was within walking distance of the office.”
At the conference, Lester also delivered a presentation on “The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Wind and Solar” after which he signed copies of his memoir, Breaking New Ground.
Reah Janise Kauffman
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