Women of Color in Tech and/or Futures/Foresight Work

Have you seen the film “The Social Dilemma?” In a previous post, I shared a couple of fine reviews specifically concerning the lack of diverse representation in the film – particularly when it comes to breakthrough thinking, practicing, research and imagining about the future in tech and beyond. Most concerning is the lack of inclusion of the voices of Women of Color who have been conducting important work in this space for many years. Of course the issues in the film are important. But the way the story is being told is incomplete from where I sit. This post is singularly dedicated to amplifying the voices and work of some of these extraordinary people that I have been learning from on my own futures journey. It is by no means exhaustive. But no study of the future, or equity, of imagination and of shared possibilities in tech or beyond it is complete without their collective vision, intellect and passion. I offer this list with gratitude and admiration.

This is an essential learning space for social workers committed to future readiness and the expansive and equity-centered thinking that is required to thrive there.

(an incomplete list – ever in development)

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Ruha Benjamin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. Expert on algorithmic racism, bias and tech justice. Presentation of her work.

Pupul Bisht, MA – specialist on decolonization frameworks for foresight and worldbuilding.

Meredith Broussard, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University. Specialist on artificial intelligence and bias. Presentation of her work.

Adrieene Maree Brown – Author, pleasure activist and poet. Presentation of her work – Emergent Strategies.

Kimberly Bryant – Biotechnologist and Founder, Black Girls Code.

Afua Bruce – Chief Program Officer, DataKind, public interest technologist. Presentation of her work.

Joy Buolamwini, Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab, poet of code, data scientist and algorithmic justice activist. Presentation of her work.

Octavia Butler, Author and MacArthur Genious Award Recipient. Overview of her work and relevance today. Interview with Ms. Butler.

Rumman Chowdhury – Global Lead for Responsible AI at Accenture, AI expert. Presentation of her work.

Courtney Cogburn, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Social Work, Columbia University. Filmmaker, psychologist, VR expert. Presentation of her work.

Kishonna L. Gray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Department of Communications and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois. Author, researcher and game developer – expert in equity and inclusion in gaming. Presentation of her work.

Walidah Imarisha – writer, educator, Afrofuturist, poet. Presentation of her work.

Anab Jain – designer, futurist, filmmaker and educator. Co-Founder and Director of Superflux. Presentation of her work.

Ingrid La Fleur – Afrofuturist, artist and pleasure activist. Founder of the Afrofutures Strategies Institute. Presentation of her work.

Kwamou Eva Feukeu – Futurist at UNESCO with specialization in decolonization of futures methodologies, and emerging issues of foresight in Africa. Co-Presentation of her work with Riel Miller.

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., Founder of Urban Ocean Lab. Climate Scientist and Marine Biologist. Presentation of her work.

Shalini Kantayya, Filmmaker, documentarian. Director of “Coded Bias” film.

Aarathi Krishnan – Humanitarian futurist. Presentation of her work.

Vanessa Mason – futurist specializing in “the future of belonging.” Research Director at Institute for the Future.

Alondra Nelson, Ph.D. – Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study. President of the Social Science Research Council, science scholar. Author of “The Social Life of DNA.” Presentation on “Society after Pandemic.”

Claire Nelson, Ph.D. – futures and foresight leader with focus on global issues. Interview about her work.

Safiya Noble, Ph.D.- Associate Professor of Information Studies and African American Studies. Author of Algorithms of Oppression. Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. Presentation of her work.

Tawana Petty – digital justice advocate and Director of the Data Justice Program for the Detroit Community Technology Project.

Devon Powers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University – specialist in trends and trend analysis. Presentation of her work.

Sushma Raman, MPA – Executive Director of the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, author and expert on the future of human rights. Presentation of her work.

Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D. – author of the Alchemy of us: How humans and matter transformed one another. Brief film/interview.

Latanya Sweeney, Ph.D., Professor of Practice, Government and Technology – Harvard Kennedy School. Founding Director or the Data Privacy Lab at Harvard. Presentation of her work.

SR Toliver, Ph.D. – specialist in literary possibilities of speculative fiction for educators with focus on Black femme/female sci-fi and fantasy.

Ytasha Womack, Afrofuturist, author, filmmaker, scholar and dance therapist. Presentation of her work.

Alisha B. Wormsley – interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer. Creator of the “There are Black people in the future” project. Brief film about her work.

Gathering Resources for the Launch of the national Social Work Health Futures Lab!

In just a few weeks, we’ll be doing a (delayed) launch of the national Social Work Health Futures Lab due to Covid-19 (like so many).

Although we have been busy getting things ready behind the scenes for months – our official start is a little later than intended. In preparation for those wishing to get involved/apply – I’ve pulled some futures-oriented creative thinking resources together to stimulate idea building! Stay tuned for more to come – but in the mean time – please explore (most of these have appeared on this website in the 18 months, but have been revised for this entry). Watch this space for news and announcements including the launch a new Social Work Health Futures website and application process.

What if social workers – dedicated to improving well-being and health in all its forms – were futurists? What would we do? How would we do it? What tools, techniques, theories or frameworks would we use? How would we balance the so often urgent needs we encounter and are often responsible for addressing – with longer term horizons and a deep responsibility to not only react to current events, but to work in community to shape a better future for all?

Soon, we’ll have a chance to explore these questions and many more. For now – dive in and think about your own social work practice. What is the future of (your) area of focus? Who gets to decide that? What is the future of social work itself?

Looking forward to continuing to learn together and building what comes next.

The future of health equity – a curated annotated bibliography

Short films to boost your futures literacy

Governments using/adopting foresight and futures frameworks

New words in futuring: Alphabet of futures thinking

Covid-19 specific

Afrofuturism

A social work futurist goes to a future of medicine conference – download

Big ideas for future thinking – social change palooza!

Epistemic injustice tools and ideas for better futures

Ethics round up

Police abolition: A futures lens

Organizations doing futures/foresight work

Webinars/Interviews – Laura Nissen and social work futures

Social Work and the Future in a Post-Covid 19 World: A Foresight Lens and a Call to Action for the Profession – Article by Laura Nissen

Futures in Social Work – Summer 2020 Reading List!

There is a lot going on in the world and plenty to think about regarding the past, present and the future – and the ways they all intersect in very real ways right now. I salute and support important reading that we can all benefit from doing this summer regarding race and equity – and many fine lists have surfaced in recent weeks.

Numerous readers of this blog, have also asked for a “futures favorite” reads that explore topics especially relevant to social work and social change activities. So as promised, I prepared one here! These intertwine issues of power, imagination, equity, social determinants of health, identity, race and economic justice – as well as the role of technology, climate, the economy and other social drivers undergoing rapid transformation in the world around us.

These are my “top twelve” at the moment. If you’d like a deeper dive into other ideas of things to read/explore, I’d invite you to other posts in this blog related to readings.

Afrofuturism – Amplifying Black Futures and Voices: A Resource for Change Workers

Billboard by artist Alisha B. Wormsley, on display in Detroit, Michigan for the exhibition Manifest Destiny curated by Ingrid LaFleur at the Library Street Collective – Originally published here.

This post is intended to acquaint readers, change workers and fellow social workers to Afrofuturism. While it remains as important as ever to learn about antiracism in the here and now*…a futurist perspective would suggest that futures thinking/practice can give a fresh view, new energy, new perspectives and new possibilities for both problems and solutions in the present day. These resources are gathered and offered with gratitude and respect to the Afrofuturists collected to expand our thinking and our practices. This is an evolving post – so updates may follow.

Consider this as jumping off points! Dr. Lakeya Cherry – Social Workers – Allies for Justice? (2020), Dr. Ibram X. Kendi – An Anti-Racist Reading List (2019), Rachel Garlinghouse – Stop Asking People Of Color To Explain Racism–Pick Up One Of These Books Instead (2020).

Afrofuturism can connect the problems we experience now with the past, our current reality and futures yet to be determined, but vibrant, living and robust.

“The liberated futures we want don’t exist as untouchable distant points out of our reach. When we focus on collective action, mutual aid, self-determination, centering the leadership of the marginalized, we defy linear time. We pull those futures into the present. Let’s keep pulling the liberated futures into the present over and over again, until that’s all there is.” Walidah Imarisha

What is Afrofuturism?

Afrofuturism is the reimagining of a future filled with arts, science and technology seen through a black lens. The term was conceived a quarter-century ago by white author Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future,” which looks at speculative fiction within the African diaspora. (Broadnax, 2018). It is also considered an epistemology and encapsulates a liberatory connection of the history of Black thought, knowledge and artistic production from the past to re-imagined futures (Alondra Nelson).

This framework inspires deep and imaginative possibilities for other ways of thinking, operating and interacting with the world. It challenges “whiteness,” colonialism, heteropatriarchy and other “isms” by intentionally operating beyond them. By creatively expanding assumptions, boundaries and histories – Afrofuturism creates new kinds of possibility spaces and power. These very kinds of spaces are essential in generating post-normal solutions to contemporary challenges – and are guided by Black voices and imaginations.

This is an update and revision of an earlier post created last April, 2019.

In addition, since the original posting of this information, I’ve also found an MSW Thesis from social worker, Kayla Huddleston, MSW entitled Afrofuturism as Applied to Self-Perception: an Experimental Vignette Study which appears to be the first use of these frames in social work. It’s a terrific piece worth exploring – and it will inspire creative thinking about what might be possible.

Readings in Popular Media

Degrowing the future (2020)

How Black women are reshaping Afrofuturism – Open Democracy (2020)

How Black women are reshaping Afrofuturism – YES Magazine (2020)

What does the Afrofuture say? (2020)

Is Afrofuturism the answer to our current crisis (2019)

A beginner’s guide to Afrofuturism (2019)

This is Afrofuturism (2018)

Four thoughts on the future of Afrofuturism (2018)

Six Afrofuturist artists to watch that explore the modern African diaspora (2018)

What the heck is Afrofuturism? (2018)

Afrofuturism: A language of rebellion (2018)

Afrofuturism: Why Black science fiction can’t be denied (2018)

Octavia Butler’s legacy, impact and Afrofuturism celebrated (2016)

Afrofuturism: Reimagining science the future from a Black perspective (2015)

Videos

What does the Afrofuture say? (Interviews with contemporary Afrofuturists) (2020)

***GREAT PLACE TO START!!! Princess Weekes teaches Afrofuturism 101 in a new episode of “It’s Lit.” (2020)

Octavia Butler – Why you should read the Afrofuturist legend Octavia Butler (2019)

Lonny Brooks – Afrofuturism (2019)

Lonny Brooks and Jason Tester – Imagining Queer Futures with an Afrofuturist Perspective (2019)

Nnedi Okorafor – Sci Fi stories that imagine a different Africa 2017 (Designates as “AfricanFuturism” – not Afrofuturism.)

Ytasha Womack – Afrofuturism, imagination and humanity

Michael Bennett, Ytasha Womack, Wale Oyedije, and Aisha Harris – Afrofuturism: Imagining the future of Black identity 2015

Film and Music

8 Afrofuturist classics everyone needs to hear (2018)

Exploring where Afrofuturism in film: Where sci fi and mythology blur (2018)

What to watch after Black Panther: An Afrofuturism primer (2018)

Podcast/Audio

Coronavirus and crisis and Afrofuturism: A way to envision what’s possible despite injustice and hardship (2020)

Afrofuturist Podcast

This American Life episode exploring Afrofuturism (2017). (Thanks Dr. Felicia Murray!).

Academic Literature

Oxford Afrofuturism Bibliography (2017)

Academic Coursework

Afrofuturism course overviews from Kalamazoo CollegeUniversity of California RiversideDuke University, andUniversity of Chicago

Organizations/Think Tanks

Afrofutures Strategies Institute

Black Quantum Futurism

Afrofuturist Society

An Incomplete List of Afrofuturists to Follow (Alphabetical Order)

Toni Adeyemi

Reynaldo Anderson

Lonny Brooks

Adrienne Maree Brown

Walidah Imarisha

Alondra Nelson

Rasheeda Phillips

Nnedi Okorafor (Designates as “AfricanFuturism” – not Afrofuturism.)

Ytasha Womack

Big Ideas for Social Change Champions – Idea-Palooza!

I think inspiration matters. Where do our big ideas for change come from? Often they come from frustration or anxiety about things we see around us that we know should be different. Sometimes they come from history – and the lessons of those who advanced progress but didn’t yet “solve” the challenge. As scholar of social innovation (my dissertation back in the day was about macro level creativity and innovation in social work), I continue to be fascinated by how to build our inventory of innovation spaces that reflect our social work values, ethics and priorities. This is part of why a futures/foresight approach has been so valuable to me. These spaces are full of possibility. They can honor context, values, culture, history – but they inspire deeper types of questioning and more expansive ways to anticipate, explore and create with regard to what comes next, and building the requisite knowledge and power in co-creating the futures we want.

One of my favorite teaching/consulting tools is to look to “innovator” communities to scan and be nourished by good work going on in these circles. Looking through these kinds of links – refreshes my sense of how problems are framed and how solutions might be built. I’ve been building a list of some of my favorite “go to” spark-worthy sites and happy to share it here. What are some of your favorites? What inspires you? Has there ever been a more important time to reinforce our own and each other’s sense of hope and possibility for a better world?

Here’s the link!! Come explore!!

Laura’s Sabbatical Reading List – Some Books!

I’m reading (a lot!) on my sabbatical. A few folks have asked me to put a list together so I did! It’s mostly general futures books (you can find other more extensive academic articles readings elsewhere on this blog). Here you go. Have fun and don’t forget to share ideas of books I may have missed. Note: I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get all of these read on my sabbatical. I have other things I’m doing…but it was a good exercise to get them all together and reprioritize which feel most important for me to read next. Isn’t a GREAT problem to have too many good books to read? I feel lucky.

Epistemic Injustice: An Annotated Bibliography About the Role of Equity, Diversity and Resistance – A Primer for Futures Practice

As part of my own development as a futures practitioner/scholar, I have felt it very necessary to map out and cultivate a deeper set of learning aspirations to guide me and to provide the foundation for my own scholarly work in this space.

I first became aware of the term “epistemic injustice” at a social work research conference a couple of years ago – from Drs. Bonnie Duran and Roberto Orellana. Their deep wisdom and sharing of information about Indigenous ways of knowing, about assaults towards (and even more troubling – attempts to eliminate) Indigenous ways of knowing, was extremely inspiring and has stayed with me. I have continued to gather, study and reflect on what role these frameworks have to play with futures thinking and practice.

Terms like “diversity,” “equity,” and “social justice” matter and increasing tools and focus promote progress in many ways across a variety of sectors. Increasing discourse focuses on “white supremacy culture” and these frameworks are helpful in combatting inequity. That said, at this moment – I’ve found these epistemic injustice concepts the most fruitful to my own work and thinking.

In its most simple terms, a central question is: Who gets to decide what the future is? Whose dreams, aspirations, preferences, values get prioritized? Who gets to forecast what comes next – and who gets heard? Is this happening with attention and dedication to equity?

While I’m still formulating how this all shakes out (specifically) for me as a social work futurist (more to come!), as is my practice, I’ve organized what I found in an evolving annotated bibliography on the topic of “epistemic injustice” and a related concept “epistemicide.” Both are extremely relevant, urgent and powerful ideas for any meaningful study of the future.

The “futures world” can (fortunately doesn’t always…) lean towards an innovation bias, a “new”-ness bias, and modern/neoliberal rhythms that can and often do, leave out many voices. While what is new is ever fascinating, it mustn’t obscure (or even more damaging – eliminate) the complex interpretations and ways of understanding what has been, what is and what comes next in the world. Epistemic injustice models deepen, complicate and strengthen social justice and equity frameworks, and as Afrofuturists, Chicano Futurists, Feminist Futurists, Queer Futurists and Indigenous Futurists (and others) are already demonstrating/practicing – diverse voices make for richer futures.

I hold these ideas with much reverence, gratitude and humility. Explore, enjoy and share. Let’s keep building a better world together.

Updates to the the Never-Ending Futures Annotated Bibliography Project – May 2019 Edition!

I love to scan the literature for new information. It is a hobby, passion and fortunately – a useful pastime for a scholar! What never ceases to amaze me is the transdisplinary nature of the futures literature. It is never a dull moment in every sense!

Some months ago – I shared a project I’ve been working on. As a tool for my own scholarship, I often organize my resources in an annotated bibliography and I use these regularly as I write/study to keep myself organized. Since my goal is not only to get some papers and books out focused on my passion for futures capacity building in social work, but also to build our collective capacity to be more “foresightful” together, I am pleased to share this resource with all of you.

I’ve added a number of new articles and books that have flown across my radar screen the past couple of months. As an aid to the reader – all new entries are included in light blue text for now!

Here’s a link to take you to the document! Enjoy and join the dialogue to build the future we want.

If you find this helpful – please drop me a line as we continue to build community and networks in social work futures and beyond.

Reflections and Take-Away from Amy Webb’s Book “The Big Nine”

“The future we all want to live in won’t just show up, fully formed. We need to be courageous. We must take responsibility for our actions.” – Amy Webb

I recently finished reading Amy Webb’s fine book “The big nine: How the tech titans thinking machines could warp humanity,” (2019). New York: Public Affairs/Hachette Book Group.

The book is a history and evolution of the power of “the big nine” tech companies (6 US-based, 3 in China), with a primary focus on the power and possibilities of artificial intelligence. It takes a deep look at all the power, opportunities, possibilities (both positive and devastating) that AI brings now and into the future.

The Big Nine defies a “simple” framework (AI is good/AI is bad). Rather it focuses on the idea that AI is almost incomprehensibly powerful and requires the responsible attention of individuals, communities and governments to assure that the highest ideals and possibilities are achieved and the greatest threats are reduced/eliminated (almost as if one might think of the way that we think about power/possibility of nuclear power – though the developmental trajectories have distinct differences).

From a social work perspective, the focus intersects with our own thinking/imagining of the “future” of social justice, human well-being and equity work. What is a future in which a few powerful (largely white, male, economically dominant and western in the US) construct underlying structures and digital machinery that decides, sorts, and controls much of the workings of modern life? How might existing inequities be replicated, multiplied – or conversely, interrupted and resolved? These are essential concerns that social work would be well-advised to factor into the way we think about the future and our work in it. How will these mechanisms (or have already begun to) (re) arrange modern life, who will continue to win and lose, and how will those trajectories play out according to the way social work thinks about ourselves and the work we aspire to do? Likely these will be a combination of ways that we are professionally familiar with (poverty, structural violence, “isms” and the like) as well as new types or variations of oppressions that we can only begin to predict and understand. My recent blog post on algorithmic transparency, bias and justice goes into some of these issues in more detail.

Our values, knowledge and skills regarding the importance and processes of engaging community voices, interrupting oppression, building more just and liberatory structures, and recognizing and addressing structural barriers to well-being could all be important skills as increasing pressure builds regarding recognizing the human rights issues associated with growth in tech that is not reflective of the well-being of all. But we will need to be intentional regarding our needed learning curve to remain relevant in these complex new spaces. I found this book to advance my own thinking/understanding regarding how vast and complex discussions of “big tech” and AI can be, and yet largely understandable using our own frames of political economy, human rights and social work ethics – just in new spaces and new ways. Social workers belong in this conversation, and this blog remains a call to action and invitation to continue dialogue about how we might best do that.

While the book as a whole is readable including three primary sections: 1) overview and evolution of tech in the modern world (formidably challenge for the non-tech reader but she does a fine job of keeping it accessible), 2) a fascinating, inspiring and sobering deep presentation of three possible “futures” concerning AI. These scenarios are crafted with the intention of fully exploring various possibilities that exist for humanity based on decisions that are made (as Ms. Webb might say) while our ability to do so is still collectively within our grasp and 3) a final section that lays out an action plan and analysis of what needs to be done to optimize all that AI has to offer, while simultaneously building a new set of global policy guardrails to protect us, in some respects, from ourselves and the worst of the risks that are increasingly apparent in the rapid evolution of these technologies. The purpose of this post is to share what I considered to be the most substantive part of the book, which is Ms. Webb’s suggestion that to succeed in the years ahead with the complexities (and risks) that AI introduces into our world, an international body comprised of tech leaders and “AI researchers, sociologists, economists, game theorists, futurists, political scientists” (p. 237) along with government leaders, and that these members reflect the “socioeconomic, gender, race, religious, political and sexual diversity” of the world (p. 237).

She calls this governing/regulatory body the Global Alliance on Intelligence Augmentation (GAIA), and their core aspirational purpose would be to collectively “facilitate and cooperate on share AI initiatives and policies” (p. 237) and to affirm and create structures to consider, operationalize and protect AI as a public good. In essence, she suggests that these tools are rapidly becoming too powerful to be left merely to the devices of private, corporate and market forces.

Here is an excerpt that clarifies what I consider to be the most important elements of this effort she proposes – which in itself is a fascinating “thought experiment” about what might be to come. I hope that we move towards this kind of global dialogue sooner rather than later – and I hope that we as social workers – can find ourselves as helpful, informative, relevant change agents, social scientists, and supporters of human well-being in an increasingly complicated world.

“GAIA should be considered a framework of rights that balances individual liberties with the greater, global good. It would be better to establish a framework that’s strong on ideals but can be more flexible in interpretation as AI matures. Member organizations would have to demonstrate they are in compliance or face being removed from GAIA. Any framework should include the following principles:

  1. Humanity should always be at the center of AI’s development.
  2. AI systems should be safe and secure. We should be able to independently verify their safety and security.
  3. The Big Nine – including its investors, employees, and the governments it works within – must prioritize safety above speed. Any team working on an AI system – even those outside the Big Nine – must not cut corners in favor of speed. Safety must be demonstrated and discernable by independent observers.
  4. If an AI system causes harm, it should be able to report out what went wrong, and there should be a governance process in place to discuss and mitigate damage.
  5. AI should be explainable. Systems should carry something akin to a nutritional label, detailing the training data used, the processes used for learning, the real-world data being used in applications and the expected outcomes. For sensitivity or proprietary systems, trusted third parties should be able to assess and verify an AI’s transparency.
  6. Everyone in the AI ecosystem – Big Nine employees, managers, leaders, board members; startups (entrepreneurs and accelerators); investors (venture capitalists, private equity firms, institutional investors, and individual shareholders); teachers and graduate students; and anyone else working in AI – must recognize that they are making ethical decisions all the time. They should be prepared to explain all of the decisions they’ve made during the development, testing and deployment processes.
  7. The Human Values Atlas* should be adhered to for all AI projects. Even narrow AI applications should demonstrate that the atlas has been incorporated.
  8. There should be a published, easy-to-find code of conduct governing all people who work on AI and its design, build and deployment. The code of conduct should also govern investors.
  9. All people should have the right to interrogate AI systems. What an AI’s true purpose is, what data it uses, how it reaches its conclusions, and who sees results should be made fully transparent in a standardized format.
  10. The terms of service for an AI application-or any service that uses AI – should be written in language plain enough that a third grader can comprehend it. It should be available in every language as soon as the application goes live.
  11. PDR’s (personal data records) should be opt-in and developed using a standard format, they should be interoperable, and individual people should retain full ownership and permission rights. Should PDR’s become heritable, individual people should be able to decide the permissions and uses of their data.
  12. PDR’s should be decentralized as much as possible, ensuring that no one party has complete control. The technical group that designs our PDRs should include legal and nonlegal experts alike: whitehat (good) hackers, civil rights leaders, government agents, independent data fiduciaries, ethicists, and other professionals working outside of the Big Nine.
  13. To the extent possible, PDRs should be protected against enabling authoritarian regimes.
  14. There must be a system of public accountability and an easy method for people to receive answers to questions about their data and how it is mined, refined and use throughout AI systems.
  15. All data should be treated fairly and equally, regardless of nationality, race, religion, sexual identity, gender, political affirmations, or other uniques beliefs,” (pp. 240-242).

*The idea of a “human values atlas” is presented earlier in the book as the formidable and complex but essential task of creating a living and shared communication/document about what is most centrally valued by humans across cultures and nationalities. This atlas would guide much of the future work in the AI space – without it – we are as Ms. Webb suggests, ceding authority for these matters to potentially conflicting and hidden/opaque corporate forces. She discusses this in greater detail on pages 239-240 of the book.

Here is a 15-minute interview with Ms. Webb on a recent PBS spot.

For the reader’s convenience, here are a couple of additional reviews of this book:

Technology Review

Fast Company

Venture Beat

Wired

Finally here is some information about recent and current U.S. federal activity on this issue:

Will Trump’s new artificial intelligence initiative make the U.S. the world leader in AI? (2019)

President Obama’s artificial intelligence, automation and the economy plan (2016)

Qualities of Good Questions – An Essential Futures Frame

Just loved this list of qualities of good questions from Kelly (2016). Good questions are the key to being ready for new futures and ultimately, when executed well, the most human of our strengths. I’ll post a fuller review of the book (which I liked very much!) later, but until then, here’s one from the web. Consider these and add more! Thinking about this “what are the most important things for social work to do to be ready for a dynamic, unpredictable and turbulent future?” I think part of the answer…is challenging ourselves to ask better, deeper, more disruptive questions with courage and creativity…!

“A good question is like the one Albert Einstein asked himself as a small boy ‘what would you see if you were traveling on a beam of light?’ That question launched the theory of relativity (E=MC2) and the atomic age.

  • A good question is not concerned with a correct answer.
  • A good question cannot be answered immediately.
  • A good question challenges existing answers.
  • A good question is one you badly want answered once you hear it, but had no inkling you could before it was asked.
  • A good question creates new territory of thinking.
  • A good question reframes its own answers.
  • A good question is the seed of innovation in science, technology, art, politics and business.
  • A good question is a probe – a ‘what if’ scenario.
  • A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not known, neither silly nor obvious.
  • A good question cannot be predicted.
  • A good question is one that generates many other questions.
  • A good question may be the last job a machine will ever learn to do.
  • A good question is what humans are for (pp. 288-289).”

Kelly, Kevin (2016). The inevitable: Understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future. New York: Penguin Books.