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John Smart has taught and written for over 20 years on topics like foresight and futurism as well as the drivers, opportunities, and problems of exponential processes throughout human history. John is President of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, co-Founder of the Evo-Devo research community, and CEO of Foresight University. Most recently, Smart is the author of Introduction to Foresight, which in my view is a “one-of-a-kind all-in-one instruction manual, methodological encyclopedia, and daily work bible for both amateur and professional futurists or foresighters.”
During our 2-hour conversation with John Smart, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as the biggest tech changes since our 1st interview; machine vs human sentience; China’s totalitarianism and our new geostrategic global realignment; Citizen’s Diplomacy, propaganda, and the Russo-Ukrainian War; foresight, futurism and grappling with uncertainty; John’s Introduction to Foresight; Alvin Toffler’s 3P model aka the Evo-Devo Classic Foresight Pyramid; why the future is both predicted and created despite our anti-prediction and freedom bias; Moore’s Law and Accelerating Change; densification and dematerialization; definition and timeline to general AI; evolutionary vs developmental dynamics; autopoiesis and practopoiesis; existential threats and why we must delay nuclear power; whether we live in a child-proof universe; the Transcension Hypothesis.
My favorite quote that I will take away from this interview with John Smart is:
We must learn to see how physics, chemistry, biology, human culture, and technology are each catalysts for new evolutionary freedoms and new developmental constraints, at the same time. We must also guard against both overly free and overly determined models of the future. It is easy to get out of this evo-devo balance, and oversimplify reality. Exponential Progress: Thriving in an Era of Accelerating Change, PDF page 29
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John Smart is a student of strategic and adaptive foresight, global futures, exponential processes, and complex systems. He is President of the Acceleration Studies Foundation nonprofit (est. 2003), co-Founder of the Evo-Devo Universe complex systems research community (est. 2008), and CEO of Foresight University, a foresight learning, and development company (est. 2016). For twenty years, John has taught and written on foresight development and the drivers, opportunities, and problems of exponential processes throughout human history. John has a B.S. in business administration from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in futures studies from the University of Houston, and an M.S.-equivalency in physiology and medicine from UCSD School of Medicine. He has an honorary Ph.D. in Technology Education from the University of Advancing Technology (2008) an Outstanding Faculty Award from the California Law Enforcement Command College (2011), and he lectures on personal and team foresight practice, leadership, and technological change at the Naval Postgraduate School (since 2012). He blogs at Medium.com, and his speakers’ website is JohnMSmart.com. John lives in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife and two young children.