Oliver Markley: Manifesting the Up Side of Down

Oliver Markley interview with Alan Davidson


Oliver Markley is Professor Emeritus and formerly Chair of the graduate program in Studies of the Future at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL)—a program that has subsequently moved to the main campus of the University of Houston. His career began as a design engineer but quickly shifted to social psychology and proactive policy research on possible/probable/preferable alternative futures.  His primary professional specialization is on visioning methods for futures-oriented policy research, strategic decision and effectiveness improvement.  Before UHCL, he was a principal investigator and consultant with the Management and Social Systems Group at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International), where, among other research studies, he led the “Societal Consequences of Changing Images of Man” project with Willis Harman, the mythologist Joseph Campbell, and others.

A consultant for dozens of organizations, both in the U.S. and abroad, Oliver is the author or co-author of dozens of publications including four books:

  • Changing Images of Man (1982)
  • Information and the Future: A Handbook of Sources and Strategies (1988)
  • America Beyond 2001: Opposing Viewpoints (1995)
  • Twenty First Century Earth: Opposing Viewpoints (1996).

Dr. Markley currently maintains a part-time research and consulting practice, InwardBoundVisioning.com whose mission is the central objective stated above.  He is a Fellow of the World Futures Studies Federation—an international forum for the stimulation, exchange, and examination of ideas, visions, and plans for alternative, long-term futures. He is currently President of the Central Texas Chapter of the World Future Society, and in the fall of 2008, he co-taught a course on Deep Democracy & Integral Living for Sustainable Communities, headed up by University of Texas/Austin Professor Patricia Wilson. Markley’s principal current pro bono projects involve R&D and the use of “social technologies” for promoting sustainable well-being, especially by citizen activists with the Pachamama Alliance and Sustainable World Coalition, and by participants in the Texas Future Problem Solving Program.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you Alan. You have such a great style and voice for interviewing.

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