The Futurist, by James P. Othmer. Doubleday 2006.
Yates is a globe-trotting, highly paid futurist who can "speak on successive days to a leading pesticide manufacturer and the Organic Farmers of America and receive standing ovations from both." He heads for a conference in South Africa and meets a prostitute sent to his room by the conference organizers. He realilzes he has been shoveling bullshit, and she advises him to "tell the truth."
He clicks on the cursor to the left of the title--"Kinetic Tomorrowland," whatever that means--and drags down through eight pages of lies. He deletes it all and begins to type.
The next day he addresses the crowd and confesses he knows nothing and says he is the founding father of the Coaltion of the Clueless. This change of heart enrages his sponsors, and then his confession is taken as cutting edge wisdom, and demand for his services increases. Instead he takes a job from a shadowy firm that sounds like the Carlyle Group. His travels take him to super wealthy recluses in Greenland, remote islands in Fiji, urban violence in Milan, and a final showdown in a crumbling Arab state. All the while, he tries to come to terms with his drinking, his loss of passion and values, the death of his father, and the girl friend who dumped him.
The author was a creative director at a New York advertising firm where he must have come into contact with futurists, because he has nailed them in his descriptions. Of course this does not apply to my friends who bill themselves as forecasters...
A final description:
One of his tricks had been to take the obvious, the popular, often true perception of the masses, and flip it. _As technology becomes more ingrained in our lives, people will become more cynical._ Bullshit, he'd say. I see thereturn of the old time. Of comfort food. Of handshakes that trump instant messages. Or he would fuse the old with the new and predict a nation that will crave anything that combines the handcrafted with modern applications. Ergonomically correct kitchen utinsils made with Old World materials. Houses with quaint front porches wired with T-1 lilnes. Anything that combines leather, rare wood, and silicon. Not necessarily true, but what they wanted to hear.