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What Is Futurism?

Nonprofits, foundations, and social purpose businesses are working to solve some of society’s toughest challenges. Futurism is a valuable tool that helps us see what is coming next and improve the future through better decision-making.

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Futurism Isn’t New

The government, military, and private sector all use tools of futurism to strengthen their ability to understand what is coming next. It’s time for people in the social sector to take advantage of those same tools and to be an active voice in the spaces and places where the future is being created.

What Does Futurism Offer?

The future is determined by the decisions that we make today. Futurists analyze trends to determine what is possible, probable, and preferable in the future.

Become a Future-Focused Leader

Approaching your work through the lens of futurism can increase your capacity and ability to solve social problems so you can become more valuable to your organization and community.

  • Concentrate your attention on the problems where you can have the largest impact.
  • Influence greater change on the issues you are most passionate about.
  • Create consensus within groups by helping others see a clear path forward.
  • Establish a vision of long-term success that people can buy into.

How Futurism Helps You Do Better Work

Examine Multiple Perspectives

You can’t make good decisions if you don’t have a wide variety of perspectives. These blind spots make you miss unintended consequences, untapped resources, and new ideas to make the future better.

The Value of Foresight

Futurists use foresight to recognize patterns in the present while simultaneously thinking about how those patterns will impact the future. Identifying the trends that will affect your work allows you to develop successful long-term strategies and prepare for contingencies.

Do More Good

The purpose of paying attention to the future isn’t so that you know exactly what is going to happen and when — it is so that you’re able to strategize the best solutions to critical community issues and make tomorrow better.

3 Real Examples of Futurism at Work

The best way to get out of the abstract and understand Futurism is to see examples of it in action. Here are a few scenarios where futurism has the potential to improve change.

A neighborhood organization uses online maps of projected rises in sea level to organize community residents whose homes will be impacted. Those residents pressure elected officials to prioritize environmental solutions.

A social network uses blockchain technology to create a donation platform that moves gifts from donors to nonprofit organizations while maintaining the transparency of the gift’s source and how it will be used.

A socially responsible healthcare corporation invests substantial capital in creating low-cost DNA diagnostic tools that are able to accurately identify cancer when it is at stage zero and most treatable.

Want to Infuse Futurism Into Your Organization?

Foundations and nonprofits who know what the ideal future looks like for their organization and the communities they serve are positioned to make the most significant impact — and we’d love to show you how to do it.

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