Insights · May 28th, 2022

We’re big fans of quotes that inspire us, and here we share 20 Essential Quotes on the Future that do just that.

We can lean into and learning from the sage words of those that we hold high in our regard can be a transcendent experience. Oftentimes they are taken out of context and have power in their own form as powerful epigraphs.

Here we’ve collected 20 of our favorite quotes about our futures from people whose works we think you should dive into and explore. Some are direct, and some are esoteric. All get us thinking.

  1. “Every story I create, creates me. I write to create myself.” Octavia E. Butler
  1. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn” Alvin Toffler
  1. “If there’s any object in human experience that’s a precedent for what a computer should be like, it’s a musical instrument: a device where you can explore a huge range of possibilities through an interface that connects your mind and your body, allowing you to be emotionally authentic and expressive.” Jaron Lanier
  1. “I think the only way to behave is as if nothing is private. And then fight to make what you care about legal and acceptable.” Douglas Rushkoff
  1. “Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.” David Bowie
  1. “We are prisoners of our own metaphors, metaphorically speaking…” R. Buckminster Fuller
  1. “A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.” Ursula K. Le Guin
  1. “It didn’t matter what we did or where we did it as long as we were together. We knew we’d found what most people either pursue in years of futile search or dismiss as a fantasy at the outset: the missing half of ourselves. The real thing.” John Perry Barlow
  1. “I am not an optimist, but a great believer of hope.” Nelson Mandela
  1. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  1. “You can’t maintain a culture that is based on retarding the development of half the population, particularly the half that is responsible for creating life.” Tyson Yunkaporta
  1. “There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” Douglas Adams
  1. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell 
  1. “The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.“ John F. Kennedy
  1. “If I speak of myself in different ways, that is because I look at myself in different ways.” Michel de Montaigne.
  1. “Thirst drove me down to the water where I drank the moon’s reflection.” Rumi.
  1. “The past is always tense, the future perfect.” Zadie Smith
  1. “Do not regret what you have done” Miyamoto Musashi
  1. “The future is there… looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.” William Gibson
  1. “The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.” Ursula K. Le Guin

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Category
Long-term thinking Society
NikolasBadminton_ChiefFuturist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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