Future Trends and Philanthropy: How good are your predictions, Glen?

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One of the most frequently asked questions to me as a professional futurist is, “So what have you gotten right in the past when you’ve been predicting the future?” Now, I don’t sell myself as a predictor, really. In fact I tell people I am more a consumer of those who specialize in predictions, and from that information I try to see the big patterns so that I can help clients most effectively plan to create their own preferred future. Still, when doing a keynote speech, I always say, “here are some future trends, and what they might mean,” so of course, I am rightly subject to the question of whether I get things right, or wrong, in retrospect.

Not long ago I was editing some video, and came across a speech I did for the American Red Cross, on the occasion of their 125th Anniversary Celebration, in 2006. It was one of my all-time favorite speaking events, in Washington DC. I admire the long history and the good work of this volunteer organization. The assignment included not just a 30-minute keynote, but facilitating the whole audience of several hundred in a set of quizzes using electronic polling, as well as moderating a panel that immediately followed my keynote. But in this blog, and in the video, I want to zero in on a 15-minute segment in which I outlined what I considered, in 2006, to be the five major trends and their …read on.

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