The evidence is in: we are all born to be futurists

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I believe that we all need to be our own futurists: in a rapidly changing world we need the skills and capabilities to think effectively about the future so we can act better today.

Perhaps humans are all in fact born to engage deeply in the future, it is simply a capacity we need to develop further.

Renowned positive psychology professor Martin Seligman, in a recent New York Times article prefacing his forthcoming book Homo Prospectus, says humans are intrinsically focused on the future.
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Smaller companies will drive innovation and economic growth with nimble learning and work structures

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I recently did a media briefing for Telstra Business on why small and mid-sized businesses need to adopt relevant technologies to keep pace with a rapidly changing business environment. One of the interviews I did after the briefing was with Kochie’s Business Builders.

The two short videos below were excerpted from the interview, with summary notes below.


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How CIOs and technology leaders can map the future shape of their industries

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I was recently interviewed for a podcast on The Future of IT for Cisco’s Connected Futures program, along with leading CTOs, CDOs and technology strategists.

You can listen to the podcast below.

Points I make in the podcast on the role of CIO and technology leadership include:
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Domain names for thought leadership content – showing clients the future

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Over many years I have registered domain names for interesting topics, almost all of them about the future.

Using these, I have launched a number of online publications over the years, including FutureofSex.net and Creating the Future of PR, among others. One of the possible paths for my business was to launch many future-oriented publications in parallel. I accumulated close to 400 domains to support possible projects.

While I intend to be doing a lot more in publishing in years to come, my core business model is fundamentally shifting (more on that another time). As such, apart from a smaller collection of domains I will keep for my own projects, I am offering these domain names for sale.

These domain names are perfect for thought leadership content projects. For example, one of the few domains I have sold was TheFutureofStrategy.com, which AT Kearney bought for a web publication featuring the firm’s thought leadership.
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The power of humans: how companies will compete with humanity against AI

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I was recently interviewed for an interesting article in The Guardian Brand human: why efficient automation will not always be best for business.

The main thrust of the article was about whether companies would choose to hire humans rather than use machines to win customers and improve perception of their brand. It is an interesting point, though I view it as fairly unlikely that consumers will actively shift their buying to companies that hire humans in roles that machines could do.
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How to use a futurist to create value: shifting executive thinking

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Liz Alexander of Leading Thought has recently published an interesting free ebook titled How to Use a Futurist, which compiles examples of how 24 futurists have created value for clients.

This was my contribution to the ebook (5MB pdf):
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Value creation in a connected world: 4 key insights for organizations to lead and succeed in a networked economy

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Let’s turn wants into wows. Let’s make the desire of individuals and companies to stand out and change the world a reality. Let’s prepare now for an extraordinary future.

These themes were explored by leading futurist Ross Dawson in his keynote at the 2016 Ericsson Services Forum in Mumbai. Dawson’s talk related to the event theme of “Turning Wants into Wows” by discussing how organizations can create value in a connected world through harnessing the power of networks, consumer expectations, integrated systems, and unique branding. The full keynote is shown in the video below.

Here are four key insights drawn from Dawson’s keynote at the forum.
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The case of the rebirth of the Nokia 3310: why our appetite for retro-technology is increasing

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Last night I was interviewed on ABC News24 about the rise of ‘retro-tech’. The story was sparked by the re-release this week of the 17-year old Nokia 3310, one of the best-loved original feature phones, racking up sales of 126 million through its life. You can see the interview below.


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Machines are starting to read our minds – and letting us read each others’ minds

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ABC recently published a very nice compilation of perspectives of the year ahead titled Do you want the good news or the bad news?, giving readers a choice of whether to read ‘Exciting’ or ‘Scary’ perspectives.

Their interview with me on mind-machine interfaces was published under the ‘Exciting’ section:
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Where is the most uncertainty for your organization? Introducing scenario planning to extend the time-frame of strategic thinking

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Earlier this week I ran a scenario planning workshop for the board and management meeting of a major Central European company, where we explored the value of scenario planning for the conglomerate.

Scenario planning for macro-strategy

Most people are familiar with scenario planning as a macro-strategy tool, used by organizations such as Shell, the CIA, the Singapore government, the World Economic Forum that want to explore global or industry landscapes decades ahead.

Many organizations in dynamic industries (which today is every industry) can get massive value from building high-level scenarios that can be used for shaping their future.
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