Chapter 9. Visions and Challenges – Priorities for Professionals

IV. Problematic Social Roles

The great majority of foresight practitioners do not fall into problematic types. It is generally more useful to focus on all the more productive varieties of foresight practice, and ways we might further improve them. But in closing advice, we should say a little about a few roles that foresighters and futurists should generally avoid, and help others to avoid when appropriate.

It’s usually not productive to try to change someone from their preferred way of engaging the future, unless they are asking for advice, and are able to act on it. But you can always recognize less adaptive views in yourself, and take steps to change. You can also have the courage to call out improper thinking in others when you think it is a moral responsibility.

Remember to show your respect for the amazing human beings you are critiquing, if critique them you must. It’s also best never to expect others to change, only yourself. “Hope you can” however, as Yoda would say. Being an advisor and friend who is both supportive and truthful, in gentle ways, is an ideal we can all strive for.