Learn About Amy
Founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute (FTI), Amy Webb pioneered a data-driven foresight methodology that is now used within hundreds of organizations worldwide. She built FTI into one of America’s fastest-growing companies –– FTI has been ranked on the Inc 5000 list for two consecutive years. Amy helps CXOs of the world’s-admired companies achieve long-term growth, and she shows businesses how to spot disruption early enough to create new revenue or to mitigate risk. Amy also advises the leadership of government, military and central banks on risk and opportunity. Amy’s quantitative approach to foresight was built using her academic experience in economics and game theory.
I’m a quantitative futurist, which means I use data-driven models whenever possible to find emerging signals and to qualify trends, to calculate the trajectory of trends, and to determine the probabilistic outcomes of scenarios. The scenario planning I do involves worldbuilding, creativity and imagination, but I like to deliver plausible ideas about the future that are rooted in what we know to be true today.
There are different lineages and schools of foresight. Trained futurists use a methodology of some kind. My academic background is economics and game theory, so my foresight lineage traces back to Pierre Wack, Peter Schwartz and Herman Kahn. I’ve automated some processes to identify patterns early––like using machine learning to scour patent and trademark databases for patterns. But there is still a brute-force element to the work, and my FTI colleagues and I do a ton of reading, we push each other to explore the edges, and we spend time talking to academic researchers, government officials, R&D labs, VCs and various experts.
I have never limited myself to one field exclusively, because I believe that the global challenges faced by business and society are interconnected across disciplines. In addition to game theory and economics, my academic background includes statistics, political science, computer science, sociology, music and journalism. I spent my 20s living in Japan and China, and I speak Japanese. I earned the rank of Shodan (first-degree black belt) in the Japanese martial art Aikido, but a serious accident during training a few years ago forced me to retire. I’m now an avid long-distance cyclist. I hope to be remembered someday as a human Venn diagram.
I’ve always been interested in technology, science and the future. Growing up, we were a Star Trek family, and I spent many hours watching the original — and I’d argue — best series. I now collaborate closely with Hollywood writers and producers on films, TV shows and commercials about science, technology and the future. Recent projects include The First, a sci-fi drama about the first humans to travel to Mars, a project involving a cinematic universe, a commercial project with Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow and an upcoming film project with Bigelow.
I believe the best way to help people think critically about the futures is through storytelling, so I write a lot. I contribute to a number of publications, including the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, New York Times, Wired, Fortune and others.
Awards & Accolades
Film & Television
When writers, producers and directors need a consultant to help on a project, they call Amy. From media franchises to feature films, original scripted series to limited-run specials, commercials and interactive content, Amy has worked on a wide variety of creative projects. She assists with worldbuilding, as well as plot and design.
Amy is a sought-after consultant for films, shows and commercials set in the future. She’s been a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for more than 15 years and has served on Blue Ribbon Panels.
Over 15 rich years of public forecasting, Amy Webb has become one of the most prominent futurists around.
Amy has masterfully presented to several audiences within our company. She consistently brings the perfect blend of data-driven insights, humor and signals to help our leaders absorb key actions/takeaways and weave them into their own strategic thinking.
Amy Webb was exceptional in both the off-stage development and on-stage delivery of her session for MIT Technology Review. She quickly identified the essential elements of the session and then took the audience on a journey, opening their eyes to the most impactful technology trends and business tactics.
Named ‘One of the Five Women Changing the World’
Amy Webb is a renowned futurist – she looks back at the past and scours data to figure out what might be round the corner.
- Visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Säid School of Business
- Professor of strategic foresight at New York University’s Stern School of Business
- Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations
- Fellow in the United States-Japan Leadership Program
- Steward and Steering Committee Member of the World Economic Forum’s Future of Media, Entertainment and Sport
- World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council
- Foresight Fellow in the U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Strategic Foresight
- Member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
- Professional Member of IEEE
- Member of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour
- Member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence