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The Future of Cities: Visualizing how soaring urbanization will shape the global landscape

By Ross Dawson Urbanization has been one of the most powerful and consistent trends shaping the last decades, and it looks set to continue apace in coming years. It is one of the few domains where we have reasonable forward-looking data, with United Nations providing World Urbanization Prospects, including predicted urban populations out to 2050. […]

8 key insights into the Future of News: Making media relevant to a 21st century audience

By Vanessa Cartwright The news industry is undergoing radical transformation. It is also at the forefront of 21st century innovation. The convenience and hype around live video recording, social media, and a variety of new platforms and interfaces are helping ordinary people to become not only consumers of news, but also creators of news. What […]

Savvy sci-fi futurists: 21 science fiction writers who predicted inventions way ahead of their time

By Vanessa Cartwright Many futurists, scientists and inventors have been inspired by the imagination and anticipation of the future inherent to science fiction novels. From the Internet to iPads to smart machines, some of the world’s greatest advances in technology were once fictional speculation. As sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke wrote in Profiles of the […]

List of the world’s top female futurists (Updated)

[UPDATE November 3, 2015: We have added 65 futurists to the list for a total of 143. Thank you for for your help building out the list!] By Ross Dawson I find I am frequently asked where all the female futurists are. Recently the discussion on why the profession of futurist appears to be so […]

6 key insights into the flow of innovation: Creating value in an open world

By Vanessa Cartwright Embedding innovation into business structures is widely seen as vital for the future success of organizations. Innovation is enabling an extraordinary pace of change in the whole structure of who we are, how business works, and how society functions. “Innovation has become a flow, and must be a flow,” observes leading futurist […]

How do you become a futurist? 10 key elements of a career thinking about the future

By Vanessa Cartwright Many people are curious about the steps that futurists take to build a name for themselves in the futures industry. As a result, futures thinkers are often asked, “How do you become a futurist?” While there is no single career path that all futurists follow, here are several common threads that connect […]

The best futurists ever: how Buckminster Fuller anticipated today’s challenges over 50 years ago

By Ross Dawson When I’m asked who my favorite futurists are, usually the first person who springs to mind is Buckminster Fuller. He was an extraordinary inventor, a true visionary who had a massive impact on how we think, and was way ahead of his time. You can discover more about his work from the […]

The future of analogue people in a digital world

By Ross Dawson A little while ago, I gave the keynote at Bridge Point Forum on Future Directions in the Digital Age, the title riffing off the conference’s theme of The Rise of the Digital Age. I opened by making the critical point that, while the digital world is rising around us at an extraordinary […]

The future of travel and tourism: safe adventures, real-time guidance, and new frontiers

By Ross Dawson Recently, I spoke about the future of travel and tourism on the Morning Show. Some of the things I talked about: * The impact of the ageing developing world population, including the quest for “safe adventures” and the likely continued rise of cruise ships as a way to travel. * The desire […]

Passion and the Future of Work

By Ross Dawson A little while ago, I spoke in the keynote session of the Richmond Financial Industry Forum in Interlaken, Switzerland. I spoke on Passion and the Future of Work. Below are some distilled thoughts from my keynote presentation. The future of work is perhaps the most important lens to understand the future of […]

Which types of Artificial Intelligence should we be worried about?

By Ross Dawson I don’t tend to be fan of static column infographics, but I make an exception for this lovely infographic from BBC on whether we should be worried about Artificial Intelligence. It looks at the many imagined and existing instances where AI is having an impact on our lives, including algorithmic trading, killer […]

Futurist, futurologist, foresight practitioner, visionary, foresighteer: what’s in a name?

By Vanessa Cartwright “By a name I know not how to tell thee who I am,” laments Romeo to Juliette in one of Shakespeare’s most memorable scenes. A similar complaint about the inadequacy of names is often uttered by today’s “futurists”. Be they futurologists, foresight consultants or futurist thinkers by any other name, of what […]

The future is bright for futurists: 5 crucial characteristics of their craft

By Vanessa Cartwright Futurists are in a fortunate position: their insights will be sought after as long as we believe the future will be different from today. In the present age of rapid change, global demand for futurists is booming. Powerful leaders at high-profile companies like Google, Microsoft and Visa regularly consult with futurists. However, […]

Crowds and the future of creativity and innovation

By Ross Dawson Recently, I gave the opening keynote at the Crowdsourcing Week on Connecting the Crowd: The Future of Creativity and Innovation. Below are the slides for my keynote. Please note that the slides are intended as visual support to my presentation, and are not designed to be meaningful on their own. However, they […]

Avatars Ascending: How robots will affect learning, skill development and jobs

By Vanessa Cartwright “Today, when you get a degree, it is already out of date.” This observation by futurist Ross Dawson reinforces the challenge of keeping pace with the smart machine era. Dawson believes that employment, skills and learning must respond to the growing roles of robots in our lives. Will robots assail or avail […]

How soaring expectations of beauty are shaping technology and society

By Ross Dawson I recently travelled to Provence in the hills above Nice to give the keynote at the annual EuroCIO conference. I used my framework for the future of the CIO to point to the macro drivers of change in technology and society, and how these are shaping the technology function in organizations, and […]

Is bigger data better? Helping “HiPPOs” make big data decisions

By Michael Popp When are data-driven decisions better than those coming from HiPPOs (Highest-Paid Person’s Opinion)? At the annual Thought Leadership Forum in Melbourne, Ross Dawson delivered an insightful keynote speech on this topic. He says that in domains where sufficient data is available and the decisions are definable and tractable, algorithms will surpass human […]

Insights into what sustainability really means

By Xavier Waterkeyn Futurist Ross Dawson recently spoke about Building Financial Sustainability at the Vicwater Financial Sustainability Conference. Ross opened his speech by telling us what we have long suspected. The word “sustainability” has been so overused, misused and abused that it has substantially lost its meaning. He wants us to reclaim this lost meaning […]

The rise of crowdsourcing in Malaysia

Ross was recently in Kuala Lumpur to do twin keynotes at the National Crowdsourcing Conference organized by Digital Malaysia, and meet with government officials to discuss how Malaysia can best tap the potential of crowdsourcing. The Star of Malaysia, the largest English-language newspaper in the country, interviewed him while he was there for a feature […]

The crime of the century: Stopping the potential of connectivity

Recently Ross Dawson gave the keynotes at the Sydney and Melbourne relaunch events of Nextgen Group, which has restructured and rebranded with the acquisition of 70% of the group by Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) from Leighton Holdings. The group provides networks, data centers, and hosting services, including a 100Gbps link between major Australian cities, and […]

Leadership in enterprise technology must come from all organizational functions

By Ross Dawson Recently I gave the opening keynote at Future of the CIO is absolutely a critical frame, not least because I believe the CIO has primary responsibility for guiding boards of directors and top executive teams to understand the importance of technology in their organization’s future. There is a divergence between organizations in which technology […]

Exploring the future of investment management

By Ross Dawson Recently I was in Amsterdam for the International User Community Meeting of SimCorp, a leading provider of software for the investment management industry. I gave the keynote on the Future of Investment Management and ran a half-day Executive Master Class on Creating the Successful Organisation of the Future. Prior to founding Advanced Human Technologies most of my […]

The Future of Healthcare: Power shifting to the patient

Ross Dawson recently did the opening keynote speech at Australasian Long-term Health Conditions Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. NZ Doctor reported on Dawson’s keynote in an article titled Technology shifts the ‘power’ to patients: Technology is driving a shift of power from institutions and professions towards consumers and individuals, according to futurist Ross Dawson. A […]

10 Major Trends for Micro to Mid-Sized Business

By Ross Dawson I was recently asked by the office supplies chain Officeworks to create a list of trends for micro to mid-sized business, which they used in a promotional campaign, matching relevant products from their offerings with my trends. Here are the 10 trends: From HQ to CQ It is not just micro-businesses that […]

Futurists on Twitter: An analysis of network centrality and authority

By Ross Dawson Since the 1990s I have been applying network analysis to help understand the development of technology, business, and society. In 2002 I wrote the book Living Networks to describe how networks are moving to the center of our world. Over the years I have analyzed the network characteristics of many domains, including […]

The role of the futurist as a leader

By Ross Dawson When I was in Amsterdam recently for client engagements I also gave a keynote to the Dutch Future Society about the role of the futurist. It was a fascinating evening. Given the audience of futurists and those well engaged with the future, my presentation went further out than usual, and the ensuing conversation went […]

The case for the death of cash by the hand of digital currencies

By Ross Dawson Recently I gave the opening keynote at the ATM and Branch Automation Seminar run by Payments Consulting Network. In my keynote I spoke about the broader trends in technology, society, and business, and then looked at some of the uncertainties impacting ATMs and branches. Clearly one of the most important is the future of cash. […]

How technology is enabling the humanity of organizations

  After his recent opening keynote at the SAP Australia User Group Summit on Leadership in Enterprise Technology, Ross did a video interview for Inside SAP magazine, shown below. The full transcript of the interview is available on CIO of the Future. In response to a question on the impact of technology on organizational culture he said: What is more important today […]

The World in 2030: Four scenarios for long-term planning and strategy

By Ross Dawson Recently I did the opening keynote to the top executive team of a major organization at their strategy offsite. It’s not appropriate to share the full presentation, however I can share the rough scenarios I presented for the world to 2030. The scenarios were presented after having examined the driving forces and […]

Could online lobbying be the future of government?

By Ross Dawson Recently I spoke on the potential of crowdsourcing at the EngageTech conference, an event focusing on how government can best use technology to engage with community and citizens. One of the very interesting conversations that emerged at the event was on how interested and informed citizens are on government decisions. It’s a […]

Keynote at Critical Horizons conference: The potential of a connected world

By Ross Dawson Recently I spoke at the Critical Horizons Regional Futures conference held in Bunbury, Western Australia, which “examines emerging global trends and how they might affect regional communities in the South West Region of Western Australia”. It is fantastic that a non-urban region runs a regular event to examine its future. It is […]

Keynote for Optus Business – Five driving forces of connected business

Business networking expert, Ross Dawson recently completed delivering keynotes in six cities as part of a national roadshow for Optus Business. Optus’ annual client event was a morning event for its clients and prospects in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. The sessions began with Ross’ keynote on Surviving and Thriving in a Connected […]

Scenario Planning – Strategy for the future of global financial services

Recently futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote on The Future of Global Financial Services at the Vision 2020 Financial Conference in Mumbai. As a part of his presentation Ross described four possible scenarios for the future of global financial services, running through 10 driving forces, 10 critical uncertainties, and the resulting scenarios, as listed below. […]

Keynote speech: Network to Win!

By Ross Dawson Recently, I gave the opening keynote at the 38th annual global conference of international accounting network Kreston International. Below are the slides for my presentation. Note that they are intended to accompany my speech, not to be meaningful in themselves. Kreston are a very interesting organization. With revenues across the network of […]

The future of technology in health care – Health futurist Ross Dawson

Recently health futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote speech on The Future of Technology in Aged Care at the Aged Care Association Annual Congress. In this insightful keynote he took the audience on a big-picture journey into where aged care is going, which went down very well between the many high-detail presentations at the conference. […]

What is the future of Learning & Development department?

Challenges for organizations are mounting from intense global competition, empowered consumers, and generational shifts. At the same time, building more effective learning is becoming central to achieving organizational success. Recently futurist Ross Dawson gave the keynote for the first breakfast seminar run by CADRE, a leading e-learning design company, for senior executives of its clients. […]

The future of information infrastructure – Futurist Ross Dawson

Recently, futurist Ross Dawson gave the opening keynote on The Future of Information Infrastructure at the Implementing Information Infrastructure Symposium. Below are the slides to the keynote. The keynote slides are designed to accompany the presentation and are not intended to be useful on their own. However, they have been provided for illustrative purposes. Ross […]

Reputation measurement in professional services – Keynote by inspirational speaker Ross Dawson

Recently, inspirational speaker and futurist Ross Dawson gave the opening keynote at the AMP Hillross annual convention, with the title of Embracing the Future. Hillross, one of the most upmarket of the wealth management networks, is seeking to lead the rest of the market by shifting to a pure fee-for-advice model, and rapidly developing a […]

Six radical visions for the future of health – Health futurist Ross Dawson

Recently health futurist Ross Dawson gave the closing presentation at the National Medicine Symposium, rounding out deep discussion over several days on how to get better use of medicines. He developed six radical ideas that could be part of the future of health. The intention was to be provocative rather than rigorous, generating new ways […]

The power of social media and future organizations – Social media analyst Ross Dawson

Recently, social media analyst Ross Dawson gave the external keynote at a closed conference for senior client executives run by a major professional services firm. They knew the technical content they were presenting was rather dry so Ross’ role was to provide a highly engaging kick-off to the day which was also practical and useful […]

5 things to tweet and 5 things not to tweet – Twitter expert Ross Dawson

Recently Twitter expert and keynote speaker Ross Dawson spoke at a financial advisor retreat in the stunning Margaret River region of Western Australia, a region of wide-open beauty that is the source of many extraordinary wines. He gave two compelling keynotes at the event on subsequent days, on How to Lock-in Your Clients, and Success […]

Keynote speech – The future of local government

Recently Australian futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote speech on ‘Creating the future of local government’ at the Local Government Association of Tasmania‘s annual conference. On the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the association wanted to look forward to the future. The current issue of the association’s magazine, LGAT News, contains a write-up of his […]

Future of customer service – Marketing futurist Ross Dawson

Recently marketing futurist Ross Dawson gave a keynote speech on the ‘The future of customer service’ at KANA Connect in Las Vegas. In his keynote he packed in a wide-ranging view on where customer service is going, including the impact of connectivity, the rise of new channels, where value will reside in relationships, and what […]

5 fundamentals for presenting to executive teams about the future

By Ross Dawson This year I am very frequently speaking to top executive teams about the future of business. These presentations are often scheduled during strategy offsites or as part of leadership development programs. Sometimes these are full-day workshops; more often I have 45-90 minutes to work with. My objective is to stimulate executives to […]