Why Greater Diversity is Crucial to Futurism Field
If you were to imagine an ideal future for yourself 40 years from now, what would it look like? What kinds of interactions might you have? Do you imagine yourself zoned in on the latest immersive game with friends both A.I. and human, or conversing solely through digital gesticulation? Are you connecting with friends in similar ways as you do today? What would your environment look like? What values or ideals does the 2057 society embrace, and are they different from those of 2017?
No two people who go through this exercise imagine the same future—which is exactly how it should be. As a futurist, it’s my job to imagine many possible scenarios about how the future could unfold. A key word here is could. Because many futures are possible, we need to create a wide range of different future scenarios.
But there are limits to my industry’s imagination. It’s no secret that, like Silicon Valley’s tech scene, futurism/strategic foresight is male dominated. Of the 510 members of the Association of Professional Futurists, only 194 are women. I am not the first to bring this up and hopefully will not be the last.