Insights · April 1st, 2020
Glen Hiemstra, founder of Futurist.com, talks about his 40 years as a futurist in this 45-minute interview with Nikolas Badminton, part of Nik’s regular program, Exponential Minds.
In this pre-Coronavirus interview I talk about some of teachers and mentors, from Ed Lindaman to Barbara Marx Hubbard. I get into the evolution of the field that I have seen, from early days that seemed to focus more on vision, preferred futures, and promoting social change, to more current futurism which seems to have evolved into a more technocratic, tools-based consulting field aimed mostly at improving the performance of existing organizations.
The central point I wanted to communicate in this interview is that I think most current futurism is missing the most important trend or development in the world today, which is the rise of authoritarian leaders and governments around the world, in formerly authoritarian and in democratic nations as well. We talk a little about why this may be happening, and why most futurists seem to ignore it, preferring to highlight trends like AI, Block Chain, Robotics and the future of work, and Virtual Reality. Some focus a lot on climate change, or the electrification of transportation, much more so than even a year or two ago. But the case that I make is that unless the global drift toward authoritarian government is reversed, these other issues either will not be dealt with, as in the case of climate change, or will evolve in more negative directions, as with AI for example.
It is difficult for a field that has primarily become a business consulting field to address political issues like authoritarian government. But how to do this is something for futurists to consider and act upon.
You can listen to the interview (Exponential Minds, Season 2, Episode 1 here:
You can also access this Exponential Minds, Season 2, Episode 1 on these platforms:
Anchor.fm (from here you can access via Stitcher, Spotify and other platforms)