Futurist Thinking

by | Feb 9, 2022

Tara Joyce

Written by Tara Joyce

This is space to share my musings—unformed ideas, collections of words that catch my fancy, that sort of thing. I'm the author of Pay What It's Worth and the Cross My Heart series.

Despite seeing myself as a futurist author, I’m often unsure of how to describe futurist thinking. Recently I encountered Ari Wallach’s article, “How to Think Like a Futurist.” Within it, he lays out three modes of thought common among futurist thinkers. Perhaps they connect with you, as they did me.


Transgenerational Thinking: You consider the lasting impact your actions make. Before you take an action, you consider “Okay, I can do that, but what is it teaching them?”

Futures Thinking: You consider all kinds of possible scenarios and all kinds of solutions. You understand there is no single future but talk about futures instead.

Telos Thinking: You consider, verbalize, and affirm your ultimate goal before taking action. You ask yourself: “To what end?” As you try to solve a particular problem, you think about what will come after you solve it.

Being open to there being very little else we know for sure is also a key part of futurist thinking. “I don’t know” is an important phrase to be able to say. I know I may not know much, but I know this approach to life and to thinking feels right and true to me.

Photo by Fábio Lucas on Unsplash

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