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Bob Johansen

Distinguished Fellow
Bob Johansen

Bob is a ten-year forecaster who has outlived his forecasts more than three times over. He works interactively with top leaders across a wide range of business, government, and nonprofit organizations. He creates video-enhanced immersion experiences in the future for large and small groups. For Bob, a 10-year forecast is a story from the future that provokes insight in the present.

Bob served as IFTF’s president from 1996 to 2004 and served on its Board until 2010. Bob now invests his time with IFTF sponsors, as well as writing and speaking to encourage thoughtful consideration of the long-term future.

Bob was one of the first social scientists to explore the social and organizational impacts of the Internet beginning when it was still called the ARPANET. Before becoming president, Bob created and led a research program at IFTF on emerging information technologies—now called the Technology Horizons Program.

Bob is a frequent keynote speaker for large groups, but he most enjoys small workshops with creative teams. His latest book is called Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Age, published by Berrett-Koehler, now moving into a Second Edition with contributions by the Center for Creative Leadership. What are the leadership skills that will be needed to thrive in the future—given the external future forces of the next decade? Bob is doing workshops with this book for top teams and rising star leaders at a wide range of corporations, including P&G, Tesco, Old Navy, Hallmark, Campbell’s Soup, Disney, Carnival, Intel, Fairmont, Givaudan, Syngenta, Johnson & Johnson, and McDonald’s. A wide range of major universities, nonprofits, and churches also use his books.

Bob’s best selling Get There Early: Sensing the Future to Compete in the Present, was selected as one of the top business books of 2007. Bob Johansen is the author or co-author of six previous books, including Upsizing the Individual in the Downsized Organization, GlobalWork, Leading Business Teams, Groupware, Teleconferencing and Beyond, and Electronic Meetings.

Bob is trained as a social scientist, with experience at the edges of multiple disciplines. He holds a BS degree from the University of Illinois, where he attended on a varsity basketball scholarship, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Bob also has an M.Div. degree from Crozer Theological Seminary, where he studied comparative religions.