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Futurist Jack Uldrich’s Top Books of 2018

Posted in Books, Future, Futurist

As a professional futurist, I seek inspiration everywhere–even in unconventional places. Therefore, while some of the books on this year’s list pertain to the future not all do. Here are five books that helped me think differently about the future and I’m confident they can help you.

Farsighted: How We Make the Decisions That Matter Most by Steven Johnson

The uncertainty and opened-endedness of the choices that will confront all of us cannot simply be wished away. It is imperative, therefore, that we become more proficient at making better decisions. This book provides a wide-range of practical techniques and strategies for doing so.

The Day After Tomorrow: How to Survive in Times of Radical Innovation by Peter Hinssen

Have you ever heard of the word EisenBahnScheinBewegung? Neither had I, but I bet you have experienced it. EisenBahnScheinBewegung is the German term for the false feeling of movement a person experiences when sitting on a plane and the plane adjacent to you begins to move. Bu this book not only provides interesting tidbits, it also offers practical insights to help you begin moving. My favorite piece of advice: Spend at least ten percent of your time as a leader thinking about “the day after tomorrow”–it where you will derive the most future value.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari.

Years ago, The New Yorker published this cartoon. It is a simple caricature of a profound idea. Homo Sapiens are not the last step on the evolutionary staircase. This book will help you think through the profound implications of this idea.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink.

Prior to reading this book, I did not take the issues of when as seriously as I did questions of what. Afterwards, the notion of when I make decisions and when I take actions increased in importance. It can help you as well.

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence by Michael Pollan.

What if there were compounds that weren’t addictive and could help society deal with a bevy of serious healthcare issues? What if these compounds could also help society better understand the human mind? And what if these compounds could provide mankind more meaningful insights into the mystery of our own consciousness? Would you want to know more about them? Would you want to try them? Would you want your government to consider decriminalizing them? If these questions intrigue you, read this book. It changed my mind about how mushrooms (psilocybin) and LSD might prudently be used to change the human mind (and the human condition) in a positive and powerful way.

Interested in some of my favorite futurist-related books from year’s past? Check out these old posts:

A Futurist’s Top Books

Top Ten Books on the Future

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