Applied Futurism is mainstream now

Applied Futurism is mainstream now

Book of the Future is five years old as a business.

For five years, I’ve been arguing that a fast-changing world demands a new mode of operation. That we need to explore new ways of building our organisations to be more flexible and responsive. That public and private organisations alike need to adopt new ways of setting strategy and seeing the incoming threats and opportunities. And to apply new ways to tell stories of tomorrow.

I’ve had a lot of fun along the way, telling those stories.

After five years, something has happened: I think I’ve become mainstream. Applied Futurism has become mainstream.

Spinning faster

How do I know this? First, there’s the attitude of audiences.

Five years ago, if I asked a room full of people whether they thought change happened faster now, I’d be lucky to get half the hands going up. Now it’s more like 80%.

I qualify this belief in my talks, as I’ve done here, but nonetheless, the audiences I’m talking to are already on my wavelength.

And they’re looking for solutions.

Curious clients

I was lucky to score some incredible clients early in this business: LG, Mediacom, Nikon, Sony Pictures. I’ve continued working with some incredible businesses since. But in the last couple of years the rate at which big names have come calling has increased dramatically: BP, BUNZL, Kellogg’s, Pladis, PZ Cussons, Salesforce, Unilever, VISA. Big organisations asking big questions. As well as some smaller organisations and a lot of industry bodies.

Just some of the clients I’ve worked with in the last five years

Not every project is strategic. But nonetheless, the interest is there. Companies and organisations, small and large, are deeply interested in avoiding the fates of their peers, or being the ones to build in innovation and resilience.

That diversity of clients — and the rate at which they’re coming calling — tells me something.


I don’t think it’s just about my personal profile, though that has clearly risen over five years. I’ve done well over a thousand TV and radio interviews, been interviewed and written for by national newspapers and magazines, here and abroad. I’ve spoken to audiences in London, New York, Boston, Amsterdam and even one in Latvia.

Despite this, that doesn’t seem to be the way people discover me or Applied Futurism. It tends to be the way they validate that I might be worth listening to.

Instead, people find me when they’re searching for answers.

Supply and Demand

I’m pleased to say that as my first five years come to an end, I’m reaching the point where demand is outstripping supply. I’m having to turn down speaking opportunities, media interviews and more on a monthly basis at the moment. That’s why I’m so keen on training and supporting more Applied Futurists.

Two years ago I set out to share my tools with a wider array of practitioners so that they could do what I do for clients — either internal or external. To answer the questions that I get asked all the time:

— How do we plan for the future when things change so fast?

— How do we avoid being the next [HMV / KODAK / NOKIA / WOOLWORTHS / ETC — DELETE AS APPROPRIATE]?

— How do we tell our story of tomorrow to get buy-in from customers and prospects, staff and shareholders?

— How do we build an organisation that is truly future-ready?

Our numbers are still very small. But in 2018 I’m redoubling my efforts to make them grow. I’ll be continuing to teach Futurism for Business at the University of Salford, and licensing the tools I’ve built to other futurists — more information on both at

Now that Applied Futurism is increasingly mainstream, I’m more convinced than ever that there is a market for 1000 Applied Futurists in the UK, not just me.

That’s the goal for the next five years.

Want to find out more about Applied Futurism? Go to

This post forms part of my Blogs series. For more posts on this subject, visit the Blogs page.

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Tom Cheesewright