Futurist vs Actionable Futurist – what’s the difference? This is a question I’m asked regularly, so I thought it worth clarifying here. I’ve been called a “Futurist” since 2000 in Australia when I was introduced as the guest speaker for a “webcast” organised by Australia’s largest telecommunication company Telstra – I found this intro clip, and you can watch it below.
The Host, Libby-Jane Charleston went on to ask “what exactly is a Futurist?”. I was given just 6 seconds to respond, and if I were given my time again, I would have answered it a little more eloquently.
The second half of my response, “so we’re also out there talking to customers to understand what they want from technology” probably was a precursor to my styling as the Actionable Futurist some 23 years later.
As I explain in the second half of the video, while interviewed by George Grant, Housing Technology CEO – he asked me, “what has made you The Actionable Futurist?”
Stepping back a bit, my “Futurist” title always draws attention at events. Only last week I was at an event run by the South Australia Club in London to welcome Premier Peter Malinauskas, who was in London to look at the BaEA nuclear submarine shipyard in Barrow.
One of the guests saw my “futurist” job title on my event badge and immediately started a conversation, intrigued as to what this job entailed.
Herein lies the doubled-edged sword. Many people think that futurists, such as my favourite Arthur C Clarke, only think years or decades into the distance. Clarke famously dreamed up the concept of worldwide communications via a network of three geostationary satellites spaced at equal intervals around the equator.
Clients I deal with haven’t got months or years to figure out what’s coming next, they need to know now, to help close the quarter, or plan for next year what they need to know about technologies that will impact their business and society.
Here is where an Actionable Futurist comes in. Asked what my “elevator pitch” was – I said:
Futurist Speaker Andrew Grill provides actionable advice to help any audience harness digital technologies to achieve their corporate goals with a near-term focus.
In every talk, and in my upcoming book to be published by Wiley, I provide actionable advice that can be put into place that day, and that week. Feedback has overwhelmingly been that’s my USP – not predicting what we’ll be wearing or driving in 30 years time.
I research all of the latest trends and platforms to enable me to explain these complex technical topics to senior business audiences.
If people in your firm have been saying “What should we be doing about ChatGPT” or “should we be looking into The Metaverse or examining central bank digital currencies?” then I can help.
Take a look at the companies I’ve helped over the last 20 years in the Finance, Pharma, Healthcare, Legal, Technology, Telco, FMCG, Media and B2B industries here.
So the next time someone says: “we should get a technology trends expert or futurist to talk to our teams/clients”, why not put me on your list of speakers to consider?
I’m listed on all the major Speaker Bureau websites, so ask them about my availability.