Every year I write a little review of what we’ve done. I started making a few notes thinking it hadn’t been that busy but then I ran out of space on the page. More evidence that at times of cultural revolution, our memories aren’t always chronologically accurate, or reliable.
I did lots of industry keynotes including for Abri, MHA, IPGroup, Clear Blue, Reckitts, DLA Piper, OBS, Festival of Marketing, Virgin Unite, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with the flagship event being Virgin’s Next Gen Leadership Summit in New York alongside Holly Branson, Halla Tomas and a host of C-suite top talent across the Virgin Group businesses. By December I had been ranked by those I’d spoken to during the year as #1 futurist speaker and top of the list for 2024 (thank you!)
I did several (secret) expert interviews with globally recognised brand names in cosmetics, confectionery and IT, to name a few. Alongside specific industry trends, some focused on the Future of Identity. I wrote and posted a 100-page public presentation entitled ‘Identity Century: the business of people in the future’ explaining how identity is being transformed by digitisation. It has been viewed by thousands of people, organisations and agencies. I delivered a speech on ‘Death of The Artist’ at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, and presented on Data and Identity to the U.S State Department which was a fascinating experience. I had my paper published in the Journal of Futures Studies on ‘Disrupting Identity and the Digitisation of the Self’. And I took the argument further in a video presentation on my new YouTube channel.
I did three research projects with three fantastic organisations: the future of healthcare and the NHS in 70 years with Florence; the future of AI and education with GoStudent; and the future of work with Virgin Media O2 Business. I did a lot of work on the future of housing last year, so it was great to add healthcare, education and work to this, giving me the four most important public/private sectors and the overview of our services infrastructure - and its future. The Daily Mail, Express, Sun and a host of BBC radio stations picked up the work, ran interviews and reported at length on all this.
A professional highlight was my appointment as Visiting Professor in Digital Futures and Identity at Staffordshire University and I’ve been doing a specific piece of work for them which will be published next year.
The podcast went from strength to strength culminating in another professional highlight. The Future of You won Best Technology podcast at the Independent Podcast Awards in October at King’s Place. This was a huge boost to the podcast. After interviewing everyone from Professor Nita A. Farahany on Neuro Rights, New York Times tech reporter Kashmir Hill on her new book, Andrew Bud, CEO of iProov, the world leader in facial biometrics, and Sam Gregory of human rights organisation Witness and so many more, the award was the icing on the cake. There is so much more to come from The Future of You podcast in 2024 with some innovative media formats to boot.
I guest lectured on Trends and Strategic Foresight at London Business School on their Accelerated Development Programme and am now doing a lot more lecturing with LBS into 2024, which I’m really looking forward to. Separately, Futuremade delivered our own Introduction to Strategic Foresight course to around 15 CEOs.
Appearances in media to talk about Google’s anniversary, digital ID, facial recognition, and sex tech with a profile pieces in El Pais, and Daily Mail, along with a chance to fill in for a poorly Flora Gill at Blackwells in Oxford moderating the book launch of Free Your Mind, the year ended with my first published piece in The Critic. I was also given a regular column in the APF’s Compass magazine, became a judge at Management Today’s Leadership Awards, and was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation.
The year had begun with my own new book launch, having co-authored a book with Dr Ian Pearson on EDNA - Enhanced DNA and its implications for external control of our internal biology. You can pick up a copy on Amazon.
And it ended with a brand new business which I am about to launch with my co-founder - I think you’ll find it very interesting. Can you guess what it is?
Not everything went to plan. The SXSW panel did not pick me, I didn’t get every proposal I submitted, and the WFSF event in Paris proved less than optimal. But enough went right to show me what to spend my energy on, and what to now leave behind.
The world is changing and the Futuremade offering will be evolving - there’s lots of news coming in 2024 (and I don’t mean a trends deck) so thank you to all those I’ve worked with this year, to all my clients, all my comrades in AI exploration, and looking forward to what will no doubt prove to be a pivotal, and unprecedented, year!