Post-Pandemic Futures

June 2, 2020

June 2, 2020


Webinar; Register Here


Through a series of interwoven programs, we are creating New Profiles of the Future—inspired by Sir Arthur C. Clarke's seminal book Profiles of the Future—to bring together the world’s leading thinkers (science fiction writers, cultural scholars, scientists, and more), young visionaries, and the public to produce a well-researched, complex, and empowering set of speculations about the next hundred years that can serve as a roadmap for today’s generation to use to navigate the relentless change of contemporary life.

The first of these will look at post-pandemic futures: how do we think in broad, public, inclusive, critical and careful ways about the contours and corners, the tides and eddies, of the future to come after COVID-19 and influenced by the threat of future pandemics.

Our special guests are:

download (3)Karen Lord is an award-winning author and independent research consultant in Barbados. Her recent story "The Plague Doctors," imagined the impact of a pandemic from the point of view of a small island, part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-commissioned collection Take Us to a Better Place, on the future of health. Her debut novel, Redemption in Indigo, won the 2008 Frank Collymore Literary Award, the 2010 Carl Brandon Parallax Award, the 2011 William L. Crawford Award, the 2011 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, and the 2012 Kitschies Golden Tentacle (Best Debut), and was nominated for the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. She is the author of the science fiction duology The Best of All Possible Worlds and The Galaxy Game, and the editor of the anthology New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean. Her newest novel, Unraveling, was published by DAW Books in June 2019.

download (4)Peter Schwartz is the Senior Vice President for Global Government Relations and Strategic Planning for Along with Andrew Blau (Deloitte Consulting), he co-authored "The World Remade by COVID-19: Scenarios for Resilient Leaders / 3–5 Years."  Prior to joining Salesforce, Peter co-founded Global Business Network, a leader in scenario planning in 1988, where he served as chairman until 2011. From 1982 to 1986, Peter headed scenario planning for the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies in London. His team conducted comprehensive analyses of the global business and political environment and worked with senior management to create successful strategies. Before joining Royal Dutch/Shell, Peter directed the Strategic Environment Center at SRI International. Schwartz is the co-author of the books The Long Boom, and When Good Companies Do Bad Things : Responsibility and Risk in an Age of Globalization, and is the author of the book The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World. This seminal publication on scenario planning has been translated into Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese. Peter also co-authored "Seven Tomorrows: Toward a Voluntary History" with James Ogilvy and Paul Hawken in 01982, and "The Emergent Paradigm: Changing Patterns of Thought and Belie" with James Ogilvy in 01979. He has published and lectured widely and served as a script consultant on the films War Games and Sneakers. He received a BS in aeronautical engineering and astronautics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

About New Profiles of the Future

In the original Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible, Arthur C. Clarke presented a grounded but optimistic series of speculations on where technology and culture were taking the human species. It was a roadmap for countless scholars, innovators, and scientists over the last half-century. Many of its predictions hold up remarkably well. Take a look at the chart from the back of the original edition:

Along with the World-Making Visionaries series, we're organizing the Extended Pause, a public collaborative act of cultural imagination during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the coming SDFutures youth workshops.

These projects will result in a new podcast series, documentary film, and publication—inspired by Clarke's vision but updated for our times.

For more information, please contact us at