What does it mean to be a futurist?
In episode 5 of the Transform IT show I sat down with James Jorasch and Rita J. King, powerhouse couple, futurists and founders of Science House. We talked about their unique and distinct journeys that led them both to this point at which, in their view, technology and humanity are intersecting.
We talked about the perspectives that cause then to be viewed as "futurists" and what we can each do to develop that viewpoint. Most importantly, we talked about how important it is to recognize that we are in control. That we can shape everything: our culture, our future and our destiny.
They challenged us to move ourselves away from those things that are known and comfortable and to be willing to immerse ourselves in the unknown. They challenged us to employ diligent practice to develop our skills, but to not stop there - to then expand our horizons into seemingly disconnected areas. And then to simply let things simmer and percolate.
It was a fascinating look into a different way of seeing the world around us.
Perhaps the greatest challenge came from Rita as she encouraged each of us to "have an adventure". When was the last time in our busy, corporate lives that we thought of ourselves as on an adventure?
Yet her challenge was a way of reminding us that the only way to prepare for an uncertain and rapidly evolving future is to put ourselves in a state of adventure. We need to be open to new ideas and new perspectives. We need to be willing to challenge the status quo and be open to connections that might not seem to make any sense on the surface.
It can be a tall order for most IT professionals. We're more comfortable with things that we can see and touch. But I believe that we need to embrace this kind of perspective if we are going to remain relevant as our world transforms around us.
And I believe that's what it means to be a futurist.
A futurist is not someone that knows what the future holds. But rather, a futurist is simply someone who is in a constant state of exploration about the future and who is open to wherever that future may lead.
So the question for you is how will you rise to this challenge? How will you begin your adventure and begin thinking a bit more like a futurist tomorrow?