200 episodes

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

Future Tense ABC Podcasts

    • Personal Journals

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

    Water banking, rain farming and other ways to safeguard against future drought

    Water banking, rain farming and other ways to safeguard against future drought

    Water banking involves the deliberate injection of surplus water into known aquifers. The idea is to repurpose the world’s many artesian basins as giant sustainable storage tanks - ones that can readily be drawn upon in times of drought.

    It’s just one of the ideas we explore in the second instalment of our two-part series on water conflict and management – the politics, the problems and the potential solutions.

    • 28 min
    Will the wars of the future really be fought over water?

    Will the wars of the future really be fought over water?

    It’s a scarce resource and likely to get even more so. But is it causing an increase in political friction? The answer is yes… and no.

    • 29 min
    The competition delusion; and a call to nationalise big data

    The competition delusion; and a call to nationalise big data

    Competition is often seen almost as a universal good. But economist Nicholas Gruen says a slavish adherence to making everything a competition is damaging our trust in public institutions.

    Also, the Belgian community trialling an ancient form of democracy. And if big data is made collectively, would nationalising it help to ensure the benefits are widely distributed?

    • 29 min
    Can the United Nations be reformed?

    Can the United Nations be reformed?

    The United Nations Secretariat is now one-year into a significant reform program aimed at making the organisation fit for purpose in the 21st Century. It’s being driven by Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

    In this program we look at what that package entails and what it might achieve. And we also examine the powerful role of the UN Security Council. Many believe it no longer reflects the realities of world power. So, can it be reformed?

    • 29 min
    Is the Liberal International Order in terminal decline?

    Is the Liberal International Order in terminal decline?

    UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has issued a dire warning about the state of international cooperation. The long-standing international order, he says, is dividing and that threatens future global stability.

    So, are his concerns valid? How is the international order likely to change over coming decades? And what practical steps can be taken to reinforce the global rule of law?

    • 29 min
    Counterculture, consumerism and the far right

    Counterculture, consumerism and the far right

    Countercultural movements, like Occupy Wall Street, are meant to be future-focussed — revolutionary even. So why do they often fade into commercialism? Are they simply a function of consumer capitalism? If so, what future do they have? And must they always be progressive?

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

Jack_McCoy ,

Mapping the Future

This show tackles a new concept about the future every week.

Whether it’s the future of corruption in politics, innovation in the business world, new sources of energy, transportation, robotics or communication, this show maps it out in fascinating detail. Great guests, great production.

ameleh ,

Please set the date correctly, not in the future

This note is to the ABC. Please use the actual release date, using a date in the future makes your podcast incorrectly pinned to the top of the list.

Ron Mader ,

Gameification on!

I've been listening to Future Tense on RN & Radio Australia since 2009 and what won me over early on was a show on the Future of Conferences. Events need to evolve and this particular show was a show and tell of what can work well if we do things differently. Future Tense helps listeners become future fit. Gameification on!

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