"To enter into the realm of The Shape of the Future and TRILO-G is to immerse yourself in fresh perspectives on perplexing problems for which traditional disciplines offer few solutions. To emerge from that realm is to never view the world the same."
– James A. Bacon – Former Publisher and Editor of Virginia Business, publisher of Bacon’s
and author of Boomergeddon. (2010)
"The Shape of the Future is written not only for scholars and professionals, but for all people who are interested in understanding why many maladies of contemporary civilization are rooted in dysfunctional settlement patterns and how these can be changed."
– I. Michael Heyman – Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley 1980-1990 and
              Secretary, Smithsonian Institution, 1993 – 1999


Over the last 18 years, E M Risse, SYNERGY/Planning, Inc. and  SYNERGY have prepared and published three books that articulate a unified field theory of human settlement patterns.  A description of each book can be found in the LINER NOTES.




Risse, E M. THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE:  (Vol I) The Critical, Overarching Impact of Human Settlement Pattern on Citizens' Economic, Social and Environmental Well-Being and (Vol II) Prospering in 21st Century New Urban Regions.  4th Printing, Warrenton, VA: SYNERGY/Resources, 2000.  ISBN - 0-9678108-0-9  - click here for LINER NOTES (pdf)


Risse, E M. TRILO-G, FOUNDATIONS, BRIDGES, ACTION: How to Make the World a Better Place One Alpha Community at a Time. Beta 2, Warrenton, VA: SYNERGY/Resources, 2010.  ISBN - 978-0-9678108-1-2 - click here for LINER NOTES (pdf)

These two books are available at

The materials in GALLERY, CURRENT PERSPECTIVES and RESOURCES amplify and illustrate the theses, principles, laws, axioms, strategies and tactics in THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE and TRILO-G.   TRILO-G also includes selected content published between 1984 and 2010. 


Risse, E M. THE LITTLE BOOK: RESTRUCTURING VIllages, COmmunities and REgions,
The Most Important Components of Prosperous and Sustainable Human Habitat. (2018)

THE LITTLE BOOK summarizes the Principles and Strategies laid out in our two previous books: THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE (2000) and TRILO-G (2010). The plan is to have the new 146 page book published with two CDs containing the two earlier books in pockets in the front and back covers.

The conclusion from THE LITTLE BOOK?:

Human Civilization will not achieve a sustainable trajectory unless there are Profound Transformations in the STRUCTURE of Governance (AGencies) and the STRUCTURE of the Economy (ENterprises).

This conclusion echos the growing interest in “Localism.”

Large, nation-state (“Biggest Dog”) governance structures do not work because they do not match the organic structure of human activity.

While there is much laudable effort at the COmmunity and REgional scales, no one has yet set a flag to mark the foundations of a sustainable trajectory for civilization based on the organic structure of human settlement patterns. Our intent is to address this overarching need with THE LITTLE BOOK.

THE LITTLE BOOK (TLB) addresses four fundamental questions related to the future of
human civilization:

Chapter I: Where is human society today and what is the current trajectory of human civilization?

Chapter II: How did human society acquire the current dysfunctional trajectory?

Chapter III: What Profound Transformations must citizens implement to achieve a prosperous economy, a stable social structure and a sustainable planetary environment?

Functional human settlement patterns are the sine qua non of a sustainable trajectory for civilization.

How do citizens overcome obstacles to actions intended to address the compounded economic, social and physical dysfunctions in order to achieve functional human settlement patterns?

Chapter III focuses on the core message of TLB. This Chapter articulates the Profound Transformations and intelligent actions with respect to:



SUPERSTRUCTURE of human civilization.

These Profound Transformations and intelligent actions must be undertaken to achieve resilient, sustainable settlement patterns. In turn, these patterns – aka, functional human habitat – are required to achieve intelligent governance, economic prosperity, social stability and environmental sustainability.

Chapter IV examines overarching objectives and milestones based on an UnderStanding of the COMPREHENSIVE SETTLEMENT PATTERN CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK articulated in Chapter II.

Chapter IV documents that there MAY BE light at the end of the tunnel. Time is of the essence.

The Current Draft of THE LITTLE BOOK can be accessed HERE. (Click here for THE LITTLE BOOK PDF)


SYNERGY/Planning27 Rockledge DriveThe Woodlands, TX 77382-5334

Voice 703.967.9324Fax 346.331.6844