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The Human-Centered Future


Rohit Talwar

In Episode #12 of The Futurists, our guest is longtime global futurist and author Rohit Talwar, who offers his perspective on the human side of the forecasting and planning process. Rohit explains how he uses a combination of commonsense psychology, simple but profound questions, non-violent communication techniques, and data-informed storytelling to open executives up to the process of envisioning multiple possibilities. Learn more about Rohit at www.fastfuture.com. https://fastfuture.com/team/rohit-talwar/

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[Music] this week on the futurist he'd gone back to pagan villages he wasseen exactly the same in terms of who was given more freedom who was asked tobe involved in more decision making it's basic human nature but we forget it andi think it's those very human attributes that are going to help us succeed most in a very tech-centric world so theleaders are in a world before we've got complete artificial general intelligence replacing all of us and everything in aworld where we still have humans it is going to be those who know how to work in a human environment best[Music]welcome to the futurists hey brett you know we've been having these conversations now for a long timewith different people who are thinking about the future the kind of people i call future minded and we've learnedsome interesting things you know you can learn a lot from a science fiction author or a by a biologistum but i think one of the things that keeps coming up is people want to know what to do with the future how do we make a practical use of the future andso for some time i've been thinking it'd be great for us to have a conversation with a practical futurist someoneactually uses a a future future forecasting methodology for practical purposes uh like a pragmaticapproach to futurism and i can think of nobody better than rohit talwa rohid is a world famous youknow him you've met him you've worked with him in the past um but he's famous around the world because he is soprolific not just with forecasting but with analysis and ways to think about it he's written a number of books he gives manymany public speeches all over the world and he's the ceo of fast futures so sowelcome to the show rohit it's great to have you here today great great to have you on man thank you for having me guyswe're going to get tactical today i think yeah i'm really curious about this ideaof practical futurism uh you know when you're engaged by a company tell me about that processwhat are they seeking to accomplish by bringing you in well generally people bring me inbecause they want to have a conversation about the future about half the time it's because they've seen me having aconversation about the future elsewhere and they want to bring some of that conversation back in so whether it's theideas we're talking about of how things can come together what does the world look like whenpeople are giving their money intelligence and authorizing their money to keep swapping itself from interestfrom a bank account to bank account all day long in order to find the best interest rate they love having theirmind blown by those kinds of ideas but then they're they're into that thing of what how do we then bring it back intoour organization get that kind of thinking to inspire us tochange what we do today identify the risks that look a bit ugly that we'd rather not deal with till theymanifest or to go after the opportunities that are out there that could be even scarierbecause they require us to think differently behave differently learn new things work with differentpeople and have very different business models and so they want someone who can helpthem with that process both the methodology for exploring the futureidentifying the insights opportunities and risks but also that practical piece of translating it back into theorganization and making sure that the organizationdoesn't reject it the body language the dna of the organization doesn't reject any of those ideas ofchange because they're they're too shocking or they're too challenging to the way things are or the way thingswork now rohit you know when we look over the the last you know 300 years maybe 200years more more more measurably in terms of impact of changes to certain industrieswe've got a whole swathe of you know use cases and examples of industries that have failed to adapt to the future youknow when it's steering them in the face you know borders blockbuster you know etc um sowhat is it that makes an organization from a cultural perspective future proof do you thinkreally really interesting question i don't think there's one thing often people believe that the fish rotsfrom the head and so it's often kind of a finger pointing at the president ceowhoever ultimately uh makes the big decisions and i think they have a lot to do with it their styleof dealing with threatening information do they see it as something to beunderstood to learn about do they see it as something to uh tap intoto take advantage of or do they see it as something to to pretend it didn't happenbecause acknowledging it is an existential threat there and uh funnily enough i was with a groupof people who still publish yellow pages i was with them on monday crazy uhin majorca and i remember doing work with yellow pages a good 30 years agowhen the conversation at the time was how do we stop our customers from usingthe internet right right and how did that work out for them yeah but and the conversation this time washow do we convince our customers that using the search engine really isn't as goodas coming to our online version of a book and actually there are some reasons whythey are but there's something about the mindset that doesn't change whatever the technologyand in the meantime that the yellow pages have shrunk from probably 1200 pages down to 200 or something rightwell the online versions have grown but apparently in greece they still have one physical copy somewhere in the countrybut these businesses are phenomenally profitable so there's also that challenge that when you're doing really wellsomeone telling right fire coming can be really hard to acknowledge if you told the mayor of londonuh you know in 1939 that blitz was coming and most of london would have been obliterated what would he have donelike it would have just been bigger than a brain thought and i think that's some of the challenge that you couldn't movelondon at the time and the same thing for organizations it's like the resistance to changing fossil fuels orum you know those those sorts of issues it's there's so much momentum and inertiabehind that idea that even though it can be done um you know you've got to change so manyparts of the system to to make it work even though you know renewables are significantly cheaper and we're solvingthe storage problems and all of that that's a yeah there's there's a lot of that that we see around usyou've experienced that with banks brad and i've experienced it with auto companies you know the people who are successful in those companies are therebecause they understand how those things work right and they've contributed to the success of the business so you knowthey're kind of doubling down on the past they're the least likely people to be open-minded about switching yeah sorohit what i'm hearing you say is that if you're going to be a practical futurist you've got to have a combination of skillscertainly you need to understand technology you need to understand the economics and what drives a business but you also need to be a kind ofpsychologist or a salesperson because part of the job is to persuade people to open their minds talk about thepsychology of futurism for us so that's a really interesting one there is a school of futurism that says youdon't worry or future thinking that says you don't worry about any of that your job is just to tell people what'sshaping the future and then to take a very sort of de-reduced approach to say this will happen and this is what itwill mean to you and largely they're wrong because nothing will happen exactly as we thinkand we can never be sure what the second third or fourth order effects are we can't be sure how organizations willrespond so i tend to panic a bit when people stand up and say this is what's going to happen and this is what you should do i think we get the whole valueof the future is about getting people to think flexibly about a range of scenarios you can't take them there inone go so literally just before talking to you guys so we've been designing a session wherewe're going to send people out for the next six weeks to make little videos of what they see changing in the worldhow technologies change or whatever so they're immersing themselves cool they did they're having little conversations thenonce a week with their colleagues about a topic of their choice when they're not allowed to do more than 10 minutes of researchbut they're going to come back and just chat about what they're learning so when they come into the room they've already started to engage withthe future and you've dealt with a lot of the issues then about it won't change it won't change this will change butyou've also got them thinking that about what does this mean for me and hopefully you've already stoned themthat self-directed learning self-managed learning is the way forward because that's the only way we can navigate thefuture is if we take control of our own destiny no one cares more about my future than i do so i can't i can'toutsource responsibility for my future and we've got to get people to understand that andget everyone learning you can't just have your futures do it for you but what your futurist can do is help you explorethese things connect ideas in ways that you wouldn't have imagined that start to say okayif on the one side we've got ai that is starting to interpret our emotionson the other hand we've got people who are incredibly socially awkwarduh but want a partner could they trust ai to do everything for them take away the dating app and justarrange for them to meet someone because we've taken all that away and there were aias have spoken to eachother so they've kind of guaranteed your compatibility and therefore all the risk has beentaken out of you because it's done by the tech in which you trust so you start to blow people's minds withthese possibilities and then you get them having those ideas you get them being creative matching one trend toanother one idea to a development and starting to see what's possible andnormally it comes down to pain or pleasure it comes down to how do we solve something that's currently causingus pain or how do we create a new source of pleasure in the world and if those two kind ofbasically the root of most ideas that we have and then it's about bringing them back into the organization creating aconversation about the data that we used to inform the storytelling and then assessing our current strategy againstthe scenarios and then working out what new ideas and opportunities come out of that soit's a process you step people through you give them worked examples you give them guidance on the kind of language touse you stop them writing directional statements say this will happen but you get them into thispractice and it is a practice of having open and flexible dialogues and then you make sure thatwith two things one is you make sure that you don't have a senior person walk into the room afterwards and say and nowback to the real world is practical which kind of does happenand the second is you make sure that there is something happening within the next 48 to 72 hoursallowing for weekends where they are going to be asked to use the outcomes or the insights in that sessionin something tangible in their job so you connect it back to what they're doing and then you have check-ins so youyou don't have this half-day day two days of exploring the future as being some random thing thathappened and then you get on with banging out the numbers you actually use it to inform everythingthey do so if they're writing a plan you say well okay how does that fit against the three scenarios we talked about forour marketplace where is it valid where is it invalid what are the things we would do under any of those scenariosand what the things we only do under certain scenarios and so you you force them to to use itand the more they use it the more it becomes a standard tool in their thinkingso it's a series of conversations right you're not talking about a single engagement it's not like a single lecture herethis is more consulting where you're working with individuals and groups we could be i mean it could be that you're doing this in a day but whatyou're making sure you leave them with is the support mechanism inside the organization to keep using it you youdon't want to just fly in like you know like a seagull drop on them and go you want to leave them in a better shapethan you found them with more skills more tools more processes to make the future usefulso so rohit what are the tendencies we have when we when you know we look at something like artificial intelligencewhich you just use an example of there um you know to many people it's an abstraction even though ai is having youknow an automation is already taking jobs out of the system which people don't generally see but um you know ifyou take an example of ai or many of these future scenarios um you're talking about one of the key problems is unlessit's actually happening in front of people right there and then it tends to be something that might happen in thefuture and so we debate whether or not ai is going to impact employment forexample instead of what we should be doing is really focusing on how wetransition to that future state because we you know as futurists obviously weembrace the fact that it's it's going to happen so how do you bridge that sort of gap interms of the where the future is too far away for people to see it impactingtheir daily lives or their business versus you know um as a futurist understanding the trends that make thatlargely inevitable you know in 250 years of technology disruption we've not seen a single industry ever defend itselfagainst technology so we know what the the typical uh you know success of thisstuff is but how do you get people into that mindset instead of debating whetheror not this is going to happen in terms of accepting that it is a possibilityand then talking about how to how to adapt so a lot of it is around the language we use we like to use quite violentlanguage that this will happen this will destroy you that the fear principle drives a lot of the conversation thiswill happen this will wreck you so you've got to act a few people are excited by the possibility but as you say there's athere's a big gap between where we are now in this thing some people can make the leap they can go okay it's one twothree steps from here and we have to do a to get to b to get to c but most can't so then you have toinevitably you have to water down the future a bit you have to bring it back to some examples of what's going on nowum and this idea that the future is not evenly distributed so what we mightthink is five years away someone else is almost inevitably doing so you use those examples to show what's going onand you try to get people out of the natural defense mechanism which is finding a way of rubbishing what theother company is doing or why their circumstances are different or they're a startup or they're in xyz country orthey have a better regulator or whatever and you try and get them past all that and say let's just look at what they'redoing what if you were able to do this what would that make possible for us ifwe could get over those hurdles what could we do and it's getting them to sort of standon the other side imagine you're the innovator why would you have done this what would it create now imagine youwere starting us again and this was available to you how would you use it so you have to find lots of different wellyou try lots of different routes in to get them to engage with the idea and with i'd say 90 percent of the people ithas to be with examples that are happening here and now right it's ten percent that you can tell thatillustrate to them the changes that are happening yeah now now 2022 started off as aa pretty disruptive year in history um you know if you take uh you take cryptointo the the case um you know actually uh brock pierce was pointing out that this this is a bigger crash than thedot-com crash if you account for the shifting crypto um which is sort of aninteresting perspective but obviously you know um 2022 in terms of thedifficulties from the russia ukraine situation um you know that's just emphasized issues we've had the supplychain difficulties that came from um you know the uneven employment issues during the pandemic and so forthso um you know put your futurist hat on today and and play out whereyou know where we're at 20 in 2022 today and some of these issuesum that you know we may not have anticipated you know say five ten years ago how are they going to shape thefuture over the next decade or so so for me uhwhat you're really seeing is is the the first really solid evidencethat a lot of our governing and enabling systems are running out so a lot of our systems were built late40s onwards but late 40s to early 80s our health care systems our educationsystems our governing systems our financial markets management systemsthe structure of corporations today still look pretty similar in many regards they did in the 1940s and we'rediscovering all of those are running out whether it's because you've got more players more people wanting to have asay whether it's because of technology innovators coming in and saying i don't have to play by your rules what we'reseeing is is that's what's happening so the pandemic really demonstrated that our model of running healthcare wasbroken whether you were a free at point of service or paid modelthe the way in which resources were allocated and things were prioritized just wasn't designed to deal with apandemic and whenever anyone did scenarios for a pandemic most people failed in their pandemicpreparedness exercises because yeah we had all these things mapped out for strategies and they were ignored yeahfinancial markets what's great is uh i think what's happening crypto has been a fantastic exercising intesting whether the market manipulation strategies that we've used in equities in derivatives in commodities can beused in crypto and you know the experiments work you'd see it all the time this has got nothingto do with people's perception of the underlying value of a digital uh you know assetecosystem or blockchain technology or trustless uhbased models or any of that none of that has been disproved it's still kind of anabsolute belief the number of users is going up uh more and more companies getting involvedwhat it's demonstrated though is that the power brokers who thought that they might be losing controlthey've been able to see that with relatively small amounts of money they can do untold you know unimaginable things tothe crypto market which would cost them a lot more to do in the equities market or in the year thanks blackrockwell exactly um and uh you could say that i couldn't possibly but you know and so i think this is what we'relearning and then the geopolitics thing is interesting so there are so many levels to this butwhat we're seeing is there were ways in which we dealt with conflicts before uh we use proxiesand now we're playing out yet another proxy wall but in this case one of them is actuallyinvolved they're not using a surrogate uh one of them is actually playing and so we'rechanging that game again of how you deal with big geopolitical tensions we're seeing some institutions beingstrengthened some being sidelined and some trying to work out their place in the world so what we're seeing nowi just think is at one level isn't it's a disaster obviously the fallen crypto prices thefalling stock markets grain shortages energy crises geopolitical tensionsbut at another level my macro perspective it's like thank god it's happening right because we need thisstuff to happen we need some of these old systems to be pushed to the point where they break none of us are willingto break them beforehand and start again not design that way so we need some of these things to fall over and then we'regonna have to accept that there's gonna be maybe 10 to 50 years of creating the next solutionsbut we need that because we can't keep trying to run these old world institutions using some of the new worldideas and solutions but with old world assumptions underpinning them so we all that needsto change that's a great topic for round two after we take a break the the this notion thatsome of these old institutions need to fall over what's remarkable about the pandemicbut also the crisis in the ukraine is the speed of the response you wouldnot have expected a response as fast as we got you know in the past it took four years to develop a vaccine here wedeveloped the vaccine in about a year and based on technology they've been in development for 10 years but nevertheless and that was a really rapidrollout of a global vaccine program and in respect to the war in the ukraine uh the global response to that has beenvery quick as well i think surprisingly i think it caught the russians off guard but let's save that for after the breakso um agree yeah let me take a live conversation great thanks robert thanks uh rohit we'retalking to rohit tawa he's uh a global futurist from fast future andwe'll be right back after this break [Music] welcome to breaking banks the number oneglobal fintech radio show and podcast i'm brett king and i'm jason henricks every week since2013 we explored the personalities startups innovators and industry players driving disruption in financial servicesfrom incumbents to unicorns and from cutting edge technology to the people using it to help create a moreinnovative inclusive and healthy financial future i'm jp nichols and thisis breaking banks [Music]you're listening to the futurists with robert turscheck and brett king and this week we're interviewing rohit tawa aglobal futurist from fast future um and uh rohit great to have youon the show um you know before the break we were talking about uh you know some of the elements of how umyou know the the the black swan events of the pandemic and the ukraine war haveaffected uh you know future forecasting but um you know in in terms of um youknow before we sort of dive back into leadership and and things like that what excites you the most about the futurethere's a few things one is uh we were talking offline in the break that we've seen some incredibly rapidresponses we've seen how we can mobilize people in in incredible ways here in the uk wehave three quarters of a million people volunteer to help out during the pandemic organized very easily we had thedevelopment of the vaccine at breakneck speed and obviously it was building on platforms and science it was alreadythere but it was still incredible we had a level of scientific sharing that idon't think we've seen in many cases in the past so we've seen a lot of good indicators that human ingenuity passionand a commitment to a common goal can get us a long way very quickly we've seen a veryinteresting response certain parts of the world now to ukraine and the situation with russia uh we've also seensome of the old tenets being challenged everyone assumed that russia would roll over ukraine in seven days and actually80 90 days in they're not really it's not really clear that they've done anything other than lose a lot of their soldiers and a lotof their hardware and and a lot of their reputation um so we've seen that some of the oldassumptions are now being challenged in a positive way we're seeing space being created forinnovators uh what i'm most encouraged by is the people workingat the margins to try and change things across society so moving to a more sustainable culture oneof the businesses i love uh is called elvis and cress so they make handbags umthey started by watching people throwing stuff away at rubbish tips and they discovered the uk fire service throwsaway 70 tons of unrepairable fire hose every year and pays 400 plus pounds ayear per ton to throw it away these guys investigated and discovered that high-end handbags are made of the samematerial so they now take that material for the next 20 years contract isthey don't pay a penny for it they turn it into high-end handbags and give 50 percent of the profits back to the ukfire service charity to me that is just that's fantastic um and and we're seeing lots of thoseexamples and and they're really inspiring and that's what i think is is great is when we take our eye off the biggovernment moves and big business moves which can be a little frustrating at times because they're slow and you watchwhat some of the the smaller more nimble players are doing you see them moving mountains literallyoverturning hundreds of years of assumptions behaviors to to make something happenand you're seeing this breed of people emerge who are i don't know what the right word is butthey're catalysts they're able to bring a whole range of people together in different waysand find solutions that solve everyone's problems you're a you're a health care commissioner you're a mental healthpractitioner you're an advocate for patients you're a district nurse you're a gp practice all of you've got theseissues about this poor mental health patient who's not getting what they need and there's a bit of technology overhere that could absolutely do it for them that would support them and get them the resources they need when they need thembut no one knows how to commission it because it doesn't fit within the existing framework but if you can step in you can facilitate that conversationthen everyone's happy turns out we save money and we get the outcomes that we're allbeing measured on and most importantly the beneficiary has a far better experience and actuallyget some help and so it's those social catalyst social engineers who i think are thethe real you know the the real fuel for the next the next wave and what i love about thatis a lot of these people are the ones who don't know it's not possible they're 22 25 they've never been in thatsituation before they're not blessed by a whole group of people around them telling them why it can't be done or whywe tried it before and it didn't work they're just going in there driven by a passion and i thinkyou know passion is back in fashion and and allowing those people to just have their heads it doesn't matter ifsomething breaks the world is not going to end but i'm much more inspired by them than i am by my generationtied up as we are with all our angst about what we didn't get right and you know all the things we know that stopthings happening i think the for me the future is going to be facilitated by these people it might bepaid for by other people and obviously we have to influence a lot of people but it's it's that core of people across theplanet who are almost limbically connected and the agency they have now to make change is just truly inspiring not justgreater thumb book but there's a you know a million grasshoppers out there doing incredible thingsso what you're talking about right now to me is um a new definition of leadership or a new kind of leadershipand i'd start with this observation rohit that we haven't had very inspiring leadership politically in any country ican think of for the last 30 years in fact we've got a political class it seems in the western democracies that'sconditioned to pay attention to polls and they're very cautious and now they're very concerned about their baseof voters and they kind of tune out everybody else and so you have as this kind ofinertia in the political environment and as a result relatively poor leadership it's uh it'snot even consensus it's basically uh certainly poor policymaking yeah yeah and there's and they're slow they'reslow to make policy and they're often slow to to respond of course there's exceptions to that but at the same timethere's another group emerging uh they're often entrepreneurial minded but they're often informed by technologyand these are people who have conviction what i notice is that they are they are motivated by a rock solid belief in whatthey believe is going to happen next it often comes from first principles so they may be scientifically grounded intheir reasoning where they work it out they say this is the way it has to happen one example is is dr jacobs whocreated qualcomm this is a long time ago right this is back in the 1980s 1990s but at the time the conventional wisdomin mobile was that cdma couldn't possibly work there were no there was no way there were microprocessors fastenough in a phone to process code division um and the entire gsm world you know all the european tech companies andmotorola in the us were against him and they tried everything they could to stop it and he hung in there because he had the conviction that mathematicallyspeaking like speaking from physics this is the right way to do mobile telecommunications well of course heprevailed it took it took decades but eventually he prevailed and we see examples of that all over you know forinstance you mentioned the modern vaccine for the covet 19 problem uh you know that was 10 years inthe making and the people in modernity had this conviction that there was a way to engineer of vaccines as a radicalrather than you know breed it or cross-breed it in the conventional way that took them many years and franklythere were many years in the in the wilderness for them right they had to go against uh conventional wisdom there aswell and so we're starting to see something emerge i think is very exciting it's not limited to the us it'snot limited to the western countries there's a global phenomenon of leadershipdriven by conviction and like you said passion right it's not just the conviction that they're right but thispassionate commitment to make this change and they won't take no for an answer and finally there's financing for thatthere's there's venture capital that will back that up so if they're right and they pass the due diligence processfor the first time we now have adequate amounts huge amounts of venture capital to deploy to support a disruptive idealike that talk to me about how you work with leaders because when you're working with companies many of the places you dealwith those leaders aren't cut from that cloth those leaders are cut from the kind of conventional thinking and maybe a littlebit more concerned about preserving the past at the expense of the futurei think it varies quite a lot and i think by almost it's a self-selecting group maybe thata lot of the people who bring you in already have an interest in the future oryou've resonated with something that there was a story in their head about we're not looking over here enough soyou you were timely and so a lot of the leaders we tend to work with are ones who do want to makesomething happen don't necessarily have all the tools they don't necessarily understand allthat they need to change about themselves to make it happen but they they are in the game in a senseum those who don't it's very hard to convince them because it's not just around the future that they have ablockage they'll have the same thing in every part of their lives whether it's buying a new suit movingthe chair in the bedroom closing down a division of their business or launching a new product they'll behave in exactlythe same way so sometimes you just have to accept that this is an issue that's deep in theirpsyche they're not wrong it's just how they are and if they want to change that then they've got to do some fundamentalwork and i talk more and more to people now about doing the work so going and findingsomeone to work with it with processes that help you deal with those blockages tohelp you improve your response help you change your language because it turns out that everything you say comes acrossas negative how do we get you to use non-violent communication how do we look at your personal brand uh what is ityou'd like to be known for what are the characteristics you'd like people to ascribe to you versus how do you show upand so a lot of that situational leadership comes from how your how you come across in meetings and now we'refinding that uh i've just been on the call with a client um now and it's someone from their people and culturepiece who i think is the most incredible leader in the organization just because of the way sheshows that she listens the way she always demonstrates that she's taken on board what someone has just said andshe's made space for them and is not driving home her point and just this sort of passion for whatwe can make possible this celebration of the good that people are doing and it's a way thatshe builds trust and the more trust she gets the more opportunity she creates none of this is newif you'd gone back to pagan villages he was seen exactly the same in terms ofwho was given more freedom who was asked to be involved in more decision making it's basic human nature but we forget itand i think it's those very human attributes that are going to help us succeed mostin a very tech-centric world so the leaders are in a world before we've got complete artificial general intelligencereplacing all of us and everything in a world where we still have humans it is going to be those who know how to workin a human environment best and get the best out of people that are going to work well it's not thesame so if i'm in a large financial services institution with 20 thousand staffa lot of my stuff is about rah-rah keep the messages simple motivate them if i'm in a deep techie nerdy sciencelab and we're trying to reinvent sciences okay have some fun with us buthow you motivate me is letting me work on cool science because letting me go over to mit and talk to one of theleaders in my field for a week it's clearing the blockages that procurement or hr won't let me buy this thing i wantthat's leadership for them it's very different but it's still very motivational but as a leader i value what you bring tothis organization i'm going to do everything i possibly can to help you fulfill your potentialyou know right what i'm hearing you say which is super interesting because this is not at all where we started thisconversation but what i'm hearing you say is that even in this time when we're thinking about artificial intelligence and machine intelligence and machinelearning there's a huge need for leaders to have emotional intelligence particularly if they're dealing with people who have anego and people who have drive and passion and so forth how to find a way to communicate with them that recognizesthat drive honors it respects it and rewards it and so um you're reminding meyour comments are reminding me of something that uh randy comassar the the uh entrepreneur in dc once said to me along time ago he said what i look for in companies in leadership and companiesis empathy and self-awareness the they're the two traits that are the most scarce in businessand of them self-awareness is the most scarce now this is a super interesting notion right like you talk about thelegacy as a motivation for a ceo uh you know what you want to leave behind what do you want to accomplishwe see great ego strength in ceos right you have to have great ego strength if you're going to manage a bigorganization but i'm not sure if we see that much self-awarenessso it sounds to me that part of your mission is to work with that psychology and to help develop some awarenesswell it's interesting because people ask me so what do i do to stay grounded how is it that i don't get into a fight in aroom where everyone's trying to provoke me and you know people are shouting and pointing a fingerbecause i happen to have bought in the future and my view is well i found ways in meetings to just drop into myselflike because i learned meditation techniques i spent my time in the buddhist templesi've learned how to in that moment just go inwards groundlisten to what i really think has been her said and then come back in a way that doesn't take the legs away from any ofus most of us aren't trained to do that and i'm impressed that you know about non-violent communication because wedon't often hear about that in the workplace usually that's thought of as a relationship thing um but you know this points to this needto build consensus uh you know too much of what happens in media right now is to pick one group against anotherthat's a great job rivets people it's exciting it sells newspapers it gets people to watch tvnews um but unfortunately what it doesn't do is create any kind of consensus or any kind of agreement even on the facts letalone the solution or what we ought to do next so in some ways it sounds like you've developed a technique for working withpeople that that defuses that polarization and helps them find the commonality and helps them find empathyso one of the things it's taken a long time to realize this is the future itself as presented is a threatthe last thing you want is the messenger to also be seen as a threat as the person facilitatingto be seen to have another agenda other than the greater good of the organization and the people in the room sothe challenge is always to show people that you're coming from that place you have no acts to grindyou have no stake in the game in wanting you to go one direction or another souh you know one of my favorite slides that i use at the moment is six race is the six tracks on a race late you knowyou know for a athletics track the six lanes and that's the first response i say to people the first and verylegitimate response you can have to this is to do nothing stay in your lane if you think that what you're doing isgoing to work your sense of your market your sense of the opportunities is such that you can carry on then that's whatyou should do don't cause yourself stress and an ulcer by trying to do something you're notgenetically geared up for however if you think there are there is a possibility that you might want to learn then hereare some steps to take so you have to start where people are coming from and acknowledge that they're not bad if theydon't do anything take out their fight element as soon as you can take out the fight elementopen up the window that lets the future in and then allow them to breathe allow them to have the conversations aboutwhat they like about this what they dislike about this what they're scared about with workshops and things that thepressure is on particularly the top team to have instant answers because you go go go go so there is no moment for themto process 13 different messages they've just heard and come back with a consolidatedconsidered view because you go so you build in lots and lots of breaks into those sessions where they can gofor a walk talk pee fat cigarette whatever just to give us time for the system toabsorb that reflect and come back with a more considered answer you get so much more quality out of thatand we've also created people with a twitter mindset now you know 240 characters input put someone in asession but for eight hours you provide their brains so you've got to respect that and you've just accepted that wehaven't really advanced human physiology a great deal uh in the way that we've advanced tech yeah we canget to human augmentation another time but so we've got to accept that our basic tech hasn't improved that much you knowit'll last longer but the basic functioning hasn't changed the way the brain processes informationhasn't changed in 200 years maybe some of the pathways are bigger but if you work with thatthen you have you're halfway there because you're really working with behavior so we haven't really talked much about the future because10 of what i do now is is helping people think about the future helping them make sense of ituh 95 90 is really about how do we work with this how do we deal with emotions the change how do wetranslate that into something real and it doesn't matter if it doesn't fit what i thought was the vision of exactly whatwe'd be doing because i'm not in the organization every day and i'm not trying to make it work which is one of the reasons why so many digitaltransformation projects fail because the consultants envision it and the organization isn't full of people fromthat consultancy who think a certain way they're trained differently they live differently and so they can't execute in the sameway and you don't get the same outcomes and so you have to allow people the the freedom to design what they're going todesign and operate what they're going to operate with the insights you've given them and give them the courage to do sometough things give them the permission that they need to give themselves to have ideas that aren't going to workand voice them to put out dissenting views and just to make mistakes the final analogy i always use is this is like adance floor every business and every individual has a bunch of dance routines so ithe marketplace changes i know how to dance to that customers come up with a new requirement we know how to dance tothat energy shot we know how to dance that economic turned out but now everything is changing at the same time so no oneknows the right dance steps when we don't even know what the music is going to be and the music is changing all the time the only way we can do that wecan't sit inside and write a business plan for how to dance you have to get on the dance floor you have to try stuffyou have to kick people trip over your own feet look ugly as hell the most attractive people in the roomare probably not going to come over and want to dance with you for a while but unless you do that you don't learnand it's only when you do it you start to get confidence that suddenly you know you try a few things you kind of twirl your arms you do things and suddenly youfeel good and you feel like okay i've now got this space and it's exactly the same for organizationswe just need to give ourselves permission to learn to listen to adapt and to do the very human thingsthat are normally the problems that stop us moving forward as an organization well brothat's a great overview of the human empathy element and and how you get people to open their minds and beginto contemplate these ideas so that's great that's practical futurism in effectnow let's talk about far futurism yeah let's go full futuristic full futuristokay so let's let's talk about you know you've talked about agi and uh you knowelements like that but but looking out over the next 50 years you know what are going to be these material changes thathuman society is really going to have to work to adapt at and and what are those that are we're welcome um you know whatdo you see as as the big impact is uh moving out over the next 30 to 50 yearsso i think a kind of handy way of thinking about this is the blurring of boundaries the blurring of boundaries between sciencefantasy and science fiction and reality the blurring of boundaries between the human body andwhat sits outside it the blurring of time boundaries what we thought was 100 years away happening much fasterand so when those start to blur we start to get some very interesting possibilities i.e changing the humanuh brain giving us really enhanced capabilities extending our memory our processing power giving us the geneticmakeup of other species so we can enhance our hearing or whatever those are the kind of things i think areon the table at that level with science and tech we we're talking about the potential for ai to basicallybe running everything creating everything managing everything and then the big challenge for all of us is whatdo we want it how do we want it to work who pays for it who gets the money from ituh how do we ensure that we still have some purpose and value in society how we want to decide define itand then how do we make sure it's benign in its decision making and it doesn't compete with other ais or other agisand it's unlikely that we'll have one running everything so what could the consequence beof agis competing and gaming each other and what could the human side effects of that be we have no ideabecause it's so far out and then uh the i say the fun stuff is when you start to look atwhat science and technology makes possible so material that can change its property over time atomically precisemanufacturing so i can manufacture at the atomic level nanotechnology visionstruly realize then you start to engineer things like cars that contain change their shape when they go around cornersbuildings that can change their shape and their heat reflective properties titanium body parts that will changetheir shape depending on whether you're walking or running all that kind of stuff and then biological materials thatcan absorb carbon in the atmosphere that can basically do all the environmental cleanupbut also fundamentally change the way we think about everything so we know thatthe experiments have been done we've been able to store a million books worth of information on the dna of asingle drop of water i was with huawei last week and they were saying i was quite amazed that theytold me what they're doing in their research labs they're working on dna storage and they now calculate that you couldtake all of the information that exists on this planet and store it on one kilogram of dnaconversely crazy conversely they reckon within five years or so we'll get to about a yottabyte of datauh being generated a day in order to store that using the best hard drives out thereif you laid them in to the end they would take us to the moon and back 284 typesso physically impossible to do there isn't enough space in the planet so we're going to need radically different science to do all this and this is someof the stuff that i get very excited about is when we start to solve fascinating challenges that we'vecreated for ourselves we start to really transform the planet from something we're abusing to somethingwe're enhancing and we start to say you have more choice a choice over how you want to live as ahuman if you want to live to 150 that's fine but you take the consequences if you want to give yourself you knowbat-like vision and dog-like hearing that's cool but let's not have that at the cost to someone else so we we gotsome very interesting stuff to be done around ethical moral frameworks commissioning in societywho governs it you know you have these treatments when you pitch up to the conventional health service something that's gone wrong who pays for thathow we're going to deal with that so i think there's so many exciting possibilities i love the idea of flyingcars i love the idea of you know deciding when i want to give myself a treatment to deal with theniggling injury in the back of my knee or whatever not having to wait for a health care provider i love the idea ofhaving all those staff trek technologies in my home but what i love even more is that there's a bunch of super nerds out therewho now think it's possible yeah and a bunch of investors as we were saying earlier who are really happy toput the cash up really happy to put the money up to try this stuff because when you've got gazillions then it doesn'tmatter if you put 20 billion into something it's an experiment so that's fascinatingthat the key for me is that we don't end up doing all this to the benefit of a very smallproportion of society this is really key isn't it you know it has to be inclusive it has to be afuture that we build for everybody you know um andthis is what is great about the technology it makes this possible unfortunately you know we could continuethis conversation for another half hour at least or another hour hit um the theyou know i would have loved to dive more more deeply into some of that future tech stuff maybe we should do a showjust on that future tech stuff uh robert you know bobby you know sohey but uh um you've been listening to the futurists uh rohit tawa from fastfuture thank you for joining us on the futurist this week um where can people find out more aboutyourself and about fast future uh the easiest place is our website is fastfuture.com you can find me onlinkedin facebook twitter etc and the email is rohitfastfuture.comfantastic so if you liked this episode um you know make sure to check out uh rohit connect with him uh on on socialmedia linkedin and so forth but also make sure to give us a five star review go toitunes podcaster stitcher you know spotify wherever wherever it is that you download futurist from and put in areview for us it helps other people find the podcast and hear our great content as well but wewill be back with more of the futurists next week until thenwe'll see you in the future [Music]well that's it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hope you did please subscribe and share itwith people in your community and don't forget to leave us a five star review that really helps other people find theshow and you can ping us anytime on instagram and twitter at futurist podcastfor the folks that you'd like to see on the show or the questions you'd like us to ask thanks for joining and as always we'llsee you in the future

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