H.E. Roulo's Reviews > Bridge Makers: Becoming a Citizen Futurist

Bridge Makers by April Reagan
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it was amazing

The idea of a citizen futurist was something I hadn't taken time to consider before, although I am an optimist about how innovation can make the world a better place.

The book "Bridge Makers: Becoming a Citizen Futurist" takes time to identify what that is, why we need it, and how to become a better citizen futurist. It's looking at our responsibility to improve the world around us, identify trends, and maintain optimism about possibilities. The author, April Reagan, drives home the point that the goal of companies and researchers don't necessarily align with societal goals--rather, they're usually building products and pursuing research. This means that our technological advancement can include unintended consequences.

I agree that we can support innovation as long as we remain diligent in advancing our notions of responsibility at the same pace we advance the tech. Sometimes, that gets overlooked as the pace of advancement is sometimes breakneck. As the author says at the end of Chapter 2, "...we do need a better system for discussing and creating a set of values that can be used for organizations to plan and make decisions that reflect what the people want." Reagan, April. Bridge Makers: Becoming a Citizen Futurist (p. 44). New Degree Press. Kindle Edition.

The author brushes on fields that are likely to provoke change, like AI and Bioengineering, but the point of the book isn't to say whether an advancement has value or explore the risks. Instead, it's to convince the reader that they're an active participant in the inevitable innovations to come. Our part includes such tasks as to step forward, identify what might be useful but overlooked, redirect what is harmful, find channels to be heard, and influence policy.

While I would have preferred fewer Merriam-Websters definitions, perhaps they were necessary to ensure we were on the same page with concepts that aren't mainstream, yet. Overall I found the book a thought-provoking read that pulls together some familiar ideas that I hadn't attached to each other before.

[Note: Just to be above board, I should mention I share mutual friends with the author.]

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Reading Progress

May 23, 2021 – Started Reading
May 23, 2021 – Shelved
May 24, 2021 – Finished Reading

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