The Futurist Equation: 2122

The futurist behind “Minority Report” explains 3 steps for predicting what comes next.

It’s very easy to imagine how things go wrong. It’s much harder to imagine how things go right than to say, oh, you could have a pandemic or a war or a terrorist act. That’s easy to come up with. It’s a big act of imagination, constructing a believable scenario of how all these forces come together to create a better future. When I meet someone new and they ask, what does a futurist do? I basically say, I help study the future so people today can make better decisions.

I’m an explorer of the future trying to imagine the possibilities that lay ahead. In fact, Steven Spielberg asked me, to bring together a team to create all the details of the future that you saw in the film Minority Report Advertisements that knew who you were, doors that recognized you, hydrogen-powered vehicles, electric cars. It is not the goal to get everything right. It’s almost impossible but you test your decisions against multiple scenarios, so you make sure you don’t get it wrong in the scenarios that actually occur.

I’m Peter Schwartz, the Chief Future Officer of Salesforce, and Head of Strategic Planning. I’ve written a book called the Art of the Longview and I’ve been studying the future for the last 50 years.

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