What exactly is a futurist? Well, some of us are simply curious visionaries, exploring tomorrow’s potential with open hearts. Because we know that our human spirit is stronger than we were told.
Being a futurist is about more than holding a catchy title; it’s about playing a distinct role in understanding patterns at the edges of society. Many futurists aim to decode these patterns mainly through the lens of emerging technological trends. My focus expands further. I center on the potential of humanity, reminding us that we are not passive onlookers but powerful creators, of an emerging, healthier world.
Traditional futurists spot trends and technologies on the sidelines and see how they’ll take center stage tomorrow. Some futurists try to bring in a new world that is not healthy for us. Here is a recent prediction that does not sit well with me.
“As this world becomes more contradictory, more difficult, more haves and have-nots, more unfair, you’re going to want to spend a lot more time in a prettier place, not in real life,” predicts a celebrated futurist. Yes, this is one option. But it is incredibly toxic. Not all futurists focus on our human potential and spirit.
The vision of retreating into a “prettier place” as the world becomes “more contradictory, more difficult, more haves and have-nots, more unfair” avoids the core issues we face. This approach isn’t healthy; it’s like covering a deep wound with a band-aid. And it gives up on us.
But maybe instead of seeking an escape, we actively engage? Why not contribute to creating a society so vibrant and healthy that nobody wants to escape it? Why can we not see the beauty and potential in our inherent ability to create in community, together?
The future is for a self-aware humanity, free from limiting beliefs where we embrace the unknown and reject ignorance.
So, some futurists take a holistic view that brings back our humanity and the value of integrating technology; not leading with it. Spotting under-the-radar opportunities is vital for shaping a healthy future. It allows us to prepare and adapt, making room for new playgrounds of thought and action. And also feel responsibility for not just talking but creating and co-creating what is possible,
My futurist journey took a practical turn when I served as a Futurist in Residence. My role was hands-on. I helped an organization bring clarity to their real-time decision-making, ignited innovation, and laid down paths toward preferable futures. Strategies were not just current but relationship-based, adaptable, real and forward-looking.
It also helped me realize how much we need to do outside of organizational walls because each of us can step into our power as a leader at any point in our present. And not remain silent when others tell us we can’t escape the dying systems and world we constructed.
Futurists are more like navigators than oracles. We don’t just predict; we guide. We balance existing conditions with an eye toward a healthier future focused on our greatest opportunities. If organizations don’t steer, they react instead of shape. Our work isn’t just about seeing the future; it’s about helping to create it.
This work isn’t just about tech or culture. It’s about how we connect, trust, and keep each other engaged. How do we keep our connections real? How do we build trust? And, how do we become aware that there is another way when we become aware and conscious leaders?
In short, everyone is an active player in this emerging world; closing the gap between now and a healthier future. I stay on the edge, tuned in, and committed to unlocking human potential. In this world, conscious leaders become active creators, not just spectators following the crowd.
Imagine we focus as much on the future of life as much as work. Because we need to create holistic living systems that remind us there is only life, and work and play are simply part of life.
So, what exactly is a futurist? Pioneering trailblazers who spark our curiosity and courage for the future, guiding us to be the leaders we need. Futurists vary just like us, and choosing who to trust remains important.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”—Alvin Toffler
When there is a need for helping individuals and organizations navigate and thrive in an ever-changing world, reach out to a heart-centered futurist.
We have really important to choices to make right now. There is no accident many of us are here to navigate between two worlds: one of known division, fear and hate. And another of questioning, imagining and co-creating in the unknown.