If geek is the new cool, what is the new geek?

For those of us who grew up nerds, we developed our outcast identities in school. If you were a teenager in the 70's, 80's, or 90's, chances are if you were called a geek, you were not popular. You may have even dealt with bullying. Oddly enough, the things that made us socially awkward in our formative years became the things that helped us stand out later in life. Now that geek culture is mainstream and having nerdy interests no longer sets you apart, who are the new outcasts?

As the I Fight Dragons song predicted, the geeks have inherited the earth.

Many of the kids who grew up nerdy have become very successful later in life and helped shape our culture. They are the innovators of today, the Mark Zuckerbergs and Bill Gates', the Jonecia Keels' and Jazmine Millers. They are reshaping the world as we know it, and they are also helping to shift the way we think about outcast identities. Today, our culture is oversaturated with the word geek. Whereas comic books were once dorky, now superhero movies based on comics are setting records in the box office. And while it used to be lame to love technology, now it's lame to not be aware of the upgrades and advancements of the tech we use everyday. The word "geek" isn't what it used to be. People use it proudly as they voraciously consume whatever video game, toy, or computer program is the next hot thing. For us lifelong nerds, the things that used to set us apart are now the things that bring people together. 

geek ɡēk/
1. an unfashionable or socially inept person.
1. engage in or discuss computer-related tasks obsessively or with great attention to technical detail.

So what does it mean to be a social outcast now? As the masses scramble to buy their Batman shirts and go see the next blockbuster comic book movie, if identifying as a geek now makes you interesting and cool then who are the people that will bring about the next wave of innovation?

futurist - fyo͞oCHərəst/ 
1. an adherent of futurism.
2. a person who studies the future and makes predictions about it based on current trends.
1. of or relating to futurism or the Futurists.
2. relating to a vision of the future, especially one involving the development of technology.

By the word's most basic definition, the futurists will be the next wave of innovators. We are the evolution of geek culture. Futurists don't have time to obsess over comic books, we don't care if we are socially awkward, and we definitely don't cross the street to avoid potential bullies. We don't scramble to buy the newest smartphone, unless it's completely customizable and allows us to choose our default apps. We don't go wait in long lines to see the latest superhero movie, we use our social influence to get tickets to the advanced screening. We don't buy tech as a status symbol, we do it because technology assists our lifestyle. A true futurist is a person studies the past and present in order to understand, anticipate, and help shape what's coming next. It is not the goal of a futurist to predict what will happen in the future. The futurist uses foresight to envision what could happen next... and, in some cases, what should happen next.

The sort of insight a futurist has comes from dedicating time to something which is not yet popular or cool.

So is being a futurist the new geek? We think so. As consumers get oversaturated with comic book movies, fan paraphernalia, and gadgets with incremental innovations, us futurists look ahead. We are constantly searching for and sharing that next thing that will change people's perceptions, change our communities, and change the world. We are futurists, the new face of geek culture. And if you identify with our way of life, then you just might be part of the new wave of geekdom, too.