Hiding behind wall in teflon suit for this one!
Since I started my futurology career 21 years ago, it has always been clear that technology can change very fast but social change is slower, and the forces of human nature that guide and moderate both social change and technology adoption barely change at all (until we can start redesigning human nature later this century anyway). This makes futurology easier and much more reliable – interpret any new force of change through the filter of human nature to see how it might materialise, or not, and how it might play out in the rich diversity of human interaction.
Indeed, maybe gaining experience of human nature is a component of what we mean by wisdom – the wise old man has seen more of life and has learned to interpret new forces by looking at the underlying nature that will moderate them. With my old computer modelling hat on, I’d say that your mental model of the world gets richer, more refined, and generally better as you get older, till your brain starts malfunctioning anyway.
Going further still, and perhaps a little provocative, perhaps that also explains why many of the best futurists tend to be in their 60s or 70s, whereas trend trackers tend to be younger. Experience makes quality of prediction improve, but has little impact on noticing what’s new. Even a fresh graduate can talk about the latest gadgets and breakthroughs, but it needs experience to interpret their long term effects. So futurists should tend to be older whereas trend trackers can be (but don’t have to be) younger. I’m not saying all old futurists are good, nor that all new futurists are bad, just that there is a tendency for individuals to improve continuously until they get very old. Older and wiser, so better at futurology.
I won’t mention names for fear of offending anyone who doesn’t want to be listed as old yet, but by these metrics, I hope to reach my prime as a futurist in a decade or two. I am 52, too old to be young and too young to be old; still enthusiastic about tracking new developments but still learning how to interpret them. I hope I live long enough to get good at it.