Dr. Thomas J. Lombardo
Thomas J. Lombardo, Ph.D. is the Resident Futurist Faculty, as
well as the Faculty Chair of Psychology, Philosophy, and Religion at Rio
Salado College in Tempe, Arizona. He is a graduate of the University of
Connecticut and the University of Minnesota and a graduate fellow of
He has served as the Chief Psychologist and Educational Director at John Madden Mental Health Center, the Dean of Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, and the Chair of the Psychology Instructional Council at Maricopa Community Colleges. His first book, The Reciprocity of Perceiver and Environment, is the best selling volume in Lawrence Erlbaum’s Resources in Ecological Psychology and has been translated into Japanese.
Tom is an award-winning educator with over thirty years professional experience. He has supervised college faculty and faculty departments, and designed innumerable college courses, including complete undergraduate and graduate programs. His disciplinary background is very broad and highly integrative. Aside from psychology and philosophy, he has extensively studied intellectual history, evolutionary theory, cosmology, the philosophies of science and time, science fiction, and most recently futurist literature, ranging from the future of science and technology to the future of psychology, human society, culture, and religion. He has also worked in academic, clinical education, and mental health settings, and is well versed in theories and practices of human growth, personal development, and self-fulfillment.
Tom has been designing and teaching college courses and giving professional presentations on the future for the last fifteen years. He is a regular contributor to the World Future Society conventions. Within the last two years, he has given presentations on The Pursuit of Wisdom and the Future of Education at the School for the Future in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, Science Fiction as the Mythology of the Future at the NASA Contact Conference and the World Future Society, “Evolving the Mind: The Future of Psychology” at the UCLA – Los Angeles Future Salon, The Future of Science, Religion, and Spirituality and The Evolution and Future Direction of Marriage (with Jeanne Lombardo) at the World Future Society, “The Second Enlightenment: Wisdom and Enhanced Future Consciousness” at the Second Enlightenment Conference, Ethical Character Development and Personal and Academic Excellence at Central Piedmont Community College, and, as the keynote address, The Future of Psychology and the Psychology of the Future at the New Mexico Psychological Association Convention. This summer he will be giving workshops in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, Brazil on “Consciousness of the Future and the Future of Consciousness”.
His most recent publications include: Evolving Future Consciousness through the Pursuit of Virtue in Thinking Creatively in Turbulent Times, The Value of Future Consciousness, The Pursuit of Wisdom and the Future of Education, and The Evolution and Future Direction of Marriage (with Jeanne Lombardo) published in the annual World Future Society Anthologies; Thinking Ahead: The Value of Future Consciousness published in The Futurist; The Evolution and Psychology of Future Consciousness published in The Journal of Future Studies; and Time, Future Consciousness, and Personal Responsibility published in Personal Responsibility: The Power of You.
Also, he has recently published a series of articles on science fiction and futurist thinking, Science Fiction and the Future: Accelerating Into the Future, The Future Worlds of Science Fiction: Simmons’ Hyperion Epic, Reflections of Human Civilization: Alternative Realities in Robert Sawyer’s Neanderthal Parallax (with Jeanne Lombardo), and Cosmic Visions of the Future: The Science Fiction of Stephen Baxter in the World Future Society newsletter Learning Tomorrow as well as a series of articles on Developing Constructive and Creative Attitudes and Behaviors about the Future in the World Futures Study Federation publication Futures Bulletin.
Most noteworthy, in July 2006 Tom published two books on the future: The Evolution of Future Consciousness: The Nature and Historical Development of the Human Capacity to Think about the Future and Contemporary Futurist Thought: Science Fiction, Future Studies, and Theories and Visions of the Future in the Last Century.
These two books provide a detailed psychological study of the human capacity to think about the future and trace this capacity from prehistoric times through myth, religion, secular philosophy, evolutionary science, science fiction, and futures studies, concluding with a comprehensive review of contemporary theories and visions of the future. Future Survey described the books as “awesome”, “heroic”, and an “ambitious synthesis”; Wendell Bell used the terms “brilliant” and “masterpiece”; and Tim Mack, President of the World Future Society, refers to the books as “innovative, thoughtful, enlightening, and entertaining.”
Tom is a member of the World Future Society and the World Future Study Federation, an Affiliate of Communities for the Future, and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, and an Educational Advisory Board Member for the Acceleration Studies Foundation. This last year he was also appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Future Studies. Additionally, he is one of the key developers of the World Futures Study Federation Pedagogical Resources in Futures Studies. His website The Odyssey of the Future contains a wealth of informational resources on the study of the future.
In his faculty position as chair of psychology, philosophy, and religion at Rio Salado College, over the last ten years Tom has been spearheading and developing a comprehensive approach to teaching and assessing deep learning, critical thinking, educational ethics, and wisdom related capacities within all the courses in his departments. He has also created a faculty self-evaluation and self-development plan, as well as a workshop that focuses on the growth of wisdom in teachers and educators.
For Tom, the development and modeling of wisdom should be the central goal of education. Specifically regarding his ongoing interest in the virtue of wisdom, which he describes as the “highest expression of future consciousness”, Tom has contributed numerous papers to the premier wisdom website The Wisdom Page. As resident Futurist Faculty, Tom provides various workshops and presentations on futures related topics for Rio Salado staff and students, most recently, on “Globalization” and “The Exploration and Colonization of Outer Space”.
Tom is married to Jeanne Lombardo, his intellectual partner and soul mate who is also an educator and writer. They have five children between them, ranging in ages from 13 to 27. This summer Tom and Jeanne will be giving a presentation at the World Future Society conference on “Utopian Visions and Values for the Future”. They are the cofounders and directors of The Center for Future Consciousness, an educational institute dedicated to the enhancement of future consciousness and the evolution of humanity. His hobbies include hiking in the desert, weightlifting, gardening, swimming, art, and music most of which he participates in with Jeanne.
Read Doorways to the Future: Methods, Theories, and Themes, The Time of Your Life: Personal Responsibility, Wisdom, and the Future, Wisdom and the Second Enlightenment, Understanding and Teaching Future Consciousness, and Ask About the Future with Tom Lombardo.