FUTURISTS: PURVEYORS OF WHAT'S TO COME
The New Year is all about fresh starts and looking towards the future with optimism, so New Year's signals the end of a chapter in 2022 and the beginning of a new one in 2023.
So how do we go about making predictions that are both bold but possible? We leverage our skills as researchers and media content providers to make bold predictions. We turn to others as well as look at the progress going on around us. We put on our futurists hats. Being a futurist has become synonymous with the process of 'prediction' so that people can feel more comfortable accepting new possibilities. Non-foresight folk have always gravitated towards them.
A futurist is someone who actively studies trends and factors that impact the future. By studying society and observing the trends, it helps to paint a trajectory to the future. Futurists have a lot in common with historians, because they both look at how times have changed. Futurists, first and foremost we look at trends, patterns, elements that stimulate potential future breakthroughs, combined efforts and collaborations as well as resources and access to new materials and technologies that enable over the top innovations.It takes time, research and a level of investigative savvy to pick the right predictions for innovative and technological breakouts. We also review other lists provided by experts who have a track record of success. What's most important is avoiding the fakers who may as well be using a crystal ball with mud inside. This is a science, as well as an art form.
Looking at key factors in 2022 highlights some of the possible earth shattering breakthroughs that are on the immediate horizon. For example, the world of Virtual Reality is exploding in the gaming community while the metaverse is taking shape with boundless potential attached to it.
This is the age of innovation and consumer electronics as well as home entertainment innovations. The innovations may come at us in waves. In other cases those innovations may happen in an instant. The futurist movement emphasized the importance of the future, mainly as it relates to the advancement of the machine age and the importance of the urban environment propelling people forward into a progressive state of mind.
According to Ben Parsons, Nothing can possibly matter more than the future. We are literally setting the foundations today for the world our kids and grandkids will inhabit tomorrow.
Humans are fully capable of perceiving and realising the consequences of short-term phenomena: if we drop poison into a river, we almost immediately see dead fish.
If an oil tanker sinks, we almost immediately see the consequences for surrounding sea life. But, in terms of climate change, how can we perceive the consequences of present-day actions that occur so far into the future?
How do we begin to perceive and imagine the social, political, and economic consequences of something as seemingly abstract as releasing an invisible gas, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere over decades, or even centuries? An imaginative futurist can provide compelling visions of those consequences, and through science fiction literature, can compel readers to take action.
More critical and predictive futurists like myself can explore these visions, analyse them, and write about them, as I'm doing now. As a meta-prediction, I predict that futurism will be one of the defining skills of the 21st century, one that every organisation will need to not just survive in an automated and changing world, but thrive.
Parson says, although degrees can be earned in the craft, one does not necessarily need one. " While you'll most definitely need some form of education, most probably a bachelor's degree at least, futurism is an interdisciplinary, multi-field activity that individuals from many walks of life can perform. Many people, such as myself, are futurists as both an integration and a side-project to their actual careers, in my case, teaching. Parson say he augments his teaching practice with various kinds of futurism. He adds that he pursues futurism as a side project, for example, in writing, in post-graduate education, and in public speaking.
For those of us in digital media on the tech and innovation side, having a futurist mindset helps keep our audiences informed about what may be over the horizon that will shape the near future.
According to Pat Kiger, the World Future Society, a group of scientific and economic forecasters from 80 countries, compiled a recent report envisioning life in 2100, it was careful to characterize its work as a "first light" view of the horizon that might play out very differently, depending upon a host of variables -- including whether humans make wise use of technological advances or foolishly use them in ways that are destructive. Even so, futurists still manage to conjure up visions of mind-boggling scientific and technological advances down the road -- ranging from computers that eclipse human intelligence to factories that use molecular-level assembly to duplicate or create outright any sort of object you might want. Here are five such visions to contemplate, "The Singularity is Near," Kurzweil predicted that by 2045, "non-biological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence."
From that point on, which futurists call "The Singularity," machines will eclipse the human brain. Not only will machines' escalating computational power and speed eventually enable them to handle information with an ease that humans can only dream of, but scientific advances in understanding how the human brain functions will also enable us to create mathematical models that can simulate human consciousness.