I. Introduction to Peer Advice
The foresight leaders in this chapter generously share a little of their personal histories in foresight, and some advice on the scope, strategies, challenges, and opportunities of foresight practice. They come from the membership of FERN and 4U’s Global Foresight LinkedIn community, which includes Fortune 500 leaders, entrepreneurs, consultants, academics, PhD students, undergrads, retirees, and amateurs seeking to do more effective foresight work.
This chapter profiles fifty leaders who we think are broadly representative of the five leading foresight practitioner categories introduced in Chapter 5. We hope these profiles inspire you to achieve better foresight for yourself, your team, your organization and the world, and to help improve our emerging field.
Skim them all, or skip to your preferred practice category, or to specific individuals by name or title. If you would like to talk with any of the leaders profiled here, consider contacting them via LinkedIn, or their personal or professional websites. Most are quite willing to offer quick advice or engage in conversation with foresight students and colleagues.
Peer Advice Survey Scope
Our survey seeks to better understand the diversity of histories and experiences among leaders in our profession, and to elicit career advice for anyone who wants to be more foresighted within their profession. A subset of survey respondents were selected by FERN and 4U staff to be profiled in the first edition of the Guide. We chose practitioners roughly evenly from the five practice categories outlined in the Guide, who we thought exemplified the breadth and opportunities of our field and practitioners who offered particularly valuable advice. We have tried to include a diversity of leaders, including some presently underrepresented within the field.
Most foresight leaders work simultaneously in more than one of these practice categories, and many would be best categorized in different types at different times in their careers. But given the constraint of only one category per leader per time period, these placements are our best effort at concisely representing the diversity of our field. Most placements were confirmed with each leader as the preferred single category at the time of placement.
Initial surveys were done in 2014. Those selected to profile were offered the opportunity to update their responses in June 2016. We will continue to update these, and additional leader profiles, as we grow the Guide.