2013-03-26

What You're Doing Wrong When You Think About The Future

PopTech Executive Director Andrew Zolli talks about the limits of human prediction and the importance of resilience.


Humans are notoriously bad at anticipating events that don’t conform to a very narrow idea of what the future will be, which is why we’re often caught off guard by the unexpected. In the recording of an online conversation above with Andrew Zolli, executive director of PopTech and the author of Resilience, we’ll discuss what about our psyches makes future thinking hard, and how we can recognize major changes—before they happen.

Zolli discusses the central biases that prevent us from knowing what will happen: the fact that we assume the technology of the moment will be the technology that drives the future, for instance, or the fact that it’s very hard for us not to simply extrapolate trends in a linear fashion. Given the fact that we simply don’t know what’s coming, he argues, we need to design resilient systems—whether that be governments, cities, even within ourselves—that won’t buckle during crisis and are strong enough to come back from even those most unexpected event.

Watch the whole video above and stay tuned for more talks with futurists in the coming weeks.

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5 Comments

  • Trenlin Hubbert

    The Future of work is that it will be done exclusively by machines.  A crisis of identity in humanity is necessary in order to propel us toward our next evolutionary leap. As we cease to define ourselves as our job or what we consume, we will begin to see the value embodied by the unique perspective we can each contribute by walking a path of creative experience.

  • Macala Wright

    It's good to see living systems and patterns often have slow evolutionary curves, it's even nicer to see it connected to culture perception, changing them and creating resilience to address global issues. I love content of the video, but at about 20 minutes into it, the audio is so poor it's very hard to understand. I'd work harder on making the valuable insights the presenters are speaking about understandable. Even if it's a written transcript and the slides at the end. 

  • personalpov

    What we are doing wrong - is just talking about it and not doing anything to shape the future.

  • Ass

    I would appreciate an answer to the question "What You’re Doing Wrong When You Think About The Future" when I click on a link!

  • pchelin

    The audio is unacceptable! It's not a century of wax recordings anymore! He just didn't want to sound acceptable! What an ignorance!