The building blocks of our future are numerous, and they are intersecting in ways that drive rapid shifts. I Visualized this phenomenon a while back, trying to depict the complexity of our world and the challenges it represents. It was Futurist Gerd Leonhard that gave me the idea. As someone who used my Anchor Visual in keynotes, he reflected on how impactful it might be to demonstrate the convergence that was occurring across the visual.
I am a big believer in storytelling. Stories about the future and how it may unfold help us create a future that is both prosperous and sustainable. I have talked about stories in the context of Future Thinking and used a visual to tell these stories and provide a Future Thinking Canvas. A recent Article describes this approach as future-back thinking. The article explores the work of Mark W. Johnson and Josh Suskewicz, co-authors of Lead from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth.
In a recently released video, Futurist Gerd Leonhard delivers his key messages in a powerful and passionate plea for balance between technology and humanity. This five minute video is a must see. Some of his key messages are:
Sector after sector, industry after industry, we are waking up to the fact that the future is already here. My note: after struggling to drive a level of urgency regarding the speed at which the future is approaching, leaders are now beginning to embrace a future-back mentality.
I had the great fortune of working with three very accomplished futurists in the production of our upcoming course titled: Reimagining the Future – A Journey through the Looking Glass. SAP’s Susan Galer interviewed these futurists in support of the course launch on May 23rd. The SAP Post provides a glimpse into the course, with thoughts from futurists and industry leaders. Here are several quotes from the post.
This morning I had the pleasure of discussing the future with Gerd Leonhard. Gerd was listed by Wired Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in Europe. His recent book on Technology vs Humanity begins the dialog on ethics in an exponential world.
Our theme was reimagining the future and the topics ranged from artificial intelligence to exponential progression. You can listen to the entire podcast below.
On November 30th, I had the pleasure of participating in another Game Changers show. I was joined by Futurist Gerd Leonhard and SAP Innovation executive Timo Elliott. The show was expertly moderated by Bonnie D. Graham, starting with her positioning of the topic: “Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion” (Muhammad Ali). A unique clustering of inventions in the century after the U.S. Civil War improved the American and European standard of living – human well-being – more than any period before or after, with advances in everything from food and energy to health and work. Can our current innovation explosion have a similar impact despite unintended consequences?
The unabated exponential progression of science and technology has driven a staggering pace of innovation. The building blocks are mostly there, allowing creative minds to combine them in ways that attack the world’s most difficult challenges.
Some in the Futurist community are focused on technology and ethics. Gerd Leonhard has been particularly vocal on the topic. I’ve dedicated a section of my keynote to what I believe will be a growing dialog. I use this slide to pose a question to the audience:
The example provided above comes from Ray Kurzweil, famous Futurist, Inventor and author. In an appearance at last years Exponential Finance conference, Kurzweil said this:
“Our thinking will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking. We’re going to gradually merge and enhance ourselves. In my view, that’s the nature of being human – we transcend our limitations. We’ll be able to extend (our limitations) and think in the cloud. We’re going to put gateways to the cloud in our brains.”
Futurist Gerd Leonhard recently released a new short 3 minute film titled Technology versus Humans. Here is an excerpt from his Blog announcing the video:
“I am very excited to announce the release of my new short film “Technology versus Humanity”. This film marks the beginning of a new period for me, with much of my future work focusing on the topic of how exponential technological changes are changing what and who we are, as humans, where this is going in the next 15 years, and what we need to do, TODAY, to make sure that these changes will indeed be beneficial to us.
For this film, I was very fortunate to be able to team up with Story7 and Jean Francois Cardella as producer and director, and Jeremy Joly as DOP. They made this film very special – thanks! We shot most of the footage in Cannes and the surrounding area – see some of the pics below. If you like this movie, please share it and spread the word, or submit a comment below and let me know what you think. Thanks! New hashtag as of today: #techversushuman”
Gerd was kind enough to do an interview with me back in January. You can read that here. Enjoy the film
Futurist Gerd Leonhard continues to talk about exponential progression and its impact on the world. In this recent short video, Gerd uses the Exponential and Combinatorial slide that anchors the organization evolution story. Listen to Gerd’s perspective on this emerging paradigm shift.