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

II. Top Roles for Foresight Leaders

The 3 Ps as Social Roles: Innovating-Experimenting (Evo), Protecting-Predicting (Devo), and Learning-Adapting (Evo and Devo). Which role best describes you?

The 3 Ps as Social Roles:
Innovating-Experimenting (Evo),
Protecting-Predicting (Devo), and
Learning-Adapting (Evo and Devo).
Which role best describes you?

As we learned in Amara’s Three Ps Model, foresight thinking and acting can be grouped into three basic types: probable futures (what is likely to happen), which we also call “developmental” futures, possible futures (what might happen), or “evolutionary” futures, and preferable futures (what we want to happen), also called “evo devo” or “adaptive” futures in this guide. The figure at right offers three other very useful word pairs, protecting-predicting, innovating-experimenting, and learning-adapting, for these three classic thinking and behavior types.

As outlined in Chapter 1, it is usually best practice to begin our foresight thinking by contemplating probable futures, since those processes and outcomes will constrain the space of possible futures and of achievable preferable futures, in powerful ways. By starting with the expected future, including those trends and predictions that contradict our personal expectations, biases, and desires, we can better understand our options and uncertainties, and craft better strategy and plans to get where we want to go.

Toffler and Amara’s Three Ps can be associated with five common social roles for foresight professionals. As we will see, two of these roles are a bit more focused on uncovering probable futures, two roles a bit more focused on exploring possible futures, and the fifth is a bridging role focused most on preferable futures, while also covering the first two more basic domains.

The first two social roles we will consider, Consultant and Academic, are primarily about protecting or discovering “probably better” futures, with evolutionary thinking (innovating and experimenting) as a secondary theme, in service to better sustaining, predicting, and understanding activities. The next two roles, Creator and Entrepreneur, are primarily about describing, creating, or trying out “possibly better” futures, with developmental thinking (predicting and protecting) as a secondary theme, in service to creative and experimental activities in the search for the next big, valuable, or disruptive thing.

A fifth role, Organizational Foresighter, is the most common of the five. It involves working toward preferred futures as a manager or leader within an organization. It is primarily an adaptive role, one that involves wearing all the hats of the first four roles at various times and places. While all five roles blend both probability and possibility foresight as context dictates, managers and leaders must use all three types of foresight continually, using both competitive and cooperative strategies.

We all engage at least a little in each these roles over our careers. Yet most of us will focus on one or at most only a few of these at time. We may also find that our colleagues and clients mentally assign us to just one of these five at a time, based on our most public or client-facing activities, as a mental shortcut for who we are as professionals.

Given that reality, we’ve attempted a rough categorization of a few better-known foresight leaders into one primary role apiece, which we’ll list at the top of each role as we introduce each of them below. Our apologies to any who feel mis-categorized, and for most practitioners, too narrowly branded by this categorization convention. See Appendix 1 for some helpfully diverse peer career advice from foresight professionals who are leaders in each of these five social roles.

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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