FAQ

Can you predict the future? and other questions you have always wanted to ask about World Future Society.

What is a futurist?

A Futurist is someone who recognizes that the future is complex, rather than linear, and who is interested in understanding, anticipating, and shaping multiple possible futures.

There are many different kinds of futurists. Here are a few:

A Citizen Futurist approaches their life, work, and community from the perspective of the Futurist Mindset.

Adaptive and resilient in the face of constant change, a Citizen Futurist builds a vision for their desired future and works back to present day actions to achieve their goals and prepare for challenges. There is a Citizen Futurist in all of us.

A Professional Futurist is an expert in taking a deliberate approach to studying and influencing the future. Traditional foresight methods include horizon scanning, forecasting, scenario planning, gaming and simulations, delphi surveys, implication analysis, trend projection, and many more. Professional Futurists help individuals and organizations build New Narratives to navigate a complex future.

A Subject Matter Futurist takes a futurist approach to their professional subject matter expertise. In every industry — science, technology, health, the environment, the economy, the military, civics, etc. — SMEs are adopting a futurist mindset to lead their industry into the future.

Can you predict the future?

The short answer is no: we cannot accurately “predict” the future. The universe is too complex and there are too many variables to be certain about what will happen. The art and science of futurism is about anticipating a wide range of possibilities, studying them, and taking action in the present to mitigate risk and maximize opportunities. As technology continues to advance, our ability to reduce uncertainty may improve. Ultimately, the best way to predict the future is to create it.

Do you really think you can impact the future?

There has never been a better time in human history to band together to impact the future. People are more connected, informed, and ready to engage than ever before, and we crave an outlet to make our voices heard and take collective action. The World Future Society is a community of influencers, and our citizens have unique access to decision-makers in industry, government, and society. Armed with a Futurist Mindset and an ambitious agenda for collective action, we are poised to make a huge impact.

Where does my donation go?

By contributing to the World Future Society, your donation dollars are going on offense. Your investment supports unique, important programs that pave the way for the coming generations to rise above the problems of the past and live a more desired future. By contributing, you help ensure a successful outcome for our priority projects. See our donation page to learn more.

Why do you call your members 'Citizens of the Future'?

At WFS, being a Citizen of the Future extends much further than a typical membership. Where most memberships organizations have limited interactions and benefits, WFS citizens demonstrate a level of stewardship for the mission and are able to extract more from their citizenship with increased contribution and relation building in the community.

What are the benefits of being a Citizen of the Future?

Citizens of the Future have unprecedented access to the Futurist community, special invitations and discounts to unique events, recognition for your visions of the future, delegate and speaking opportunities, and other benefits designed to support your efforts to influence the future. Use the following links to find more detail about benefits for individuals and for organizations.

How does the digital community work? How is this different than your Facebook or other social media groups?

The digital community is a citizens-only online environment where you can share thoughts and ideas, pose questions to experts, and connect with other citizens. It is essentially a specialized social media platform in which everyone is committed to the futurist mindset. Citizens of the Future come from all over the world, with varying backgrounds, beliefs, life goals, families, expertise, and careers — unique individuals who bring vastly different experiences and ways of thinking about the biggest issues — who share a common core belief in the future of humanity. There is no other online community like it!

What is Futurism?

Futurism is a broad term that relates to anything about the future. Futurism can also mean the study of how to think about the future, specifically while maintaining the notion that we can shape the world we live in tomorrow. Engaging in futurism will help build the Futurist Mindset and the belief that actions today will alter the ability to have a choice and live free in an advanced tomorrow.

What is The Futurist Magazine?

THE FUTURIST was a cutting-edge magazine published from 1967 – 2015 by the World Future Society. It was one of the world’s most popular publications about the future, and it laid the foundation for what it means to be a futurist. Its articles focused on innovation, creative thinking, and emerging trends in society, technology, government, and the economy. The magazine was available on newsstands coast to coast in the United States and Europe and featured contributions from the most influential futurists and thought leaders for half a century. Citizens will have access to the full digital archives of THE FUTURIST upon completion of The Legacy Project, and you can learn more about the history of THE FUTURIST here.