The future of futurists

I am SO excited that I was selected to cover the Push: The Fertile Delta conference for this blog. The conference begins this Sunday and the organizers describe it this way:

The PUSH conference is for the curious and courageous. It is a wildly fruitful, catalytic experience for the intellectually inquisitive who have a sense of the changes coming our way. It is for those who need a place to discuss, confirm, collate and explore ideas, so they can invest in the future and lead change.

Yikes, no high expectations there. I have developed a new appreciation for futurists as I have grown in my foundation job. Foundations and nonprofits are often forced to deal with current and past problems because those needs are so pressing and overwhelming, it seems a little too high minded to start thinking about future trends when we can't even get a handle on the present. Futurists seem to have a unique ability to look at the present for clues to what the future may bring. I'm not advocating that all foundations ignore the current problems our communities are facing but a few forward-thinking institutions might be able to influence the future.

Look for my dispatches from the conference coming early next week.