The Key to Unlock Your Inner Futurist
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “foresight” and “futures thinking?” When people talk about utilizing foresight and futures thinking, or you read articles about the practice, some of the first things that you will most likely encounter include:
- The tools and methodologies for scanning trends and weak signals?
- Identifying the implications of emerging technologies and social changes?
- Creating alternative scenarios that can act as roadmaps for organizational and governmental readiness?
As important as those tools are to robust and rigorous futuring, they are not at the center of a deep and meaningful foresight practice. That honor belongs to what we at TFSX like to refer to as your “Inner Futurist,” and we have great news – everybody has one!
define inner futurist
Inner Futurist could be defined as the biological, psychological, and sacred capability that each person possesses to think about and act upon the future in a purposeful and intentional manner.
We’ve been told repeatedly that humans are largely driven by ancient evolutionary instincts that precondition us toward avoiding danger and risk, competing against others for survival, and gravitating toward short-term thinking for immediate success. However, this ignores both the scientific and experiential evidence surrounding the development of foresight as an innate and intentional evolutionary trait.
From an organic point of view, humans have “stacked” certain neurological improvements over time that together have given us the ability to anticipate, imagine, and mentally “time travel” as a means of creating pathways toward greater emerging novelty, transformational realities, and combinatorial possibilities. Researchers such as Daniel L. Schacter, Donna Rose Addis, Thomas Suddendorf, Michael C. Corballis, and others have written extensively on this biological enhancement, along with the indication that the possibility exists for even greater “future consciousness” as we continue our evolutionary journey. In other words, foresight is inside of you, waiting to be accessed, unlocked, and supercharged!
first things first
This focus on the Inner Futurist is further highlighted by renowned foresight professional Maree Conway. In an article entitled Is Foresight A Thing?, she illustrates the need to focus on unlocking our natural potential for futures thinking.
Over the 20+ years I’ve been working in the Futures Studies field, I have come to the conclusion that foresight is a cognitive capacity that we can develop to a conscious level and then apply it to design of Foresight and Futures Studies (FFS) processes. Finding our foresight comes before the process… What I’m trying to say is that we need to add a pre-step to the design of FFS processes – one where people have the opportunity to find their foresight, to think in more expansive, deeper and conscious ways before they use their foresight in practice.Maree Conway
the key to the lock
At TFSX, we have spent the past two decades establishing the idea and practice of the Inner Futurist, having created a dynamic philosophy of futures thinking as a cooperative evolutionary trait known as Holoptic Foresight that promotes the democratization of futures thinking and that undergirds the concepts and implementation of our world-renowned framework known as Natural Foresight®. Philosophy and trait first, framework and implementation second – it’s that simple.
More recently, we have begun exploring the importance of a foresight trait in humanity on The Wicked Opportunities® Podcast by featuring the synergy between the 23 skills and traits acknowledged in the Inner Development Goals and the traits necessary for robust futuring. Now, we are excited to announce the launch of a new series of personal courses that will empower individuals around the world to unlock their Inner Futurist. Released over time, these courses will help you to hone the traits and skills of robust futures thinking that then lead to a more rigorous, impactful, and transformative foresight practice.
Grasping that futures thinking is inherent inside all of us is much more than a matter of semantics or nuance – it has the power to redefine our approach, diversify our vision, and interweave our understanding of foresight as a core element in humanity’s development. It can place futures thinking at the heart of education; it can transform the value proposition of our organizational models; it can position government as a true servant institution for broad-based prosperity; and it can dismantle harmful systems of hyper competition and dehumanized subsistence. It can even reframe what it means to be “human.”
As the famed poet Rainer Maria Rilke noted in his commentary on the inner workings of “futuring”:
The new presence inside us, that which has come to us, has entered our heart, has found its way to its innermost chamber, and is no longer even there—it is already in our blood… there are many indications that the future enters us in just this way, to transform itself within us long before it happens… the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than any loud and accidental point of time which occurs, as it were, from the outside.Rainer Maria Rilke
In 2009, Frank founded Kedge – a global foresight, innovation, and strategic design firm which pioneered TFSX. Throughout his career, Frank has worked as a leadership coach and developer with entrepreneurs, social communities, networking initiatives, and SMEs, helping them in areas such as development, innovation, and networking.Read More