Last year, during the pandemic, on top of my work as CEO of Futuri (and learning to bake a lot of sourdoughs), I hosted a podcast, Innovation19, produced in-house using Futuri’s POST podcasting system. The goal for the podcast was to dive into the technology and innovation topics that are shaping our future that would also compel my friends and colleagues in the media, marketing, and entertainment industries.
My next endeavor is a new podcast, Anstandig On The Future, which will launch July 7 (more about this later!). With Innovation19, I produced 20 episodes about all things technology and new discoveries. The common thread was this — even during the most uncertain time in recent history, humans kept innovating and my guests stayed hopeful about the future. As an optimistic futurist (I hate dystopian narratives), this filled me with hope, too. Here’s a breakdown of some of the highlights from the season, and a look at what’s next.
In Scroll With the Punches: AI and the Future of News, we discussed Futuri’s TopicPulse and other AI-based approaches to figuring out what your audience wants, so that you can curate your news to their specific needs. The news cycle is shorter than ever before. Tech-powered assistance in the newsroom is essential.
In Episode 7, we spoke to a famous expert on change and uncertainty in the business realm, Rita McGrath, who encourages people to take calculated risks for the sake of innovation. Rita answered the question, “How do you encourage executives to look out into the future, so they’re proactively innovating?”
Advancements in Commuting: Personal Planes, Hyperloop Trains, and Driverless Automobiles was another personal favorite moment on the podcast, since I’m obsessed with all things transportation. The episode explores how we still have a long way to go before flying cars are a thing; yet in the meantime, we do have helicopter-like eVTOLs (vertical takeoff and landing machines), which Uber wants to roll out to major cities over the next few years. Your travel will be faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.
Futuri Executive, Tracy Gilliam, walked us through The State of Broadcast Advertising Sales in 2021. This was a hard year for traditional ad models, especially ones that relied on people being, you know, outside their homes, but executives got scrappy and figured out how to make campaigns sing—being innovative along the way.
Robots: Mind, Body, and Soul (episodes 18, 19, and 20) formed a collection regarding the nature of the robotic mind, body, and soul. Although we aimed to explore evolving technology, when dealing with robots, particularly the concept of “the singularity,” things got mighty existential mighty quick. So much of what defines a human or robot is up to the observer (or what you program a robot to observe about itself). As is the case with life’s great questions, there were no clear answers, but as the world evolves into a more automated one, it excites me to continue this conversation.
I made a lot of Baby Yoda references this season (it was a bit of a running Easter egg for my dedicated listeners). This began in Episode 2, This Is The Way: How ‘The Mandalorian’ Uses Innovative Tech Wisely. Here, we discussed how virtual production methodologies, like Industrial Light and Magic’s incredible LED screen technology, is getting so good, that executives visiting the set thought at first sight that they had built actual sets and blown through their season budget.
Hollywood’s History of the Future: What Sci-Fi Movies and TV Got Right About Today’s Technology was a total blast, flying cars (finally!) and all. Science fiction lets us envision the world how we want it to be, and oftentimes says much more about our current state of the world than how the future will realistically look. Of course, sometimes you get lucky, such as when they filmed 2001: A Space Odyssey and accidentally invented the iPad!
And finally, for Valentine’s Day, we looked at dating apps on Tinder Bender: Dating Apps As Case Studies For Marketing, Branding, and More. Apps like newly IPO’d Bumble were a window into how to brand effectively and influence people, even in an oversaturated market. The key takeaway? When you have a lot of competition, try and focus on one differentiator and do it very well, as opposed to trying to excel at everything. Also, don’t be afraid to innovate and change the plan as you go, whether with different marketing strategies or pivoting your model.
So, what’s next? Anstandig On The Future will also provide an optimistic futurist perspective on innovation, but diving into other topics with greater specificity. And with most episodes under ten minutes long, you’ll be able to learn a lot in a short amount of time about a particular facet of the media, tech, and entertainment industries. Think — NFTs, Apple, and the future of work, just to name a few upcoming topics. If you’ve read this far (I love you, too) and you’re curious to keep discovering with me, check out Innovation19, and look out for the premiere of Anstandig On The Future on July 7.
Here’s to the future!