The Top 5 Issues Faced by Futurists

Technology affects every aspect of our lives. It affects the way we communicate, and how we travel, but it also determines how we learn, how we bank, and the way we run our businesses. Futurist speakers think about those changes and try to understand how they’ll affect us. Here are the top five issues faced by futurists and the areas to which they’re paying a lot of attention.

The Top Five Issues Faced by Futurists

Artificial Intelligence 

Stephen Hawking has warned about its dangers. >Elon Musk has called it humanity’s “biggest existential threat” and recently announced a new brain-computer interface to combat its effects. But Artificial Intelligence is coming, and some people are talking about what it means, what it will do?

What do we need to do to prevent ourselves from being locked out of the airlock door by future Hals? Adam Cheyer isn’t just a futurist speaker. As one of the founders of Siri, he’s also one of the people who has helped to create that future. Neil Jacobstein chairs the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University and talks about AI and robotics.

Both are grappling with a future world not dominated by human intelligence.


The future belongs to those who know. If robots take over the dull, repetitive jobs, most of the work remaining will require specialist knowledge. That means improving education and training will be vital. Phill Nosworthy is the founder and managing director of Switch L+D, a bespoke learning and development company that helps teams level up.

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Tan Le is the founder and CEO of EMOTIV, a “neuroinformatics company” that researches the human brain and makes brain-based wearables. While Phill Nosworthy focuses on how people should use their brain, Tan Le looks at ways to make more use of it.

Big Data

We surrender private data every time we walk with our phones, make a purchase, or open a website. As that data continues to build, companies will need to get better at safeguarding it. Governments will need to get better at regulating it. And we all need to get better at understanding it.

Mike Walsh is helping with that understanding. He’s written about the power of algorithms and how data is transforming industries. François Bourdoncle is CEO of FB&Cie, a strategy consultancy focused on transformations driven by Big Data.


The way we bank and move money has already changed. We used to have to line up for hours at local branches, balance checkbooks, and pay with cash. Now we do all our banking with our thumbs, from cashing a check to applying for a loan. The blockchain has moved currencies out of the control of national banks, while companies like Paypal allow us all to pass money around with no more than a swipe.

As the future becomes increasingly cashless, Ayesha Khanna is helping us to prepare. She wrote her first book on the topic back in 2007. Fintech Asia has called her a leading fintech influencer, and she continues to discuss the relationship between AI and finance.

Christer Holloman is the CEO and co-founder of finance platform Divido and has worked with companies including Visa and BMW. His talks on the future of finance are filled with real examples and case studies.

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Clean Energy

Are we leaving the age of fossil fuels? Can clean energy meet all our needs? What do we need to do to make renewables work, and how will a new energy source change our lives? As car companies focus on electric vehicles and researchers look for more efficient ways to power our houses with the sun, Peter Zeihan includes the energy sector in his geopolitical analyses.

Vivek Wadhwa has won numerous awards for his contributions to technology and written several books on technology’s effect on our lives. He has also written and talked about the rise of clean energy and what it will mean, especially in the developing world.

Joel Comm

The Functional Futurist

Joel Comm is New York Times bestselling author, blockchain enthusiast, podcast host, professional keynote speaker, social media marketing strategist, live video expert, technologist, brand influencer, futurist and eternal 12-year old. With over two decades of experience harnessing the power of the web, publishing, social media and mobile applications to expand reach and engage in active relationship marketing, Joel is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audiences inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create highly effective new media campaigns. His latest project is as co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast, a top cryptocurrency show making the future of digital payments easy to understand.

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