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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.

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

– Alfred Adler

You’ve got to be willing to crash and burn. If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.”

– Steve Jobs

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”

– Corita Kent

If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.”

– Oprah Winfrey

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

– Zig Ziglar

A person who learns to juggle six balls will be more skilled than the person who never tries to juggle more than three.”

– Marilyn vos Savant

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

– John Quincy Adams

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do.
 Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

– Ella Fitzgerald

When I was younger I thought success was being a star, driving nice cars, having groupies. But today I think the most important thing is to live your life with integrity.

– Ellen DeGeneres

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan

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

– Tony Robbins

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leo Jozef Suenens

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

– Groucho Marx

Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert

Why am I whispering when I have something to say?”

– Eve Ensler

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,
 what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

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

– Booker T. Washington

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.”

– Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton

Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen.”

– Sarah Ban Breathnach

My job is my hobby. I come to work to play.”

– Uli Becker, president, Reebok International

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

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

– Brian Tracy

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

– Noela Evans

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

– Marcel Proust

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

There is little success where there is little laughter.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

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

– Anthony Trollope

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

– Magical

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

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

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

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

No longer talk at all about the kind of man a good man ought to be, but be such.”

– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

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

– Anita Roddick

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

– William Blake