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Brian David Johnson

Futurist & Director of Future Casting, Intel Corporation

Futurist & Director of Future Casting, Intel Corporation

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San Francisco, CA, USA
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Brian David Johnson Biography

The future is Brian David Johnson’s business. As chief 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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Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 05/23/2024.

Brian David Johnson Speaking Topics

  • Vintage Tomorrows

    Can you imagine what today's technology would have looked like in the Victorian Era? That's the world Steampunk envisions: a mad-inventor collection of 21st Century-inspired contraptions powered by stream and driven by gears. It's more than just a whimsical idea. In the past few years, the Steampunk genre has captivated makers, hackers, artists, designers, writers, and others throughout the world.

    In this fascinating speech, futurist Brian David Johnson offers insights into what Steampunk's alternative history says about our own world and its technological future. Interviews with experts such as William Gibson, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling, James Gleick, and Margaret Atwood explore how this vision of stylish craftsmen making fantastic and beautiful hand-tooled gadgets has become a cultural movement-and perhaps an important countercultural moment.

    Steampunk is everywhere-as gadget prototypes at Maker Faire, novels and comic books, paintings and photography, sculptures, fashion design, and music. Discover how this elaborate view of a future that never existed can help us look forward.

  • Screen Future

    Screen Future is about the people, technology, and economics that are shaping the evolution of entertainment. Blending social and computer sciences, media history, and engaging conversations with industry experts, Johnson provides an informed and illuminating vision for what happens when TV and entertainment are transformed by the power and intelligence of computers. With a relaxed and approachable style, Johnson takes us inside the technology and explores how our TVs, phones, cars, computers, and all the devices we love are being connected and reshaped into personalized entertainment platforms. Screen Future explores the hard questions behind today's headlines and buzz: Is this the end of broadcast TV? Are the days of cable and satellite providers numbered? What role will government need to play? How do we pay for it all? And most importantly, what do consumers really want? Screen Future is both a comprehensive analysis and an entertaining tour of the technical, economic, and cultural implications of a future that's coming faster than you might think.

  • Science Fiction Prototyping

    A science fiction author, Johnson uses his work in his futurecasting process. Science fiction is the playground of the imagination. If you are interested in science or fascinated with the future then science fiction is where you explore new ideas and let your dreams and nightmares duke it out on the safety of the page or screen. But what if we could use science fiction to do more than that? What if we could use science fiction based on science fact to not only imagine our future but develop new technologies and products? What if we could use stories, movies and comics as a kind of tool to explore the real world implications and uses of future technologies today?

    Johnson teaches his audience how to use fiction as a way to imagine our future in a whole new way. If we write science fiction based on science fact, it allows us to explore the human, cultural and ethical implications of technology. It enables us to 'prototype' our ideas. Even the futures that we don't want are good fodder for this. Think about the combination of authoritarianism through constant surveillance, linguistics, changing history books • all of those awful things can be encapsulated by 'Big Brother.' George Orwell's 1984 gave us a symbol of a future we didn't want to see, and it's part of the culture now.

    A talk filled with history, real world examples and conversations with experts, Science Fiction Prototyping will give you the tools you need to begin designing the future with science fiction.

  • The Future of Fear

    "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself"

    All fear is, in essence, fear of the future. We are afraid of the things that have not yet happened. 50 percent of the questions Johnson is asked about the future have to do with fear: something that someone is worried about. Yet, very few innovations have come out of being fearful. The problem with fear is that fear sells and it even has policy implications. But when talking about fear it is not usually a technology question; it's a cultural conversation where Johnson has to analyze a human experience. Johnson is working to determine what people are afraid of and attack it.

    We know that security is important, and it's only going to get more important. So as we look 10 to 15 years out, what Johnson wants to do is to think: What do we really need to be afraid of? When we talk about what it means to live in a safe and secure world, there's a lot of misinformation and a lack of information out there. Because of that, people are creating bogeymen. We're creating these irrational things, and that's very dangerous-especially when we're making decisions, whether it's hardware design or something else. We need to take a fact-based approach to what we should be afraid of and what shouldn't we be afraid of. And the stuff that we shouldn't be afraid of, we need to push that aside. The stuff we should be afraid of, we really need to dig into.

    We need to change how we think about technology in the future. We need to give people different stories that aren't so negative. So that people can ask themselves how do they really want to use technology? We need different visions for the future, new stories. All of these computers and technology are things that we create as humans and as it gets smarter and as it gets faster than we need to be very clear about what we want that device to do. We shouldn't be afraid to have it address the really hard problems. We shouldn't be afraid to challenge ourselves, to go at things like preparing for the future. We can go at things like education and shift around any fear and actually do something with it.

  • How Our Decisions Determine The Future

    Let's get one thing straight: the future is not set. The future is not some fixed point just over the horizon that we are all helplessly hurtling towards. No. We are not powerless. The future is not written. The future is made every day by the actions of people. Because of this Johnson has always believed that everyone should be an active participant in the future. If we are all making it and we are all going to live in it then why not do something about it individually.

    The way you change the future is to change people's narrative. Change the story people have imagined the future will be. Change that and you change the future. Everything else is far too complicated and out of a single person's control • but just change the story we tell ourselves about the future and you change the future itself.

    Johnson discusses the importance of everyone being an active participant in the future and how the future is created every day by the actions of people.

  • The Tomorrow Project

    "Conversation is when people simply talk; not take a test on the air with Q and A. It's when something said spontaneously prompts a thought and a reply in someone else. When several people's talk moves around a subject, changes directions and produces spontaneous and entertaining comments and unexpected insights, and takes surprising turns." (Times Books, 2010)

    The Tomorrow Project is how Johnson takes his research out into the world and gets people talking about the future. Johnson focuses on engaging in conversations with scientists, the public and even entertainers. He's spoken with synthetic biologists, security experts, and even Will.i.am. They're long conversations, which he shares to hopefully spark a broader conversation about the future we all want to live in.

Brian David Johnson Videos

  • IET President Danielle George interviews Brian David Johnson ...
    The future is Brian David Johnson's business. He is a professor of practice at Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in ...
  • In Conversation with Futurist Brian David Johnson - YouTube
    Brian David Johnson is a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and a Futurist and ...
  • Dark Future Precedents | Brian David Johnson | TEDxHollywood ...
    This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. About TEDx, x = independently organized event In ...

Brian David Johnson Books

  • Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction
    Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction

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  • What topics does Brian David Johnson speak about?

    Brian David Johnson is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Artificial Intelligence, Business, Engineering, Entertainment, Finance, Futurism, Innovation, Robotics, Science and Technology, Social Media, Technology, Virtual Speakers.
  • Where does Brian David Johnson travel from?

    Brian David Johnson generally travels from San Francisco, CA, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Brian David Johnson for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Brian David Johnson for your next private or corporate function.
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Brian David Johnson is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Vintage Tomorrows, Screen Future, Science Fiction Prototyping, The Future of Fear, How Our Decisions Determine The Future and The Tomorrow Project. The estimated speaking fee range to book Brian David Johnson for your event is available upon request. Brian David Johnson generally travels from San Francisco, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Dr. Michio Kaku, Adam Cheyer, Joanna Peña-Bickley, Cathy Hackl and Andrew McAfee. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Brian David Johnson for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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