Surfing Dator’s Tsunamis of Change: Confessions of a Part-time Futurist

by Christopher B. Jones


One of the founders of the field of future studies has strongly influenced the second half of my life. For more than 30 years, this individual has had a singular influence in my research interests and career. Jim Dator has been my teacher, mentor, and friend and a guiding light in studies of the future, even though my professional career has been in higher education. Professionally, my primary role has been as a professor of political science, future studies, and more recently faculty in a graduate school of public policy and administration. I will always be at least a part-time futurist, thanks to Dator. He helped me engage with the future and realize that I had to always be a student of alternative futures. He impressed upon me that the future matters, that futures matter. That is what drew me to him at first, and then, over three decades to become my teacher, and eventually, my friend. We are all about our stories (King, 2012) and this is my story, spanning half of my life, about my relationship with a man and his provocative and compelling ideas. Dator taught me we are all about our futures.(continue…)

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