Insights · May 17th, 2024

This is a personal share – a reflection on what I have learnt over the past 4 years of being a father, rebuilding and focusing my work as a futurist, and creating a platform for mentorship to many world changing thinkers.

Cut to March 2020. I returned from an executive coaching retreat in Detroit to Toronto. My family and I moved into a new house, business was cooking, my partner was expecting our first child and life seemed boundless. Then the global pandemic gripped the world and took us on a journey of self doubt and spinning chaos. We didn’t know which way was up or down – mostly we drifted sideways, in more ways that one.

That year we welcomed our son and it’s profoundly changed how I think about the world, our challenges and hope, and our futures.

It sharpened and shaped my practice. It’s softened my heart and has created a platform for deep empathy on the human condition. These are essential foundations for future work. There are four key changes that have shaped my modern futures practice.

The regression to creative childhood

The concept of regression to creative childhood becomes particularly poignant as we’re caught up in the ebbs and flows of ‘adult life’ and creating a world where we are stable. This means working out life and work balance, amongst other things. However, the journey of parenthood rekindles a sense of wonder and imagination that is abundant in children as they learn. This regression allows us to reconnect with our innate creativity and rediscover the joy in simple, playful activities. 

Engaging with our children in imaginative play, storytelling, and artistic expression ignites the creative spark thus leading to a deeper appreciation for the unfiltered, genuine expressions of childhood creativity. This regression isn’t just nostalgic; it fosters a renewed sense of curiosity and inventiveness.

When we integrate the principles of futurism with the creative regression experienced through new fatherhood can result in a powerful synergy. The forward-looking exploration of possibilities combined with the unbounded creativity accelerated by childhood wonder inspires us to approach personal and professional lives with fresh perspectives. This fusion encourages embracing new ideas – from art to technology to connective community and beyond –  with the same enthusiasm and openness as our children exploring and discovering the world for the first time. 

This highlights the importance of maintaining a balance between innovation and the unrestrained creativity that comes from reconnecting with one’s inner child, ultimately leading to a more dynamic and fulfilling life.

Savoring the small moments and anticipating big futures

The act of slowing down and savoring small moments becomes a profound counterbalance to the futuristic drive toward the big vision of progress. 

The early stages of fatherhood are marked by deeply profound and meaningful experiences, from a baby’s first smile to quiet moments of bonding and to the chaotic first steps and missteps when they learn mobility.

These instances serve as a reminder that while exploring, envisioning and planning for a promising future is essential, the essence of our lives is often found in simple, present interactions between father and child. By embracing today and the here and now, we learn to appreciate the beauty of the small milestones that ground us.

Our desire to create a better world for our children motivates us to engage with the future proactively, considering how current choices shape the long-term view of possibilities in the world ahead. This dual focus—savoring the present while planning for the future—creates a harmonious balance. It encourages new fathers to not only dream big and innovate but also to instill values and build a strong foundation for their children’s futures.In addition, by nurturing our children’s growth, we cultivate an environment where the ideals of futures thinking and the joys of the present a coexistence of both visionary thinking and heartfelt connection.

Opening our hearts and seeing the truth of the world

Becoming a new father offers a profound opportunity to open our hearts and see the world as it operates today in all of its facets. The arrival of a child brings a heightened sensitivity to the nuances of life, prompting a deeper connection to the immediate world around us. This new perspective encourages us to look beyond the surface of struggle and achievement towards understanding the underlying truths of the human condition. We find deeper empathy, compassion, and a greater appreciation for the small, everyday moments that often go unnoticed. By being present with our children, we learn to see the world through wonderment and fresh eyes, gaining insights that might otherwise be overlooked.

Incorporating our futurist vigor for exploration with the heartfelt awareness gained through new fatherhood creates a unique, potent and powerful outlook. This combination allows us to dream and work towards a better future while staying deeply connected to the present moment while opening our heart and seeing the truth of the world today.

The potential for progress and the importance of human connection and empathy is dialed up to 11. This dual focus enables us to raise our children in a world that values innovation with compassion that enables us to become architects of the futures grounded in the reality of today with a balanced approach that can inspire positive change and meaningful growth.

The wellspring of hope

The journey of being a father taps into a profound ever-renewable wellspring of hope – an energy that helps us imagine a better world and drive decisions and changes today towards that.

A new child created an inherent sense of optimism and a renewed belief in the future. We’re  inspired to create a better world for our children, driven by the desire to provide them with opportunities and experiences that surpass our own. This hope fuels a commitment to nurturing growth, both within the family and in the broader context of society and our world. It encourages us to engage with the world in ways that promote positive change, reflecting the futuristic ideals of progress and innovation.

Here we find a powerful dynamic where we are motivated to actively shape our futures, by dreaming big and taking concrete steps to realize those dreams. By embodying the futurist spirit of optimism and embracing the hopeful energy of new fatherhood, we can inspire and lead, creating a legacy of forward-thinking action and heartfelt aspiration. 

This blend of visionary thinking and grounded hope has the potential to foster a world that is innovative and nurturing while setting out goals high and our dreams in abundance, ensuring a brighter future for the following seven generations and beyond.

Please contact Nikolas to share your experiences with becoming a new parent.

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is a world-renowned futurist speaker, consultant, award-winning author, media producer, and executive advisor that has spoken to, and worked with, over 400 of the world’s most impactful organizations and governments.

He helps shape the visions that shape impactful organizations, trillion-dollar companies, progressive governments, and 850+ billion dollar investment funds.

Nikolas Badminton’s book Facing Our Futures: How Foresight, Futures Design and Strategy Creates Prosperity and Growth was named Top-50 Business Books of 2023 by The Next Big Idea Club, and selected for 2023 J.P. Morgan Summer Reading List, and featured as the ‘Next Gen Pick’ to inform the next generation of thinkers that lead us into our futures. Reach out to Nikolas to discuss having him come and speak at your event or board retreat – click here.

Facing Our Futures
Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

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…

Contact Nikolas