Call For Papers: Big Data, AI, and Futures Studies

Call for Papers | Special Themed Issue of the World Futures Review: Big Data, AI, and Futures Studies | Submission deadline (Abstracts): Jun 1, 2019


Big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly powerful tools for analyzing complex problems, providing the possibility of analyzing large data sets to reveal patterns, trends, and associations. The futures studies field typically deals with alternative images of plausible futures. Given that big data, AI, and futures studies aim to assist decision-makers in making better decisions in an uncertain world, it is imperative to consider how big data and AI are already informing or might better inform futures studies, especially concerning the way researchers choose and implement futures research methodologies. How does, or might, futures studies better integrate big data and AI into futures research methods? How might futures studies enrich conclusions that are based on big data and AI in order to deepen the analysis of alternative futures? What role does or should big data and AI play in futures studies?  Indeed, should big data and AI have any role in futures studies at all? What pitfalls or weaknesses might big data and AI bring to a complex and vital field?

We invite papers that offer serious reflection on these issues—especially but not only if they are based on experience using big data and AI in futures studies—in order to enrich the futures field, given its diverse theoretical perspectives and the interdisciplinary nature of futures research.

Two-step Submission Process:

  1. Abstract: Submit a brief abstract or outline of your idea.  Be sure to state clearly the main points you will make.  That is to say, the abstract or outline should be more than just what the article will be about (the topic). It should also state clearly, but briefly, the essence of what you intend to say about the topic.  Please submit your abstract/outline to both Guillermina Benavides Rincón and Jim Dator, WFR editor, by June 1, 2019.
  2. Manuscript: Once your idea has been accepted by the editors, the second step is to submit your manuscript.  All manuscripts will be blind peer-reviewed and may be either short (1000 words) or longer articles (up to about 8000 words or so). Jim Dator will give you technical details about style, and how to submit your manuscript to the WFR when your abstract is approved.


Given the multi-disciplinary nature of this call, we will accept abstracts, and then manuscripts, on a rolling basis.  As soon as we have accepted enough manuscripts on the topic for an issue of the World Futures Review, we will send them for publication in the next available issue. If other manuscripts are accepted later, WFR will either publish a second special issue on the subject, or include them in subsequent non-themed issues of the journal.

If you have questions, please email


 WFR Editor: Jim Dator (

Guest Editor: Guillermina Benavides Rincón (

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