1. History and Current Career Path: I came to foresight via two areas of management called business improvement and change management. The first asks where do we want to take our business, and the second asks why some people and projects are successful and other fail to sustain change. My Masters of Foresight was critical kind of “finishing schooling” that cemented my foresight focus. Formal training in Systems Thinking was also key to my own career path.
2. Key Foresight Skills: Key skills include:
Critical thinking to uncover hidden assumptions and blind spots
Creative thinking, to see solutions to wicked problems
Resilience in the face of significant uncertainty
Ability to use foresight tools
Facilitation of group learning
Effective communication, sometimes of radical and provocative ideas
Healthy scepticism of the fallibility of our own perspective
A working grasp of moral philosophy and reasoning
3. Self-Description and Marketing: I describe myself as a futures educator and coach, and sometimes as a Pracademic (practitioner/academic). Yep, that one’s a mouthful 🙂
4. Nontraditional Foresight and Continuing Education: Nontraditional skills include economics, gardener, career coaching. Economics (which started out as a branch of moral philosophy) is a useful language to be literate in. Gardening teaches you that nothing lasts, that we are not needed and that we have to work with what is here and within a knowledge of where the environment wants to go. It’s the real ‘boss’. In coaching, recognizing the future that a client is wittingly or unwittingly creating now, through their own actions (and inactions), is a great place to start. I then ask “Is this future the one you want to live in? If not, what future do you want?” For continuing education, I participate in APF and WFSF, and follow quite a few bloggers. I ignore the mainstream media.
5. Parting Advice: Follow your passion and not your pension. The life experiences you bring to the field can be very helpful in guiding you to your own unique contribution to the field.