Two weeks have passed since the terrific World Future Society WorldFuture 2016, and my perspective about the 50th annual conference has deepened. It’s impressive that so many people traveled from around the world to learn (and share their knowledge) about the future.

I was gratified by the response to my Future of Leadership unconference sessions. I had some trepidation about how many participants there would be early on a Saturday morning, but I needn’t have worried.


Finger about to press future button with blue light over black and grey background. Concept image for illustration of change or strategic vision.
Here are five key takeaways about the conference, which I previewed in three earlier posts:

1. The Future is Being Created Now. This was especially evident through the keynotes by Bob Richards (co-founder and CEO of Moon Express), Kimbal Musk (Chef, co-founder of The Kitchen) and Wayne Pacelle (CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States). They are changing the world by helping people to think differently about the future .

2. The Future Can Be Taught, and Learned. Two of the most interesting sessions discussed formal educational programs: Next Gen Foresight: Grads from the University of Houston; and Addressing the Gap: Developing Corporate Foresight Through Competency Building; with Yvette Montero Salvatico and Frank Spencer, both of Kedge LLC, and The Futures School.

3. The Future is Not Just in Silicon Valley.  In the final session Sunday, New York-area entrepreneurs presented two varieties of creating the future: Bodycraft & the Biobody, by Amanda Parkes; and Blockchain & Bitcoin, by Cristina Dolan.

4. The Future May Mean Creating Your Own Career. Complexity & The Jobs of Tomorrow, with Christopher Bishop, offered a do-it-yourself approach to finding meaningful work, based in part on his fascinating work history, encompassing everything from playing in the 1970s rock band McKendree Spring, to a long corporate career at IBM.

5. The Future is Both Technological and Spiritual. An interesting contrast was provided by Saturday’s Techno-Optimism: New Thinking in the Age of Futuristic Technologies by Gray Scott, with a dazzling onscreen presentation; and Sunday’s Compassionate Conspiracy: A Movement for Changing our World, by Dr. Phil Johnson, a life and leadership coach who mesmerized in a quiet, yet powerful way, without visual aids.

Meanwhile, the World Future Society continues to change and grow, and is even hiring. Congrats to all, especially the terrific staff, for producing a truly profound event.