Paradigms - The Business of Discovering the Future

Author: 
Joel Barker
Publisher: 
HarperBusiness
Date Published: 
1993
ISBN: 
0-88730-647-0

I had seen Barker in a video from a Public Broadcasting Feature done 12 or so years ago. He describes himself as a futurist and has helped many in the business world understand the nature of change. In many ways this is an easy to read and easy to understand version of Thomas Kuhn’s, "Structure of a Scientific Revolution", which I found very interesting but a bit dry. Certainly Kuhn’s work is much more scholarly and includes many, many more examples than Barker’s. However, I highly recommend this book. It helped me to understand many of the changes in our own field and the need for more than just a handful of people doing behavioral optometry in a country or an area of the world.

The first group doing something new he calls the pioneers. Unless several waves of new people in a field are training and educated, the new concepts and ideas will not have the needed backing to alter the future of a field. For too long behavioral vision care has had a small group of adherents sprinkled all over the world. Barker explains the critical need for the pioneers to be followed by large groups of well trained people to come into the field understanding the work of the pioneers. This is where the Kraskin & Skeffington Institute comes into behavioral vision care and in optometry in general. It can supply the critical training necessary to help our field reach the critical mass necessary to expand beyond its current horizons. Thanks to Barker we have some insight into the mechanism needed to bring about this change.