2023 is still young, but there's already a change in the attitudes of many business people regarding the future. Previously, businesses expressed occasional interest in possible disruptive scenarios, but their attention often quickly turned back to the apparently more pressing tasks of business-as-usual. But recent news of changes in AI capabilities, along with possible social transformations due to pandemics, geopolitics, and industrial unrest, is leading more and more business people to wonder: How can they become more effective in anticipating and managing potential significant changes in their business landscape?
In this context, the new book by our guest in this episode, Nikolas Badminton, is particularly timely. It's called "Facing our Futures: How foresight, futures design and strategy creates prosperity and growth".
Over the last few years, Nikolas has worked with over 300 organizations including Google, Microsoft, NASA, the United Nations, American Express, and Rolls Royce, and he advised Robert Downey Jr.’s team for the ‘Age of A.I.’ documentary series.
Selected follow-up reading:
Topics in this conversation include:
*) A personal journey to becoming a futurist - with some "hot water" along the way
*) The "Dark Futures" project: "what might happen if we take the wrong path forward"
*) The dangers of ignoring how bad things might become
*) Are we heading toward "the end times"?
*) Being in a constant state of collapse
*) Human resilience, and how to strengthen it
*) Futurists as "hope engineers"
*) Pros and cons of the "anti-growth" or "de-growth" initiative
*) The useful positive influence of "design fiction" (including futures that are "entirely imaginary")
*) The risks of a "pay to play" abundance future
*) The benefits of open medicine and open science
*) Examples of decisions taken by corporations after futures exercises
*) Tips for people interested in a career as a futurist
*) Pros and cons of "pop futurists"
*) The single biggest danger in our future?
*) Evidence from Rene Rohrbeck and Menes Etingue Kum that companies who apply futures thinking significantly out-perform their competitors in profitability and growth
*) The idea of an "apocalypse windfall" from climate change
*) Some key messages from the book "Facing our Futures": recommended mindset changes
*) Having the honesty and courage to face up to our mistakes
*) What if... former UK Prime Minister David Cameron had conducted a futures study before embarking on the Brexit project?
*) A multi-generational outlook on the future - learning from the Iroquois
Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration