October 26, 2013 – The future is on many minds these days as we face resource, population, governance, economic, social and climate change challenges. This is spawning a new academic program with a career path and job description to earn an International Certified Future Strategist (ICFS) diploma. Employers now and in the future may rely on ICFS graduates to help them cope with change in the 21st century. If you want to get a jump on the expected 2015 program launch you can try and be part of the first test group starting this November in Brussels, Belgium. The instruction will be given 3 to 4 days at a time over a 6 to 12 month period with students expected to do home assignments in between classroom work.
Who can teach about the future and how to prepare for it? Six consulting firms are involved. They are:
Kairos Future – who describe themselves as focused on providing clients a roadmap to their future. The company head office is in Stockholm, Sweden.
IFOK – a German-based international strategy and communications consulting firm focused on the mega issues of the future including: energy, the environment, climate change, sustainability, education, employment, governance, diversity and corporate responsibility.
Shiftn – a Belgium based consulting firm that describes themselves as specialists at being generalists. They focus on systems thinking, dialogue and design and describe their approach as holistic to help create confident decision makers who can then deal with complex challenges.
Capful – based in Finland this consulting firm describes itself as specialists in scenario planning to understand uncertain environments and develop winning strategies.
Shared Intelligence – a London based social consulting practice with expertise in economic development, issues of poverty and inequality, local governance and community empowerment, and public policy.
Emetris Consulting – based in Thessalonika, Greece, provides a range of consulting services focused in the field of energy both from a producer and consumer perspective.
The program is presently focused on making companies from the European Union more globally competitive in the changing world of the 21st century. But I can imagine ICFS becoming an international standard for all those who describe themselves as futurists.