Improvisational theater and the free flow of ideas

By

I recently was interviewed by Christina Gerakiteys for SingularityU Australia’s podcast series Inspire for Impact in a very enjoyable conversation. You can listen to the half hour episode here: Zen, Improvisation and Collaborative Value.

The premise of the podcast is asking for 5 points of inspiration for impact in my life. I chose to speak about:
Read more

The past and current state of futurist associations around the world

By

Recently, I wrote about the work that Ross Dawson and I have done researching government agencies/ projects around the world that use futures and foresight methods. We have also researched the many futurist associations around the world and have developed a list of associations that:

  1. Are specifically focused on futures and foresight methods
  2. Have a reasonable number of members
  3. Are formally organized
  4. Are currently active

Read more

A sketch of science-fiction author Isaac Asimov by Zakeena.

The best futurists ever: How Isaac Asimov shaped robotics and space exploration and predicted the Internet

By

Some futurists try to foresee the future. Others attempt to shape it. Yet prolific science-fiction author and biochemist Isaac Asimov did both.

Asimov not only invented the word “robotics,” his “Three Laws of Robotics,” first written as part of a short story in 1942, have had a massive impact on framing how people think about the development of artificial intelligence and the field of robotics itself.

Outside scientific domains, Asimov’s many writings have also inspired several popular movies including Bicentennial Man and I, Robot. His IMDb page shows contributions to various televisions series throughout his life, as well as a number of posthumous writing credits.

Perhaps most amazing are Asimov’s many accurate predictions on the Internet and what the world would look like in this decade. Several were in made a famous article published in The New York Times in 1964, which envisioned life in 2014.

Below are some of Isaac Asimov’s most accurate predictions.
Read more

It is time to share more of myself

By

I have recently substantially changed my activities so I am far more focused.

I have for too long had too many ventures. I desperately needed to limit the scope of what I was doing, which I have done. (More on that in another blog post soon.)

Focus on the future

This allows me to focus on being the futurist, thinking and communicating in multiple formats about the future and what we need to do now to create the future we want.

It also gives me that modicum of space to come back to the path of self-discovery that is at the heart of all our lives.
Read more

Zen and the Art of Creating the Future

By

I have been deeply interested in Zen since my late teens. When I moved to Japan in my late 20s, ultimately spending 3 ½ years there, the reasons included my fascination with Zen.

Soon after I arrived in Tokyo I found a Zen master, Nishijima-Sensei, who held weekly meditation sessions followed by lectures in English on Shobogenzo, the foundation text of Soto Zen.

Later I lived for a year in his Zen Dojo, commuting to my day job as a financial journalist, following the center’s principles of meditating twice a day and doing the daily chores that sustained the community, and taking the Soto Zen Buddhist precepts.

This time helped me resolve one of the issues I had grappled with since I had entered the workforce. Zen teaches us that the only thing that exists is the present. Yet if there is only the present, how and why should we work in the present to create the outcomes we desire in the future?

The answer is simple, though it took a long time for me to truly understand it.
Read more

List of the world’s top female futurists (Update #4)

By

[UPDATE: We have added 11 additional futurists to the list for a total of 178. Thank you for your help building out the list!]

I find I am frequently asked where all the female futurists are. The discussion on why the profession of futurist appears to be so male-dominated has grown in recent years.

I know many outstanding female futurists, so whenever I am asked I point to a range of exceptional futurists to show that there are indeed many women in the field. However it is true that many are not as well known as they should be.

As such I thought it would be useful to compile a list of the world’s top female futurists, for those who are looking for diversity in their insights into the future. The following list provides a brief profile of 178 fabulous female futurists [up from 78 in the original list of September 2015, 143 in the update of November 2015, 158 in January 2018 and 167 in the February 2017 revision].
Read more

About getting predictions wrong as a futurist (and how to create the future you want)

By

Over the years I have created a lot of content – books, reports, visual frameworks and far more – that has been very widely seen. From all this undoubtedly the one piece that has been the most visible globally is my Newspaper Extinction Timeline launched in October 2010, that predicted for each country in which year newspapers in their then-current form would become “insignificant”.

Newspaper_Timeline_front.gif
Coverage in over 100 major publications from more than 30 countries helped to garner many, many millions of views, attract critics galore, and generate substantial debate.
Read more

Just launched: The Commonwealth Bank jobs and skills of the future report

By

The future of work has been a central theme of my work for many years. Work sits at the very center of society, the economy, and our individual and collective identities. It may well be the domain that is most disrupted by technological and social change in coming years. And education is at the heart of how we can make these shifts as positive as possible.

As such I was delighted to be commissioned by Commonwealth Bank to create a report in collaboration with their team: The Commonwealth Bank jobs and skills of the future report (12.4MB), to share useful insights for individuals, families and organisations what we can do today to shape a positive future of work for all Australians.

The report has been launched this morning and can be downloaded here (12.4MB).
Read more

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

By

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.
Read more

How to use a futurist to create value: shifting executive thinking

By

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):
Read more