Brenda Cooper

Two Very Cool Futurist Events

I have been wearing my author hat lately because of book releases, but there are two very excellent futurist events worth discussing:  one in the recent past and one in the recent future.

I’ll start with the recent past. The Seattle Times did a very nice article about futurists in the Sunday Magazine last week.  They mentioned me, in a small way, which made me feel fairly shivery and pleased, especially since they mentioned me in the company of a lot of excellent professional futurists, including my mentor Glen Hiemstra, local technology futurist, philanthropist, and activist Mark Anderson, and others like Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures.

The article  does a nice job of discussing the varied ways we futurists go about our business.  For example,Mark is a very good prognosticator and often does call events before they happen (he specializes in deep knowledge about the forces acting on the technology field).  I read everything I can get my hands on and turn the intersections into topics of talks or science fictions stories, Glen is one of the most effective speakers I know about the general topic both what the future might hold, and more importantly, how we  might influence it.  It must have gotten a lot of readership because today I am in Chelan, Washington at a conference and multiple people mentioned that they saw me quoited in the article (and really, I think there are two lines in there about me).

Thanks to Carol M. Ostrum for an excellent article, and thanks to Rick Rashid from Miscrosoft for the best quote in the article. No, Iwon’t tell you in advance.  Go read the article. I am, by the way, the only woman quoted in the article.  Side note, but we could use more female  futurists.  They guys ae great, but some balance would be lovely.

Now, on to the near future:  I will get to be in the same physical place with some of the people mentioned in the article on the 15th of October.  The very wonderful FiRE conference that I attended in San Diego in long form last summer is being brought to Seattle in short form — so there will be one fantastic and mind-bending day of speakers and challenges and discussions at the Four Seasons.  It will be worth it.  It’s titled FiRE Global, and is specifically themed about applying technology to the world’s challenges.  This is something we desperately need to do.  Solve problems.