Understanding the difference between Futurists and Future Enthusiasts

Futurists are respected scholars who study and predict trends in the future of technology and society. A Futurist may work with many tools, such as a newspaper, a computer, or a magazine to determine what exciting developments the future may hold.


Future Enthusiasts are civilians who eagerly read the work of Futurists and look forward to the world predicted by experts. A Future Enthusiast may learn about the predictions of Futurists using newspapers, magazines, or even computers.


Futurists must be careful not to indulge in the fascinations of their lay counterparts. Statements such as, “I can't wait until the future” are borderline, but remarks like “the future is going to explode your mind” (except when used as a literal prediction) are explicitly forbidden by professional ethics rules.


For their part, Future Enthusiasts must not forget their role as enthusiastic spectators. Particularly in the mixed company of Futurists and Future Enthusiasts, Future Enthusiasts must be careful not to make statements that could be misunderstood to be predictions. Statements like “Someday we will fly by farting” or “In the future we'll never use fax machines” are likely to be understood as predictions and should be avoided unless specifically citing the prediction of a Futurist.