Overview (Introverted Intuition + Thinking)
The Futurist’s mind combines intuition and logic for the prediction and anticipation of phenomena and developments in the world, commonly in the fields of technology or other technical fields. They use a mix of tactics and strategy to prevent negative outcomes in life, the future, and/or the unconscious. They typically appear detached from the physical world, despite their practical and/or scientific thinking. Their areas of expertise typically surround the (social) sciences, philosophy, psychology, mathematics, robotics, chess, and occasionally the arts (such as film directing).
futurist (noun): a person who makes statements about what will happen in the future based on their studies and knowledge. Example: • Futurists use rational or scientific methods of anticipating future events.futurist: One who offers opinions or insights about the future based on study of past and current events; this term is most appropriate for a serious discussion of modern predictions about societal issues based on trends
The term “futurist” most commonly refers to people who attempt to understand the future (sometimes called trend analysis) such as authors, consultants, thinkers, organizational leaders and others who engage in interdisciplinary and systems thinking to advise private and public organizations on such matters as diverse global trends, possible scenarios, emerging market opportunities and risk management. Futurist is not in the sense of the art movement futurism.
Max McKeown (2011) argues that “strategy is about shaping the future” and is the human attempt to get to “desirable ends with available means“. Dr. Vladimir Kvint defines strategy as “a system of finding, formulating, and developing a doctrine that will ensure long-term success if followed faithfully.”
Purpose Role: The Futurist will be in their natural element when they engage in projects and pastimes that require futuristic thinking to deepen their insights, evade losses, and anticipate a (personally) significant future aim.
Main Functions (Ni + Te)
The Futurist’s view on the world covers both a far and small reach. The focus is on calculating and intuitively assessing risks and future developments based on trend and pattern cognition from past events, so that past mistakes won’t be committed again in a future operation. These future (risks) calculations start within their own personal life, but often extends to politics and more worldly affairs. Typically, the Futurist’s predictions in the realm of sciences, business, technology, and sometimes politics are quite accurate (though they may fall short in the field of human interactions, where the Psychospiritualist is more skilled.)
They have a keen awareness of how one event leads to another; that can make the Futurist have a 6th sense-like ability to foresee or anticipate future developments. Hence it is rare to catch a Futurist off-guard in terms of timely situational developments, due to that insight, which they have in common with The Psychospiritualist. Typically, they will have “experienced” the occurrence already in their (unconscious) minds, well in advance.
The Futurist doesn’t require a long life fraught with trials and errors to arrive at their intuitive insights like other types. Their intuitive abilities are rather well-developed from an early age. Those insights may not be concrete, but they guide their life nonetheless; unconsciously “knowing” when they should arrive or avoid a situation to evade harm, when they can anticipate a certain event.
Despite all this, the Futurist is somewhat cut off from the tangible, physical world around them. They lack physical presence and the understanding of how to pressurize their opponents effectively. To do so, they primarily rely on a wealth of logical extrapolations, factual evidence and intuitive insights, well-suited to the issue at hand. Such insights may concern the nature of humankind, or more abstractly and objectively the nature of the world at large. Typically, Futurists support these insights with mathematical calculations, data collection, and/or philosophize over what they have “seen“ to be true.
Their intuitive foresight or insights can have a spiritual or otherworldly quality to it, but differently from the Psychospiritualist, the Futurist always deals with and presents their findings in a very pragmatic and logical manner to the external world, referring to (scientific) studies, data, or other factual knowledge that objectively validates their “sight”.
External Focus (Te > Se)
The Futurist is concerned with following a life of minimized risks, downfalls, personal ruin. Their practical logic and business acumen often aids them in avoiding life-altering mistakes (in business). Typically, every action of theirs is well-calculated and predetermined by logic.
This results in either quite a structured, diligent, productive approach, with a great ability to “streamline” and make (work) processes more efficient or understandable; or in contrast a life fraught with physical inactivity and disengagement, anticipating the development and moves of processes, but not engaging with them nor shaping their path to the Futurist’s own will.
The Futurist has the strong tendency to delay carrying out an action or employing force in all areas of life, even though they require and would welcome it. It usually takes them more time than for the average person to mobilize their forces and strength.
Strong Unvalued External Intuition (Ne)
The Futurist is well-adept at brainstorming novel ideas and combining seemingly separate ideas and concepts from different sources in new and enlightening ways. Even if the Futurist deals with an older concept, the way they use it will appear to be novel and well-fitted to the time period they live in. This is also where the Futurist mentally draws the line – if novel combinations or overlaps are not relevant for a specific time and place, then they will be mostly ignored. However, there can be moments when the Strategist may mention those nonsensical overlaps in a humorous way to make their point.
Strong Introverted Thinking and Extroverted Intuition (Ti + Ne)
The Futurist is typically well-able at explaining matters in simple and coherent terms, has a well-developed grasp on theoretical frameworks, often redefining and reconfiguring them to suit their own personal insights of the world’s “ways”. In contrast to the System Builder, the Futurist will also discover new overarching patterns and distill (new-found) underlying meanings behind them.
Unvalued Weak Internal Sensing (Si)
The Futurist may go through periods in their life where they try to look after their health, physical appearance, or delight in internal physical sensations, but often times these periods are quite short-lived, lack in proficiency and deeper personal interest. They naturally are rather detached and out of touch with their bodies.
External Behaviour (Weak Fe)
Even though some Futurists can be quite interested in social and political dynamics, they usually appear to be surprisingly emotionally detached or visibly unemotional in interactions with other people, often without their awareness. Their faces can be rarely or awkwardly animated, often “stone-faced”, and they may feel bothered by social conventions of showing and employing emotional affect, in order to steer people – that is not their strong nor preferred suit. They typically find it difficult to read other people’s emotions and if they have to rely on such assessments, they will feel bothered, if not helpless.
They often have difficulties with maneuvering the social or emotional atmosphere in social settings according to external standards and may even (unconsciously) position themselves against those. They are inclined to voice an opinion, even if it could ruin the emotional atmosphere, and they might be generally unaware of the emotional atmosphere as a whole, which can lead to some awkward interactions. For instance, they might be (non-deliberately) inclined not to cry (or to cry) in situations where that would be considered inappropriate by the consensus.
Internal Aim at Internal Feeling (Fi)
This weakness in outward emotionality can be contrasted by a deep inner vault of personal sentiments, which can express itself as pronounced moralism. Some Futurists will deliberately attempt to create a moral framework for how to interact on an individual basis, but it tends to be either too static or lack emotional nuance/complexity.
The Futurist’s intuitive insights and inner feelings may result in impressive works of art, which are often carried out with the help of advanced technology or dealing with science-fiction themes. In this area, some Futurists may resemble the Aesthete.
Futurist Celebrities: Click here
Note: Of course there are futurists who possess a different personality type, so please do not assume that all futurists in the world fit this personality type! I call the Introverted Intuition + Thinking personality type “The Futurist” not only because they are usually futurists, but also because this personality structure personifies the archetype the best. The best futurists in the world will have this personality type.
Least compatible: The Host
*Note: These types can occasionally be less compatible due to mismatching Enneagram Trifixes.
The Ego of the Futurist
The Super-Id (valued but weak)
The weakest Functions:
The strongest Functions:
INTJ (MBTI), ILI (Socionics)
Note: Both MBTI and Socionics include Big 5-related aspects in their types, especially MBTI is mostly a variation of Big 5 nowadays. My version of the Jungian types does not use Big 5 traits, hence the conventional 4-letter idea of “INTJ” might not fully apply. Based on the letters, you might count as “INTJ” but not as The Futurist with Ni and Te as their first functions. Read this for more on this issue.
There are 3 specific subtype variations of the Futurist.
Ni Subtype (Classic Introvert)
Ni subtype Futurists share most of those traits:
- Stereotypically introverted
- more inwardly emotional
- more artistic
- more philosophical or spiritual
- less physical/”embodied”
Te Subtype (Extroverted Introvert / “Ambiverted”)
Te subtype Futurists share most of those traits:
- ”Ambiverted” (can be mistaken for an extrovert)
- more practically-minded
- more business acumen
- more active
- more scientific/mathematical
Note: Don’t mistake Jungian “ambiversion” with sociable Enneagram instinctual stackings, like So/Sp and Sx/So. If you are an introvert with one of those stackings, you’ll come across as “ambiverted”, even if you don’t have that subtype!
No Subtype (Standard Type)
A Futurist who falls into both categories more or less is mostly likely the No subtype kind.
- More principled and moralistic (Type 1)
- 135, 153, 136, 163, 145, 154, 146, 164 (Trifixes)
- more detached and niche (Type 5)
- 538, 583, 548, 584, 531, 513, 541, 514 (Trifixes)
If you are not a Type 1 nor 5 then you are most likely not The Futurist. But make sure you are correctly typed. You can book a Get•Typed session here.