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Beyond Trends: 2027 – Three Reasons You Need to Attend

I, and my professional colleagues, John B. Mahaffie and Jennifer Jarratt, of Leading Futurists, LLC are hosting our first annual conference in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia region (DMV) to explore the Future of Work in 2027. It’s on Wednesday November 1st, 2017 at the National 4H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. We’re drilling deep into three critically important questions about our working futures: What is the work? Who are the workers? How do we organize to get work done? The future of work seems to be a topic of great interest, which is a good thing for employers and workers. We want to take that interest a step further, go beyond the hype, and show how foresight is used to make better, stronger organizations in the long-term.

We’ve designed a day of deep exploration and substantive inquiry with colleagues across industry and sectors. And, we’ve kept the venue small so you can listen carefully, and consider seriously, the viewpoints and perspectives of our working futures. As professional futurists, we’ll share some of our best research and insight on the topic which we’ve focused on for three decades. Because this area is home to the federal government, we’ll include highlights of our talk on the Future of Government Workforces we presented in Turku, Finland to futures professionals. Also, we’ll show you how to use futures tools that create familiarity with the unknown, generate insight needed to make better decisions and leave you prepared, not surprised, by the future.

Reason #1 – Build a Futures Mindset 

Thinking like a futurist means to train your mind to think differently. Futurists pay attention. In our session we’ll show different ways to pay attention to your world of work. We call it scanning, which means to notice events, people, patterns occurring inside and outside of your work environment. You’ll learn to make sense of the scan data, deciding if an event or occurrence is important. You’ll bring your own perception, experience and wisdom to the sense-making process. Since the future has yet to happen, you’ll learn how to entertain several options about how the future might unfold. The goal is to be ready, not surprised, by the future as it unfolds.

Reason #2 – Use Futures Tools and Methods

Futurists use different tools to generate insight or explore a topic in-depth. Like any exercise, it’s most helpful to use a tool designed to give you what you want and need. Not all tools are created equal. We’ll show you how to use a range of different foresight methods suited to the task, ones designed to generate insight that is best suited to the challenge. The wrong tool, no matter how useful, won’t give you what you need.

Reason #3 – Create your own future

Finally, we want to drive home the point that no one person has a monopoly on the future. Lots of people are talking about the future as though they are uniquely situated to see or know it. Or they use research methods that aren’t appropriate to studying the future. On the contrary, our shared future of work can be investigated, evaluated and known to varying degrees by all of us. However, your own future will be equally shaped as much by actions you take or don’t take. Your approach to the future is  based on your assessment of the risks, opportunities and challenges of that shared future. In this manner, you create your own preferred future and become an integral part of its emergence in 1, 3, and 10-years out. Why would anyone want to give someone else the power to shape your future?

Our goal is to move beyond just knowing about the trends. We want to help you become better decision maker so you can meet your leadership obligations by being prepared, not surprised, by the future.