How We Get To Next was a magazine of the future. It launched in September 2014, and closed in May 2019.
Their editorial mission was guided by their belief that the future needs a new framework. They called this approach structural futurism: a way of imagining the future that focuses on how people interact with systems, be it corporate agriculture or institutional racism. Inspired by Steven Johnson’s 2014 book, How We Got To Now, as well as the 2016 BBC and PBS adaptation, they told stories about the “long zoom” view of human life. How We Get To Next asked questions like: How should power be administered? How should resources be distributed? How should systems be structured? What we think about the future changes how we think about–and what we do–now.
Futurism has long been a tool–and toy–of the powerful. From century-old stories like John Carter of Mars to 21st-century projects like Elon Musk’s high-price-tag space tourism, futurism (a present-day vision of, and investment in, the future) often imagines existing hierarchies in different places and in different times–thus perpetuating them. People have long critiqued these visions of the future; movements like Afrofuturism, among others, have done crucial work in deconstructing their false promises. How We Get To Next built on that same work.