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The Future of Text |


Welcome to ‘The Future of Text’, the largest survey of the future of text ever undertaken.

Volume 1 was published 2020. It 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 Alexander Hegland. FOREWORD by the co-inventor of the Internet, Vinton G. Cerf. POSTSCRIPT by the founder of the modern Library of Alexandria, Ismail Serageldin.



Volume II

We are now working on the Second Volume. We have a community on where you should 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 or if you have anyone to suggest for the second volume.


The History of Text

We are also writing a simple timeline book we call The History of Text. We welcome contributions and suggestions.



The book was released on the 20th of November 2020 as part of the 9th Annual Future of Text Symposium. The 10th annual Future of Text Symposium will be held in November 2021. 


The Best Way to Predict the Future…

Alan Kay (who is a contributor to the book) famously said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. This is why we are also producing authoring software and document reading software as The Augmented Text Company. This is also why we have developed the most robust way to encode rich metadata in a PDF, as we have done with the book, through what we call ‘Visual-Meta’.


Join the Community, Interact with The Future of Text

Please feel free to join the community on Circle. We also meet every Monday and Friday (8-9AM Pacific, 11-12noon Eastern, 4-5 UK time, 5-6 Central European), contact us for the Zoom Room. These Open Office Hours are archived in YouTube. We are also on Twitter and Instagram.