Futurism is a richly metaphorical body of thought. It has to be; much of what we talk about is on the verge of unimaginable, so we have to resort to metaphors for it to make any kind of sense.
The Dragon is the one that most people will find familiar. There’s a popular myth that the phrase “Here Be Dragons” can be found on medieval or ancient maps as an indication of uncharted regions. That this myth is untrue is somewhat beside the point. These days, “here be dragons” is a broadly-understood metaphor for something both dangerous and uncertain. And it seems that the future is full of dragons, considering how frequently I’ve heard the term.
That said, it’s been my experience that most of the times a futurist uses “here be dragons,” it’s to indicate a topic area in a forecast that is uncertain and dangerous to even think about, at least for the client. There’s something about a particular issue that makes people within an organization steer clear, even if it’s a potentially important problem. So the dragon--as in “here be dragons”--is a sign of something we don’t know much about, but really should.