What Is A Good Futurist


Description of a Good Futurist
-- a university of arizona course on methods and approaches for studying the future


There are different perspectives on what constitutes a good futurist. In part, the answer depends on whether you want an overview or a detailed study, whether the person is a full time futurist or their job is mostly doing non-futures work, and what resources and tools they have available. My perspective on the characteristics of a good general futurist are:

• Develop anticipatory skills and maintain awareness of current and potential changes

(For an example see Five regions of the Future - Joel Barker   Future Organizations    Visionary Leadership  Future Societies)


 • Know what to look for and separating important events from noise

 • Use a radar approach rather than a vacuum cleaner approach to data gathering

 • Know what tools are available and when to use them and when not to use them

 • Prepare to react early to new changes while allowing for flexibility as more is learned

 • Don't place undue trust in experts or in non-experts (or yourself)

 • Watch out for the bandwagon effect (safety in keeping with fads)

 • Watch out for group think (fear of standing out)

 • Be wary of unstated assumptions or simplistic statements

 • Define your "future" time frame and don't go out too near or too far

 • Implement foresight knowledge into your daily activities so you become an "automated futurist"

Related page: Futurists viewpoints on good futures studies (book reviews)

Return to "Anticipating the Future" course home page

Prepared by Roger L. Caldwell


And Also see below:

From A Manual for Success: The Magic of Thinking Big By Dr. David J. Schwartz,

July 21, 2002
By  John Kim "newchapter" (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews

Simple actionable advice for self-improvement. Basically, we are what we think, so think big.


1) Build confidence in yourself. Action reduces fear, so act.

Take small steps at first: Sit in the front everywhere you go, practice eye contact, walk 25% faster, practice speaking up, smile big, use positve words.


2) Think and dream creatively. Believe that it can be done and then the mind finds a way to get it done. Be open to new ideas and be progressive. Stimulate yourself with diverse ideas from diverse people. Capacity is a state of mind.


3) You are what you think. "The price tag you put on yourself, is probably the same price tag that the world will put on you." (pg 75) Dress up. Think your work is important. Think enthusiastically. Ask yourself if you are the type of manager that a subordinate would respect and follow?


4) Manage your environment because it is food for your mind.

People who tell you that it cannot be done are usually unsuccessful people.


5) Make your attitudes your allies. Live it up. Broadcast good news. Do better work that others expect. Remember people's names. Take initiative to build friendships. Talk less. Listen.


6) Get the action habit. Nothing happens just by thinking. Do not worry about problems. You can handle them as they come. Successful people handle problems as they arise. You cannot buy insurance on all problems. Start now.


7) Turn defeat into victory. Defeat is a state of mind. Be constructively self-critical; do not just look for another reason that you are a loser. Think that there IS A WAY. If it does not work, then back off and start afresh. Get mentally refreshed.


8) Use goals to help you grow. Goal is a dream acted upon. "The important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to get." (pg 195) Know where you want to go. Visualize your future.


9) How to think like a leader. Achieving success requires the help of others. Trade minds with the people you want to influence. "What would I think if I were that person?" Be human, and put people first.


The last words of the book, sum up its meaning:

"A wise man will be master of His Mind. A Fool will be Its Slave."