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“Back to the Futurist”: Melissa Sterry and Rachel Armstrong

20th January 2012

URBN FUTR, a website providing a narrative and peephole into the cities and society of tomorrow, is running a series on leading futurists from around the world. Some of the break-through generation of futurists participating include Melissa Sterryand Rachel Armstrong.

What does the future hold? This is the $64,000 question that cannot be answered but is open to informed and intelligent speculation, and is a frequently used tool, helping to motivate companies in the current climate of economic gloom.

Back to the Futurists’ will spotlight bright ideas in an investigation into the trends that may arise in tomorrow’s world.

The aim is to inspire the next generation of futurists to contribute their ideas.

Wikipedia defines Futurology: “Futurology is the study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. There is a debate as to whether this discipline is an art or science. In general, it can be considered as a branch under the more general scope of the field of history. Futures studies (colloquially called “futures” by many of the field’s practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Unlike science where a narrower, more specified system is studied, futures studies concerns a much bigger and more complex world system. The methodology and knowledge are much less proven as compared to natural science or even social science like sociology, economics, and political science.”

Futurists such as Dr Alex Gordon - a cultural detective who applies the science of semiotics to the wider world to help companies understand how best to market and advertise; David Weinberger - one of the foremost keynote speakers on technology and its impact on business and society; Ian Pearson, BT's former Futurologist, and Tom Savigar, who speaks and advises around the world about the emotional connection people form with brands, products, retailers & services, are a some of the charismatic futurists available through Speakers Corner for corporate events.

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