25 Oct WHAT IS A FUTURIST?
What is a Futurist? It’s the single most common question that we’re asked as keynote speakers and trends experts. In fairness though, I won’t be offended if you roll your eyes here. After all, a lot of folks tend to think of us as the corporate version of late-night psychics. But the idea that we’re in the business of reading tarot cards and tea leaves couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact – and I probably shouldn’t tell you this – our dirty secret is that futurists don’t actually predict the future for a living. Rather, we carefully study the current state of the market and society, as well as patterns and trends that appear to be slowly percolating upwards across both – then consider how likely it is that various developments will take shape, and the degree to which they’ll impact any given organization. By doing so, we’re able to challenge partners to think more critically about various scenarios – and how to create an action plan designed to deal with any given development that might come to pass.
So what is a futurist in summary? Truth be told, we’re market researchers and anthropologists more than anything else. Ultimately, we spend most of our time collecting data, analyzing information, and crafting scenarios that organizations can simulate working through to prepare themselves to greet new challenges. Put simply, it’s our job to get business leaders to carefully consider which way that the future is trending – and help them determine which strategic direction to go in, as well as the best plan of attack to adopt. And you’d be amazed at the kind of insights you can surface when you apply similar approaches in thinking. As you can, there’s more to being a futurist than simply thinking about what comes next – we’re also in the business of thinking about ways to bridge the gap from here to there.