John L. Petersen
Petersen, FWAAS is considered by many to be one of the most informed
futurists in the world. He is best-known for writing and thinking about
high impact surprises wild cards and the process of
anticipation. His current professional involvements include the
development of sophisticated tools for anticipatory analysis and surprise
anticipation, long-range strategic planning and helping leadership design
new approaches for dealing with the future.
John’s government and political experience include stints at the National War College, the Institute for National Security Studies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council staff at the White House. He was a naval flight officer in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve and is a decorated veteran of both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. He has served in senior positions for a number of presidential political campaigns and was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984.
In 1989 he founded The Arlington Institute (TAI), a non-profit, future-oriented research institute. TAI operates on the premise that effective thinking about the future is impossible without casting a very wide net. The think tank serves as a global agent for change by developing new concepts, processes and tools for anticipating the future and translating that knowledge into better present-day decisions. Using advanced information technology, a core group of bright thinkers and an international network of exceptionally curious people along with simulations, modeling, scenario building, polling and analysis, Arlington helps equip leaders and organizations from many disciplines with tools and actionable perspectives for dealing with uncertain times.
An award-winning writer, his first book, The Road to 2015: Profiles of the Future was awarded Outstanding Academic Book of 1995 by CHOICE Academic Review, and remained on the World Future Society’s best-seller list for more than a year. His latest book, Out of the Blue: How to Anticipate Wild Cards and Big Future Surprises, was also a WFS best-seller. His coauthored article, The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation? was one of the most highly acclaimed writings on Y2K. His 1988 book-length report The Diffusion of Power: An Era of Realignment was used at the highest levels of American government as a basis for strategic planning. KuzweilAI.net published his reports Wild Cards: The Nature of Big Future Surprises, and How to Change the World … Quickly. He has also written papers on the future of national security and the military, the future of energy and the future of the media.
John is a past board member of the World Future Society, writes on the future of aviation for Professional Pilot magazine and is on the board of directors of the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation. He is a network member of the Global Business Network and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. A provocative public speaker, he addresses a wide array of audiences around the world on a variety of future subjects. When he is not writing or speaking, theorizing about wild cards, or constructing his own airplane, John leads workshops that help corporate clients build new images of possible futures and visions for reaching their goals.