The future we face today is one that threatens our very existence as a species. It threatens the comfortable urban lifestyles that many of us hold dear and the habitability of the earth itself.

The times we are in are critical, and the challenges we face as global citizens are complex, intractable and planetary.

The impact of climate crisis alone is pointing to frightening futures of rising seas, drowning cities, mass migration of climate refugees, drastic food shortages due to loss of arable land to drought, floods and salination and the mass extinction of species. Several Pacific islands have already disappeared, and the first climate refugees are being resettled from low-lying islands to higher ground. And this is just the beginning.

But the trends pointing to future as time-bomb are only one side of the picture. In spite of the potential for catastrophe that currents trends suggest, we are also in the best position ever to turn negative trends around through the means at our disposal.

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.

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

Find out more about Futures Studies and Jennifer's work in the field.