Barry Hughes

Barry B. Hughes

Distinguished University Professor

Founder/Original Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Institute for International Futures

What I do

I support thinking about alternative long-term global futures with that belief that doing so can help us create better ones with respect to human development, social systems, and environmental sustainability. That motivation has led me to create a long-term global forecasting system named International Futures (IFs), with the acronym referencing the clear conditionality of our future upon the actions we individually and collectively take. The need to understand and help others understand that conditionality led me initially to build IFs as a fully open-source tool for education and over time to expand its use for policy analysis.

Professional Biography

Dr. Barry B. Hughes is John Evans Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Dr. Hughes earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. He served the University of Denver as Vice Provost for Graduate Studies during the 1990s. He established and was the founding Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures.

His principal interests are in (1) global change, (2) computer simulation models for economic, energy, food, population, environmental, and socio-political forecasting, and (3) policy analysis. The fundamental concerns that synthesize these interests are (1) developing effective response to long-term global change and (2) improving the long-term human condition. He developed International Futures (IFs), the widely-used computer simulation for study of long-term national, regional, and global issues (see

Dr. Hughes supported the U.S. National Intelligence Council's reports to the President on Mapping the Global Futures 2020, Global Trends 2025, and Global Trends 2030. He provided long-term global forecasting for the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Environment Outlook 4. He provided background research papers and forecasting content used in the United Nations Human Development Reports (2011 and 2013). He further supported the UNDP by leading an extensive study of alternative scenarios framing the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He was a principal researcher in European Commission projects on the New Economy and on Information and Communications Technology. He has contributed research to projects of RAND, the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Institute of Peace, Peru's National Center for Strategic Planning (CEPLAN), and many other organizations.

Dr. Hughes wrote or co-authored The Domestic Context of American Foreign Policy (Freeman 1978), World Modeling (Lexington 1980), World Futures (Johns Hopkins 1985), Disarmament and Development (Prentice-Hall 1990), Continuity and Change in World Politics (Prentice-Hall 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000), International Futures (Westview 1993, 1996, 1999), Exploring and Shaping International Futures (Paradigm 2006), Reducing Global Poverty (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2009), Advancing Global Education (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2010), Improving Global Health (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2011), Building Global Infrastructure (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2013), Strengthening Governance Globally (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2014), Exploring and Understanding International Futures: Building Global Model Systems (Elsevier 2019.

He has written or co-authored articles in publications including World Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Futures, L'Express, Energy Policy, Policy Studies Review, International Political Science Review, Simulation and Gaming, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Sustainability, PLoS One, Climatic Change, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, World Development, Statistical Journal of the IAOS, International Journal of Security and Development, and International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning .


B.S. in Mathematics, Stanford University

Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Minnesota