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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.

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell

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

– Lewis Carroll

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

Your own words are the bricks and mortar
of the dreams you want to realize.
 The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience.”

– Sonia Croquette

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

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

– Frederic Nietzsche

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

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

– Carlos Castaneda

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

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

– Charles Dickens

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

– Goldie Hawn

If people like you they’ll listen to you; if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

– Zig Ziglar

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

– Buddha

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

We are not meant to resolve all contradictions, but to live with them and rise above them.”

– William Blake

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

– Victor Kiam

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

– Noela Evans

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

– John D. Rockefeller

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

We never know how high we are
 till we are called to rise;
 And then, if we are true to plan,
 Our statures touch the skies.”

– Emily Dickinson

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

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

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

– Bob Dylan

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

– Mary Kay Ash

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.”

– Steve Jobs

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

– Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.

To find what you seek in the road of life, leave no stone unturned.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton

I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
, you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.”

– Steve Jobs

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

– Henry David Thoreau

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stumped, because sometimes you really can’t be expected to handle everything alone.”

– Martha Beck

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

– Robert Fritz

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

– Booker T. Washington