Futurology or Clairvoyance: when can you say that you know the future

by Andy Kozlov /@KozlovAndy

As 2015 gets closer, we all are thinking about the next year, make plans, develop strategies. But when can you really say that you know the future? Where is that dividing line between strategic planning, futurology and clairvoyance?

How is being a religious prophet in rural Zimbabwe different from being a Michio Kaku-styled futurist delivering a speech to a World Economic Forum crowd in Davos?

Is knowing something before most of us do a function of clairvoynace or rather a result of strategic networking and attentive trend-watching?

If I told you that next January 1st most of the humanity will celebrate the beggining of the new year will it be clairvoyance on my side?

Astrodynamics meets a bumper sticker. This one says: My other vehicle is on its way to Pluto
Astrodynamics meets a bumper sticker. This one says: My other vehicle is on its way to Pluto

Let’s imagine for a moment that you are a primary school kid in rural Matabeleland, Zimbabwe and one Prophet Uebert Angel solemnly announces to you that Ukraine will hold local elections in 2015. Will you perceive this high-wealth individual as a man of prophecy and try to pursuade your gogo (grandmother) to join his Spirit Embassy at the celebration in Bulawayo? And if Uebert Angel tells you who exactly is to win the elections?


Say now you are delivering a speech at an annual meeting in snow-laden Davos and the noble crowd that is there to listen to you — including renowned Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala,  in her winter boots out of pure practicality —  has no doubt when you pronounce that the majority of us humans on the planet will move into cities and the richer our women become the less children they will want to have.


Will most in the World Economic Forum crowd see you as a Michio Kaku-styled futurist or will your statement rise no brow since everybody in the attending crowd already knows that part of the future? Will you be perceived as a clairvoyant, futurist or simply a well-read trend-watcher?

For a change, let’s talk rocket science. Do many of us know that the New Horizons, a NASA space probe launched in 2006, will be on its closest approach to Pluto — still considered a planet at time of the launch — at 7:49:59 a.m. EDT (11:49:59 UTC) on July14, 2015.

On July14, the humans will reach our solar system’s frontier!

So yes, if you draw my attention to this fact and skillfully package the presentation of it — with a decent degree of mysticism just like, say, Nigerian prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua does — will I finally start to think of you as a futurist?

Solar System Space Highway. Next Exit: Pluto in 1 astronomical unit.
Solar System Space Highway. Next Exit: Pluto in 1 astronomical unit.

So how do some of us successfully manage to author the next prophetic piece of content? Follow this blog to learn the answers.

The author can be reached on a.kozlov@steppesinsync.com

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