I spent my early career teaching and have a deep passion for lifelong learning and creating a life of dreams fulfilled. Accomplishing educational goals is a significant step toward this. I tell my audiences that “I want to create a widely diversified portfolio of unforgettable memories,” and I encourage others to do the same.
While each of us has an important purpose and a unique story to tell, we all need a boost at some point to give our dreams momentum.
A couple years ago, the idea to support a few individuals each year in the pursuit of their educational dreams arose. These individuals also maintain a focus on the greater community in which they live. That being said, I created the Daniel Burrus Scholarship Fund.
The award is given once a year to individuals in high school who plan on attending college or are full-time college students in good academic standing with a desire to continue their education and better impact their community.
The scholarship recipients’ essays explained how they each believe my anticipation principles, such as paying attention to Hard and Soft Trends, the Law of Opposites, Problem Skipping and Choosing to Be Extraordinary, can help an organization lead transformation instead of just react to change. Let me introduce them.
First up is Ember Milstead who resides in Rome, GA. Ember recently graduated from Model High School and is currently attending Pennsylvania State University, double majoring in criminology and psychology in pursuit of a promising career in criminal law. Ultimately, Ember’s goal is to aid in the reduction of false convictions in the United States and to better our legal system.
Ember identifies Hard Trends as something useful in recognizing disruptions before they disrupt. She believes that to do this, an organization must first differentiate between Soft Trends and Hard Trends, where Soft Trends are predictions that have the potential to occur and Hard Trends are future facts that will occur. She cites that technological advancements are a Hard Trend and in addition to this, believes organizations can use Hard Trends to accelerate their success, citing Netflix as the most prominent example of a company pre-solving a problem before it actually becomes a problem.
Secondly, we have Matthew De La Cruz who is from the Bronx in New York. Overcoming a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Delays (PDD-NOS), which falls under the Autistic Spectrum, at two years old, and with the undying support of his immigrant parents, Matthew worked hard to exceed the limitations of his condition and graduated as Valedictorian from Monsignor Scanlan High School in 2019. He currently attends Baruch College in New York City studying finance and he aspires to become the CEO of a financial firm in the future.
Remarkably, Matthew cites the invention of the wheel in 3,500 B.C. as evidence of technological change being a constant in our lives, even though these days it has become predominantly digital and based in the Internet of Things (IoT). Because of this, Matthew believes that using an anticipatory mindset to point out certainties in markets is important for a company of any size to transform technological change into a competitive advantage and flourish in the present and the future.
And finally, we have Kennedy McKinney who is a passionate future journalist. Her love for journalism began in 2013 when she decided to start her own online paper, and it’s only grown from there with her accomplishment of becoming editor-in-chief at her high school paper. Kennedy is now majoring in Journalism with a speciality in entertainment and sports, where she also plans to learn more about media production and video editing to prepare for the constant transition from print to digital papers.
Kennedy believes that a common example of how a company can use Hard Trends to anticipate is found most predominantly with technology. Over 3.8 billion people use the internet today, which Kennedy identifies as a Hard Trend. However, she also observes that many companies use Soft Trends more frequently, which are trends based on statistics that have the appearance of being fully predictable facts, but notes that they are something that might happen as opposed to Hard Trends that will happen. Therefore she believes companies should not strategies solely on Soft Trends, but utilize Hard Trends to anticipate change and transform their future.
The inspiration and intelligence these young people bring to their communities and the world is boundless. Small acts of support grow exponentially. Keep making an impact on the next generation of leaders in your community.
The Daniel Burrus Scholarship Fund was created to be a resource for those students who applied AO principles to help them achieve their goals and objectives, while leading others along the way. By supporting students to shape a positive future, I believe our youth can be better prepared to become transformational leaders within their communities and achieve enormous success. Learn more about the Daniel Burrus Scholarship Program. You might also be interested in picking up a copy of my latest book The Anticipatory Organization.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.