My name is Tsvi Bisk. I am an independent Israeli futurist, social researcher, and strategy planning consultant. My background is culturally varied. I was born, raised and educated in the United States and moved to Israel after two years service in the American Army. I married a woman of Yemenite Jewish origin and have lived 35 years steeped in Middle Eastern culture and mindset, while at the same time interacting with the European intellectual tradition that dominates Israel’s social and political discourse but not its social and political reality (which is a peculiar blend of Europe, Middle East and America). I believe my intellectual imagination is enriched by this blend of culturally different ways of looking at issues and problems.
I worked 20 years as a senior associate of the Beit Berl Institute – The Research Department of the Israel Labor Party where I prepared background papers on various political, social and economic issues. These papers served as platforms for discussion to enable Labor Party policy makers (government ministers and Members of Knesset) to formulate future policies of the country and of the party. It was during this period that I became pre-occupied with the future and began to call myself a futurist – someone whose curiosity is focused on the future.
This might be seen as ironic because my university degrees are in the social sciences and history and part of my living derives from my teaching history. But history is important to me as a futurist because historical analogy, combined with logic and imagination, have become in combination my fundamental futurist methodology.
Upon leaving Beit Berl in the 90s I have made my living by simultaneously teaching history and writing and lecturing about the future.
A word about what I mean by futurist. There have been several terms associated with futurists. Among these are futurology, futuristics, and futurism. Futurology was the original term associated with this field. It literally means “knowledge of the future” and presumes to be a predictive science. Most present day futurists reject using this term because it is impossible “to know” the future. The future does not yet exist. Human endeavor and human thought are constantly creating the future. It is therefore a volitional, value-laden enterprise not a predictive scientific one. Futuristics simply refers to a preoccupation with the future. I am an advocate of futurism – an “ism”, a value laden ideology that sees the future as being more important than the past for the simple reason that we have ethical and moral responsibility for creating it and altering its course (something we obviously cannot do with the past) and because at any given moment we are all going to be spending the rest of our lives in the future.
Because of this I am preoccupied with what I call Strategic Thinking – or how to get from here to there. It is not enough to have a wonderful vision of the future; one must envision a strategic plan of how one might realize this vision. If one cannot envision ways and means to implement ones vision then the vision is obviously of no use.
I have published more than one hundred essays and articles in English and Hebrew in a variety of publications – two in MacMillan’s Encyclopedia of the Future. As someone who is preoccupied with the future of the Jewish people I have also published two full-length books Futurizing the Jews (Praeger Press, 2003) and The Optimistic Jew (Maxanna Press, 2007). I am also Contributing Editor for Strategic Thinking for The Futurist magazine, the official publication of the World Future Society. I have produced a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and courses dedicated to cultivating futurist habits of thought for business, general and Jewish audiences.
My interests are varied but are usually bound up with survival issues. In addition to my preoccupation with the future of the Jewish People my other most immediate interest is the energy/environment conundrum which I believe is the primary survival challenge of the human race in the 21st Century. Please visit http://www.kissenergy.com to see my writings on this subject. My deep long term interest has to do with the ultimate consequences of human evolution throughout the Cosmos. Please visit http://www.cosmodeism.com for a preview of a book I am working on dealing with this subject.
I am available for speaking engagements in Hebrew or English in Israel or North America and Europe. If you are planning a mission to Israel i am available as a lecturer or as a scholar in residence for the entire mission. Also available for small family groups or individuals to give a different perspective on Israel and Zionism.
“I am also available as a strategic consultant for Jewish (and non-Jewish) organizations to help you envision an alternative positive future and create a strategy to achieve that future