2010, Journal

Globally scanning for ” Megatrends of the Mind”: Potential futures of futures thinking


This paper focuses on emergent signs of evolutionary change in human thinking that run parallel with many of the exponential changes manifesting in the external world. Weak signals are identified from the early 20th century indicating the emergence of new knowledge patterns. These signals have strengthened in the last 40 years. The paper first identifies new ways of thinking within several disciplines such as science, philosophy, religion and education. New knowledge patterns are then identified in discourses that traverse disciplinary boundaries through transdisciplinary approaches such as futures studies and planetary/global studies. The paper then discusses evolution of consciousness, identifying research that theorises new ways of thinking as being related to individual psychological development and/or socio-cultural evolution. Finally, evolutionary concepts are discussed that attempt to meta-cohere the new knowledge patterns via the terms postformal, integral and planetary. Notably, academic research on ” futures of thinking,” ” evolution of consciousness” and/or ” global mindset change” has been, until now, largely ignored by mainstream academic discourse on evolution, consciousness and futures studies