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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Futurist, What is Futurism?

The words “futurist and futurism” were once used to describe a trend in the world of art. A somewhat simplistic definition of the word “futurist” as it is used today would be “one who thinks about future scenarios, thinks ahead to the future.” No special education or preconditions are required in order to be a futurist; one simply must engage in projects dealing with the future, create multiple scenarios, use the imagine and call him/herself a “futurist.” Anyone who thinks seriously about the future and works creatively for a better tomorrow can be a futurist.

Futurists develop alternative views and expectations concerning what sort of developments will arise in the future from the standpoints of society, technology, the economy, ecology and politics and how these developments will affect individuals, institutions, societies and countries. They make predictions based on a scientific basis, and they dream. They believe that traditional educational norms have lost their validity. They claim that the familiar education systems limit the incredible capacity of the human brain, and support methods that encourage and develop creativity. A great many futurists in every branch and area of work are trying to imagine what will happen in the future and how these events will affect their jobs, families and social life.

Developing standards of living and levels of awareness require that we leave behind the attitude of “we’ve come from yesterday to today and from today, we’ll move on to tomorrow,” and replace it with “first we’ll design the future, determine our vision, and then, step by step, live what we’ve planned.

Futurists include people from every profession, age and walk of life. These people organize on a world scale within the World Future Society (www.wfs.org), and in Turkey, within the Tüm Fütüristler Derneði (www.futurizm.org)..

What is a “Fütürcan?”
"Fütürcan" (Futuresoul) is a humorous term in in Turkey for whose engaged in futurism, especially young people.

What is “Uzgörü?”

“Uzgörü” is a Turkish term coined based on the words “uzak” (far), “uzman” (expert) and “uzlaþma” (compromise), and “görü,” (sight). Thought the nearest English equivalent is “foresight;” it goes beyond mere foresight to describe a far-reaching, expert and compromising view.

The quality that separates humans from animals is their ability to use their senses and think. To think of the future, to wonder about it and take appropriate measures, is part and parcel of man’s development. Actually in ever decision we make, whether institutional or personal, we think of the future, and choose from among different alternatives. Until fairly recently, those working mostly in the basic sciences and technology have engaged in efforts to predict the future, while the social sciences concentrated on shorter-term predictions. Efforts to predict the future began in the 1930s to develop and grow in the 1960s. The most common methods used by researchers were the Delphi Survey, Scenario Planning, Cross Impact Analysis and Computer-Supported Simulation. It was mostly developed companies, especially America, and large companies mostly within the defense industry during and following the Cold War, which benefitted from these methods, chiefly in the areas of technological advancement and development of strategies. In the “forecasting” approach, one or more of the abovementioned methods was employed with an emphasis on determining the greatest probability. Thus the foundations were laid for projects based on the concept of “uzgörü” – “foresight” which is quickly gaining precedence today.

But in 1973 in particular, following the failure to predict the oil crisis, the validity of forecasts made in this manner began to come into question, and as work and living conditions and social structures became more complex, discussion began of the necessity for changing the operative factors in the decision making process. Simple forecasting methods employing determinants such as trends, drivers, and economic indicators did not entirely disappear, but basic assumptions underwent significant changes. With the acceptance of the assumption that time did not only include the concepts of continuity and linearity but also of discontinuity, forecasts began to be made in a more non-deterministic way, in which the future was seen not solely as an extension of the past.

In the formation of future-oriented policies and strategies in the 1980s, the “reactive” approach, which involved forecasting development and taking a position, was replaced by a “proactive” approach. A viewpoint which accepted that there were different choices for the future and was based on changing and controlling the future began to be adopted. From this period on, it became clear that forecasting universal, national, regional, sectoral and even personal developments was not possible through R&D projects alone; but that social, psychological, economic and political dimensions also influenced the entire system, and that these factors also had to be taken into account. Ecosystem and interdependency approaches became more common. In the fields of science and technology, a wider, more market-focused viewpoint which took social and demographic trends into account came to predominate.

Predicting the future has now moved beyond the exclusive realm of experts or scholars, to be perceived as a process of creating a vision of the future in which all shareholders participate and come to a mutual understanding. Approaches such as “managing the future” or even “preventing change” are gaining weight. It is precisely these developments which bring us to the concept of “uzgörü,” which carries the multiple meanings of the “distant view,” the “expert view” and the “compromising view.”

“Uzgörü” means being focused on  using a creative, problem-solving, flexible, participatory and organized approach to establishing a connection with the long-term future; on directing and creating the future. To succeed in the future, mere “foresight” is no longer enough, one must have “far-sight” – uzgörü.

What is Personal Futures Planning, and how does it work?

Knowing what will happen in the future is man’s greatest desire, and at the same time, his greatest source of anxiety. In recent years, futurists in particular have been claiming that by adopting a different viewpoint, personal futures planning is a “talent” that one can learn and develop. They point out the fact that with new approaches and sets of behaviors, individuals can plan the life they desire.

While strategy and planning are mostly considered to be things applicable to institutional areas such as the military, technical and professional fields, there is now talk of individuals planning their own lives and creating their own strategies; and methodologies are being discusses. One of the first people to work in this area, American futurist and Futurist Summit Speaker Verne Wheelwright, and the first institution in Turkey to practice his approach is M-GEN Futures Planning Center.

Futures planning is steadily gaining importance. One predominant attitude is, “The future affects the present as much as the present affects the future.”  This viewpoint is based on the “rational expectations” economics theory. A brief summary of the theory is that “Today’s price for a given item is not figured based on its price yesterday, but on how the future is perceived.” Most people now oppose fatalism and accept that the seeds of the future are sown today. This approach highlights the fact that “the future also determines the present.”

Technological and scientific developments have brought a host of previously unknown things into our lives, at dizzying speed. All of this is created by man, “because man has the ability to bring about anything he imagines.” Then the starting point is “dreams.”
Futurists say, to plan the future, determine what stage of life you are in, and your conditions. They divide life basically into periods: “early youth” (15-19), youth (20-25), young adulthood (26-29), adulthood (30-39), middle age (40-60) and old age (60 and above). Then they want you to determine what period of your life and how many years you will plan.

Let’s say for example that you’re are an adult and you will plan your middle age stage (40-60); in other words, your next 20 years. You must build a dream and scenarios by answering the question, “What kind of life do I want during those years?” In this way, you are determining your personal life vision. In the next step, you clarify your mission, by asking “What do I need to do in order to realize my dreams?” Then, you create your strategies for the coming stage of life (“How will I do it?”). Finally, you move into practice by detailing your plan (What must I do?) and your program (When must I do it?).

As you live a plan, there may be unpredictable developments, both good and bad. Just like other plans, life plans must occasionally be examined and adjusted. For this reason, you are strongly advised to put these into writing.

Actually, we have a large amount of knowledge about the future. Unfortunately, very few of us set aside the time necessary to make this knowledge useful. For this reason, those who work for the future (futurists) help individuals to clarify their thoughts, fears, hopes, beliefs and doubts. They work to icrease the quality and usefulness of individual’s decisions.

What does “Güzeltmek” mean?
A hybrid of the Turkish verbs “to beautify” and “to correct,” this is a coined word meaning to “call positive actions into the universe.” It was first used by Yelda Karataþ, who heard it from a child.

What is Nanotechnology?

“Nano-“ is the Greek word for “dwarf.” Words using the prefix “nano-“ signify a billionth of any unit of measure. For example a nanometer is one millionth of a meter (1 nm = 1/1,000,000,000 m). Such a small-scale manufacturing technology uses the possibilities provided by quantum physics to achieve the inexpensive arrangement of atoms and molecules in a variety of ways.

Specialists say that they will be able to create super-computers which will fit on the head of a pin and armies of nano-robots smaller than a human cell, able to eliminate cancer cells, infections, blocks in arteries and even old age. With the help of nanotechnology, computers will be billions of times more powerful than they are today, and new medical equipment will be much more efficient against known diseases than today’s treatment methods; they will be quickly applicable and leave no scars. They will increase our hope for finding new modes of treatment, and these new and very precise production methods will eliminate today’s polluting manufacturing methods. Molecular production will provide the desired result much more efficiently (neither more nor less), and thus will not produce pollutants.

The first thoughts in this direction emerged in the 60s, and began to be researched more intensively in the 90s. New energy needs and increasing environmental pollution is adding new urgency to this research. Nanotechnology, which in a short time will replace all the world’s mechanical production methods and pave the way for entirely new professions, has already begun to be used today, mostly i the fabric, pant and automotive industry for cleaning and increasing surface quality.

Every day introduces new products. Here are some examples of what we will use in the future:

> Click to watch videos


And…some garments of the future:
Anti-Aging t-shirt, Nano t-shirt
Containing vitamin E and a special enzyme, it decreases the signs of aging and protects the skin from ultraviolet rays. Designed and invented by Kanebo Spinning.

This instant garment is created from a chemically formulated seamless mist which is sprayed directly onto the skin. Designed and invented by Manel Torres of Fabrican.

What is Genetics?
What is Genetics?  

Known as the “father of genetics,” Gregor Mendel first introduced genetics to the scientific world with his experiments. The word “genetics” derives from the Greek “genno,” to ‘bear.”

Genetics is the branch of science which examines how all the characteristics of a living thing pass from generation to generation.

Although genetics aroused the excitement and curiosity of the scientific world in the first half of the 20th century, it truly came  into its own with the discovery in the 1950s of the DNA molecule.  It then became a focus of intense scientific interest, and in the 1980s, was characterized as the “science of the next century.” By the 1990s the first steps were taken towards mapping the genome, which marked the beginning of an international Genome Project.

Considered one of the most important scientific developments in history, this “map” has brought great momentum to studies of how disease appears. This knowledge is useful both in the development of new pharmaceutical molecules and treatments, as well as in the setting of individual health priorities and developing models for disease prevention.

Genetic science has brought significant progress in the understanding of the leading causes of death today such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer; as well as rarely-seen genetic diseases. Analysis of individual characteristics, especially their genetic character may enable more effective treatment of disease by patient-specific drugs and other methods; as well as the prevention of complications. Such approaches today are categorized as patient-specific medicine. The transformation of scientific progress in the area of patient-specific medicine into concrete methods of treatment has already begun, and is expected to spread throughout the world in the near future.
The Master of Life: The DNA molecule  

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)  is composed of four different molecules: Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine (A,T,G and C)    


The structure of the DNA molecule is a double helix; like a spiral staircase. The rails of the staircase are made of sugar and phosphate, and the steps are composed of four molecules: Adenine-A, Thymine-T, Cytosine-C and Guanine-G.

Did you know? If we were to stretch out the DNA in each of our cells, it would be more than 1.5 meters long. DNA is stored within the cell folded into a space a trillionth of an centimeter wide.

2 3

There are a total of around 100 trillion cells in the human body, divided into 210 different types. Every second approximately 50 million cells die, with an equal number of new cells produced. Because 99% of our genes correspond to those of mice, mice are the mostly commonly used test animals. The DNA of one species chimpanzee is 98.5% identical with human DNA, while just over one third of our genes match those of an earthworm.  

What does M-GEN mean?
M-GEN is an abbreviation of “Millennium GENeration, and is the name of Turkey’s first futurist company. Founded in 2006, it provides strategic consulting and educational services in the area of Personal Futures Planning to individuals and institutions. For more information:  www.m-gen.biz

What are the professions of the future?

Below are some examples of future professions as forecast by forward-thinking research at the M-GEN Futures Planning Center:
If you have additions you would like to make, you may send them to info@m-gen.biz, and they will appear in the list along with your name as the source.

  • Subcontractor  Management
    Corporations will work with as many or more expert service providers working independently or at small boutiques as with permanent paid employees. Subcontractor Management will be responsible for managing and striking a balance in the competition among the many and different types of subcontractors.

  • Change Management
    During the course of their daily operations, corporations will work hard to forecast and plan and prepare their communications in the areas in which they will have to change in order to set and reach their goals (such as human resources, technology, products, services, processes, shares, communication). They will then determine their technological needs and work to meet them. They will show leadership in taking the existing system smoothly through the constant changes before it encounters turbulence.

  • Administrative Management
    The most important resource and capital for every type of corporation will be creative people with higher qualifications. What will assure that these people will be in the most appropriate jobs will be the managers who keep them in their portfolios, just like the upper level managers’ career agencies in today’s giant companies. People will buy this service themselves.

  • Hotline Business Management
    Present-day repairmen who diagnose and repair technical problems on location will be replaced by smart programs which repair remotely, and three-dimensional holograms. Mechanical malfunctions will not be repaired; entire parts will be replaceable.

  • Smart Supply Management
    Supply chain management will be involved in and responsible for all the processes from innovation to production, packaging, stocking, transport, billing, marketing and sales. Supply Chain Management will turn into Smart Supply Management. It will be active in all processes from the mind to the sales counter, and even to recycling, using highest-level software, remote recognition systems and robotic devices.

  • Virtual Market Management
    Today’s retail sector will be replaced to a large extent by Virtual Market Management and Administration. As all types of shopping will take place mostly over the internet, all other service providers and institutions which meet the needs of retail sales points and other such environments will be replaced by robotic virtual systems. The position responsible for managing all these systems and developing creative applications will be Virtual Market Management.

  • Robotic Issues Law
    There will be lawyers who specialize in the solution of problems faced in the use of robots purchased in the manufacturing and service sectors, and work with the rights and responsibilities of people and corporations which produce, sell and use robots.

  • Scenario Design
    In education and communication systems, it will no longer be sufficient merely to talk about some things and show a film. Three-dimensional visuals which appeal to all five senses will increase the appeal of new applications. The ability to write scenarios and stories on all sorts of subjects will become a more sought-after qualification than shooting them or transferring them to technology. Scenario designers, who transform the future-related forecasts of institutions and individuals into scenarios, assist in strategic development and prepare the backgrounds, will be among the most sought-after professionals.

  • Artificial Intelligence Salesmanship
    Artificial Intelligence Salesmen are those who deal in the products which will appear as a result of the transfer of human thought systems to electronic devices. An example sales presentation: “Look, you put this small device in your room when you go to sleep. When you wake up, the device will sense this because of the change in your body temperature and brain waves, and run the systems that turn on the lights, put on the music you like, and adjust the room temperature to the level you want.”

  • Five-Sense Advertising Design
    Among the most popular professions, which will require a high level of creativity, will be that of designing advertisements which use artificial intelligence to sense smell, touch and the rest of the senses and the technology to send and cause these senses to be perceived remotely.

  • Question Bank Design
    Because of human beings’ ever-growing capacities, they will have difficulty asking the new things that will bring about development. The ability to ask the questions which will trigger innovation will become a new field of expertise. This will lead to the development of sectoral, thematic question banks, and those who design them will be in very high demand.

  • Electronic Journalism
    Because of ecological issues and evolutionary changes in the perception systems of new generations, learning from paper will be replaced by digital journalism over the internet and mobile publications, etc. Static news and photographs will be replaced by moving, spoken broadcasts. Their availability, content, timing etc. will be a matter of personal choice.

  • Emotion Design
    Genetic and nanotechnologies will develop to enable the determination of the appropriate emotion to the task or situation at hand, and apply the necessary drug prescription, artificial intelligence and virtual environment procedures. This will be performed according to the need by Emotion Designers. This work will likely be performed by today’s “Image Makers.”

  • Genetic Therapy
    The answer to the question, “What’s ailing you?” will be much clearer and more personal, such as, “I have a problem in my respiratory functions, I’m getting gene therapy in my lung cells”… Those who deal in the identification and correction of faulty genes, or even consult the genetic map to identify genes that could cause disease in advance and develop programs to prevent them, well be called Genetic Therapists; and it is destined to be a very important profession.

  • Genetic Economy
    Just as the commodities of today’s digital revolution, all of the commodities connected genetic technology will create fields of employment; they already have begun. Directing the sales market of such a limitless product will produce a completely new economic structure and dimension. All of the old balances will change in favor of people, corporations and groups in possession of genetic technology and its related products.

  • Information Mining
    The unlimited capacity to create and disseminate information will force people to ask questions such as “what information do we need and what information do we not need, how will we cull the unnecessary information and acquire that which is truly necessary?” Those working with systems to answer these questions will be called “Information Miners.” The use of information technology and artificial intelligence to keep track of, sort and merge current global developments, and choose between the necessary and unnecessary information in order to transform it into a useful form, will be a distinct and extremely important area of work.

  • Alternative Nutrition Engineers
    Alternative Nutrition Engineers will work with the conversion of the vital nutritional elements into concentrated blended tablet and liquid form. Taking advantage of all that genetic and nanotechnology have to offer, they will work to come up with alternative ways to meet human nutritional requirements. Traditional agriculture, animal husbandry, resource and production systems are becoming insufficient to meet the vital needs of mankind. Alternative nutrition engineers will find the solution to this, and their formulas will save us.

  • FrankenFood Monitors
    This will be the term for the mechanisms which will be created to insure that genetically modified food will not be detrimental to health, and to the people who employ these mechanisms.

  • Cybertechnology Engineer
    This will be a vital profession concentrating on humanoid robotic systems and their integration.

  • Information Engineer
    This will be the term for those who forward the data collected and processed by Information Miners and forward it to the appropriate people with the necessary content and in the necessary format.

  • Nanostructure Engineer
    The engineers who develop to the maximum the products that nanotechnology will bring to the construction sector are the ones who will replace today’s civil engineers. Those who will perform jobs similar to those of architects and engineers in the future will use only their creativity, because all the calculation and drawings as well as scale models will be performed by robotic systems.

What are the Baby Boomer, X, Y and Z Generations, and what are their characteristics?

1946-1964 – Baby Boomer Generation (BB): oldest, 62; youngest, around 44.
The Baby Boomer generation was born in the era of gas radios and refrigerators, and wind-up gramophones. They have a strong sense of loyalty, they are content with what they have, they work in one place for a long time. Close to some technology and far from others, they have not much adopted it. They react to social events and have respect for idealism and authority. When they achieve what they want they are happy and satisfied. The term “Baby Boomers” refers to the one billion babies born at the end of WWII. As these babies were growing up, every ten years saw an incredible growth of new sectors according to their needs: Fast food in the 60s, real estate in the 70s when they came to marriageable age, electronic home appliances and small appliances like microwave ovens I the 80s, and the internet and cellular phones in the 90s. From 2000 on, the baby boomers have had money and, not wanting to grow old, have brought about a boom in the wellness sector in order to “feel good and look good.”

1965-1979 – Generation X: Oldest, 43; youngest, 29. They used agitator washing machines, transistor radios, reel to reel tap players and turntables. Their feelings of loyalty change according to the situation; they are looking for better career opportunities. Most began  using technology reluctantly, because they were forced to. They are sensitive to social events, and motivated to work; respectful of authority and happy with what they have.

1980-2003 – Y Generation:
Oldest 28, youngest 18. They grew up with televisions, stereo systems, videos, cameras, washing machines and dishwashers. They have little sense of loyalty. They want to work to live. Technology symbolizes many things in their lives. They are narcissist, individualist and entrepreneurial. They don’t like to work, but love to earn and have fun. They behave with hostility toward authority, they are unsatisfied and have many desires. They are fast consumers.

These are children of technology in the real sense. Technological games, small portable devices, computers, MP3 players, iPods, cell phones and DVD players are always by their side. They were born with various digital diversions such as web surfing, messaging, blogging, chat and Facebook. When they don’t do their homework, this generation’s excuse is not “the electricity went out;” it’s “the internet went down.”

2003 – Z Generation:
They were born into a higher standard of living higher than that of their parents, and a safer, more secure environment. As a result they are more dependent on their family conditions and values, and at the same time, to each other. Although they may be far from one another, they use small devices to remain in verbal and even visual contact. Differently from the previous generation, they are “network” youth; they become members of various networks. Their ability to make more connections more easily paves the way for as many negative and extreme results as it does positive ones. Because they can establish long-distance relationships, they physically live alone, and will live alone.

At the same time, they are developing their multitasking skills, and are the generation with the highest hand-eye-ear coordination and motor skills in history. However these advantages may become disadvantages because of difficulties in attention and concentration skills.

The multitude of possibilities open to them may make it difficult for them to postpone entertainment. This is becoming the greatest obstacle to their success. They are the first generation to grow up in the digital age. Traditional teaching methods seem insufficient and ineffective. They can be taught only through cooperation and participation. They want to learn in their own time, under conditions which they determine themselves. They enjoy activities that allow creativity. They are interested in “real life” issues. Z Generation kids can be convinced of something only through doing it together, as “active participants.” They do not accept passivity.

Their long-term memories may come into effect more through games, stories and dreams than memorization. When teaching them something, bringing it to life with their own real-life examples make the job easier. They want to establish a link with tasks demanded of them via their own life experiences; otherwise they may be obstinate.

They are results-oriented. They will live unquestioningly because when they enter the work world, everything requiring decisions will be handled by electronic systems; decisions will be made by artificial intelligence. They will be very diplomatic, efficient and inventive. The concept of authority will not have much bearing in their lives. They are unsatisfied, indecisive and consumers from birth.

What is Philanthropy?

Philanthropy is based on the philosophy of “sharing what the word has given us with the people of the world.” It encourages one to become involved with humanity’s problems which are quickly turning into global issues, to find solutions to them and to become active, to organize. There is a spreading conviction that the problems which we face as human beings can be surmounted by new approaches, an increased sense of values. Our world and humanity is in need of conciliatory and practicable efforts. And Philanthropy is a steadily increasing value that can serve as a solution to these problems and eliminate them. It shines forth as an ever more comprehensible approach, and provides hope. Increasing their worldwide activities with each passing day, NGOs and especially foundations are working with this attitude. The Gates Foundation, worth 35 million dollars, is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the world.


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