January 26, 2023

looking future 2022

a group of penguins hangs out in a zoo habitat
Humbolt penguins from Peru wander around a rock wall enclosure designed to mimic their natural habitat. these funky little tuxedo-clad swimmers are already dressed up for new year’s eve. their crow friend is pretty chill, too.

What a year 2022 was. I launched my own business! I got covid and the flu. My grandmother and then my cat Waffles passed away. I’ve gotten older and hopefully a little wiser. I’ve found myself coming into a new form of power. I noticed this year that my writing has changed. My writing feels more urgent to me: I’m less frustrated with the status quo but more intent on changing it.

As I kick off the third year of be the future, here are the 5 blog posts I’m most proud to have written this year.

Here’s 2021’s list.
Here’s 2020’s list.


moving the unmovable

We’re not moving actual mountains here. We’re trying to make policies less shitty for people who aren’t white, cis, straight, or men. Don’t forget, then, that it’s all fake. Our policies, organizations, laws, practices, and rules were all made by people. We’re people too. We can change that which is unfair. No part of our society is infallible.

what is a room to a person uninvited?

Values and practices must begin to change first. I have a responsibility not to expose new people to situations or threats they don’t know about in advance. I won’t help a problem organization attract people of color or people who are Black or Indigenous. I don’t want to bring in people who society implies are less valuable than people who are white and in power. Not when that company and society are in lockstep about who deserves power and who doesn’t.

not on my watch

If none of those work… fuck it. We can’t save every institution. So many of us are inspired by change. We can spent a lot of energy trying to keep an organization afloat when it doesn’t deserve to be. Don’t sacrifice your drive or nerve helping a dinosaur stagger on a little longer. Sometimes, the best we can do is to abandon the institutions that were never created with us in mind. Create something for yourself and for people the current systems don’t serve. Get out and make something for the future.

the devil’s advocates

It’s a universal truth that people who sit at conference tables love making decisions. Those people make decisions without any connection to the consequences of their actions. Sometimes we get lucky and bring in an idea from outside the conference room’s echo chamber. Disconnected decision-makers will then debate the validity of ideas they didn’t come up with. In those rooms, there’s always someone who’s willing to take the contrary position. People call this ‘being the devil’s advocate.’ If we take an expansive position, they’ll take the restrictive one. It seems like their only goal is to be the “are we sure we need to do this?” person in the room.

lessons from ‘born in flames’ (with Jamie Martinez)

When we achieve our goals, our wildest dreams, it’s okay to rest as long as we get back up again. There will always be people who our plans forget. There will always be people who fight tooth and nail against our goals. The remedies of today will grow stale or outdated. It’s up to us to hold onto our solidarity with other humans, receive their needs, and bend towards justice.


I had a small reshuffle with the blog post order this year. I’m taking next week off for the holidays, but I’ll have one more post before we ring in 2023. To the future!

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