What does being a futurist mean in practice? Glad you asked: It’s a common question, and one that we’re frequently asked to weigh in on. If the term futurist was to be defined, you’d see the definition described in similar fashion as follows.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the answer to the question – what does being a futurist mean? – is simple. It can be defined as:
– An individual who makes a habit of studying or predicting the future, in particular by applying the lens of research and insight to current and emerging trends
– Someone who promotes, champions, or practices the art and skill of futurism (actively thinking about and anticipating what the future will hold, and potential new happenings or events)
In other words, what being a futurist means is that you’re generally someone – who, by nature of their profession – is in the habit of studying the future and its potential impact on an organization, or the world around us. A futurist effectively considers what’s coming next and how it might influence the shape of the market or society.
As futurist keynote speakers and consultants, we’re likewise often called upon to create simulations and role-playing exercises based on possible real-world happenings that businesses can work through. These exercises are typically crafted with an eye towards helping get executive teams up to speed on new trends and topics – and helping them determine which potential strategic course of action to take.
Here at FutureProof Strategies: The Futurist Consulting Firm™, we often remind audiences that futurist aren’t necessarily in the business of predicting the future. Rather, we frequently act more like market researchers, sociologists, and anthropologists in practice – helping clients think about what the future might hold, and how to best adapt to it. In other words, if you’re wondering “what does being a futurist mean,” it often means being a thought leader who’s challenged with getting partners to ask the right questions about next steps that they should be taking to plan for the future.
The good news: Anyone can learn to think like a futurist more effectively – and get in the regular, routine habit of exercising best practices in futurism. To learn more about futurist certification and training, don’t hesitate to drop us a line today!