Modern society is experiencing the tyranny of “short-termism.” We increasingly make decisions based on immediate gains, rather than long-term goals—leaving the future feeling less certain and more unsafe. How can we learn to plan ahead for tomorrow? Renowned futurist and innovation strategist Ari Wallach urges us to adopt a longpath mindset: a three-pronged way of thinking that opens the future up to new possibilities. In talks, Wallach equips leaders and organizations with the tools they need to think long-term—and create futures in which we collectively thrive.
Ari Wallach is a futurist, strategist, and social innovation expert. He is the founder and Executive Director of Longpath Labs, an initiative focused on cultivating long-term ways of thinking, acting, and being to create futures of collective human flourishing. The mindset underlying this initiative is outlined in Wallach's TED Talk "Three Ways to Plan for the (Very) Long Term." Prior to founding Longpath, Ari was the Founder and CEO of Synthesis Corp., a New York-based strategic consultancy that operated at the intersection of innovation, technology, and purpose-driven culture, assisting leaders in discovering ways to drive sustainable innovation, rethink business models, and improve top-line metrics. The firm's clients included CNN, VW ag, Ford Foundation, FriendFactor, UNHCR, the US State Department, Tides Foundation, Sephora, and NRDC. Previously Wallach served as Fast Company's expert on megatrends, with the launch of Fast Company's "Futures with Ari Wallach."
Wallach is an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, lecturing on innovation and the future of governance and public policy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies from U.C. Berkeley, where he served as the Director of Conflict Resolution and Peer Counseling for the USCA, and was a Coro Fellow in New York City. Over the course of his career, he has worked for organizations and individuals such as the Democratic National Committee, the United States Institute of Peace, Deepak Chopra, and President Shimon Peres. He sits on the boards of 70 Faces Media, blankonblank.org, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, as well as the advisory board to the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative at U.C. Berkeley. He was also a former Commissioner for the City of Berkeley in California.
In addition, Wallach was co-founder of The Great Schlep, whose eponymous video garnered over 25 million views, 350 million global media impressions, and started a national conversation about race, faith, and democracy during the 2008 presidential campaign. He is creator and founding director of INFORUM at the Commonwealth Club—one of the nation’s largest non-partisan public affairs forums for young people—and worked as VP of Corporate Development for the Seed Media Group, an organization that helps people and companies think scientifically. And he is founder of re:think media, a producer of cross-platform content for the post-partisan psychographic.
Longpath Fostering Long-Term Thinking for Your Organization, Your Community, and the World
We are in an age of increasing complexity and uncertainty. The dizzying rate of technological and social change can make our challenges — from the personal to the industry-wide — feel all the more daunting. The tendency in every sector, from government to business, is to focus on our short-term needs. But to seize the opportunities of this moment, we need to think bigger and regain a sense of control over our long-term futures.
In this invigorating keynote, Ari Wallach introduces Longpath, a mindset that helps us imagine many possible futures and take action to build the world we believe in for coming generations. For CEOs, executives, stakeholders, family office planners, parenting conferences, government and military organizations—this is the kind of talk that can help embed a sense of deeper meaning, from concept to practice, in organizations seeking to cement a lasting (and positive) legacy. With Wallach’s uncanny understanding of long-term shifts for business and culture, Longpath helps us answer the question of why we’re here, and how we want to leave the world.
21 Megatrends Transformational Shifts Shaping Our Futures
We tend to think about “the future” as something programmed by experts and engineers. In this keynote, futurist and innovation expert Ari Wallach rejects “the official future” that we’ve been handed. He argues that all of us can take action to actively build the futures that we desire for ourselves, our organizations, and society at-large. But to do so, we need to think strategically about the transformational shifts that are shaping tomorrow’s world.
Wallach gives us a view of the 21 megatrends affecting the futures of politics, sociology, the environment, arts, religion, and much more. More important, he helps shift our thinking to engage the futures actively, with empathy for coming generations in our communities, companies, and the world. To stay competitive, leaders need to broaden the framework of what they do, and how and why they do it. Wallach’s talk is invaluable for any purpose-driven organization that wants to adapt, stay relevant, and build accountability and empathy within the transforming communities and markets of tomorrow.