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Intel’s Futurist Brian David Johnson: Don’t Let The Future Happen To You!

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” [John M. Richardson, Jr.]

Brian David Johnson – Intel‘s futurist and principal engineer with 25 patents behind his back, is without any doubt one of those who really do make it happen.

What better guest to invite on Singularity 1 on 1?!

During our conversation with Brian David Johnson we cover a wide variety of topics such as: the personal story of how he got inspired by engineering, technology and science fiction; how Brian got to have the best job in the world; the tasks and responsibilities of Intel’s futurist; the motivation and goals behind his work; Brian’s personal responsibility, Intel’s corporate one and our public and private obligation to create the future; pragmatic versus non-pragmatic futurism; why getting it right is more important than being right; futurism and future casting; the tomorrow project; science fiction and science fiction prototyping…

My three most favorite quotes that I will take away from this interview with Brian are:

“Own the fact that you can build the future.”


“I define geek by passion.”

[…] and my favorite one:

“Don’t let the future happen to you.”

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full.

To show your support you can write a review on iTunes or make a donation.


Who is Brian David Johnson?

The future is Brian David Johnson’s business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation, his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called “future casting”—using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction, Screen Future: The Future of Entertainment Computing and the Devices we Love, Fake Plastic Love, and Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.

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  • I really prefer transcribed interviews. I don’t half an hour to spare to listen to what I could read in far less time and with much better freedom to jump forward and back. Please do not stilt us with linear format.

  • I am sorry to hear that Samantha, but I recently surveyed my audience and the vast majority not simply prefer but love this format. So perhaps this show is not the right fit for you. Alternatively, feel free to transcribe any of the interviews you like…

  • The Youtube transcript is often faulty with funny mistakes but it is better than nothing:

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  • Andrew Bradburn

    Absolutely amazing! I am an IT service provider, and this has influcenced me in many ways. Thank you.

  • You are most welcome friend – I am very happy if you find this interview so helpful! Check out the rest of my 110+ interviews for you may enjoy those too 😉

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