Chapter 3. Career Options - Great Ways to Be a Foresight Leader

2. Academic (Scholar-Educator)

Philip Tetlock, Good Judgment Proj.

Philip Tetlock,
Good Judgment Proj.

[Examples: Gar Alperovitz, Janna Anderson, J. Scott Armstrong, Eric Assadourian, Jesse Ausubel, Peter Bishop, Nick Bostrom, Stewart Brand, Erik Brynjolfsson, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Stuart Candy, John Casti, Chien-Fu Chen, Jose Cordeiro, Jim Dator, Liam Fahey, Jay Gary, Jennifer Gidley, Michele Godet, Fabienne Goux-Baudiment, Peter Hayward, Francis Heylighen, Andy Hines, Barbara Hubbard, Barry Hughes, Sohail Inayatullah, Jari Kaivo-oja, Tuomo Kuosa, Michael Lee, Eleanora Masini, Ian Miles, Lee Rainie, Tom Rath, Jeremy Rifkin, Rene Rohrbeck, Hans Rosling, Paul Saffo, Zia Sardar, Juergen Schmidhuber, Wendy Schultz, Clay Shirky, Nick Silver, Richard Slaughter, Vaclav Smil, Philip Tetlock, Alvin Toffler, Anthony Townsend, Kees van der Heijden, Joseph Voros, Markku Wilenius, Austin Williams, Michael Zey, Jonathan Zittrain]

The academic (scholar-educator) foresight role is also primarily developmentally-oriented, and only secondarily evolutionary (creative, experimental) so we list it next. It is perhaps the third most commonly reognized foresight role, after the consultant and the creative. The academic foresight professional is uniquely important for grounding our profession, and formally training new entrants to the field. These individuals see themselves primarily as foresight investigators or teachers. Their primary drives are to learn, investigate, describe, analyze, test/ground their knowledge, and to help others to do these as well. The best scholars are good at research, systematizing, validating, and explaining in ways that help others to become learners and scholars. Research can happen under any of the five foresight roles, depending on its goals and context, so doing research in and of itself doesn’t commit you to any of the five roles. But the conceptual grounding of research and learning, if that is your cup of tea, happens in the academic role.

Again, by definition academics are primarily developmental, whether they presently recognize it or not. They may employ creative and experimental methods, but in their role as foresight investigative experts, like consultants they are tasked with evaluating the results of their experiments, and they warrant they are on a path to objectively better results. Ironically, this is true even when they strive to prove that there is “no predictability” or structure to various aspects of the future, a position which makes good sense in many business situations, but which is is also dangerously wrong some of the time. Such scholars are attesting that their predictionless perspective is objectively (predictably) a more correct view of reality. For creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs by contrast, experimentation, novelty, or market reward are the primary foresight drives, and post-experiment review or validation of their foresight work come later (or not) by market success.

Foresight M.S. and certificate programs are a great way to grow new self-identifying foresight professionals, and some of these will seek to be scholars. Those who pursue doctoral degrees in any subject, including the few Ph.D. programs that specialize in foresight, are particularly helpful for grounding and expanding our field. We suggest that good foresight scholars should have strong analytic skills, a few years of consulting experience (since most foresight program graduates will become organizational futurists, entrepreneurs, or consultants), and be a bit entrepreneurial themselves (as community builders or product-service developers), since foresight as a field is underdeveloped at present, with many opportunities and challenges to grow and raise its profile.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice