This article provides the context for futures thinking in the field of international business (IB). The article begins by considering the nature of IB. Its historical development is then elaborated, before its current significance and trends are considered. Building on the review of past and present we speculate briefly on the possible futures of IB. In so doing, we provide a basis from which the contributions to this Special Issue on the Futures of IB can be understood and situated in a broader context.