John L. Petersen, one of the world’s foremost futurists, is founder and president of the Arlington Institute. He is author of Out of the Blue: How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises, Strategies for 2012, and The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future. He has worked for National War College, the Institute for National Security Studies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council staff at the White House. He also serves as chairman of the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation.
Here he points out that everything is connected to everything else. He notes that we are living in an extraordinary, unprecedented time where the rate of change of many phenomena is growing exponentially, and furthermore these developments converge with each other in unexpected ways. The basic framework for keeping track of such accelerating, complex trends is systems theory. Scenario building is also an important tool for futurists. An important trend to watch is that human capabilities are increasing in many domains. He also describes a methodology to help organizations prepare for potential surprises. He anticipates a major phase transition for humanity so that the future will be very different than the past has ever been.
(Recorded on November 16, 2015)
Published on November 22, 2015