Amy Webb

Futurist, Author and Founder of The Future Today Institute

 

Sci-Fi Meets Reality: The Future of Marketing

Soon, technology and design will begin to intersect in weird and wonderful ways. We don't often think about that intersection, and yet technology to be used to design products, the news, our communities and our experiences. As MIMA celebrates its 15th anniversary, leading futurist Amy Webb will show you a provocative series of snapshots from the year 2031––and she will challenge you to think hard about what to do in the present.

 

Amy Webb is an author, futurist and Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading future forecasting and strategy firm that researches technology and answers “What’s the future of X?” for a global client base. She is a Lecturer on the future of media at Columbia University, and this fall, she will join NYU’s Stern School of Business as an Adjunct Professor to teach a new course on forecasting the future of technology. She was a 2014-15 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Her third book, The Signals Are Talking is about what the future holds––and what you can do about it in the present (PublicAffairs, December 2016).

The seeds of FTI began in 2003 when Amy founded a future of news R&D shop. In 2006, she founded Webbmedia Group, which advised primarily media and technology companies. Her deep background in media and technology proved valuable to outside industries at the dawn of this new Information Age. Now in its second decade, Webbmedia Group has a new name––The Future Today Institute––and an expanded scope. Amy and her team advise Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, government agencies, large nonprofits, universities and startups.

Amy's research focuses on how technology will transform the way we live, work and govern. Her future forecasting work has been featured in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, CNN, NPR, and more. Her research has also been cited in several academic papers.

Amy holds many professional affiliations and collaborates with a number of institutions. Amy was a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and served on the Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Libraries, where she worked with FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and others on the future of libraries. Every year, Amy lectures about the future of media and technology at a number of universities, which have included Institut d'études politiques de Paris, Temple University, Tokyo University and National University of Kyiv.

For the past 15 years, Amy has been dedicated to helping inform and shape the future of journalism. Amy is a new member of the accreditation council of the ACEJMC, where she is helping to recalibrate accreditation standards for journalism and communication programs throughout the country. Her research while at Harvard centered on the future of journalism and journalism education, which resulted in the publication of her second book, How to Make J-School Matter (Again). (Harvard University, 2015.) She is a David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecturer at Ball State University in 2016.

She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Interactive Media Peer Group – Emmy award judge). She serves on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and serves on several startup and advisory boards, including the SXSW Accelerator.

Writing about emerging technology, digital media and the impacts/ opportunities they present is a focus of Amy's work. She is the tech columnist and a contributing editor at Inc. Magazine, where she writes about the future of technology and business. She regularly contributes to a number of publications all over the world. In 2013, Amy published Data, A Love Story (Dutton/ Penguin), a bestselling memoir about finding love via algorithms. Data has since been translated for a worldwide market into Chinese, Korean, Turkish and Portuguese and is being adapted for film. Her TED talk about Data has been viewed more than 4 million times and has been translated into 31 languages. Data is being adapted into a movie.

Amy originally attended the Jacobs School of Music to study classical clarinet and has an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has continued to study classical piano. She also earned Nikyu Certification in the Japanese government-administered Language Proficiency Test and speaks fluently. In addition, she earned the rank of Shodan (first-degree black belt) in Aikido, but a serious accident during training a few years ago forced her to retire.

Amy began her career as a writer with Newsweek (Tokyo) and the Wall Street Journal (Hong Kong) where she covered emerging technology, media and cultural trends.

 

Current/ Recent Projects

  • Founder, The Future Today Institute
  • Adjunct Professor, Future of Technology, NYU Stern School of Business (beginning Fall 2016)
  • Lecturer, Future of Media, Columbia University Sulzberger Program
  • Visiting Nieman Fellow, Harvard University (2014-15)
  • Inc. Magazine’s Tech Columnist and Contributing Editor
  • Co-Founder, Knowledgewebb Training
  • Co-Founder, Spark Camp

 

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