Mission

The Arlington Institute

Founded in 1989 by futurist John L. Petersen, The Arlington Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research institute that specializes in thinking about global futures and trying to influence rapid, positive change. We encourage systemic, non-linear approaches to planning and believe that effective thinking about the future is enhanced by applying newly emerging technology. Therefore, we strive to be agents of change by creating intellectual frameworks & tool-sets for understanding the transition in which we are living.

TAI believes that we are living in an era of global transition, to a degree that our species has never seen before. The exponential increase of human knowledge, and the acceleration of its application through technology, is propelling humanity towards a new era of thought and endeavor. Society, science, ecology and commerce are converging at the intersection of danger and opportunity. A complexity and unpredictability that is beyond our past experience characterize the challenges at hand. If humanity's preferred future is to be realized, new tools for strategic planning and problem solving must be invented and combined. We must think differently.

We have made it our mission to help facilitate this transition, and to connect and associate with like-minded people so that we may together embrace the opportunities of this future. In the broadest sense, we help leadership from all sectors chart the most direct course to preferred futures by:


  • Tracking and evaluating major scientific, technological, social, demographic, and environmental forces that drive change
  • Conducting future-focused studies and initiatives
  • Exploring how trends might crosscut in significant ways
  • Cataloging potential 'wildcards' - low probability high impact events
  • Helping leadership translate information - from data to scenarios - into mental maps by which to guide decision making and build sophisticated organizational visions

A TIME OF IMMENSE OPPORTUNITY
We are attempting to produce a historic breakthrough in the ability to anticipate and understand the future by building a world-class combination of extraordinary analytical technology, a core group of very creative analysts, and an internationally distributed network of thinkers and resource people. This is a radical new model for a "think tank" that focuses upon the fact that TAI as an information/idea enterprise that exists in an era of unprecedented advances in information technology. This revolution is eliminating the historic constraints of geography and location and makes it possible, for the first time in history, perhaps, to predict the social behavior of large groups of people to certain types of events.

WILD CARDS AND TRENDS
The unprecedented change that we are seeing in almost every area of reality presents the significant likelihood that, in the coming few years, the world will experience one or more low probability, very high impact events - Wild Cards - of a scope and magnitude for which we have neither the experience nor the tools to respond effectively. TAI tracks the early indicators that might lead us to anticipate the arrival of selected Wild Cards. We are also developing computer-based tools that would provide new insights into the behavior of these events.



For more information on the above opportunities contact

John L. Petersen, President and Founder at 703-623-1944

or by email at johnp@arlingtoninstitute.org.