It is interesting when I hear several people comment on an article in Wired about the future and it’s need for futurists and some even send me emails about it. Since some time ago I have been focusing more on consulting in general strategy issues, but maybe I shall turn back to where I was heading some years ago – Back to the future!
In january I noted a trend towards an increased interest for the future again (see my blog – in Swedish) and it seems to be growing for every day. That is fine, but… is anybody actually taking action or is it just entertainment?
The reason I quit my job as Technology Watcher at Volvo IT 6+ years ago was that even if the management were listening because they thought it was interesting (entertaining?), no action what so ever occured as a result. Maybe I was missing the point or was looking to much for concrete results? Maybe I was just the corporate jester??
Do you, as a reader of this, have a story describing a situation where thinking about the future actually has made a difference I would be more than happy read about it. Send me an email and tell me about it! I would like to start a collection of these stories that could encourage both me and others focusing on the future again.
One thought on “Are we futurists becoming popular again?”
As a futurist living in Sweden and a member of the two most active professional associations for futurists, the World Future Studies Federation and the World Future Society I keep up on regular dialogues with futurists all over the world. In my environmental scanning (futures studies term for a structured observation for signs of possible trends) called Signs of the Times (http://www.framtidsbygget.se/center/signs/sign1.htm) I posted the following sighting which can be found in the archives at: http://www.framtidsbygget.se/center/signs/prev6.htm#Non-predictive.
Non-predictive futures studies on the rise
“What, if any, foresight activity is going on in your geographic area?”
In response to the question “What, if any, foresight activity is going on in your geographic area?”, sent out to the World Futures Studies Federation list serve, Riel Miller from OECD reported that while “there is still a huge yearning for a world where prediction is doable and useful” the role of traditional planning with its dream of predictability is declining. This sort of planning and thinking about the future is still dominant, but is on its way out. ” …there are many who still think that futures thinking is about prediction and hence they expect elaborate models and ‘factual’ econometric type statements about what will happen.” New futures thinking, which is “a more narrative, anti-planning approach which calls into question the current assumptions about the potential for change is on the rise.
The World Futures Studies Federation is a global network of practicing futurists, researchers, teachers, scholars, policy analysts, activists and others from over 80 countries, established in 1967.
Source: Riel Miller, OECD-CERI
Date: February 10, 2004
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