My best friends and I decided to pursue a start-up idea junior year of college. The concept seemed simple: create an AI recommendation system to help jetsetters experience a city like a local. It ended up being more technologically challenging than we initially anticipated. After a year and a half, we cut our losses and moved on. The domain name localrat.com stood dormant from 2009.
The name was imagined after a weekend trip to Melbourne with friends Rachel and Christina. Graffiti art sparked our interest. The city built a personality dependent on the art of underground. One particular artist, Bansky, was now an obsession. Banksy is an artist who is creating a social movement within the artistic community while remaining largely unknown. We sat around a cafe table and brainstormed Banksy-based-domain-names for hours. Two words stood out: local and rat. Our online existence was thereby dedicated to the master of compelling social commentary.
By our definition, a local rat is someone who is constantly monitoring the global pulse. When applied to future studies, a local rat studies areas that are overlooked and scours books, magazines, and the interwebs to discover uncommon areas that could influence the future.
With the permission of my friends (and not without promised shout outs) I have recycled our name for my new obsession- giving you the down and dirty on future trends and scenarios. While I hope to post a few cool things here and there, I really am looking to my readers to create an active dialouge about the future. Please share your thoughts, comments, and personal inspiration on the discussion boards.
How do you prepare for changes in the future? Do you gauge possibilities through speaking with family and friends? Read self-help books? Maybe you have your goals scribbled on scrap paper and saved in a drawer? The future is a perplexing subject. On one hand you have a very good idea of where you aspire to end up. But life is at times (or even most times), uncertain. So, the path you stress over outlining is rarely straightforward, sometimes nerve wrenching, and always an adventure.
There is a profession that has one sole priority- the study of the future. No, I’m not talking about psychics, crystal balls, or prediction models. Instead, let me introduce the discipline of future studies. An ever-growing field, future studies adds value to organizations (and individuals) by helping them think about the long-term future. This blog is a way for me to share my excitement and background in future studies. As my professor Dr. Bishop says, “We place an emphasis on studying the past, why shouldn’t we do the same for the future?”