Support your independent higher education futurist

Today I’d like to invite your support for my work.

To explain: I’m an independent higher education futurist and can’t do this work alone.

What that means: as a higher education futurist, I conduct research into how academia evolves.  A whole slew of projects and initiatives fall under this header, such as writing books and articlesThe Future Trends Forum is part of this effort, an unusual, weekly video conversation about higher education’s next steps.  (We’re coming up on our sixth year anniversary.)  There’s the long-running FTTE Report, a monthly trends analysis.  We have an online book club. And there’s this very blog. I wrap all of these together under the Future of Education Observatory banner.

Observatory screenshot

And there’s more, as the commercial used to say.  Exploring the intertwined future of academia and the climate crisis led to my next book, Universities on Fire (forthcoming, Johns Hopkins University Press). Along with the book will be a series of projects in 2022, hoping to expand and develop conversations and strategy around the topic.  On deck is a podcast series, Future Trends Forum sessions, articles, a virtual event, and maybe more.

Bryan Halloween 2021 with crystal ballThe “independent” part of being an independent higher education futurist is where you come in.  “Independent” means that I do this work without a net. No institution is behind the Observatory. No family wealth makes it possible.  No government, business, or nonprofit powers the work.  I don’t have tenure or a full-time employer. Instead, I remain independent of any editorial influence. Therefore a mix of streams keep the lights on and the machines humming: consulting work, speaking engagements, virtual events, some sponsors, FTTE subscriptions, and the great supporters on Patreon.

Today I’d like to invite you to join them and keep it all going.

Here are some ways to help:

I deeply appreciate any of these actions.  I work hard to make sure each brings value, both to supporters and, hopefully, to the broader conversation about academia’s future.

I know not everyone can contribute.  These are wild times and we have both restrictions and priorities.  I appreciate whatever you can do.

More, I believe deeply in the power of networks.  This post has too many “I”s for my taste, but the work is thoroughly social and connectivist. Much of it is about connections between people, from conversations, collaborations, professional development, and networking to friendships.  Folks contribute not only their financial support but also their thoughts, creativity, and analysis, which makes the overall work smarter and better.

The future of colleges and universities is too complex – and too important – to go it alone.

Please support the work.  And thank you.

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9 Responses to Support your independent higher education futurist

  1. Love love love the jacket.

    Anyhow, by way of endorsement, let me say that I’ve followed your writing and speaking for many years and what I see most of all is that you have put in the work it takes to be an expert in the field. No shortcuts here!

  2. Dahn Shaulis says:


    Hope you will consider all my “in kind” contributions. And please keep up the good work with Future Trends Forums and your important books. Hmm…here’s a thought: perhaps you should look into the higher ed crystal ball and tell our rich techie friend J–that with a generous contribution (and listening to our expert guidance) the future will be very bright for his OPM. #collegemania #collegemeltdown #studentloandeath

  3. If I had an actual organization instead just names used on forms that ask for affiliation, I’d hire you in a flash. Absent that option, I’m sticking a post-it reminder on my monitor about upping the in kind and signal boosting.

    About the YouTube channel — remind followers and prospective ones to ring the bell for notifications and share videos as well as liking and commenting on them.

    • Dahn Shaulis says:

      Vanessa, you (or a surrogate you designate) are also invited to write something for the Higher Education Inquirer (HEI) in 2022. That would be a great contribution to our higher ed awareness. Previous authors for HEI include Glen McGhee (Florida Higher Education Accountability Project), Gary Roth (The Educated Underclass), Heidi Weber (Whistleblower Revolution), Bill Harrington (Croatan Institute), former enrollment worker JD Suenram, as well as anonymous contributors.

    • Bryan Alexander says:

      You’re so kind, Vanessa!
      I have to figure out how to make those final cards.

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