The NY Times this week named their first-ever (and the world's first-ever?) "Futurist in Residence." Sign me up!
It's a one year gig, essentially a consultant job, that's able to influence any realm of the business from news creation to news delivery.
At first, the story appealed to me because of the sheer forward thinking bravado of it all. But then, i became more impressed by the rhetorical punch that the position has delivered. Essentially, this job is not far off from being a "Sustainability Manager" ... but sounds sooooo much cooler.
"Sustainability", while important, is a word that brings to mind survival mode. It makes me think of lifeboat refugees, or stranded astronauts, or bean-eating ski bums, all who are trying to "sustain" their existence.
A Futurist, on the other hand, can tackle all of the same challenges ... eco-sensitivity, efficiencies, smart growth strategies ... with some supremely happy wordplay to back him or her up.
A few years ago at Pale Morning Media, we instituted "writing Thursdays" ... a clunky name at best ... but a great concept. The fourth day of the work week became devoted to putting ideas down on paper. Not doing web research, not doing groupthink bull sessions, but actually striving to translate ideas into the written word.
From now on, however, we're going with a new name. "Future Thursdays."
LINK: Editor & Publisher