Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over six hours in San Francisco on Saturday, October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T.
Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.
Stuart Candy, a.k.a. the sceptical futuryst, is an experience designer, consultant, writer, educator, and activist. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa for work on experiential scenarios, an approach to immersive storytelling at the intersection of foresight, design, and politics. Originally from Australia, he also holds an LLB and a BA in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Melbourne.
Candy is currently Senior Foresight and Innovation Specialist at the design and engineering firm Arup, and Adjunct Professor in the Design Strategy MBA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He became the first Research Fellow of the Long Now Foundation in 02006, and has worked on a range of projects including the Long Now blog, Long Bets, the Long Shorts video series, and the Long Conversation.
Katherine Fulton is president of the Monitor Institute and a partner of the Monitor Group. Her career path has been shaped by two passionate interests: the use of private resources for public purposes and the connection between leadership and learning. She has explored these themes through leadership positions in organizational consulting and journalism, and through teaching and volunteer service. Prior to moving to the Monitor Institute, Fulton was the co-head of the consulting practice at another Monitor Group company, Global Business Network. During much of the past decade at GBN, she helped organizations in more than 12 industries manage more skillfully in the face of increasing uncertainty. In recent years, her consulting practice has increasingly focused on the future of philanthropy and nonprofits, and she has given more than three dozen major speeches on the subject. She is the co-author of two publications, Looking Out for the Future: An Orientation for Twenty-First Century Philanthropists and What If? The Art of Scenario Thinking for Nonprofits. Her efforts have won her both a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University and a Lyndhurst Foundation prize for community service, and her innovative course design at Duke University was featured in Time magazine.
Why do we wait for an all-out crisis to change our behavior, when this habit has proven itself consistently disastrous over the course of human history? Katherine Fulton, president of the Monitor Institute, cites organizational theorist Edgar Schein's observation that people don't change until their fear of survival exceeds their fear of learning.
Study of current trends in order to forecast future developments. The field originated in the technological forecasting developed near the end of World War II and in studies examining the consequences of nuclear conflict. Studies in the 1960s sought to anticipate future social patterns and needs. The Limits of Growth by Dennis Meadows, et al. (1972), focused on global socioeconomic trends, projecting a Malthusian vision in which the collapse of the world order would result if population growth, industrial expansion, pollution, food production, and natural-resource use continued at current rates. Later reports reiterated many of these concerns, with critics contending that futurologists' models were flawed and futurologists responding that their analytic techniques were becoming increasingly sophisticated. Other notable works include Alvin Toffler's Future Shock (1970), Daniel Bell's The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973), Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth (1982), and Nigel Calder's The Green Machines (1986).