Greg Lindsay is a futurist, urbanist, author and journalist.
Lindsay is a senior fellow at NewCities, where he has explored the future of connected mobility and mixed-use development on behalf of Toyota and Brookfield Properties, respectively. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, where he studies the intersection of cities, technology, climate change, and national security.
In addition to his work with NewCities, Lindsay is also director of strategy for LA CoMotion — an annual mobility festival in the Arts District of Los Angeles — and a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. In these capacities, he has worked with Intel, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and the Regional Plan Association to envision the future of autonomous vehicles.
Greg Lindsay is also Urbanist-in-Residence at BMW MINI’s URBAN-X — a startup accelerator aimed at solving the toughest urban challenges through entrepreneurship.
“The Metaverse” may be the future, but what is it? While Mark Zuckerberg hopes you’ll never leave your home again, in reality the next generation of the Internet will beckon us outside, into a world in which information is everywhere — if you can see it. Welcome to the real-world metaverse, where you can change reality like changing a channel. How will this change our relationship to each other and to the world? How will these reality channels transform where we live, how we shop, and how we move through enchanted worlds?
Nearly half of Americans were victims of a climate disaster last year — whether fire, floods, heat waves or hurricanes — with insurable losses of more than $100 billion. As people wake up to the realities of climate change — and the growing threat to their homes, livelihoods, and families — many are beginning to ask, “Where should I live someday?” Fortunately, we have answers. Combining climate science with demographics and using artificial intelligence, we can predict tomorrow’s more resilient regions.
After two years apart, Americans have forgotten how to work together. This is evident in the ongoing tug-of-war over the office. This framing — are we better off alone or in-person? — has dominated debates about our post-pandemic destiny. But neither managers nor workers have stopped to ask what it means to be together, whom we should be together with, and how we can be together. If the overnight adoption of remote work proved many of us can work from virtually anywhere, with anyone, what’s stopping us from taking it a step further and working with, well, everyone? Because solving the challenges that lie ahead of us on the far side of the pandemic requires working together at a scale greater than any one government or company ever has. In this far-reaching new talk, Greg Lindsay explores new ways of being and working together in a world in which corporate silos have cracked open and frustrated employees have spilled out, desperate to reconnect. Drawing upon dozens of post-pandemic examples as well as his own web3 experiments in building a distributed autonomous organization, or DAO, he offers audiences a vision of what it means to be together — how, why, and with whom — very soon.
The robots are coming — not to steal your job, but to invent entirely new ones. Advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation all point toward an autonomous world — one in which perception, prediction, and action are embedded in machines. Autonomy will not only transform how we work, but also we how move, think, discover, decide, and deceive. What we consume — as well as how we produce, transport, and market it — may take strange new turns as robots increasingly predict, suggest and prepare to help us do it.
A decade ago, self-driving cars were science fiction leftover from The Jetsons. Today, Google and Tesla are leading a breakneck autonomous arms race, as the global auto industry races to build electric AVs at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars. But a self-driving SUV may prove to be the horseless carriage of autonomy — rapidly eclipsed by new species of self-driving scooters, deliverybots, and buildings with a mind of their own. How are these technologies already transforming the way we see, understand, and get around cities? How have they helped China, Japan, and Korea mitigate the worst effects of the coronavirus lockdown? What effects will they have on where we live, work and play, and what are the opportunities and threats for automakers, technology firms, public transit, employers, and developers?
The future isn’t what it used to be. As the pace of social, technological, and environmental change accelerates, organizations are struggling just to make sense of the present, let alone spot threats and opportunities looming just over the horizon. The ability to anticipate, understand, plan for, and innovate around uncertainty has become a critical skill for designers, innovators, and strategists everywhere.
How do we bring the right people and the right ideas to the right place at the right time to create something new, when we don’t know who or where or when that is, let alone what we’re looking for? This is the paradox of innovation – new ideas don’t follow org charts or schedule themselves for meetings.
How can companies and governments better support elderly residents through new forms of housing, new social infrastructure, and improved forms of care? This theme runs through my work with NewCities on creating more local and walkable “15-minute cities;” through my work with MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab in creating “Carehaus,” a prototype for inter-generational senior care; and with the Bloomberg Philanthropies, where we imagined how autonomous vehicles and urban robotics might be tasked with helping seniors retain their mobility and agency.
As people age and become physically infirm, how will technology be used to extend their reach in virtual forms? The Japanese government, for example, is already exploring how elderly- and sick citizens might use a combination of telepresence, virtual reality, and robotics to allow them to operate a “robot” cafe in which the robots in question are operated by people. How will the Metaverse become an avenue for elderly residents to engage the world with their minds? How will AI and robots be deployed to create assistants and companions? (Large language models such as GPT-3 are already being used to recreate the voices of dead loved ones, for instance.)
When the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011, many elderly inhabitants struggled to evacuate loved ones — or save them in the aftermath. A similar scenario played out in September’s Hurricane Ian, which disproportionately destroyed Florida’s retirement communities. As societies age and natural disasters intensify, how and where do we build the safe havens of tomorrow to shelter our societies? This exactly the question I’m asking with Climate Alpha, the new climate risk modeling startup I’ve launched with my friend Parag Khanna.
Downtowns are done. The office is dead. Delivery is the future. At least two of these are wrong – but why? The pandemic may be over, but work-from-anywhere is here to stay. That doesn’t mean the end of the office, but whole new ways of working closer to home and together — with more fluid buildings and organizations to match. That, in turn, means rethinking who and what cities are for – forget downtowns vs. suburbs and imagine new uses for empty offices and packed streets. Behind the scenes, technology is turning restaurants and retail inside-out through deliveries, “dark stores” and automation. And above all lurks the threat of climate change and the opportunity of “the Metaverse” to transform the Internet as we know it. Drawing on his research and foresight work for Cornell Tech, Climate Alpha, and MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, Greg Lindsay explores the post-pandemic landscape and explains why the future won’t be as socially-distanced as you might think.
Show More Show Less
Contact us to get Greg Lindsay's fees and availability for your next event
One of our consultants will get back to you soon