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Futurist Derek Woodgate, President, The Futures Lab

COLUMN = FUTURISTS

Futurist and author Derek Woodgate is the CEO of The Futures Lab, a futures-based consultancy based in Atlanta, with six satellite offices around the world. The firm specializes in creating future potential for major corporations and institutions, especially in the fields of entertainment, media, culture, communications, and new communities.

He spent nine years as a British diplomat, and 13 years as a corporate executive, and is an authority on the application of emerging and immersive technologies and the changing human in the design and production of experiential entertainment with his creation of what are termed “Sense Events.”

He is also involved in integrating creative industries into urban/community development and future living spaces. His work on “remix” lifestyles in terms of archetypes, behavior, and identity was reflected in his renowned reworking of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and has been applied by a number of clients of The Futures Lab.

In his foresight work, Woodgate is known for developing what is considered a paradigm-shifting approach to future studies, demonstrated in his book “Future Frequencies” (Fringecore 2004) and his work on leveraging dystopian futures and rhizomatic thinking techniques, as well as in his merging of progressive culture with future studies.

His clients have included Philips Electronics, Intel, Shell, Fiat, Nokia, Pemex, AKZO-Nobel, GSK, Casio, Nestle, SWB, MTV Europe, Intel, Ford, Kellogg’s, Coca Cola, BBC, WorldSpace, Nissan, and many more.

Woodgate has also served as chief creative officer for Plutopia Productions, Inc.—a future-focused entertainment and event-production company where he produced dozens of public events, including: The Science of Music, The Future of Home, The Future of Sustainable Living, Future Living Systems, The Future of Play, The Future of Imagination, and FutureMusic Summit 2012. He also produced events for SXSW, including the Chilean Showcase.

Derek’s books include:

  • Future Flow (2013), with a preface by DJ Spooky
  • Future Frequencies (2004) hailed as “creating a unique paradigm in the professional futurist field”
  • Calling The Toads—A Burroughs Compendium (1999), co-authored with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Allen Ginsberg, and Douglas Brinkley.

View Woodgate’s speaking topics and speaking events here.

To book Derek for a speaking event, click here.

A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.”

– Albert Schweitzer

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

I will pay more for the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun.”

– John D. Rockefeller

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

– Erica Jong

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

– Audre Lorde

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

‎No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

I can’t go back to yesterday—because I was a different person then.”

– Lewis Carroll

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.”

– The Dalai Lama

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”

– Robert Frost

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.”

– Carlos Castaneda

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”

– Brian Tracy

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

The gem cannot be polished without friction; nor man perfected without trials.”

– Chinese proverb

‎Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

– Booker T. Washington

No matter how difficult and painful it may be, nothing sounds as good to the soul as the truth.”

– Martha Beck, from "Leaving the Saints"

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”

– Henry David Thoreau

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

There is little success where there is little laughter.”

– Andrew Carnegie

It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.”

– Aristotle

If it isn’t good, let it die. If it doesn’t die, make it good.”

– Ajahn Chah

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

You must have chaos within you, to create a dancing star.”

– Frederic Nietzsche

If you want to be busy, keep trying to be perfect. If you want to be happy, focus on making a difference.”

– Lisa Earle McLeod

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.”

– Charles Brower, Advertising Hall of Fame