Commonwealth National Podcast

Paul Saffo-In Conversation with John Markoff, Technology and Business Reporter, The New York Times


Embracing Uncertainty: Connecting Policy to Long-Range Forecasting

These are times when forecasters struggle to anticipate an ever-stranger geopolitical reality. A movie star as Governor? No way! Planes hitting skyscrapers? The stuff of cheap novels! In this moment of unprecedented uncertainty and change, it is tempting to conclude that forecasting is as dangerous as it is futile. In fact, connecting short-term policy to long-range forecasting is surprisingly easy -- and absolutely crucial to meeting the challenges before us. All it takes is simple shift in perspective and a few common-sense heuristics. Paul Saffo is a legendary technology forecaster with over two decades of experience exploring long-term technological change and its impact on business and society. All attendees are in for a surely controversial and interesting discussion.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience on April 22, 2008