Once I met a person whose job title is was “Executive Vice President & Futurist”. As far as I can tell his primary responsibility was to fly to MIT, Frauenhofer Institute and other notable engineering schools to listen to boring lectures and speculate on the future with academics at expensive restaurants and cocktail parties. How far can one look down the road? Not very far it appears. Go to any library and look at popular magazines for any visions of the future from twenty or thirty years ago; today is nothing like they predicted. I want my flying car or at a minimum my jet pack. The best we can do is extrapolate current trends. Long range forecasting is a waste time for any chaotic environment but that won’t stop consulting firms, government technocrats, central banks et. al. from trying. Your lucky astrology calendar, neighborhood psychic or five year old will have just as good a track record.