Future Futurist. Actually, current futurist, looking for his first paycheck.

In the program for my most recent Moth GrandSLAM performance, my bio mentioned that I am a Lord of Sealand, which is true and garnered many comments from friends and audience members. It also mentioned that I am a teacher, writer, minister, life coach, professional public speaker, and wedding DJ.

I collect jobs.

In addition to those listed above, I’ve expressed interest in becoming a unaccredited sociologist, a stand-up comedian, a professional best man (five grooms and a reality show developer have tried to hire me for this position so far), a gravesite visitor, and a double date companion.

Today I find myself with a new career aspiration: Futurist.

A futurist is “a person who studies the future and makes predictions about it based on current trends.” Well known futurists in the United States include Ray Kurzweil, Alvin Toffler and Syd Mead.

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I think I could do this. For a few reasons.

First, it doesn’t require accreditation of any kind.

Though the Association of Professional Futurists states that some futurists begin their careers by earning a graduate degree in futures studies, “many professionals become futurists by acquainting themselves with futures concepts, tools and methods, familiarizing themselves with the literature, apprenticing or collaborating with professional futurists, and participating in futures professional development, conferences, and organizations.”

I can do that. I can acquaint myself with future concepts and familiarize myself with literature. I could attend a futurist conference (if one was ever to come to town) and even join the Association of Professional Futurists if I wanted to spend the $150.

Second, and more importantly, no agency is currently responsible for keeping track of a futurist’s accuracy. A futurist could be batting well below the Mendoza line and no one would know it.

I have enough accountability in my life already. The idea of a profession which demands no accountability of any kind appeals to me greatly.

Best of all, I think I would be quite effective at predicting future trends, particularly because no one will be checking to see otherwise. 

With all this in mind, I officially declare myself a futurist. I’m adding it to my list of occupations. Squeezing it into my bio. Looking for someone who wants to hire me and turn this futurist into a professional futurist. 

Here are my first five predictions as a futurist:

  1. Physical books are far from dead. In the next decade, physical books will experience a resurgence as people seek a greater balance between the digital and the physical.
  2. Within ten years (and possibly sooner), the great majority of American politicians, both Republican and Democrat, will acknowledge the dangers of global warming and begin to act in concert to address this issue.
  3. The growing concerns over concussions and their long-term effects will do nothing to deter the continued growth of the National Football League into the foreseeable future.
  4. Movie studios will produce  in high quality, made-for-television movies within the next decade.
  5. Portable, highly accurate universal translators will eliminate the language barrier to communication.