Grasping Threads of the Future

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What do people mean when they call themselves a futurist? More often than not the moniker revolves around grasping threads and predicting the near-term future.

Futurism increasingly drives conversations amongst technologists and leaders. The future fascinates us as much as the past does, a response to the technological imperative of change facing every single one of us.

Al Gore and Brian Solis popularized the term with their recent books The Future and WTF (What’s the Future) of Business, respectively, but contemporaries like Greg Verdino and others are calling themselves futurists, too.

Futurism extends into our larger culture now. The popular i09 blog looks at future concepts present, in entertainment and through science fiction. Of course, science fiction is the narrative business of imagining the future.

In business, futurists look at current trends, and predict how they impact society, business and culture. They see blends of activity pointing towards a general direction, using emerging trends as a clay to formalize anticipation of what’s next.

But it’s important to understand that as sexy as trendspotting is, it can lead to all sorts of bad decisions.

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