Paul Saffo

TAGS: Futurists, Technology, Trends

Paul Saffo

"Your address was top notch and I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about your involvement in the innovation stream."
-SIBOS 2010 Premier Financial Services Event

Paul Saffo, distinguished futurist, thought leader and prescient provocateur, combines a rare ability to synthesize complex ideas with the practical implications of emerging trends and new technologies, guiding organizations in planning successful futures. Paul untangles the future, underscores the difference between innovation and disinvention, and picks implausible certainties from a seemingly uncertain future. Animated and articulate, Paul draws on multidisciplinary historical developments to remind audiences that the future rarely arrives in expected ways, and offers pragmatic guidance for anticipating wild cards.



  • The Shifting Landscape of Analytics in an Age of Big Data

    Big Data has barely arrived and already it is profoundly changing the business landscape, opening up vast new opportunities -- and vast challenges. Big Data can be a powerful tool for incumbents seeking greater insight and efficiency, but it is even more important in terms of identifying transformational opportunities. Incumbents who focus only on the former will find themselves unwittingly standing on a whale fishing for minnows while insurgents transform the competition our of business. This is not a period for the faint-hearted, but it holds vast opportunity for fearless players willing to see markets in entirely new ways.

  • The Great Turbulence: Economics and the New Global Order

    The 2008 crash was more than a downturn; it marked the end of the “Great Moderation” a two decade period of mild business cycles and growth. Now many fear we are headed towards a prolonged recession, or worse, while a small minority predict a new boom just around the corner. Both groups miss the point, for we have entered a new era defined not by boom or bust, but by a new kind of volatility that will be with us for at least a decade. The Great Moderation has been followed by the “Great Turbulence,” an economic environments that will be characterized by high amplitudes, short cycles and scarce equilibrium. This is not a period for the faint-hearted, but it holds enormous opportunity for participants willing to look beyond the turbulence and understand the deeper order.

  • Life after the Information Revolution:

    The internet bubble marked the end of the information revolution -- and the beginning of something much bigger, an age of personal media. It is a revolution we have been anticipating ever since McLuhan turned Media into a household word in the 1960s, but as typically happens, even this most anticipated of revolutions is arriving late, and in utterly unexpected ways. "Media" is information that has gone deep into the structure of society, and the changes it is triggering go far beyond what we watch, create and pass around to friends. It also changes what we make, what we use and how we see the world and the challenges that surround us.

  • Untangling the Future

    Events don't so much arrive or unfold, as untangle. This is especially true when it comes to anticipating technological innovations and their impacts because technologies rarely travel in a straight line. Instead, technologies wander, loop back on themselves and, above all, intersect with other technologies, triggering the cross-impacts that yield the innovations that continue to arrive and change our world. An example of how this process can be forecast is here

  • Paul Saffo: Embracing Uncertainty: The Secret to Effective Forecasting
    Some would argue that forecasting is a dangerous exercise in futility, but they are mistaken. In fact, effective forecasting is not merely possible, but remarkably easy; all it takes is simple shift in perspective and a few common-sense heuristics. The most quoted futurist alive, Paul Saffo specializes in the history and future of technology.MORE →


  • Video: Foresight for Innovators
  • Video: Keynote, 2013 State of the Valley Conference
  • Video: Interviews
  • Foreign Policy: "How to Save the Global Economy: Get Better Data"
  • NY Times: "Lessons from Apple"
  • The Economist: "New era, new god"
  • @psaffo: Follow Paul on Twitter