Future research interview

An interview of foresight research Wendel Bell by himself offers interesting elemeents (although the idea of a robotic interviewer is a bit lame). It was actually published in 2005 in the Journal of Futures Studies 10(2) (November 2005): pp. 113-124. Some excerpts:

"Prediction—or whatever euphemism a futurist may use, such as projection, forecast, foresight, prophecy, or prospective—necessarily enters into what a futurist does. In fact, it is one of the defining features of futures studies. In contemplating the future, we imagine alternative possible futures and we try to assess which futures would be most probable under a variety of conditions, including alternative actions that people might take. We try to answer the "what if" question. For example, what could or would happen if people did this, or that, or something else? But—and this is important—we seldom predict a single future. (...) I am not suggesting that futurists have all the right solutions. But they have been asking the right questions. For example: What can we humans do to create societies that will be sustainable into the far future? What are the conditions under which all people everywhere can have sufficient water and food, modern sanitation, good health, freedom, personal security, and community support? (...) Some answers come from the futurist program of investigating the facts of the past and the present and, based on them, making speculative and imaginative, but presumptively true, assertions about possible and probable futures. Answers come, too, from judging these futures by some scale of values, and assessing their relative desirability. They come also from communication among people about these assessments of the desirability of alternative futures and letting people’s voices be heard by decision-makers. Answers come, as I said before, from gaining foresight into the true consequences of our actions. They come, also, from understanding that all people ought to be included in our community of concern, realizing that our own beliefs may be wrong, and showing tolerance toward the beliefs of others"

Why do I blog this? even though the notion of "futurist/m" seems a bit passé and awkward (long-range design, future research, foresight research sounds better), there are some pertinent things here, a good introduction for his book.