How can leaders think about the future? What do we need to do – and who do we need to be?
We are desperate for certainty about the future. But the complexity of modern life won’t provide that. History does not repeat itself, and experts in forecasting are reluctant to look more than 400 days out. Ineradicable uncertainty is now a fact of life.
Margaret Heffernan is here to help us think differently about the future. An entrepreneur, CEO, TED Talks superstar, and the bestselling, award-winning author of the critically-acclaimed book Wilful Blindness, Margaret will expose the limits of AI, big data and even genetics in predicting the future – and consider why, instead of trying to plan with perfect efficiency and accuracy, we should build robust and resilient organisations.
Drawing on a wide array of examples from history to business to science, she will look at long-term projects developed over generations that could never have been planned the way that they have been run. Experiments, led by individuals and nations, discover new possibilities and options. Radical exercises in forging new futures with wildly diverse participants allow everyone to create outcomes together that none could do alone. Existential crises reveal the vital social component in resilience. Death is certain, but how we approach it impacts the future of those we leave behind. And preparedness – doing everything today that you might need for tomorrow – provides the antidote to passivity and prediction.
Margaret’s talk will challenge us to resist the false promises of technology and efficiency and instead to mine our own creativity and humanity for the capacity to create the futures we want and can believe in.