We keep getting asked: Who hires futurists to be keynote speakers and strategy consultants? Loads of associations, corporations, Fortune 500s, startups and non-profit organizations it turns out.

By way of illustration, as the pace of technological and social change accelerates, an increasing number of organizations have recognized the strategic imperative of long-range forward thinking. This has fueled rising demand for the unique skillset offered by professional futurists – those specialized in developing anticipatory models, provocative scenarios, and imagination-expanding visions to prepare for upcoming landscapes of transformation.

At the vanguard of harnessing professional futurist expertise are future-minded corporations across major industries. Many leading enterprises like Microsoft, Ford, Samsung, and Lego have established corporate foresight and entrepreneurship units staffed with futurists. Their role is to identify emerging issues, map potential impacts, and inform strategic planning and innovation pipelines based on alternative projected futures.

On the consulting end, various specialized futurist agencies and foresight advisory firms have proliferated to meet the growing organizational appetite for long-term thinking and scenario planning services. From narrative fictions and immersive experiential artifacts to data-driven modeling and trend analysis, these futurist consultancies offer a diverse toolkit for expanding executive peripheral vision.

National governments and public policy institutions also increasingly rely on futurists to inform long-range civil planning, preparedness for societal shifts, and proactive policymaking. Official futurist roles exist within governing bodies and think tanks across the European Union, United Kingdom, Finland, Singapore, and United Arab Emirates, among others. At an international scale, futurists contribute foresight for issues like climate change and technology governance to multilateral organizations like the OECD and United Nations.

For municipalities, futurists provide strategic roadmaps to navigate coming disruptions involving urban dynamics, automation’s impact on workforces, and prioritizing investment in smart city initiatives and resilient infrastructure. Regional futurists also advise on economic diversification beyond industries vulnerable to disruption.

In the arena of human services and social impact, non-profit organizations, philanthropies, and foundations turn to futurists for guidance on challenges like mitigating existential risks, climate adaptation, public health preparedness, and reimagining educational and workforce development models resilient to forthcoming upheavals. Futurists’ scenario forecasting and visioning allow charting proactive paths aligned with positive long-term outcomes.

With accelerating technological metamorphoses and social transformations on the horizon, more sectors are recognizing that taking a future-conscious perspective is no longer a luxury but a necessity for thriving amidst volatility. As this realization grows, recruiting futurist talent to cultivate anticipatory intelligence will likely become table stakes across the corporate, governmental and civic realms.