1. Knowing or foretelling the unknown.
2. Undertaking any serious, organized attempt to devise concepts and methods which can be used to conjecture intelligently about the human future.
Future studies comprise a broad range of interlinked activities which include: (a) conjectural, speculative and imaginative descriptions of the human future; (b) exploratory forecasts based on methodological extrapolation of past and present developments into the future; and (c) prescriptions, namely normatively oriented future projections in which explicit value assertions and choices are made about how a specific future may be viewed.
Divination is a result of magical thinking in which the indicator and the event are perceived to be in some form of logical harmony where each is the cause or reflection of the other, and thus when the indicator is interpreted correctly the event can be predicted. It is also the fatalistic act of determining the will of the gods. Another kind of divination uses the computer to store hundreds and thousand of variable factors in models of phenomenal behaviour, and then, using algorithms which are accepted on faith, predicts future outcomes.
The World Futures Studies Federation is a forum where stimulation, exchange and examination of ideas, visions and plans for alternative, long-term futures can take place; further studies of the future as a field of intellectual and political activity concerning all sectors of psychological, social, economic, political and cultural life. It encourages innovative interdisciplinary analysis and critical thinking among all peoples; promotes a higher level of futures consciousness in general; encourages democratization of future-oriented thinking and acting; stimulates awareness of the urgent need for futures studies in governments and international organizations and other decision-making and educational groups and institutions to resolve problems at local, national, regional and global levels; and social forecasting and design.
Knowledge obtained from prospective development studies has led to a better understanding of complex processes of social and human progress and modernization, and has contributed to a new vision of development. Such studies have produced new ways of interpreting development trends and have been of benefit to cross-disciplinary analysis and policy-making.
There is no established scientific basis for divination.