BCG Henderson Institute

Perspectives on the Future with Esther Dyson, Rita McGrath, and Gary Shteyngart

"Prediction is useless unless you work to make certain things happen and undermine the possibility of other things. [Without agency], what’s the point of prediction?"

At the BCG Henderson Institute, we aim to bring forward-looking leaders the ideas and inspirations that will shape their next game. To honor this mission—and celebrate the 100th episode of our Thinkers & Ideas podcast—we welcomed three leading futurists to discuss the evolution of business and society.

Rita McGrath is a professor of management at Columbia Business School, and has been ranked among the top 10 management thinkers globally by Thinkers50 for years. Gary Shteyngart, a professor of writing at Columbia University is also a New York Times bestselling author of science fiction novels. Esther Dyson, founder of Wellville, is an investor, writer, and expert on all things tech, space, and health.

Together with Martin Reeves, Chairman of the BCG Henderson Institute, they discuss their complementary perspectives on the future. They also divulge their methods for making predictions, providing valuable hints for how business leaders can use similar approaches to shape their perspectives and strategies.

Key topics discussed: 

[02:06] Revisiting past predictions about the future
[05:08] The digital age
[08:16] Social media and a technology-centred society
[12:47] Methods for sensing the future”
[17:23] Harnessing the power of science fiction
[22:31] Using metaphors
[24:41] Bringing together these future-sensing methods
[31:07] Predictions about what is coming next

Additional inspirations from Rita McGrath, Gary Shteyngart, and Esther Dyson:

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