Amy Webb advises CEOs of the world’s most-admired companies, three-star admirals and generals, and the senior leadership of central banks and intergovernmental organizations. Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures, Amy pioneered a data-driven, technology-led foresight methodology that is now used within hundreds of organizations. Forbes called Amy “one of the five women changing the world.” She was honored as one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020 and is ranked on the Thinkers50 list of the 50 most influential management thinkers globally.
Amy is a professor of strategic foresight at New York University’s Stern School of Business, where she developed and teaches the MBA-level strategic foresight course with live case studies. Poets & Quants ranked Amy as one of the most impactful business professors in the world. She is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Säid School of Business, a Fellow in the United States-Japan Leadership Program and a Foresight Fellow in the U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Strategic Foresight. She was elected a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. She is a Steward and Steering Committee Member of the World Economic Forum’s Future of Media, Entertainment and Sport Board and serves on WEF’s Global Futures Council. Amy is a former Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research received a national Sigma Delta Chi award. She was also a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media and international diplomacy.
A lifelong science fiction fan, Amy collaborates 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, an AT&T commercial featuring a fully-autonomous car directed by Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow, and an upcoming film based on Amy’s hilarious and heart wrenching memoir about data, algorithms and online dating (Data, A Love Story). Amy is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and has served as a Blue Ribbon Emmy award judge. Amy Webb “showed Comic-Con how it’s done” declared the Los Angeles Times, describing the 2019 main stage Westworld session she moderated with the show’s actors and showrunners.
Amy is the best-selling author of several books. Her new book, The Genesis Machine (PublicAffairs/ Hachette, February 2022) examines the futures of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is the promising and controversial technology platform that combines biology and artificial intelligence, opening up the potential to program biological systems much as we program computers. Previous books include The Big Nine: How The Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity (PublicAffairs/ Hachette 2019), which was longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year award, shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award, won the 2020 Gold Axiom Medal and was named Amazon’s best book about technology for 2019. The Big Nine is a sobering analysis of the present state of artificial intelligence, the conflict between the US and China, and what will happen to business and society during the next 50 years as AI evolves. A Washington Post bestseller, The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream (PublicAffairs/ Hachette 2016) explains Amy’s strategic forecasting methodology and how any organization can identify risk and opportunity before disruption hits. Signals won the 2017 Thinkers50 RADAR Award, the 2017 Gold Axiom Medal, and was selected as one of Fast Company’s Best Books of 2016. Her bestselling memoir Data, A Love Story (Penguin 2013) is about finding love via algorithms. Her TED talk about Data has been viewed more than 8 million times and translated into 32 languages. Data is being adapted as a feature film, which is currently in production. To date, her books have been translated into 19 different languages.
Amy writes extensively about uncertainty, futures, emerging technologies and foresight strategy. She regularly contributes to a number of publications, which include the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, New York Times, Wired, Fortune and others.
Amy originally attended the Jacobs School of Music to study classical clarinet and served on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She holds a B.A. in political science, game theory and economics from Indiana University and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She also earned Nikyu Certification in the Japanese government-administered Language Proficiency Test. In addition, she earned the rank of Shodan (first-degree black belt) in Aikido, but a serious accident during training a few years ago forced her to retire.