Futures Studies in the European Ex-socialist Countries


Viorica Ramba Varga

  1. Introductory words

The futures research (futures studies) experiences in Central and Eastern European countries written from inside represents an original part of the post-war European culture. That is why we have started to explore the original cultural phenomenon before it might be forgotten.

In 1999 the Editorial Board elaborated a Questionnaire containing six questions aiming to make possible conduct an international comparative analysis for the researchers interested in it.

As there is no answer to every question from the approached countries, the picture will be rather laconic, suffering from numerous gaps. One may also take in account subjective elements contain in the answers.

The chosen methodology will formulate one after the other all six questions and gives the predominant convergent and/or divergent answers resulting from the Questionnaire, even if there are some inequalities in the details of the given information.

  1. Similarities and differences among the countries considered

Q1. What institute(s) in your country did effect futures studies, research programs in the years 1960-1990, are effecting now? (The name of institute, city etc.) In sixties:

The answers show notablesimilarities for the sixties, such as:

The futurology like a newly born science discipline puts its wonderful collection of forecasting methods (seeErich Janstch ) at the disposal of the futures oriented thinkers, and of decision makers. There was a great interest for themethodological aspects that had prevalence in future oriented thinking. Also, there existed a vivid interest for the “distant” future, like the year 2000. Hundreds of book on forecasting methodology were published. Also university curricula used forecasting methods in strategic and integrative studies, e.g. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland. In the USSR there were around 1000 departments of forecasting among 5000 USSR research institutes in 1966-1971.

In the late sixties a project having the title “Civilization on the Crossroads” was provided by the interdisciplinary research team of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences headed by the philosopher Radovan Richta. More than 80 experts elaborated the scenario of the future development of industrial society, under the presumption that its political regime could follow the practice of socialist regime. The book stimulated wide professional discussions among politicians and futurologically oriented thinkers, and was translated in France, Italy, Romania, the USSR etc. At the same time with Richta’s book in Yugoslavia was published M. Pecujlic’s book, “The Future that Began” and the public was well acquainted with Bertrand de Jouvenel, Robert Jungk, Herman Kahn, Radovan Richta and others.

In seventies and eighties:

Much enough similarities existed also. Futures research was definitivelydivided in two great streams in each country, with some time variations.

An “official forecast ” raised and was related to the central planning activities. It was methodologically subordinated to the State Planning Committees (having specific denomination in each country). There was a need for more information about future trends as foundation for decisions to be made and the ways to be chosen: “How to organise society in the period of the global transition from capitalist via socialism to communism? How to “unbound” the productive forces? How should the economy be planned in that age of transition? How could scientific-technological progress be mastered to the benefit of the people?” (See Karlheinz Steinmüller: From anticipations of a bright future to dissolution in this book). The National State Planning Committees in these countries elaborated and promoted planned research and programming (short term - 5 years, medium term - 10 years). They elaborated also its visions of long-term development in which expected innovations were taken like guides for all productive and consumer activities of the population. The market economy analyses and social assessment of expected structural changes of the national economy were absent.

Analogically, some Academy of Sciences in these countries elaborated lists of the most promising fields of scientific researches for them, including expected equipment for experimental technology for the next 15 years, e.g. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the USSR.

At the same time an “unofficial prognostics ” tendency, born in sixties, was gradually rejected because of its “thinking different” capability, as a kind of “internal emigration”, or an “internal criticism”. For example:

in 1971 a special state forecasting system was created in the USSR: “The Scientific Council on complex Programming of Technological Progress” having 52 commissions, which were active in 1972-1990. Futures studies continue in framework of technological forecasting only in few research centres, like Department of Social Forecasting, USSR Academy of Sciences, Institute of Sociology;

in Romania the inhibition appeared later, after 1975, after the flourishment manifested in 1972 by holding in Bucharest the 3rd World Conference on Futures Research with participation of Bertrand de Jouvenel, Johan Galtung, Gennady M. Dobrov, Jacques Delors, Eleonora Masini, Peter Menke-Glückert and after the creation of Centre for Futures Research at the University of Bucharest (1971) and of the International Centre for the Methodology of Futures Research (1973); of the Committee for Prospective Studies of Romanian Academy (1974).

Besides the similarities it is to mention somedifferences . The main aspects refer to the fact, that in some countries such as Czechoslovakia, GDR, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia there were not a strong inhibition for the futures research. For example, in Czechoslovakia the “unofficial prognostics” orientation was subordinated to the civic interest in the renewal of democracy. Its institutional form was shaped mainly by private and academic initiatives. Unofficial futurologist concentrated their efforts on gathering forecasting methodology knowledge from abroad and on critics of the official policy. Their results helped to formulate alternative strategies for political decisions what were publicly appreciated namely after “velvet revolution” in 1989, when many members of an unofficial prognostics became active politicians. But even here, there was an official incident, when the sessions of the Czechoslovak Scientific and Technological Society, where above hundred intellectuals were discussing alternatives to the existing political scene, were officially forbidden in 1987. In the good manner of resistance the members acted in renewing public conferences and published their unofficial journal “Prognostika”. (See Frantisek Petrasek: “Futures Studies in the Czech Republic” in this book.) While the futures studies in GDR have been absorbed into the daily business of politics and ideology a new concern about the future grew, partly within the small opposition movement, partly under the roof of the churches, partly in academic institutions, but as in other countries too, mostly without any definite organisational basis. Quite generally, future thinking - in the form of peace and civil rights movement and of the concern for the ecological problems - contributed to the fall of the system.

In the early nineties (Mention: for the last decade, please, see further Q4.):

After 1989 an unexpected, surprising, paradoxical phenomenon appeared at the very beginning of nineties: the decreased public interest in the futures studies, concomitantly with declined, almost collapsed forecasting activities at all levels.

Let us review a few aspects concerning the circumstances, which in this phenomenon occurred in the beginning of ‘90th.

Dismantling state planning and the new transition processes to market economy in the former socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe have led in theearly 1990s to the dissolution and even incrimination of the futures researchers ordered and financed by the state. No proper short-, medium and long-term development project was elaborated in place of the plan for the societies in the region. Nor was elaborated the perspective concept of their various economic sectors’ evolution and/or involution. Problems of survival and short-term tasks in economic restructuring situation were prevalent. The present completely excluded long-term concept of the future in inside structures of these countries. Except two guidelines: the programmes of the EU and NATO integration stipulations. In achieving such criterion, the Central and Eastern European countries reached very different stages to date.

Q2. The most important fields of futures research programs in your country between 1960-1990, since 1990 (today) (E.g. social, educational, health care, economic, cultural, political, technological, environmental, and others.)

Theconvergent answers show thatin 1966-1990 the most part of forecasting activities were related toindustries and economics (e.g. 2/3 respective 1/3 in the USSR) followed byurbanism, territorial systematisation andcity building anddemographic prognoses . Comparatively, a relative little part of futures research faced such broad social matters as education, health care, environmental politics, demographic prognosis. Exception is Poland, where the demographic prognosis was well founded, as one of the first in Europe, as well as the Polish research on the dangers associated with social pathologies, like alcoholism, delinquency etc.

The 1989 changes interrupted temporarily the long-term futures researches. After the fall of the Berlin Wall (not foreseen by the futures researchers) the East German science was restructured and integrated into the West German research landscape. Some researchers work in technological assessment or related areas. Like in Bulgaria and Slovakia, where a great number of specialists in forecasting, among the most competent, entered politics, others found better remunerated jobs in private companies. The total number of active forecasters declined rapidly along with interest in forecasting itself. (See S. Zajac: “Futures Studies in Slovakia” in this book.)

After 1990 , economic forecasts (macroeconomic, sectorial analyses, regional project studies) are followed by political, social, environmental, educational, health care, a few of technical and other field of futures research programs. But this preoccupation is rathertimid in the 90s. Economic restructuration policy paid a little attention to the future of some important branches of economy like the heavy industry, the agriculture, the most important economic domains in these countries in 1960-1990 (see Romania). Comprehensive strategic studies for development of the countries appears only in the late 1990s, excepting Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, where appeared earlier. The main interest concerns the assessment of opportunities to meet the European Integration requirements.

Q3. Please indicate 3-6 more important futures studies concerning the futures of the fields mentioned above of your home country,

of global interest written and published in your country, with bibliography.

There is along andinteresting list which merit the effort to consult every country’s answers. Here issome cull of it :


1.The Fourth Civilisation , A. Tomov, no year indic.


Civilisation on the Crossroads , R. Richta, Prague, 1969 (translated in France, Italy, Russia, Romania etc.)

Prognostica , unofficial journal of the Czechoslovak futures researchers, Prague, 1987

After 1990

Dialogs with the Future - a futurological revue, Prague, 1991

A Relevance of the Futurology for the Policy-making , K. Skalicki, Prague, 1997

Starting Point to the Strategic Outlook , F. Petrasek, Prague, 2000

Threshold 21, The Czech Republic: Model of the Sustainable Development, M. Bedny, Olomouc, 1999


Economic and Social Prognostics , R. Reuter, A. Schipai, Tallinn, 1977

Global problems and futures scenarios , L. Valt, no year indic.

Scenario - packages concerning rural life in Estonia - with central point in reestablishment of private farming and real local government, Tallinn, 1986

Economically independent Estoni’ s project, 1987

After 1990

The models of:

“Liberal development Estonia” ,

“Green (sustainable) development”,

“Continuing trends” were publicly compared, 1991

Document calledGuidelines for Estonian spatial development until 2010 , prepared by team from Estonian Institute for Futures Studies, Tallinn, 1999

Scenarios for development of Central Baltic Sea Region - until 2015 , prepared by international working group leaded by EIFFS, 1999


Gesellschaftsprognostik. Probleme einer neuen Wissenshaft. G. Heyden (ed.), Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1968

Futurologie. Eine Kritishe Analyse burgerlicher Zukunftsforschung. A. Bonish, Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 1971

After 1990

Visionen. 1990-2000-2100. Eine Chronik der Zukunft. A. Steinmüller/K. Steinmüller, Hamburg, 1992

Zukunftforshung in Europa. Ein Abriss der Geschicht. K*.* Steinmuller and ot. Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2000


Long-Range Perspectives and Planning. G. Kovács, Budapest, 1970

Practice of Futures Research and Forecasting. A Handbook of Methodology . L. Besenyei, E. Gidai, E. Nováky, Budapest, 1977

Futures Research. G. Kovács, É. Hideg, A. Korompai, E. Nováky (ed. E. Nováky) Budapest, 1992

Of global interest

Future Research in Hungary. Budapest, 1983

Developing Environmental Strategies through Futures Research (ed. by E. Nováky) Budapest, 1991

The unfolding new worlds and economics. J. Hoós, Budapest, 1997

On the Eve of the 21st century (ed. E. Gidai) Budapest, 1998


Polish society at the brink of the 20th century and of the 21st century. Warsaw, 1985

In the perspective of the year 2010. Warsaw, 1995

Strategy for Poland’s development up to the year 2020. Synthesis. Warsaw, 2000

Changes in the structure of Poland’s economy until 2010. Poland in the light of the European Union (A. Karpinski, S. Paradysz, J. Ziemiecki) Warsaw, 1999

Of global interest

Civilisational megatrends vs. the process of system transformation, J. Pajestka: In:For the orientation on the future in Polish reforms , Warsaw, 1994

Wealth and poverty of nations, S. Albinowski, Warsaw, 1995

Globalisation of the world economy vs. regional integration. Warsaw, 1998


The Chronicle of the Year 2000. M. Malitza, Bucharest, 1969

The series Mankind Global Problems. Collective volumes of 25-30 chapters each

Handbook of Perspective Techniques in Romania . M. Botez, Bucharest, 1974

After 1990

Ten thousand cultures, one single civilization. M*.* Malitza, Bucharest, 1998

Macro Models of Romanian Transition Economy. E. Dobrescu, Bucharest, 1996, 1998

Old and new cultural ecologies on the eve of IIIth Millennium. V. Ramba Varga, Bucharest, 1999

Quarterly review Millennium III. Issued after 1999. Directed by Mircea Malitza. Among the members of the board are Federico Mayor, Lawrence Klein and Ilya Prigogine (Nobel Prize laureates), Ricardo Diez-Hochleitner, Pentti Malaska, Rosemann Runte, E.U. Wiezsäker, Jean d’Ormesson, Sergei Kapitza


After 1990

Russia on the Eve of XXI. Century: 1904-2004. From a Colossus to the Collapse and Back. I. V.,Bestuzhev-Lada, Moscow, 1997

Perspectives of Russia Transformation. An Experts Scenario-Forecasting Monitoring. I. V*.* Bestuzhev-Lada, Moscow, 1998

Estimated and Desired Changes in Russian Educational System. Bestuzhev-Lada, I.V. and coll., Moscow, 2000

Of global interest

Globalistics: Towards Doomsday. Can We Avoid the Foretold in Apocalypsis? Bestuzhev-Lada, I. V., Moscow, 1996

Alternativistics: Towards an Alternative Civilization. Bestuzhev-Lada, I. V., Moscow, 1998

Ahead is the XXI. Century. An Anthology of Modern Classics in Futures Studies 1952-1999. I. V. Bestuzhev-Lada (ed) Moscow, 2000


Prognosing the Scientific Advancement (in Slovak), F. Gal. et al., Bratislava, Veda, 1990

Slovakia at the Turn of the Third Millenium (in Slovak), J. Markus et al, Bratislava, Veda, 1999

Slovakia in the early 1990’s. Society-Economy-Science and Technology (in Slovak), L. Faltan et al, Bratislava, Institute for Forecasting SAS, 1994

Forecasting in the Transition Society, International Conference, Smolenice Castle , November 20-21 1999, Edited by S. Zajac, Institute for Forecasting SAS, 1998

The Long-term Tendencies in Selective Areas of the Slovak Society up to 2015 . Zajac Stefan et al, Bratislava, Institute for Forecasting, SAS, 2000

Of global interest, written and published in SLovakia:

Kelet-Közép-Európa: Honnan - Hova? (ECE: Where from - where to?) Eds.: É. Ehrlich, G. Révész, P. Tamási, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1994


The Future that Began. M. Pecujlic, Belgrade, 1969

Developing countries and paths of development, eds . S. Radoman, V. Stambuk, Belgrade, 1979

The University of the Future. M. Pecujlic, Belgrade, 1980

The first “International Seminar on Science and Technology” as a part of the project “Socio-Cultural Alternatives in Changing World ” was held in Belgrad by UNO and Belgrade University in eighties.

The needs of social development. M. Markovic ed., Belgrade, 1991

Q4. Please explain whether a significant change was seen in the period of transition on the future orientation of the population and even in the fields of futures studies activities.

a) If there was progress, name the fields,

b) If accidentally the interest and activities declined please, indicate the probable reasons, like the lack of interest of decision makers, the lack of global vision about future importance of the different fields of human activities, loss of people’s interest in a longer than one year futures perspective, other(s).

The answers to this question show somesporadic similarities in some countries at the point a), andquasi-general similarities at the point b).

a) There was a progress in the use of econometric models in application to prognoses, mainly in the methodology (Poland). The same progress was made in the methodology of prospective studies due to both the opening the international specialized literature and the contact with foreign experts (Estonia, Romania). New institutes have been founded for the forecasting, especially for the economic forecasting. Futures researches have begun rethinking the theoretical, methodological and methodical knowledge base for futures studies in the circumstances of instability (Hungary).

In Bulgaria the change during the transitional period manifests in the fact that, “persons who take part in the government are connected with the Bulgarian futurists. Members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees used to be prime-ministers, vice-prime-ministers, bank directors, experts” (see A. Tomov: “Futures studies in Bulgaria” in this book).

The Slovakian answer: there was no progress.

b)In the Czech Republic inlast ten years from methodological viewpoint, agap can be seen in comparison with the seventies and eighties regarding the implementation of futures studies in institutionally established industrial societies. The interest in long-term (15 years) perspective was replaced by the state government and enterprises with the short time decision-making. Futures studies at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences were interrupted and no research and pedagogical unit exists under the state care since that time (see F. Petrasek: “Futures Studies in the Czech Republic” in this book).

In Poland the interest of public opinion in the futures studies clearly decreased after 1989, for the main reasons:

Society’s rush toward short-term gain (paid work, financial advantages).

Loss of interest of the politicians and decision-makers in the future periods exceeding the 4 year cycle of the parliament life partially due to the involvement of political decision-makers mainly in the current matters.

Critique of the former planning and forecasting.

Failures of the former prognoses from before 1989 - wrong or missed assessments.

Methodological misunderstandings; a) identifying strategy studies on the future with prognoses of the traditional style (see A. Karpinski: “Futures Studies in Poland” in this book).

In Romania the main reason for a certain neglect of futures studies after 1989 was the general rejection of anything that reminded the notion of social or economic plan or planning, badly abused of in the previous regime.

Officially, the interest for prospective studies decreased after the collapse of centralized planning model. The specific evolution can be explained through the appearance of an unstable, uncertain and unpredictable economic environment in the transition period. Another element that led todecreasing the interest in prospective studies consists in the lack of institutions and powerful companies to monitor the making of long-term strategies on the market; in a high inflation environment, a severe economic slump background, the firm strategies were mostly of surviving.

In Russia in the 90s nearly all forecasting activities were collapsed. The interest for the future and futures in Russia has began decline due the lack of dialogue between futurists and decision makers, due “the psychological fatigue” of endless doomsday prophecies of globalistics, and due to rather utopian character of alternativistics. (See I. Bestuzhev-Lada: “Futures Studies in the USSR/Russia” in this book).

In Slovakia the indicated reasons for the decline of future interest and activities are: first of all, the lack of interest of political elite, the lack of vision about the future importance of the different felds of human activities, the loss of interest in a longer than one year future perspective.

In Yugoslavia , after the 1960-1999s blossoming development, the present drama of Yugoslavia “completely excluded the future as a long-term concept, as a coordinated movement with the surrounding world, as political and economic restructuring toward a higher level of development. Going through violent conflicts, sanctions, media satanization, shattering economic crisis, bombing, the future was lost in a widespread apathy. In an ongoing total social crisis, the dimension of the future becomes an abstraction” (see R. Nakarada: “Futures Studies in Yugoslavia” in this book).

At the edge of this picture one mayconclude , that the last decade shows, paradoxically, a certain fall in unofficial as well as the governmental interest for futures research. A hypothetical explanation of the phenomenon could be at the crossroads of such elements as: lack of financial and material resources; lack of interest by decision-makers; lack of a global vision on the future importance of various human activities; growing uncertainty on a global scale; loss of interest by public at large for future perspectives beyond one year and spreading interest for the “palpable immediate” (“hic et nunc”), etc.

Thus, a sort of paralysing perplexity in the face of a more and more uncertain future appeared. In this context, theloosening interest for futures research begets a paradoxical dimension both at cultural and psycho-sociological levels, not only in the region's countries, but also perhaps worldwide.

The paradox of the phenomenon becomes striking in the centre of the emergence of a new set of problems concerning this countries’ inner transitional processes; the end of the Cold War as well as the galloping pace of the globalisation process.

Q5. In your feelings the futures studies in your country will tend to revive in the near future and the millennium? In both cases: yes or no, please indicate why.

Most of the answers are convergentlypositive .The motivations in some countries are mostly connected to theexternal factors first of all to the requirements of the European Union (Polish), Estonian answers remarks that the EU is demanding to work out some long-term strategy development.

Romanian answers mentioning the confidence in reviving futures studies, estimating that probably, on short term the present situation is bound to last. The interest to join the European Union and the requirements of the international organization revived the attention paid to long-term thinking on development, expressed in the preparation of economic and social strategies. The Academy has launched a program, called ESSEN (Evaluation of the system of the natural economy), which played an important role in this direction.

But there are alsoproper future oriented preoccupations. Some examples.

In Poland are effecting futures researches now, institutions, such as Futures Studies Committee “Poland 2000 Plus” of the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw; Governmental Centre for Strategic Studies, Warsaw; University of Lodz.

In Romania , after the dissolution of Planning State Committee in 1990, the Economic Forecasting Institute became subordinated to the Romanian Academy, Bucharest; likewise, a group of prospective investigation of Romanian Academy “Romania 2020” effects future oriented investigation; a Ministry for Development and Prognosis was created in January 2001 in Bucharest.

In Bulgaria , reform in the Bulgarian Future Society and involvement of new young scholars in it is on the way.

The futures studies in Russia will tend to revive because growing interest among people including decision-makers for perspective problems and ways of its solutions in the future. Some fall non-governmental forecasting organizations (arose in 60s and 70s) after some years of negotiations, together with the “Kondratiev Foundation” research centres applied prognostics, “Strategy”, “Centre of Human values” formed in 1997 the Russian Futures Studies Academy at Moscow. It was created as a research network of some 36 futures research groups in some 10 regional departments. In 1999 this Academy was incorporated as an institutional member into International Futures Research Academy, and during the year 2000 has executed its part of joint research project “Russia and the World in 2001-2010: Problems and Decisions” (See I. Bestuzhev-Lada: “Futures Studies in the USSR/Russia” in this book.)

In the Czech Republic in 1999 the new stimulation of more long-term and complex thinking has appeared by the new government initiated project of strategic management for the governmental socio-economic policy. Futures studies for establishing national interests and dispositions for joining the EU, are supposed for that aim.

Slovakian answer is very confident in the revival of futures studies mainly for two reasons: 1) Ministry of Education is preparing some kind of technology foresight for Slovakia; 2) Pre-accession strategy of Slovakia will need some visions (membership, or non-membership, etc.). Already in 1997, the Institute for Forecasting Slovak Academy of Sciences has started a project: “Structural Changes in the Decisive Spheres of Slovak Society in Long-term Perspective” up to the year 2015, using the methodology and scope inspired from forecasting practice from the Czech Republic and Hungary.

In Yugoslavia after October 2000 political change has occurred and there are now a process of transition. It is early to say whether extensive and profound futures research will re-emerge (see R. Nakarada).

The luckiest situation for futures studies and researchers was and continues to be in Hungary. They have been no inhibited, nor forbidden. The futures research programs were (in 1960-1990) and are supported new by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund, having very rich university curricula. The future orientation of population has become more active in the period of transition, but changed the accent of it. They are interested mainly in their own and their family’s future and after that in the future of the country, but even so, only in the 1-10 years term. The future orientation of population or different social, economic actors are accepted in forecasting and drawing up alternative futures images (see E. Nováky: “Futures Studies in Hungary” in this book).

Finally, one mayconcisely conclude that in the period of the years1960-1990 and1990 till now futures studies, research programs and concerns,determined by numerousdifferent factors reveals awaving trend :

Years                                                          Interest of futures and futures studies

The sixties:                                                increasing

The seventies:                                decreasing, stagnation

The eighties:                                  increasing

The nineties:                                  decreasing, stagnation

Around 2000:                                hopefully increasing

In last decade, the mentioned new set of problems stringently claim new, appropriate approaches.

Nowadays, future is more multi-fold than ever before. The “possible futures” give researchers far more possibilities than those working inside planning ever had. It is really a great chance. On the base of this chance the futures researchers might reborn like Phoenix in the region considered.

Q6. In our opinions special attention should be paid to the role of the youth in forming the forthcoming future. We would like to know the situation of the youth in the countries forming our common future therefore we thought to raise some questions connected to have an overall picture from the countries involved

a) In your experience are the youth of today interested in their future short term (1 year), medium term (5 years) and long-term (10 and more years)

If yes, name the fields and reasons,

If not, please, indicate no more than 5 reasons.

b) Is futures research taught in your country?

If yes, at what levels in which fields, in which institutes, and since when.

If not, please, indicate why. If it existed before 1990, please indicate the place and the years.

c) Please, make suggestions, recommendations and additional notes to the questions listed above, if any.

a) To this delicate question although there are different answers one may detect some important similarities that could be synthesize by the succinct observation formulated in Polish answer. “Present day youth is less interested in the future than before 1989”. Reasons are the same as in Q4.

Similarly with this observation theRomanian answer remarks that the youth are in general trapped by a short-term vision of “hic at nunc” for the reason of hedonism and “Carpe diem”.In Russia there is general interest for the future including the youth, but as soon as information of concrete forecast is published, an “effect of future-phobia” appears.In Slovakia , the youth are interested in short term (one year) future, related to professional career, un/employment, and occasionally in five years perspective related to emigration, family, flat, etc. but their ten and more years interest is irrelevant.In Hungary the most important time span interested young people is 1-10 years. The main reason for it is the fact that material values and success determines the ways of thoughts of the youth. Even if nowadays a lot of young people have got decision making position in every places of the life.In Yugoslavia youth felt deprived by the normal life, normal communication with their counterparts in Europe. Their future is related to their personal lives’ immediate betterment. No collective concerns, no great visions are attractive. Their vision of the future is to become part of the western consuming society, to the external EU. However, keeping up with the high-tech developments, particularly in information sciences is important, as well as ecological concerns. Ecological concerns have gone particularly after the NATO bombing and the use of deplated uranium. It will take some dwelling in relative normal circumstances before their creative, visionary is rekindled.

As a personal remark: under all these answers based on a certain reality I can not help yet to suspect a sort of eternal snarl of the olds versus unguided young people in a too fast changing, not easy intelligible world.

There is an interesting Romanian remark having, perhaps, a largest validity: in spite of hedonistic, “hic et nunc” attitude the youth interest in a rewarding profession and a competitive job move them increasingly towards at least a medium term vision. The argument for it is the increasing interest in professional training especially in universities, manifested in the fact, that in 1990 in Romania, there were over 90 students to 10 000 inhabitants and nowadays their number is doubled.

b) The answers are indicated verydifferent situations . There are no answers from the Czech Republic, and only partial answers from Estonia and Yugoslavia.

In Estonia the only case of futures studies training in universities is a short course in Tallinn Pedagogical Institute, and the Institute of Geography of Tartu University is starting something like “Modern strategic planning” course.

In Poland futures research is not taught at the universities nor at scientific institutes. A conversation group on forecasting methodology was maintained until 1989. It was cancelled after 1989 due to the absence of sufficient number people interested in it. To the question “How do you see the possibility of involving new institutes into futures education or other training form in your country in the near future?” The answer considers that due to financial limitations there is no sufficient basis for expanding the future education in the nearest future.

In Yugoslavia after the fall of Dubrovnik Inter-University Post-graduate Centre that offered for several years, courses in futures studies, nowadays, other than public lectures, and sporadic courses at some faculties, no systematic studies of future in established within the Yugoslav educative system.

Comparatively with the above mentioned situation which in futures studies are not taught systematically in the educational system, in other countries the picture shows other aspects:

In Hungary futures studies are practiced in many universities as well as till and until 1989. Such, some universities taught futures research related to economic, medical, technical etc. aspects, in Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, in Technical University at Budapest, in Semmelweiss University of Medical Sciences, in universities of different cities like Pécs, Miskolc, Sopron. The biennial International Futures Course is organised in Budapest also in 1999 and 2001 having an interesting curricula, as a reedited continuation of the Dubrovnik Futures Courses.

In Romania forecasting studies can be found in the curricula of Faculties and chairs ofeconomics at the Academy of Economic Sciences of Bucarest (Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics, Economic Informatics); insociology at the Universities of Cluj-Napoca and Iassy; intechnology at many Faculties of the University “Polytechnica” of Bucharest. They are also present in other faculties (demography, epidemiology) and natural sciences (geology and mineral resources). Likewise, most economic, management and engineering faculties include Econometrics and forecasting courses. As well as in the curricula of numerous private faculties include future methods.

In Slovakia , futures research is taught at Comenius University (Bratislava), University of Economics (Bratislava), University of Matej Bel (Banska Bystrica) and since 1998 there are doctoral PhD studies at the Institute for foreaasting (Bratislava).

In Russia there were and are future oriented courses and seminars in Universities in Moscow, Kiev, St. Petersburg, etc. But the Russian answer mentions in the synthesis that it is necessary to tell some words about a quality of the futures research next generation, i.e. about relation to the future of today students in Russia.

In principle it is quite the same as of all population: curiosity quickly passing in indifference. The curiosity, because always is interesting to find out something “about the future”. Indifference, because the study of the future, as well as of the past, does not give any practical results for the present, and will not be claimed attention by a society. Besides has an effect thepresentism of ordinary consciousness mentioned above. It is also important the discredit of forecasting focussed on divination because of nearly always appeared insolvent. And during the last ten years to all this is added in Russia the total demoralisation of population in general and of the youth in particular. For the prospects without any forecasts open most gloomy.

That is why attempts to adjust the teaching of technological forecasting as a special educational subject at the university from the end of 60s till nowadays invariable suffered failure. Sometimes at that of other university it was possible on any time to create even chairs of forecasting (such chairs were available in Moscow, Leningrad, Novosibirsk, Kiev, Sverdlovsk, Alma-Ata), but it earlier or later should be closed, as there was an insoluble problem of students specialisation and then employment. It was said, that futures studies are interdisciplinary on the character, but Soviet science and teaching are strictly mono-disciplinary in principle. Some enthusiasts managed by years to read lectures and lead seminars of forecasting at several faculties of several universities (at the Moscow University, for example, such lectures and seminars are taken place since l969 till now), but it is of course not obligatory courses, facultative for wishing only. As the manuals there are used till now some text books of 70-80s and “Handbook of Forecasting” (1982).

The similar situation has developed with PhD (candidate of science in Russia) and DSc dissertations “on forecasting” 1967-99. But as well as in monographs you will vainly search here even for one concrete forecast. Even a dissertation “on forecasting methodology” is a desperately courageous step connected to raise risk not to receive the necessary majority votes of the scientific council members. Thus nearly each tenth DSc dissertation “on forecasting” was declined by dogmatic in such councils. And to try to give concrete forecast in your dissertation means obviously to go on scandals and failure. And for what? From nearly a hundred and half of the formal or informal post-graduate students only two young ladies (now not so young) continued to be engaged in forecasting, and that only as university professors, one or two later even as dean and rector. Others have found to themselves more profitable employment, claimed by the states and society.

This sad situation is beginning gradually to be improved only since the middle of 90s, when nearly annually “Summer schools of young futurists” has taken place with some dozens students, postgraduates and young fellows of several universities. Since 1997 in new created Russian Futures Studies Academy a special section for young futurists improvers is organised, though really functioning only in Northwest department of the Academy (St. Petersburg). Here we see a good perspective for summer and winter schools of young futurists on the more regular base. On something greater in the foreseeable future hardly it is possible to expect.

c) Suggestions and recommendations. In their kind and generous contributions to the issue after three years of efforts of this book our colleagues formulates some thoughts, considering that for the development of futures research and a future orientation sensibility:

A particular attention should be devoted to the popularisation of futures studies among the young generation (Poland); more popular books, articles, TV reports about the future and futurists adopted to mass consciousness and to organise future oriented special teaching courses in universities (Russia);

To introduce futures studies at secondary school level for developing the future orientation of the common people and also on postgraduate level at the universities, because dealing with the future of communities is a profession (Hungary);

To attentively take under consideration the informational society, its new technologies influences, and to prepare the society for it;

To professionalize the futures research, to make it recognized as an independent profession and to find out relations with different universities disciplines for make the futures oriented capacities part of any universities education.

To elaborate PhD programs in futures research.

To study the new paradigms in futures research methodology (Hungary).

A fundamental broadening of the international exchange of information on the results of futures studies and research in the particular countries and the international comparative analysis are necessary. To develop co-operation with ex socialist countries in the field of scientific projects and the education. It would purposeful to create a European Centre for futures studies (Poland, Hungary).

  1. Final considerations

The results of research effort may add to the clear outlining of the historical fact that without the contribution of this interesting, vigorous and original part of Europe, the European culture would be poorer, while “Europe” would not be “whole”.

Even if nowadays one can see in the considered countries, as well as world-wide some gap, somedelay in futures studies approaches on the new challenges of the globalization process.