I started be the future more than 2 years ago, on October 7, 2019. When I began, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it. I had all these ideas and nowhere to put them. I was chafing against the walls and boxes I found myself within. I knew then but didn’t know then that this confinement was too small for my ambitions. This blog helped me think through some of those ideas in a way I never had before. It helped me find my voice, especially around the racial and social justice issues I’ve always wanted to expressed. I’ve learned on the job my whole life. I’ve adapted, modified, and reused whatever I could get my hands on. But I hadn’t dreamed about work in the ways that I was beginning to.
Many of the ideas in my writing spring from whatever I’m working on at the time. Sometimes the ideas made their way back into my own work in the real world. Watching these ideas become reality spurred me on to do more and dream bigger. In the years since 2019 leading up to today’s announcement, I have come to realize that I am finally ready to live out those dreams.
what is Future Emergent?
Future Emergent is a consulting practice I’m launching on April 4. Future Emergent offers antiracist visioning, strategic planning and program design. I can help people connect the communities where they are to the work they’re doing. I offer the tools and structures that people in power can use to understand what needs to change and find ways to change it. Future Emergent seeks to help people create change, see the value in that change, and push themselves to do more.
be the future started as a way for me to see the world in a new light. It’s bold, hopeful, and full of determination. I wanted everyone, including myself, the opportunity to create the world that we wanted to live in. Future Emergent is how I will help people create a world that can fit all of our ambitions.
what the name means to me
I’ve learned a lot about launching a business in the last seven months! No effort took more time and energy than finding the name that best matched what I wanted to do.
I have a mind that’s easily occupied by the future. What will happen to the people who inherit this earth? What will happen to me, to the people I love, to my little nephews and cousins who will live on for generations to come? To me, the future isn’t something to be afraid of: it’s something to dream about. Shaping the future means taking a step towards something we may never see.
Future Emergent will help people take that next step, and the next, and the next. The future may be fast approaching, but it’s not here yet. We in the present have to make it happen. I’m influenced by adrienne maree brown’s work Emergent Strategy. Her concept of fractals form the basis for a lot of what I write about, how small, personal efforts can influence much larger systems. Within the word “emergent” is another one: “urgent.” We must take an active role in our future before we can make it happen.
My good friend Chris Nguyen created my branding to reflect these goals. The logo is a fractal that represents making sense of complexity, a journey with recognizable turning points but no end.
The future is emergent with possibility. Future Emergent helps people build an antiracist world where everyone can belong.
the road ahead
I’ve spent my entire career trying to create new systems within the boundaries of the old ones. Future Emergent extends my belief that we need to shed the white supremacist world we were born into. And I’ll still be writing here at be the future every Friday, of course.
I am here to encourage you to dream bigger. I am here to tell you that we can do this. I am here to tell you that this can’t wait. The journey to a world of true equality and belonging may last longer than our lifetimes. That doesn’t mean we can’t start now. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push for more.
my name is josh martinez. i have always loved trying to understand systems, and the systems that built those systems. i spend a lot of time thinking about how to get there from here.
i own and operate a consulting practice, Future Emergent.
say hello: josh[at]bethefuture.space