Futurist to Discuss 'Inevitable Surprises'

Peter Schwartz, an internationally renowned futurist and co-founder and chair of the Global Business Network, will discuss “Inevitable Surprises: Thinking Ahead in a Time of Turbulence” on Friday, October 24, at 4 p.m. in Bowers Auditorium, Sage Hall, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

A specialist in scenario planning, Schwartz works with corporations and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future, and to develop strategies on energy resources and the environment, technology, telecommunications and national security. He also is a venture partner of San Francisco-based Alta Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in life sciences and information technology companies.

“Peter Schwartz is one of the brightest, most creative people around,” Dean James Gustave Speth said. “He was a star in Shell’s strategic planning unit, writes movie scripts and has a keen sense of future possibilities in energy and the environment.”

From 1982 to 1986, Schwartz led scenario planning for the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies in London. His team conducted analyses of the global business and political environment for senior management. Before joining Royal Dutch/Shell, he directed the Strategic Environment Center at SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute based in Menlo Park, Calif. The center researched the business milieu, lifestyles and consumer values, and conducted scenario planning for corporate and government clients.

Schwartz is the author of “Inevitable Surprises” (Gotham, 2003), a provocative look at the dynamic forces at play in the world today and their implications for business and society. His first book, “The Art of the Long View” (Doubleday Currency, 1991; paperback, 1996), is considered a seminal publication on scenario planning and has been translated into multiple languages. He is also the co-author of “The Long Boom” (Perseus, 1999), a vision for the world characterized by global openness, prosperity and discovery; “When Good Companies Do Bad Things” (Wiley, 1999), an examination of, and argument for, corporate social responsibility; and China’s Futures (Jossey-Bass, 2001), which describes several very different scenarios for China. He served as a script consultant on the films “Minority Report,” “Deep Impact,” “Sneakers” and “War Games.”

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Dave DeFusco: david.defusco@yale.edu, 203-436-4842