Can We See Into the Future?


West/ North west / California 105 Views

Mel and Pearl Shaw

“The future isn’t something that happens to you, it is something that you create with the decisions that you make today.” – Trista Harris

How many times have you dreamed of seeing into the future? Did you know you could make this dream come true? By the time you finish reading this article, you will move beyond dreaming!

Let us introduce you to Trista Harris, a woman who studies the future and makes predictions about it based on current trends. As a philanthropic futurist, she focuses her predictions on issues that impact the nonprofit and foundation sector.

We talked with Trista and asked her for guidance – for us, and for you, our readers. Here are four suggestions.

  1. As leaders we need to understand that the future isn’t something that happens to us, it is something that we create with the decisions we make today. Nonprofits are in a great position to create a better future for us all.
  2. Make time for the future in your present. Spend 5% of your week or two hours a week thinking about five to fifty years in the future for your organization or the issues that you care about. Read articles or just spend some time imagining what that future will look like to help you make better decisions in the present.
  3. Futurism is a critical strategic planning tool. I lead organizations through a future visioning process where they develop a shared model of their ideal future, and then they identify signals of the future that already exist in their organization. This helps staff, board, and community align their efforts around a shared vision. We can then spend more time talking about what the world would look like if the problem that we cared about was solved. We spend too much time loving the problem in our grant applications and fundraising campaigns.
  4.  Organizations that develop a 50-year vision for their work often find that critical pieces of that vision come to pass in two-to-five years, instead of 50 because they have done the hard work of creating a shared vision of success. Get started by using the Stop, Look, and Go framework for becoming a more future focused leader. Learn more here.

You can order Harris’ new book FutureGood. Trista speaks to audiences around the world about how to be a more future-focused leader. Learn more at

Copyright 2018 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

[Let’s think about the future: it will arrive whether we do or don’t.]