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The Future of Text |


Welcome to Future Text Publishing, producers of ‘The Future of Text’, the largest survey of the future(s) of text ever undertaken.

The book is a collection of dreams for how we want text to evolve as well as how we understand our current textual infrastructures, how we view the history of writing, and much more. The aim is to make it inspire a powerfully rich future of text in a multitude of ways today and to still have value in a thousand years and beyond. It should serve as a record for how we saw the medium of text and how it relates to our world, our problems and each other in the early twenty first century.


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EDITED by Frode Hegland.

FOREWORD by the co-inventor of the Internet, Vinton G. Cerf.

CONTRIBUTIONS by Adam Cheyer • Adam Kampff • Alan Kay • Alessio Antonini • Alex Holcombe • Amaranth Borsuk • Amira Hanafi • Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. • Anastasia Salter • Andy Matuschak & Michael Nielsen • Ann Bessemans & María Pérez Mena • Andries Van Dam • Anne-Laure Le Cunff • Anthon Botha • Azlen Elza • Barbara Beeton • Belinda Barnet • Ben Shneiderman • Bernard Vatant • Bob Frankston • Bob Horn • Bob Stein • Catherine C. Marshall • Charles Bernstein • Chris Gebhardt • Chris Messina • Christian Bök • Christopher Gutteridge • Claus Atzenbeck • Daniel Russel • Danila Medvedev • Danny Snelson • Daveed Benjamin • Dave King • Dave Winer • David De Roure • David Jablonowski • David Johnson • David Lebow • David M. Durant • David Millard • David Owen Norris • David Price • David Weinberger • Dene Grigar • Denise Schmandt-Besserat • Derek Beaulieu • Doc Searls • Don Norman • Douglas Crockford • Duke Crawford • Ed Leahy • Elaine Treharne • Élika Ortega • Esther Dyson • Esther Wojcicki • Ewan Clayton • Fiona Ross • Fred Benenson & Tyler Shoemaker • Galfromdownunder, aka Lynette Chiang • Garrett Stewart • Gyuri Lajos • Harold Thimbleby • Howard Oakley • Howard Rheingold • Ian Cooke • Iian Neil • Jack Park • Jakob Voß • James Baker • James O’Sullivan • Jamie Blustein • Jane Yellowlees Douglas • Jay David Bolter • Jeremy Helm • Jesse Grosjean • Jessica Rubart • Joe Corneli • Joel Swanson • Johanna Drucker • Johannah Rodgers • John Armstrong • John Cayley • John-Paul Davidson • Joris J. van Zundert • Judy Malloy  • Kari Kraus & Matthew Kirschenbaum • Katie Baynes • Keith Houston • Keith Martin • Kenny Hemphill • Ken Perlin • Leigh Nash • Leslie Carr • Lesia Tkacz • Leslie Lamport • Livia Polanyi • Lori Emerson • Luc Beaudoin & Daniel Jomphe • Manuela González • Marc-Antoine Parent • Marc Canter • Mark Anderson • Mark Baker • Mark Bernstein • Martin Kemp • Martin Tiefenthaler • Maryanne Wolf • Matt Mullenweg •  Michael Joyce • Mike Zender • Naomi S. Baron • Nasser Hussain • Neil Jefferies • Niels Ole Finnemann • Nick Montfort •  Panda Mery • Patrick Lichty • Paul Smart • Peter Cho • Peter Flynn • Peter Jenson & Melissa Morocco • Peter J. Wasilko • Phil Gooch • Pip Willcox • Rafael Nepô • Raine Revere • Richard A. Carter • Richard Price • Richard Saul Wurman • Rollo Carpenter • Sage Jenson & Kit Kuksenok • Shane Gibson • Simon J. Buckingham Shum • Sam Brooker • Sarah Walton • Scott Rettberg • Sofie Beier • Sonja Knecht • Stephan Kreutzer • Stephanie Strickland • Stephen Lekson • Stevan Harnad • Steve Newcomb • Stuart Moulthrop • Ted Nelson • Teodora Petkova • Tiago Forte • Timothy Donaldson • Tim Ingold • Timur Schukin & Irina Antonova • Todd A. Carpenter • Tom Butler-Bowdon • Tom Standage • Tor Nørretranders • Valentina Moressa • Ward Cunningham • Dame Wendy Hall • Zuzana Husárová.

Student Competition Winner: Niko A. Grupen. All Student Submissions: Catherine Brislane, Corrie Kim, Mesut Yilmaz, Elizabeth Train-Brown, Thomas John Moore, Zakaria Aden, Yahye Aden, Niko A. Grupen, Ibrahim Yahie, Arushi Jain, Shuby Deshpande, Aishwarya Mudaliar, Finbarr Condon-English, Charlotte Gray, Aditeya Das, Wesley Finck, Jordan Morrison, Duncan Reid, Emma Brodey, Gage Nott, Aditeya Das and Kamil Przespolewski.

POSTSCRIPT by the founder of the modern Library of Alexandria, Ismail Serageldin.

Future Text Initiative

The Book is part of the Future of Text Initiative, along with the Visual-Meta approach, The Future of Text Symposium and the Augmented Text tools, which includes the PDF viewer ‘Reader’ which has been updated with Visual-Meta to provide riche interactions for The Future of Text book.

Book Launch Event & Future of Text Symposium 

The book was released on the 20th of November 2020 as part of the 9th Annual Future of Text Symposium and a recording of that event will be made available here. If you are interested in being a part of the continuing dialogue on the future of text, please email us:

Launch Programme & Recordings are available.

Second Edition

We are now working on the Second Edition, ‘second thoughts’.

About Us

Further information is available on

Future Text Publishing is the publishing name for The Augmented Text Company LTD UK:

You may want to have a look at the comments on GoodReads.

Join Our Community

We have a community on Please feel free to have a look and join us if you think we look like someone you’d like to discuss the future of text with. We are also writing The History of Text.