What You’re Doing Wrong When You Think About The Future

PopTech Executive Director Andrew Zolli talks about the limits of human prediction and the importance of resilience.

Humans are notoriously bad at anticipating events that don’t conform to a very narrow idea of what the future will be, which is why we’re often caught off guard by the unexpected. In the recording of an online conversation above with Andrew Zolli, executive director of PopTech and the author of Resilience, we’ll discuss what about our psyches makes future thinking hard, and how we can recognize major changes–before they happen.


Zolli discusses the central biases that prevent us from knowing what will happen: the fact that we assume the technology of the moment will be the technology that drives the future, for instance, or the fact that it’s very hard for us not to simply extrapolate trends in a linear fashion. Given the fact that we simply don’t know what’s coming, he argues, we need to design resilient systems–whether that be governments, cities, even within ourselves–that won’t buckle during crisis and are strong enough to come back from even those most unexpected event.

Watch the whole video above and stay tuned for more talks with futurists in the coming weeks.

About the author

Morgan is a senior editor at Fast Company. He edits the Ideas section, formerly