Joe Murphy is a professional futurist grounded with an MBA and a degree in Physics with research expertise & experience as a Yale Science Librarian. Obsessed with crafting better questions, I research futures to inform decisions through strategic foresight methodologies. A formally trained futurist through a Master of Science in Foresight, I anticipate & influence significant changes. Instead of a crystal ball, I’m armed with techniques to understand and create future directions by combining data-driven forecasts and creativity to adapt strategy to discontinuous change. The futures studies graduate program trained me in the rigorous practical techniques for very intentional approaches to the future.
The power of the ask: I guide and refine questions to drill down to the right problems. I’m an expert at all stages and types of research: critically seeking, synthesizing, & interpreting information from diverse sources and am fluent in the data ecosystem from creation/organization/management to translation into knowledge. I gained and further developed these research skills through a Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science and five years as a Yale Science Librarian. I applied these skills within libraries and then to experience in the technology sector in a software firm and with leaders in the public sector.
Being a researcher makes me a better futurist. The best way to get ready is to stay ready and I maintain critical insight through consuming diverse current media and studying the ecosystems we work in. I am unique among futurists as an exceptional futures researcher through this Librarian experience that makes me accountable to data and an adept judge of when the past, through critical hindsight, is a good indicator of the future.
I completed an Executive MBA program alongside a diverse cohort of fellow students, all experienced managers from across the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching me day-to-day business needs to balance short-term drivers with long-term goals. With this full business school education, I am fluent in the needs of executives, managers, and owners and I apply the tools of strategic foresight to ease uncertainty about the future.
I’m literate in the systems and arts of economics, management, marketing, IT/IS, change, finance, operations, project management, product management, statistics, strategy, innovation, global business, and leadership.
I am a foresight strategist and I sit at the junction of imagination and operations, innovation and finance, creativity and planning, strategy and design thinking, data and stories, research and execution, the present and the future.
A college degree in Physics gave me STEM problem solving frameworks (theoretical, computational, and analytical) to address complex problems, to explore and understand the why and the how, to analyze structure. I apply to my work as a futurist a lesson learned as a scientist: to find the limits of knowledge and contribute there to extend the known and decrease uncertainty. Science’s accompanying sense of wonderment also extends my creativity.
Ethics and values – I consider the future of all stakeholders and all future stakeholders. I am committed to the long-term: long-term growth, ingoing success, and a healthy world for all impacted. My values as a futurist are to help design more sustainable futures for business and people.
Always curious, I seek multiple paths to understanding & addressing complicated circumstances through research, systems thinking, and as a well-read generalist & skeptic. Working in a library tied my work as a futurist to data and evidence as much as to the power of narrative. I read novels and histories alongside strategy research and a daily newspaper. I cannot stop asking questions and I am passionate about asking better questions about our futures. Curiosity is my cornerstone.
– Joe Murphy, futurist, former librarian, strategist, and researcher.