The future is closer than you think | Bill McLoughlin

The most uncomfortable response I get when speaking to most any CEO typically centers around predictions about the future. Yet, sitting in that seat and performing that job invariably requires some ability to see into the metaphorical crystal ball.

On any given day, the act of guiding a company requires dozens of assessments about an unknown future. The future of the company and its access to employees. The future of the marketplace. The future of consumer behavior. The future of the economy, the supply chain, the availability of key materials, even an assessment of the future state of key partners.

And that has rarely been truer than it is today.

The so-called “new normal” remains just out of reach, consistently escaping over the next disrupted horizon. Each time a period of relative normality approaches, something happens to prevent business conditions from stabilizing, forcing business leaders to adjust on the fly once again.

Whether it is drought-inflicted delays through the Panama Canal, the collapse of a major business partner or unforeseen changes in the global economy, forecasting beyond a brief time horizon is fraught with uncertainty.

It is for that reason that Furniture Today’s annual Leadership Conference this year will focus on unclouding that future. The theme of this year’s conference is “What Tomorrow Holds,” and while no one can predict that with certainty, our goal is to provide the tools and insights to make that task more manageable.

With that goal in mind, we will bring not one but two expert futurists to the stage in Miami to provide actionable insight into the challenges confronting furniture industry leaders in the coming years.

Erica Orange

The opening keynote this year is Erica Orange, COO of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. Featured in news outlets including Forbes, NPR, Time, Inc, Wired, Bloomberg and CBS This Morning, she has been named by Forbes as one of the world’s 50 Top Female Futurists.

Our subsequent sessions will retain that forward-looking focus, giving attendees fresh perspectives not only on dealing with near-term challenges, but also with the structural changes reshaping the marketplace and society at large.

Rebecca Costa

To assist an industry challenged by an accelerating pace of change and increasing complexity we have also enlisted the expertise of American sociobiologist and futurist Rebecca Costa, the preeminent global expert on the subject of “fast adaptation,” to provide attendees with specific tools to handle these challenges.

We will be making additional announcements in the coming weeks and look forward to seeing many new and veteran attendees at JW Marriott Turnberry in Aventura, Fla., Nov. 28-30.

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