What is a Futurist?
A professional futurist is a person who studies the future in order to help people understand, anticipate, prepare for and gain advantage from coming changes. It is not the goal of a futurist to predict what will happen in the future. The futurist uses foresight to describe what could happen in the future and, in some cases, what should happen in the future.
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Meet Garry Golden
Garry Golden is a professionally trained Futurist who writes, speaks and consults on issues shaping business and society in the 21st century. In this video interview, conducted in early 2012, Garry discusses the future of the arts in education and society, and how it will intersect with the job market and be influenced by technology.
Arts Experiences and the Rise of Third Place
In part one, Garry speaks about his personal experiences with arts education and his work in the field of millennial studies. Building upon the accepted value of arts experiences in schools, he talks about the importance of the “third-place” as an opportunity for arts experiences and life-long learning.
The Role of Educators
Next, Garry outlines the evolving role of the teacher in a dynamic arts education landscape, including the challenge of the widening knowledge gap around student-accessible digital tools. He stresses the importance of educator involvement in online peer-to-peer social networks, following leading-edge thinkers, and professional development through exploring beyond one's own discipline.
The Future of Work
In part three, Garry discusses arts-influenced changes in the workplace, the opportunities created by social networks and open source engineering, the importance of critical thinking, and the value of both left and right-brain experiences. He talks about the need for students to develop an online portfolio, along with the challenge of managing a balance between transparency and privacy. He then shares a personal experience about a young artist using digital tools and self-directed learning to create music.
Next, Garry discusses the challenge of effecting change, reviews the current state of self-directed learning, and suggests a future that includes learning management systems. He talks about the importance of the opportunities created by placing a higher value on sentiment analysis, predictive vs. prescriptive data, creating curriculum in a digital environment, and the impact of software on the role of teachers.
Last, Garry looks ahead to the future of how we will interact with technology using natural user interfaces, like Microsoft’s Kinect, Apple’s Siri, and IBM’s Watson. He talks about how movement-based interfaces like Kinect are rapidly finding their way into arts education, and how conversation-based personal assistants like Watson are already having an impact in the workplace (and the future they offer for educators).