Eight Questions With Featured Grey Swan Guild Member: Bronwyn Williams
Our Eight Questions is part of our ongoing series profiling some of the amazingly talented members of our global Grey Swan Guild and get behind the curtain of what makes them think and sense the world differently and more effectively than others.
Bronwyn Williams — Citizen of Earth, Currently Based in Johannesburg, South Africa
Bio: Bronwyn Williams is a futurist, economist and trend analyst, currently serving as Chief Commercial Officer of Carbon Based Life Forms (a metaverse game design studio) and as a Partner at Flux Trends (Africa’s learning trend agency), skilled in organizational change management and business agility techniques.
She is also the author of The Future Starts Now, a book published by Bloomsbury Business that articulates her ethos about the future : that is, that the future belongs to everyone and that no one should be used as a means to someone else’s “utopian” ends.
A Sensemaking Metaphorical Tool You Personify:
There are no free lunches. Every choice has a trade off constraint; and incentives eat intentions for brunch.
1. Who are you/ what makes you tick?
Communing with the dead keeps me going. It’s less macabre than you think, I refer, of course, to reading the words spoken and recorded by those who came before us, the practice of which reveals how little humans have changed over space and time, and how remarkably consistent the drivers of our destiny are.
2. What are some of the important questions that you are making sense of nowadays?
- How to stop the infinite futures available to us collapsing into a singularity?
- How to find and speak the truth in a sea of subjectivity?
(Yes, there is a dynamic tension between these two questions! But it is possible to be open to possibilities without denying reality — we have to understand the world as it is if we hope to change it for the better.)
- How to to explain optimism and sustainability are compliments rather than substitutes?
3. How are some of the ways you go about making sense of the world?
Searching through space (travelling) and time (reading).
Finding a balance between going broad and going deep.
Collecting and connecting the unbroken threads of history (distinguishing between fads, fashions and deep trends driving history into the future)
4. What is overhyped? What is underhyped?
Artificial intelligence is overhyped.
Natural fallibility is under-hyped.
Who would you invite over for a Sensemaker Last Supper?
- Daniel Faggella — Founder and Head of Research at Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research
- Peter Thiel — German-American billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist. A co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund, he was the first outside investor in Facebook.
- Dr. Ian Pearson — full time futurologist for over 25 years, tracking and predicting developments across a wide range of technology, business, society, politics and the environment, runs Futurizon,
- Tracy Follows — professional futurist and works with clients on long-term strategies, including Telefonica, Google, Sky, Farfetch, Conde Nast, and Virgin. She writes and speaks on Futures, appearing in a global list of 50 female futurists in Forbes.
6. What big and small question would you love answered or solved?
Big question: Is there life after death?
Small question: Why do we (still) trust politicians?
7. When you are not thinking deeply about the world, what else are you passionate about in your day to day life?
Enjoying the real things in life, late afternoon sunshine, cheese, wine, music, and in-person conversation (they play well together).
8. What do you enjoy about being part of the Guild, and being part of the Global league of Sensemakers and being 1,000 Day Radar?
The multiplicity of world views and ideas (or as I call it, deep diversity — that goes beyond superficial demographics).
Find Bronwyn at:
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Interested in Joining the Grey Swan Guild:
Visit our website: https://www.greyswanguild.org/
Become a member: https://bit.ly/gsgsmemberform
Attend our next new member onboarding regatta: https://bit.ly/gsgregattaDec21
Join our Futures & Sensemaking Discussions: https://www.clubhouse.com/join/grey-swan-guild/gJ5MfbZv/maA88zZW
Join us as we fete Houston this month in the Guild: https://bit.ly/gsgLondon
This Week’s Events
We assemble each Friday and Sunday on Clubhouse for mind expanding events. Here was last week’s topic.
Education Interrupted & Disrupted — Edition #46 of the News Wrap
Join us each Sunday at 11am ET/4pm GMT
The Daily Habits of Futurists, Foresighters, Trendoids & Strategic Planners — Edition #7 of our Futures & Sensemaking Series
Provide us your thoughts: https://bit.ly/gsgfuturehabit
Grey Swan Guild — Our Mission
To Make Sense of the World’s Biggest Challenges and Next Grey Swans — curating and creating knowledge through observation, sensemaking, critical thinking, informed futurism, strategic foresight and analysis. www.greyswanguild.org
Join us December 10th and let’s design the future now : https://bit.ly/gsgatelier9
Making Sense of the World’s Biggest Challenges — curating and creating knowledge through observation, informed futurism, and analysis🦢