Celebrating Our Founders

The World Future Society was founded in 1966 by the visionary Ed Cornish at a time of great uncertainty. The Cuban Missile Crisis, the production of plutonium and the uncertainties of a society in transition, were at the forefront of one innovator’s mind. The purpose was to gather brilliant people to tackle the dangerous challenges of the time.


Herman Kahn was one of the most prominent futurists of our time and an influential member of the World Future Society.

 Ed Cornish and Herman Kahn in World Future Society’s headquarters, 1980.


“There is something magic about the future that I can’t fully explain, but I felt it strongly at the World Future Society’s early conferences. Our very first conference, in 1971, showed that a focus on the future had the power to turn people who had been enemies into friendly collaborators.” -Ed Cornish


Ed Cornish and Rashmi Mayur at the 1984 WFS Global Summit


In 2016, visionary female futurist Julie Friedman Steele took over WFS as the Board Chair and CEO. Jeff Cornish (son of Edward) helped build the organization and has been a strong advocate for WFS, revitalizing its mission and programming. He also served as the Society’s business manager for 36 years, from 1978-2014.


Jeff Cornish, Edward Cornish, and Julie Friedman Steele, 2016


Ed Cornish founded the World Future Society in 1966, served as an advisor to 3 U.S. Presidents, was founding editor of THE FUTURIST magazine, and authored the foundational futurist book Futuring: The Exploration of the Future. To learn more about the WFS history please visit 5 DECADES OF FUTURING.