Posts Tagged 'futurist'

Where I’ve Been Online Post-Facebook…and Why

Soo…9 days without Facebook. What have I been doing with myself? Mowing the lawn, taking long walks outside, working on projects for work and school; I’ve also been revisiting the various social networks and micro-networks I’ve joined over the last several years…and I’ve joined a coupla more. Presented here, for my benefit and yours, are the places I’m connected to online – and why I’m on a particular network. This doesn’t count email discussion groups I’m part of; I suppose that’d be a whole ‘nother post!

General/Meta

Twitter – @zoecarnate

FriendFeed – FriendFeed is awesome; let’s hope Facebook buying them doesn’t screw it up.

LinkedIn – my business, my biz-nass.

LibraryThing – my library, cataloged. A super-fun social network for book geeks.

Myspace – because sometimes I’m nostalgic for 2003.

Plaxo – does anyone remember what Plaxo is for?

YouTube – my vids, vids, vids.

Futurist

ShapingTomorrow – a large global community; primarily devoted to environmental scanning and trend analysis

The New Futurists – a younger crop of futurists, centered primarily in the northeast United States.

Faith

TransFORM – there’s more than meets the eye here.

Christiarchy! – Christian anarchists and Anabaptists (is there a difference?)

Christian Mysticism & Contemplative Spirituality – what it says. Contemplate that.

Missional Tribe – this one had a strong start but I think WordPress infrastructure, while great for blogs, isn’t great for supporting social networks.

Recovering Evangelical – hee-hee.

Metro Atlanta Emergent Cohort – my once and future cohort.

The Hyphenateds:

Anglimergent – I’m not Episcopalian, but I’m inspired by ’em…especially St Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco.

Baptimergent – I’m not Baptist, but I used to be! And I’m inspired by New Community Church in Raleigh.

Cathlimergent – A brand new network started by my friend John Sylvest of ChristianNonduality

Emerging Leaders Network – aka Luthermergent. I’m not Lutheran, but…you see where this is going? Mad props to House For All in Denver.

The Common Root – formerly Submergent; an awesome group of Anabaptist-minded peeps.

QuakerQuaker – aka Convergent Friends.

House Church Homies

Simple Church

Organic Church Today

Healing Communities

Bleeding-Edge Creatives

Love Is Concrete – you can actually draw stuff in this network.

Wisefire – a great group of people.

iEvolve: Global Practice Community – Integral peeps.

How Does Social Change Occur?

Recently for my LMSF 602 Survey of Futures Studies course I was asked to reflect on my own ‘theory of social change’–that is, how does change occur? Some base their guiding narratives on power, others on progress, still others on ideas. As a friend and follower of Jesus, as well as a futurist-in-training, I offer some rough thoughts:

 


Being thoroughly postmodern and suspicious of neat meta-narratives, I don’t have much confidence in the Story of Progress as was propounded through the Enlightenment era. On the other hand, looking at the broad sweep of history, I cannot come to the nihilistic conclusions that some of my secular and religious friends have come to, that the universe is essentially meaningless or that we’ve all going to hell in a handbasket. There has been real change over the past several thousand years, and it is generally (sometimes very generally) positive. But there is no invisible hand guiding us to some inexorable destiny. I suppose I believe in a realized eschatological world, where emergent nested creativity (which I see as a Triune God with real personality and kosmic-and-personal dreams) abounds, ready for humanity and creation to tap into. I am a realist. History has, in many cases, been guided by self-interest of a powerful few, hell-bent on maintaining and expanding their privilege. But in the midst of this, we’ve maintained humble, celebratory wisdom traditions that give dignity to individuals and communities—thus the spirit of innovation and adaptability continues.

I think social change happens when individuals and communities generate and tap into powerful new ideas rooted in the old. Taking from our store-houses treasures old and new, we can become truly conservative and progressive, preserving the best of the past while reimagining life together into the future. This will happen through humility, foresight, and imagination. It is a good time to be alive.

Foresight in a Nutshell

Well not everyone thinks I’m a “lazy out-of-work crazy” like my self-loathing alter ego, but I do get a lot of questions from friends and family wondering just what it is I’m studying and planning on doing with (an aspect of) my life. Sometimes even strangers get in on it.

https://i1.wp.com/plus.maths.org/issue18/features/hawking/images/nutshell.jpg

Last week I was reading Foundations of Futures Studies in Chapel Hill’s Café Driade, arguably the highest-quality coffee shop I’ve ever been to. While two of us were waiting for our drinks, another patron asked me: “Futures Studies? What is Futures Studies?” As near as I can reconstruct, here is how I responded (so be ye instructed, dear reader):

“Futures Studies the mirror-side of history. It’s using what we know about our past and present, and extrapolating it into possible, probable, and desirable future scenarios for tomorrow.”

“So it’s like consulting?”

“Yes. Futurists help humanity navigate the waters of change and articulate our best futures out of a range of potential futures. We work with non-profit organizations, businesses, churches, and even governments.”

“Wow. Sounds interesting.”

“It is!”

I don’t know if he was just being kind, but it is terribly interesting. A multidisciplinary range of inquiry involving systems thinking, sociology, anthropology, history and even science fiction! (And I’m only in my second semester) A little later this year my mentor Jay and I should be hosting some videocasts unpacking some of the delights of Foresight@Regent. Stay tuned.

My Career Now and in the Future

My vocation now is that of communicator, disseminator, and connector. At the moment this manifests as a freelance career in publishing, marketing, and journalism. I see each of these as remaining key as my vocation in foresight practice develops. I see it attenuating more toward sustainable living. To me, sustainability is the future. Our greatest challenge as a species is to live in sync with our surroundings, to steward creation and innovation to serve the Whole rather than be self-seeking (and self-sabotaging) parts.

How do you see your vocation in the future?

My View of the Future Now

…is considerably more complex. While not dogmatic about eschatology, I tend to resonate with a perspective known as Transmillennialism, which tries to frame the Old and New Testament apocalyptic discourses in the prophetic, symbolic framework that would have been comprehensible to their original hearers. Doing this has the effect of seeing most (if not all) apocalyptic warnings and promises as being fulfilled, no later than 70 CE. This is, of course, quite different than the “Left Behind” perspective that tends to dominate our novels and video games these days…I still don’t know if my parents are aware that I’m no longer waiting for Jesus to pull an invasion of the body snatchers move!

My thoughts in eschatology tend to flow with my more general conviction regarding the future: It is an open book, and humanity has a vital role to play in it. Our decisions matter. Spiritually speaking, God does not want us to remain children forever; we are intended to grow and mature, becoming co-creators with God in every area of creation. This goes against a certain fatalism in American Christendom’s dominant guiding story, as well as our throw-away American psyche, that lives for momentary gains and little else. This is why I’m in the degree program I’m in: to meaningfully initiate change, and show others how appealing and beneficial this is.


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  • Friend of Emergent Village

    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

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    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
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    Review: Furious Pursuit by Tim King, from The Ooze
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