Thanks to Christopher Manfredi for interviewing me for their Some Future Podcast series. I'm not sure I could give them the definitive answers they were looking for, but it was a great conversation.
There's lots of great podcasts about the future at Some Future, so head on over there to listen.
Thanks to Tracey Fellows from the Female Futurists Bureau for her interview with me about my work - she knows me better than myself I think!
Maree Conway is one of the most thoughtful foresight practitioners around, little wonder she calls her consultancy ‘Thinking Futures'. She describes her work as helping people in organisations re-frame strategic conversations about the future. And I am reminded of that great quote from Pierre Wack: “To operate in an uncertain world people need to be able to re-perceive: to question their assumptions about the way the world works, so that they can see the world more clearly”. And when I read or hear from Maree I always think that she’s encouraging me to change my view of reality.
Tracey is doing a series of interviews with female futurists; I'm in some great company.
Ross Dawson, an Australian futurist, and one of his team, Vanessa Cartwright, compiled a list of female futurists across the world - he's done two updates since its original publication in September 2017. I'm on this list too, one of 17 in Australasia. Check out the full list.
Liz Alexander from Leading Thought, published a report on the future of work: 40 Futurists: Your Child’s Success in Tomorrow’s World of Work in 2016. I was one of the 40 futurists - my contribution was:
“Look ahead with an open mind. Watch for change that will" keep rearing its head, making you adapt how you work. If you don’t, you’ll stay trapped in the present and miss the future until it’s too late. In this process of grappling with constant change, stay connected. Keep the human in your work and your technology use–they’re equally important to your work and future careers.”
Liz also published an ebook on how to use a futurist, which you can download. It focuses on answering the questions: "How can we help businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions and more achieve “future-smart” results? How can we help you?" Download here.
Marshall Kirkpatrick, then at LittleBird (now Sprinklr) produced a report on the top 125 women futurists in 2015. The link to the original article is no longer available sadly. It was written in response to an article in The Atlantic "Why Aren't There More Women Futurists?” by Rose Eveleth which generated a ton of interest on social media. Marshall wrote:
"So we used our technology to build a list of 125 important women futurists online. You can access the full list of all 125 via their Twitter accounts here. Then we reached out to them and asked for their thoughts on gender and the study of the future. Of course there are important women futurists who do not use Twitter, but when looking for women futurists, we think this is a great place to start plugging into the conversation. "
LittleBird's technology identified six of the 125 as the top sharers in our peer group on social media - I was honoured to be one of them. Here's what I added to the conversation about gender and the study of the future:
"I'm not sure there's anything specific to say about female futurists that doesn't apply to professional women everywhere….Personally, I don't think trying to get a higher profile for women futurists (or a futurist or any gender) in the media is worth the effort. By spending energy there, we are playing today's game rather than working out how the field can add value to organizations and societies today and into the future - by, for example, helping leaders and managers understand that strategic planning needs to be reframed and redesigned using foresight approaches and tools. Also, my view is that foresight work is personal, network and relationship driven and women - theoretically - are better at that than men!”