Alvin Toffler

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Alvin Toffler
BirthplaceNew York City
NationalityUnited States
Futurist, journalist, writer
EducationMultiple honorary doctorates
Known for Future Shock, The Third Wave

Toffler, Alvin


Born Oct. 4, 1928, in New York. American sociologist and writer.

Toffler, who helped formulate the concept of the postindustrial society, began his career as a correspondent and editor of Fortune magazine. Since 1965 he has done research in the area of social forecasting and also has taught what he calls the sociology of the future at Cornell University, the New School for Social Research, and other institutions. He is a consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation, International Business Machines (IBM), and the Institute for the Future.

In Future Shock (1970) and The Eco-Spasm Report (1975), among other works, Toffler asserts that mankind is experiencing a new technological revolution that is not only constantly causing changes in social relations but creating a superindustrial civilization in the process. He is not, however, optimistic about the ability of state-monopoly capitalism to cope with the economic contradictions engendered by the scientific and technological revolution or with the attendant social conflicts, which, he writes, are assuming global proportions. Toffler, who is close in his political views to American populists, believes that a just society can be created through radical democratic reforms of capitalism—an example of petit bourgeois utopianism.


The Culture Consumers. New York, 1973.
The Futurists. New York, 1972. (Editor.)
Learning for Tomorrow: The Role of the Future in Education. New York, 1974. (Editor.)
In Russian translation:
“Stolknovenie s budushchim.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1972, no. 3.


Arab-Ogly, E. A. V labirinteprorochestv. Moscow, 1973.


References in periodicals archive ?
Today we have 'information overload,' a term made popular by Alvin Toffler in his 1970 book 'Future Shock,' in which he predicted that information will be generated faster than we can digest and absorb it.
In London she worked for Tony Benn and in New York for American writer Alvin Toffler.
Alvin Toffler was a futurist who wrote extensively about the digital revolution.
ALVIN Toffler, who died recently at the age of 87, was one of the most respected "futurists," of his time, with much of his work more than relevant to this day.
Toffler [7], another well-known contemporary thinker, observes that more and more numerous signs of disintegration occur within the complex structure of power -an entity assumed to maintain--as stated on numerous occasions--the world in an as assembled form as possible.
Many years ago, back when I was an editor at Financial Planning magazine, I was assigned the happy task of keeping futurist and author Alvin Toffler company in the green room for about an hour before he went on as the keynote speaker at the IAFP (now FPA) national convention in New York.
I like to say, 'Let's put the crazy in the room, and we throw the match in the middle of the audience and artists, and we see what happens," said Van Toffler, who has been associated with the show for most of its three decades.
A systems approach to understanding the relational elements of existence has been an epistemic pursuit of many thinkers throughout the ages including the ancients on up to Ervin Lazio, Brian Wilson, Fritjof Capra, Jean Piaget, Anatol Rapoport, Kenneth Boulding, Alvin Toffler, Margaret Mead, and Gregory Bateson among many others.
As Alvin Toffler wrote in 1974, "A focus on the future is relevant to all learners, regardless of age.
Many of the predictions Toffler (1970) touted, such as genetically modified blue, purple, or orange people; human brains transferred onto robotic bodies; and brains that were kept alive and transplanted into other bodies, have not come to fruition.
William Toffler, a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and a founder of Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization opposed to assisted suicide.