Futurist Logo

Demonstrating Futurist Thinking


Thomas Frey

Thomas Frey is who you will undoubtedly find when you do a Google search on “futurist speaker”. Having shared the stage with many A-listers, Frey has earned that moniker. But his true skill demonstrated repeatedly in this week’s episode is taking an event or innovation and the extrapolating the future. In this episode we see him do that in real time. It’s a unique glimpse into the futurist process.

Analysis complete. No addtional information is required for context. Proceed with transcript display ...

View Transcript

document button

this week on the futurists Thomas Frye when I was a kid growing up I would seethe cover of Popular Science magazine the stuff coming out of bell lab and the future was fun I couldn't wait for thefuture to happenwelcome back to the futurists of course I'm your host Brett King with Rob turcekin the hot seat with me this week we have a wonderful guest Thomas Frye he'scurrently one of Google's top rated future speakers award-winning engineer from IBM he's thefounder and executive director of The Da Vinci Institute prolific speakerhe started 17 businesses himself and insisted in the development of hundredsmore he was an engineer for IBM for over a decade he's on the celebrity speakingcircuit he shared the stage with Rudy Giuliani Tom Peters Jack Walsh um his clients include NASA IBM LucentTechnologies Boeing Capital One Visa for the motor company and so forth and he'sbeen interviewed um pretty much anywhere you read a daily newspaper Thomas Freywelcome to the show yeah thanks for having me on no worries listen uh Thomas we do this little thingbefore we get started normally on the interview we just cover off a few worthy news items that caught our eye that it'sFuji focused so um Rob what did you uh find this week there's a couple developments we'rekeeping track of uh and and these are topics that seem to keep coming up on the futurists and no doubt we'll continue to return to them in the futureuh the first item is um a lot of folks may have the impression that nfts havegone away with the Meltdown in cryptocurrency prices that started in the beginning of this yearbut that's not the case it's actually a lot of lively development happening in the world of non-fungible tokens and onenews item that popped up this week is that meta is now going to support uh the trading and sharing of uh nfts acrossInstagram and Facebook that means you can link your crypto wallets from a number of different providers uh withyour uh with your social media accounts and trade there this is not Facebook's first foray into cryptocurrency uh theyfamously were behind a couple of initiatives to develop their own cryptocurrency but which they eventually abandoned but it's quite obvious thatFacebook sees some future use for nfts inside of the metaverse and this is astep toward that so we'll keep track of that Trend uh the other thing that I've been paying attention to that will probably return to in the future episodeis the impact of tick tock on social media and it's an impact that's Ripplingacross all of New Media so even streaming media companies like Netflix are now getting affected by Tick Tockthere's a rising generation uh that prefers Tick Tock to any other streaming platform usually Tick Tock is left outof any kind of ranking or survey of the leading companies in streaming media I always think that's a mistake becausethere's a big group that's watching Tick Tock but now we're gradually starting to see the algorithmic feed that Tick Tockinnovated being replicated on Facebook and other social platforms like Snap andthe news this week is that Google is not immune to this trend one of the things I've noticed in a previous episode ishow little Google's interface and frankly Amazon's interface have changed in the last 20 years there's still verymuch text-based and rectangular and so forth uh well it turns out that a rectangular layout that page-basedlayouts of text links that you get back from a Google search isn't going to work for The Tick Tock generation and sowatch your watch your Google results in the future you'll see them responding to Tick Tock by integrating more media andmore visuals into this search returns at google.com those are that's it for me this week yeah I saw uh you know ofcourse uh Tesla did their uh Optimus uh um robot videoum they're not as advanced as say the work that we had with um you know ourfriend Dr Harry kluer who came on with their tele operated right but that but they've made some fairly uh rapidprogress um having said that um you know I wouldn't say it's differentiated from the whole Boston Dynamic stuff thatwe've seen over the last few years so yeah it's true I think Elon Musk because he'll openly praised uh you know BostonDynamics um so at some point we need to get either one of those folks could come back on the show or folks from BostonDynamics to talk a bit about that Trend yeah he did have a funny quote about uhthe atlas robot that you know the primary Boston Dynamics when it was doing some like you know the parkourcalisthenics stuff he said in a few years you're going to need a strobe light to see them move so I thought thatwas a good uh a good quote Thomas umyou've been in the futurist game for quite a while you've started obviously as an engineer but let me ask you thisquestion to get us kicked off if I can what was the first moment you knew you wanted to be a futuristoh you knew that the future wanted to you wanted to make that your lifeyeah I actually started the da Vinci Institute back in 97.um but it was a few years before then um I didn't really uh know what afuturist was what they did and I mean it's it's really kind of a profession where you kind of make up the rules asyou go along uh there's we've we've added a lot more sciencebehind the thinking since I first got started but yeah even today thoughthere's even though a lot of people call themselves a futurist there's very few people that make a full-time living as afuturist so it's um it requires uh get lots of dedication and you need to be able tovalidate your thinking in uh in lots of interesting ways now you startedobviously as an engineer um so um you know what aspect of this was youknow your love for technology the the nature the the um you know exponential Natures oftechnologies that we we see and and just trying to extrapolate that from a training perspective versus you knowwhat we see a lot when we talk to futurists on this show is you knowum you know as great a Great expressed really well by Zoltan istevan we had on on the transhumana side recently whichis futurists are trying to ha in a hurry to get to the future you know um so howmuch of it is the technology piece of it versus that desire to advance Humanitywell you know when I was a kid growing up uh I would see the cover of PopularScience magazine the stuff coming out of bell lab and the future was fun Icouldn't wait for the future to happen now if you ask the average kid on the street uh what they think about thefuture it's uh it's more famine and disease more uh more Wars more thingsgoing wrong and the news media has really done kind of a hack job on the future so I think part of my job as afuture is just to make the future fun again optimistic okay let me go a little bit further intothat so I'm going to follow up on it it's an interesting point um this topic has come up in the past uh utopian Futures versus dystopian Futurescertainly Hollywood has uh it's it's it's share to answer for in terms ofportraying a dystopian future we get that image a lot in movies right right um but how much do you thinkthat the general population um kind of the general perspective of the future how much do you think that'sa reflection of current circumstances you know in other words in an earlier era where there was a lot of widespread Prosperity let's say the 60s and 70speople had kind of a positive view of the future that sort of Jetson's view of the future was very popularum today we have income inequality there's war there's famine there seems to be a general breakdown ofInstitutions International and National institutions how much do you think people's view of the future isinfluenced by current circumstances well I think it's V I think it'sdefinitely influenced by the headlines and and you get much better click baitif you have a negative headline yeah uh I think that's that's problematic in a lot of waysum I I don't think the future is going to be nearly as good as some people are predicting or near nearly as bad asother people are predicting I don't believe in the dystopian side of things or the utopian side of thingsit's somewhere in the middle um but at times it can kind of go off onto extremes but um I I think we have arich future ahead and uh just filled with unbelievable possibilities I thinkthis is an amazing time to be alive why do you think that what makes youfeel like this is this particular moment is so great um because you know as as the internethas come along it's increased our awareness of the world around us and and that has given us insights andpers uh changed our perspective and unique in different ways uh right now Ican I can easily scan through as many as a thousand headlines in a dayand I I drill down on the things that I find interesting and that simply wasn'tpossible even 20 years ago um and with the AI systems that arebuilt in the background it aligns with my interests It lines it up with thethings that I'm most interested in so I'm I feel I'm much more empowered thanI've ever been in the past this isum there there's just so so many interesting things happening uh and andthen you you find that one little nugget that one thing that kind of comes out of left field and it might be a headlinelike I came across this headline uh a few days ago that Abra is going to launch the first U.S regulated cryptobank and I find that I know I know I I knowum Bill who who's founded Abra who's a good guy yeah and and then you start yousee that headline and then you start drilling down on the possibilities of that okay how does that change things well it enables the the kind of theintegration of lots of different cryptocurrencies into the banking systemum it doesn't offer any FDIC Insurance on cryptocurrencies because it's notreally a currency yet um if you can load these things onto a credit cardwhat can you do with it and is there ways of actually gamifyingcryptocurrency in a way that it suddenly becomes normal it feelsum it feels like normal everyday life like accumulating frequent flyer milesum you spend extra money on this credit card then you get extra frequent flyer miles um Can Can we integrate things in a waywhere the average person on the street is is using currenciesuh on day-to-day life and then you can work your way through these series ofquestions and that's that's one of the techniques I use um in the futureing world is what I callquestion mapping um it's a technique where you start withthe the first question which you don't know how to solve and then you start asking a series of more and morespecific questions surrounding it uh you asked the who what when where how andwhy questions that naturally come along with it and then you you ask well whatcame before and what came after and then you start seeing a series of other questions that will start cropping uparound all that and that question mapping technique is really I think sucha fascinating way of of getting to an answer it may not be a complete answer but getting far closer to the answerthan you ever were in the past it's true in a way you're just doing that you're giving us a little demo of that youstart started out with the fact that Abra is launching a or are you proposing the launch a crypto Bank okay so there'sa fact and then you start to apply some imaginative thinking you know you sort of pitch some scenarios to us well whatmight happen if that occurs what might the impact be on banking what might the impact be on other cryptocurrencies andso forth um I think that that's a really good example of your Technique would you describe it as is that what you do as afuturist is that how you operate you start out with a big question and then you they break it down into a series ofsmaller questions or provable statements well that that's one of the techniqueswe've got um a little over a dozen techniques that we've developed over the years we've puttogether our course this is our project during covid we put together a course called future like a bossuh so anybody who's interested in this we haven't we haven't uh released itjust yet but very soon so if you want to get on the mailing list it's future future likeaboss.com and you can get onthe mailing list we'll let you know when it's coming out we've got a textbook that goes along with 14 video coursesand um and it goes into all of these techniques that I've developed myself uhthat are most of them are different techniques than anybody else is usingum and it it helps put what I refer to as Anchor Point in the future that wecan kind of uh build build scenarios around those um so they like major inflection pointsso major Milestone so yeah but let's let's take uh this technique I callfirsts um so whatever whenever a new technologycomes out um let's just take the space hotel as anexample um who's going to be the first to launch a space Hotel who's going to be thefirst people that are on that space Hotel who's gonna um be the ones that cook the first foodfor a space Hotel um and and then you see you start looking at all of the things surroundingum who's going to be the first paid guest at a space Hotel who's going to be the first entertainment at a space hotelin invariably these are all things that are are very high probability items thatwe we can refer to as anchors in the future we can we can then start buildinguh scenarios around and and I find that to be such a fan takeum and we can do that with with virtually any emerging technology because there's always people that wantto go first that's part I find it interesting because you sortof describe the future I find I mean the process I find myself going through whenever I read a news item on a and andyou know a new piece of tech or some announcement like that I'm always extrapolating where's this going to takeus and I think that's the futurist mindset yeah right is that you you you you know that you're always thinkingabout where where does that go and I think that that's the element that ifyou could bottle that or train people to do that then everyone can be a lot more optimistic but it also means that peopleare um you know you you we get so short-termism don't we as humans youknow we're so focused on on the next quarter or the next year or the next election andum when you know if we were more ambitious um you know I think it would just doHumanity a a much greater service yeah so we're very cautious about using imagination or applying imagination uhyou know just last week we had an interview with uh Elena Hilton from Finland who is a well-known futurist inEurope and and she defined uh futuring as facts plus imagination and I wasreally happy she did that because candidly in the business world people are very averse to using words like creativity and imagine we like matchawords like you know Innovation and Ingenuity but we're a little bit afraid of the word imaginationum but what you just described actually is an incredibly useful skill so for the people listening what Thomas justdescribed uh that idea of asking a series of questions and envisioning possibilities that can be used right nowtoday in product two of the companies they're doing product development focus on a capability uh maybe some newtechnology that they've introduced and they want to apply it but they fail in constant in building a good concept ofhow's the consumer going to use this uh when I work with a company like that what I try to do is get them to think like how we present it where will it besold what will the package look like what would be priced like who's the customer where are they going to put in a shopping cart or is it somethingyou're going to get as a service how do they find out how do they buy it how do they pay for it how do they use it and you know some of these questions arereally really basic but it's similar to what you're describing Thomas in the sense that you're causing people to think vividly and imaginatively aboutthe scenario in which that thing is actually going to be a reality and if you can Envision it then you can build itLet's uh let's use an example you brought up earlier Boston Dynamics andtheir their robot dog and you start going through the scenario of okay what what kind of capabilitiesdoes a robot dog have why would I as the consumer want a robot dog and uh and andyou start thinking about well dogs are for protection and what kind of things is it protecting us from and so youthink about does the robot dog have the ability to sense danger okay well what kind of danger is a danger from humansDanger from animals Danger from weather if some disease is floating through theair or because is it going to detect that if there's some radio wave that's coming through that's uh you know gonnathat I'm gonna run into somehow is going to protect me from that and then thenyou start going through these other questions like why a dog what do I wantto be able to talk back and forth to this dog and and if I have a robot dogdo I take it everywhere I go does it go on the plane playing with me do I have it in a house if I have a robot dog in ahouse is that make the house more valuable and and then you just start going through the decision if I have arobot dog that runs into another robot dog what uh what will it do and Canada can the robot dog fights now yeah canthe Robot Dog be turned to an offensive mode I mean can you uh uh make it lethaland does does right bear arms give us to own a robot dog that's armed yeah laserturrets yeah yeah so so then then that starts opening up your thinking just byasking those serious questions um from from an engineering standpointcan you think of any times in particular you've really helped organizationschange course or you've helped a product um design go in a different directionbecause of this type of thinking I'm just curious I mean um yeah we wellI'll uh I'm I'm working as an advisor for a project in in South Korea wherethey're trying to build a theme park based on future jobs and it's quite the Innovative projectand um and so and not only you have to come up withwhat what these future jobs are you have to figure out okay how do we build an exhibit around it how can somebodyparticipate in a way that makes interesting uh how can somebody get asense as to what the work life is going to be like in the future with this particular uh and what skills are yougoing to need moving forward so it opens up lots of other uh things that I findfascinating interesting that's cool let's just well we're about to hit the break but before we do that Thomas welike to do this quick fire around just ask you a few few questions and uh just uh you know just um free form it so whatwas the first science fiction you remember being exposed to on Via you know via TV or booksoh probably a James Bond movie uh when I was I don't know 12 or soum name a futurist that has influenced you and whyum well certainly in Leonardo da Vinci but um uh I I love the work of Philip K dickI mean he was very very influential uh I mean he lived back in the 1950s but itwas all of his thinking surrounded time travel or time thinking uh in somerespect absolutely um this is a bit of a tougher one whatdo you think is the best prediction a futurist or a Sci-Fi practitioner has ever madeum yeah that's a tough one wellum Elon Musk says that uh you know and I I actually said this before he did but the human race cannotsurvive if all humans only live on one planet yeah um I think andsome some of the the talks I do ask this question do we live on an overpopulatedplanet or an underpopulated universe and it's actually the same question from alittle different perspective very good and what science fiction story is most representative of the future you hopefor uh one one of my favorite uh sciencefiction movies is the movie Next starring Nicholas Cage uh I don't knowit's just I think it's extremely well done yeah you like to have that few minutes of insight you know yeah um soyou can change uh calibrate them in advance yeah they're pretty interestingall right great well listen let's take a quick break you're listening to the futurists I know Sprint King with Robturc and our guest is Thomas Frey this week we'll be right back after these words from our sponsorsprovoke media is proud to sponsor produce and support the futurist podcastprovoke.fm is a global podcast Network and content creation company with theworld's leading fintech podcast and radio show Breaking Banks and of course it's spin-off podcast breaking BanksEurope breaking Banks Asia Pacific and the fintech 5. but we also produce the officialfinovate podcast Tech on reg emerge everywhere the podcast of the FinancialHealth Network and next-gen Banker from information about all our podcasts go toprovoke.fm or check out breaking Banks the world's number one fintech podcastand radio showwelcome back you're listening to the futurists I'm Rob turcic with my co-host Brett King and this week Our Guest isThomas Frey Thomas thanks for joining us on the show we've had a lively conversation so far now let's start tothink a little bit more about the future and and frankly what I want to understand are what are the constraintson the future some folks when they hear that we're doing this program they say oh futurist you guys just think everything goes it's open-ended uh anykind of crazy scenario is possible and I say no no that's not true there's actually hard limits there's constraintsthat we know about and within those boundaries that's where the future is going to unfold can you just talk a little bit aboutthat tell me a little bit about your perspective on the constraints that determine the course of the future yeahI I heard about a famous uh physicist one time and I was asking this question he said um a thousand years from nowwhat things will be possible and what things will not and um and I thought that that was such atelling question because the um because we don't know what the the hard limits are on the the physicalscience I mean uh at what point can we actually see what the ultimate tinyparticle is is there something smaller than quirks and uh and neutrinos isthere is there something bigger than the universe and so we don't we don't quiteunderstand where the the hard limits are I I actually had a an architect explainthis to me one time he was he was in the process of building a dome house and hesays when you're when you're working with the Dome housed he says domes are actually an optical illusion becausewhenever you enter a room your eyes inadvertently go up to the corners of the room so you understand the spacethat you're you're in and the same as if you're on the outside you look at the corners of the house and you get someestimate as to how big it is he says a dome house is actually when you view itfrom the outside it actually looks smaller than it actually is and when you go out to the inside it actually as muchfeels much bigger than it actually is because you can't see the corners of the room and that idea of of going for thecorners of the room it has always struck me as such an interesting concept because we're always trying to find theboundaries of of what uh what what the limits are and that we're able to thinkin and uh that opens opens a lot of doors because see we're we're a very backwardlooking Society yeah we're back we're backward looking because it's just human nature see we we've all personallyexperienced the past as we look around us we see evidence of the past all around us in fact allinformation that we can come into contact with is essentially history so the past becomes very Noble and yetwe're going to be spending the rest of our lives in the future so it's almost as if we're walking backwards into thefuture so my job as a futurist is to help turn people around to give them some idea what the future might hold andso that's where I spent a lot of time uh working on that and and then when youstart asking the question well where does the Future come from where how does the future get created well we all participate in creating the future butwe actually our ideas about the future I I use this phrase quite a bit thefuture creates the present which is just the opposite of what most people think most people think that what we're doingtoday is going to create the future but from a little different perspective it sees image of the future that we hold inour heads determine our actions today yes I know yeah so if we changesomebody's vision of the future we change the way they make decisions todayand so I use this as my justification for um for everything that I do becauseinvariably when I give a presentation when I give a talk people are going to walk out of the room making differentdecisions and some of those decisions could be worth billions of dollars and so that'sthat's how I that's how I justify what I do okay this is really powerful stuff let me recap make sure we're on theright track and for the benefit of the listeners uh you really raised two points just now one is that we're we'rekind of doomed to sleepwalk into the future because we're mesmerized by our past we all understand the past we'veall lived with the past we grew up with it its Legacy is all around us so we're sort of conditioned to think about thepast and I guess the Gap that people fall into the Trap they fall into is um linear extrapolation from knownthings in the past we try to extrapolate that into the future and everybody knows that doesn't work because the futuredoesn't unfold in a straight line there's always different forces that affect it so that's a kind of blind spotum and then what you're seeking to do in your talks is to kind of get people to turn their Vision towards the future sothat they can make different decisions today so that they can understand that the future that we aspire to or thefuture we vision is something you can direct action towards you can make decisions right now they're going to cause that future to unfold did I get itright is that a reasonable summary of what you just said right right yeah andthen you I I mean um does this make you more optimistic do you think as a personyou know having this type of viewpoint yeah it it's a stepping stone to otherother kinds of thinking you know the the future is far more predictablethan most people think that I can make I can make quite a few predictions a highprobability predictions like like the room that you're in today is still going to be around six months from now I canmake um I can make that prediction with a high degree of probability that theEarth's gonna travel around the Sun in roughly the same orbit 100 years from now again a high degree of probabilityuh that we're gonna 50 years from now we're still going to have the seasoned summer winter spring and fall uh eventhat if I put a handful of seats in the ground that a certain percentage of them are going to Spring to life all of thesethings can happen with a high degree of probability and in fact we have so manyslow stable moving parts to our future that we can plan a birthday party twoweeks from now and have enough stable elements surrounding it that we can we canactually anticipated being able to pull that off with a high degree of probabilityum and and so the the biggest things that are uh most of our futures builtaround this stable of slow-moving elements um the the biggest changes happen withanimals and nature and people and uh and weather and things like that so uh tothe degree that we can get better at anticipating uh those variables uh that gives us a massive Edge in in thebusiness world I think the science fiction writer Charlie Strauss is the one who said um most of the future is already here andhis point was you know the streets that we drive on the cities that we fly into where the airports are located and thatstuff's not going to change in a long time because structurally there's a lot of development around it there's a lot of architecture and real estate that'sbeen developed around it and so uh it's going to be very very difficult to change it very unlikely barring some youknow catastrophic climate change incident it's unlikely that the geography of the planet is going tochange um now let's talk about some things that might change because there's a lot of speculation that our hyper-connectedglobal trading system is under um is in the advanced stage of Decay ortrouble or trauma right now starting with the pandemic but now because of global tensions uh war and so forthlooks like the supply chain is being reconsidered uh so here is probably the most complicated thing humans have evercreated this interconnected trading network uh that involves manufacturing and develops distribution Transportationcommunication like just generally all the technologies that humans have developed are integrated into the supplychain to ensure that with a reasonable degree of likelihood there's going to be uh you know a package of diapers or apackage of coffee on the Shelf of the grocery store when you go over there next week you know you can kind of reliably depend on that although in thelast few years it's been a little bit less reliable uh so now we're in the radical rethink mode uh you see thiswith computer manufacturers any company that depends on semiconductors is now radically rethinking uh where they wherethey source that Supply um tell us a little bit about changes to the the existing world they're going toaffect the future because I'm quite interested in this Theory this so it's about seven or eight yearsago I gave a talk for the uh Turkish post and that's the postal system inturkey and they every every year they pull together all the postal systemsfrom around the world and uh and they did do this kind of best practicesSymposium so I gave gave my talk and I started off with this one central question how long before you can mail apackage let's say from Istanbul and it'd end up in San Francisco without evertouching any human hands now I I find this to be quite quite fascinating because when we putinformation into the the internet the internet routes it around and it comes out over here it's all doneautomatically how long before we can put a package into this global system andeverything get routed around and it comes out over here without ever touching any human hands and and then Idrove dove in and looked at the automated processes that we have in place and there's there's alwaysdisconnects from one uh one system to another one country to another and umand so nobody had that overarching vision of having an entire supply chainwhere things would just get routed around automatically um I think it's important that somebodycome up with that type of vision and and then we need somebody who is a GlobalSystems architect somebody who takes on this Mission this uh this caused and andactually drives it home uh and and I find that to be such an interesting uhthe concept right now is in in light of all of the supply chain issues that we went through during covet that we wereally need to come up with more automated systems and and and uh andtake the human element out of out of the middle of all this true yeah this is a giant project the automation of thesupply chain it's been underway for about 10 years but we're at least 10 years away from seeing it realize youknow there's so many distributed it's fully it's very decentralized there's no one controlling Authority that runs thesupply chain but there's a lot of systems that need that sort of global design thinking you know I think aboutAir Traffic Control right um the think about passport and identity management on a global basisum you know medical medical information money launderingum you know management all the systems you're referring to are highly centralized they're run by bureaucratic institutions that are highly inflexiblethat have a really rigid process for change this is where this concept of radical decentralization becomes such aninteresting proposition no guarantee it's going to work better but it applies it posits an alternativeto these systems that we kind of take for granted you know Thomas to your point we kind of Sleepwalk or stumble into the future assuming that thebanking system we got is the best banking system we can come up with and we therefore can't contemplate any radical change to it or that thenational standards International standards that we have that govern the size and shape of Parts uh that thatcan't be reconsidered and can't move faster well when of course all those things are possible Right with enoughwillpower political willpower and economic willpower you could rethink it any amazing the banking system doesn'tget me started but you know it still takes you five days to send money fromOne bank to another in the the US yes we're getting fed now next year the real-time payment system but anyway soso if if you uh if you think about putting a base on the moon or on Marsvirtually all of our standards that we use on Earth start to go away because none of them make sense absolutelysuddenly the day night cycles don't make any sense our measure of hours andminutes still makes sense we have different gravity there so the weights and measurements all startgetting messed up and capitalism yeah yeah so why do you why would you needcapitalism on the moon and Mars right yeah I always think about the economy ofthe Starship Enterprise they don't they don't spend a lot of time talking about that but it doesn't make sense and thenwhy why should somebody that lives on the moon be governed by laws on Earth yeah uh that doesn't make any sense sothey're going to create their own laws well how are they going to be different how do they start from scratchum and it it gets really interesting because all of these things I can see the influence of Philip K dick on yourthinking right now because well also this is this is also Kim Stanley Robinson with the Maz Trilogy and stufflike that the interview a fair number of science fiction authors on this show tell tell me a little bit about theinfluence of Da Vinci because he brought him up a couple times yeah it's pretty clear you're influenced byPhilip K dick and that's cool with us but now I want to understand like what is what does Da Vinci represent for youlike what what was Da Vinci's role in history what did he change the first futurist yeahwell Da Vinci dedicated over 35 000 words and 500 drawings to the concept offlying at that time nobody but in their right mind was thinking that flying waspossible and uh in his mind it was it was entirely possible and it would takeanother um roughly 300 years before the first taught on flight and 400 years beforethe Wright brothers um so in my mind this is the the epitome of the true Visionaryum and uh and not not that many people like him but um you know it's it's kindof interesting when you actually uh look at all of the the pieces that thateventually left all the drawings and all the um the the booklets that he created andum and there's Silvers over 6 000 items that he left and he said I'm um when hedied they all fell into the hands of his his trusted assistant Francisco multiand emulsi kept everything pretty much in place but then when when he passed onit was his children that that um it kind of started tearing things uhapart and and at one point there was a sculpture that got into middle and he started cutting out drawings and puttinghim with other drawings to uh so it made more sense and then a lot of thesecodexes the the books ended up traveling around in different different ways andthen a lot of them ended up in Napoleon bonaparte's possession for a while anduh and in the 1960s some of these codexes were were discovered uh thelibrary at the University of Madrid and nobody had a clue what these were andthey were down in some basement room collecting dust and and it raises raisesthe interesting question of how many people like Da Vinci existed that wehave absolutely no record of yeah yeah and I find I find out to be the the biggest question of all wow and my guessis there is quite a few of themes or something sure but at a time when written records may have been lost uhyou know a lot of people think of Da Vinci as a painter and it's certainly true you know with the last supper andthe Mona Lisa those famous paintings in history of humanity were created by bythis incredibly gifted painter he's almost sculptor he's also an architect but he's also an engineeronly 17 paintings yeah that's really remarkable but they're all masterpieces rightum but the uh what a lot of people don't realize about Da Vinci is that he was a naturalist and a rationalist and most ofhis work is derived from observe observation yeah very close observation of the way a river would move or youknow he was one of the first to detect that we're currents of air and how do you actually prove that or demonstratethat so he put his mind to thinking that I mean you mentioned a bunch of a a lot of his drawings and um notes uh aboutAir flight but it's not fanciful right those are pragmatic that's the engineering mind well you could even seethe the helicopter you can see probably you know the helicopter prototype beef sketched out he probably built a papermodel of that beef you know like the the corkscrew thing and you could see it youcould see him playing Ram with this this stuff but you're right um bro you know he a lot of it heobserved sorry we got some of the first uh drawings of human anatomy uh becausehe would he would actually go out in the middle of the night and dig up Graves and carve up people and draw drawpictures so what he's saying not everybody got to do that naturallythey would have been considered grave robbers or something but uhwhat lesson can our audience take away from Da Vinci certainly you mentionedcuriosity the sort of Relentless curiosity and this close observation what are some of the things that mighthelp our audience be more future minded from da Vinci well yeah with with every with everyVisionary I mean you have to your product of your time the time and place where you liveum so he he had the tools that were available atthat time um so he he tried to do uh the sketch ofhimself and he didn't use the best material and so it's very faded andthere's very little little of it left I mean creating creating the Mona Lisa hadto have been redone several times um which the Mona Lisa is very likelythe most um uh the most expensive painting on theplanet right now if somebody is going to Value it um and and the reason for that isbecause the Mona Lisa actually got stolen uh not that many people realized it but it was stolen in the early 1900sand it was gone for I don't know 10 12 years something like that and before they recovered it and and so that Drew alot of attention to the Mona Lisa and um so that was uh ever since ever eversince then people have had a lot of focus on that one that one painting it'sastounding when you go to the Louvre you you walk past you walk down the long hallway and you walk past half a dozenda Vinci paintings that are each a masterpiece no one pays attention to those because there's a giant linesneaking its way into the chamber where the Mona Lisa is and I was thinking like wait a minute you're walking right pastthere's John the Baptist right there you know yeah yeahyeah it's the same in the Sistine Chapel you walk through these these corridorsof just endless remarkable artwork everybody wants to see what Michelangelodid um quite quite impressive um so uh can can I ask you then to wrapup because we are running out of time Thomas um we at this part of the show as we we wrap up we want to get a little bit moreout there so looking 20 30 50 years into the futureum you know as as the futurist you are you know um what what do you lookforward to in the future that in terms of advancements um that you know Humanity has thepotential to make or you think we need to make you know for the future of humanity that really excites youuh I actually give quite a few talks on this this concept of designer babies uhthe in the not too distant future young young ladies that are pregnant will willhave the option of going to a geneticist and they'll have a checklist of different different items that they canincorporate into their unborn child different attributes and and you can dothings like hair color and I I color and and the chin shape and ear shape andthings like that uh those those are fairly trivial nothing controversial about that no no no but very likelyyou'll be able to uh create a child that is super smart super resilient uh superstrong uh with the super long lifespan and and so everything about this childends up you're giving birth to a super child and a super child grow up to be asuperhuman and um and then you start askingum what's what's the lifetime value of a superhuman yeah uh is is it possiblethat the lifetime value of a superhuman is 100x 100 times what the average valueof a a person is today and and it's interesting going down that pathway thatscenario because then you start looking at okay if it's if every superhuman's worth a billion dollars in in today'sterms to society or 10 billion dollars then countries are going to startwanting to have the most superhumans they start paying women to have childrenthey'll just put them up in a resort to give them a bonus once the child is born they'll have nurse Maids they're helpingthem through everything and um and then so suddenly women are going to want to start having wow I can have a superhumanuh this becomes a whole different equation and then but not everything aboutsuperhumans is going to be uh wonderful because you can also give birth to asuper villain and super children growing up are going to throw super tantrums anduh and so they're going to challenge everything in society then and uh and soso again these questions start opening up I know they're very tangential every time we ask a question it's great I loveit because this is we as seeing we are seeing the futurist mindset in inexecution in real time and that's what I like about it so yeah uh that's that'sfantastic Thomas um so uh we've heard about the da Vinci Institute um where can people find out moreinformation about the the stuff that you're doing uh you can go to futuraspeaker.comor go to um uh future like a boss.com or uhfutureitypodcast.com um most of the stuff that I'm doing thison those I write a new columnar every week the column that I uh that I justthat'll go up this week will be about where the office came from because wherethe office came from tells us a lot about what the office of the future is going to look like yeah great oh wecould have a whole conversation about that the The Future Has deep roots in the in the past well listen Thomas it'sbeen phenomenal having you on I uh I I feel like we've only scratched the surface hopefully we can get you back onat some future date um you know when you have something important to say please let us know and we'll uh woulddefinitely love to have you back on okay that'll be great yeah that'll be great but thank you for your work in the spaceand uh um yeah um for showing us uh you know how tothink like a futurist all right all right appreciate it thank you now that'sit for the futurist this week if you enjoyed what you heard then please give us a shout out on social media um youknow give us a five star rating um you know uh post post the episodes out you know we crossed over 20 000downloads last month so for a podcast it just started in April that's phenomenal work and we really appreciate thesupport but please keep it going and let us know who else you'd like to hear on the futurists now thanks go out to theproduction team provoked media Kevin herschm lisbe severins uh Sylvie and Carlo on the social media sideum and uh the rest of the team there that's it for uh this week on the futurist be sure to join us next week aswe have another renowned futurist join us uh but for now we'll see you in thefuture [Music] well that's it for the futurists thisweek if you like the show we sure hope you did please subscribe and share it with the people in your community anddon't forget to leave us a five star review that really helps other people find the show and you can ping usanytime on Instagram and Twitter at futuristpodcast for the folks that you'dlike to see on the show or the questions that you'd like us to ask thanks for joining and as always we'llsee you in the future [Music]

Related Episodes