“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”
- Yogi Berra
Rarely have people spent so much time thinking about what the future holds than right now. We, as PRISM, are inherently part of this group of people. We are privileged to be able to work with some of the world’s largest companies on helping them think through this very problem.
In doing our work, we frequently get to interact with fascinating people that help us to understand the world we live in and how it’s changing. These conversations typically serve a specific purpose, and help PRISM immensely in knowledge and thinking - but all too often, the insights and perspectives don’t reach beyond that.
We think that should change.
We have (hubristically) named our effort to do so the “Future of the World Project”. We will carry out interviews with some of our most interesting colleagues, collaborators, acquaintances and friends and release them regularly on our website. The conversations will be designed to be structured, provocative, and, hopefully – to those who read them, too – fun. At root, each of them will be exploring the same question: Where is the world going?
“How is this different from any other podcast or article I could read?” we hear you ask. Firstly, and most importantly, we think our guests have interesting and important things to add to the conversation and we hope to bring those to the fore. Secondly, we will try to focus on the less discussed parts of the “futuring” conversation - the “long-long-term”, underrated trends, and counterintuitive insights - rather than just the baseline outlook.
Finally, to make this a Future of the World Project rather than Future of the World Chats, we are maintaining a consistent thread across our conversations so that insights can be drawn across them. It is very difficult for any one perspective to provide a clear picture of where the entire world is going. What we will do is look to generate more of a “data set” of thoughts from the smartest people in their areas of expertise, over time building a compelling view of what everyone agrees on, where there is tension or uncertainty, and what the main pivot points will be in determining where the world is headed.
As a preview into what’s coming up soon, the next few weeks we’ll be sharing conversations with:
- Ryan Matthews - Futurist and author, with whom we discussed the practice of “futuring” itself, where US and global democracy stands, and the blindspots in our world that people aren’t thinking about correctly.
- Johan Annell - Partner at Asia Perspective, with whom we discussed the future of China, the country’s changing business climate, and the last changes that COVID-19 has brought there
- Ian Brown - Tech Policy expert and professor, with whom we discussed trends in tech policy regulation, the best approaches to tackling market concentration, and the challenges that new technologies may confront us with.
- Kim Fulton - Employee Experience Expertat Kearney, with whom we discussed the future of the workforce, the impact and durability of COVID-19 trends on labor, and how businesses are thinking about changing their workforces to thrive in a world of labor scarcity.
- Caio Franco - Director of Legal, Policy and Communications at Buser Brazil, with whom we discussed the future of technology in Latin America, the macrotrends in global democracy and what Latin America can teach us, and the opportunities that Latin America’s tech sector may be able to exploit. .
- Elly Arcese - Head of Grants at ClientEarth, with whom we discussed the potential to combat climate change using the law, why she is optimistic about the ability to slow global warming by mid century, and what other challenges exist out there that may stymie our efforts to effectively protect our environment.
As with everything we do, we will be approaching each interview and this entire project with flexibility and a drive to be impactful .
As this project moves forward, we welcome your feedback and advice.
- The PRISM team