The Griff

This is my map of the future.

I know it doesn’t look like a map of space, but then it’s a map of time.

Each of these tiles represents something I think could transform us.

How did I compile it? Over several years, I have kept a list of things that made me go “hmm.”

There are around 250 tiles here. This is beginning to feel like a useful number. There is one futurist who tracks 200,000 trends. Too many, surely. Others prefer to trumpet just one thing (the next big thing, dammit!). Too few.

The idea is to start small. With a thought, a glimmer, a thing that might be a thing. Or to use the language of engineering, “noise” that doesn’t really qualify as “signal.”

That is the challenge here. We have to see things early, when they don’t really look like things at all. And then we have to be prepared to repudiate them in the event they were really just “noise” after all. Or to watch them transform themselves into something entirely unexpected.

I have a bias when it comes to mapping the future. As an anthropologist, I’m interested especially in the social and the cultural things that will have shape our future, sometimes as causes, sometimes as effects.

Published by Grant McCracken

I am an anthropologist who studies American culture. Some of my books: Dark Value, Culturematic, Chief Culture Officer and Transformations: identity construction in contemporary culture. I've taught at Harvard Business School and MIT. I am a self funding anthropologist. I spent half the year writing and half the year consulting.

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