Beginning today, the nature of my professional work is changing. I intend to bring my whole self–my whole heart, my whole soul and my whole mind and body–to my work as a futurist.

For most of my career, including my stints as a naval intelligence officer, a strategic planner for the U.S. Department of Defense, the director of the Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning for the state of Minnesota, and the last 20 years as a professional futurist, I have prided myself on being as objective, rational and science-focused as possible. Of course, I still intend to bring these characteristics to my work, but I have come to the conclusion that they are no longer sufficient.

There is a wonderful line in Antoine St. Exupery’s classic and brilliant book, The Little Prince. It reads: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” He is right!

We live in amazing and troubling times–accelerating technological change, artificial intelligence, wars, inequality, domestic and international political polarization, climate change and more. The potential to harness the power of the human mind to confront, address and solve these challenges is immense but it is not sufficient. 

For some time now, I have been reading the works of saints, mystics, poets, prophets and secular and spiritual leaders and I have come to agree that unless we also tap into and harness the power of the human heart and the spirit of something greater than ourselves we will not achieve either the future we desire or a future that is worthy of our immense responsibility to future generations.

Henceforth, therefore, I intend to bring my whole self–my whole heart, whole soul and whole mind–to my work. This means that no longer will I shy away from bringing matters of love, compassion, empathy, and heart into my work.

Our collective future can be better, bigger, bolder and more beautiful than most of us can imagine, yet if we are to bring this future into being we must draw the wisdom of a deeper unknowing. We must reunite the material world with the realm of the spiritual world. We must have the courage to draw upon the universal wisdom of spiritual, indigenous, scientific and secular leaders and then work to apply these lessons on behalf of creating a healthier, happier and truly regenerative future.