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Robert Bolton

Head of Foresight Studio, Idea Couture

Robert Bolton is a Canadian writer, futures thinker, innovation strategist, and multidisciplinary artist.

As a senior strategist at global innovation firm, Idea Couture, Robert leads interdisciplinary teams, using design thinking and foresight methods, to solve complex problems and generate brand, revenue, and profit growth for Fortune 500 clients.

Robert’s personal research and art is concerned with accelerating humanity’s collective ability to understand the implications of emerging technology so that we can better respond with evolved cultural codes and systems of ethics. Robert co-authored a perspective on policy, Biohackers: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Synthetic Biology, published in Innovations Journal (MIT Press, 2014).

In collaboration with Policy Horizons Canada, an innovation lab within the Government of Canada, Robert led the design of the board game, Impact, which is used to teach federal public servants the discipline of strategic foresight and encourages deliberate thinking about long-term future developments and uncertainties.

Robert has worked on the future of food and food security under several auspices, including as a National Science Foundation AoSL Innovation Fellow. He holds a Masters of Arts in the Humanities from the University of Chicago.

A New Board Game For Public Servants

Just over a year ago, I was briefed on one of the most interesting design challenges of my career. The ask came from Policy Horizons Canada, an innovation lab within the Government of Canada, who aime...
08/09/2016 07:21 EDT
Scott Olson via Getty Images

A Future With In Vitro Meat Is Closer Than You Think

Given predictable increases in population and demand, for meat production to take place responsibly in the future, we will have to significantly diversify our eating habits, and with them, our production habits. In vitro meat is one alternative. We don't know enough about it yet. But we know we can make it. It is possible.
10/02/2014 12:32 EDT
Getty

The Future (According to Corporations)

Future scenarios should be thought of as being in perpetual draft form; they should be rewritten constantly and thought about critically -- always in the condition of workshopping. Questions about how things like new technologies ought to exist are matters of vital social consequence. They are political decisions; questions that we should all be engaging.
09/17/2013 12:26 EDT
PA

Design Fictions: What Do Brands' Visions of the Future Look Like?

Design fictions today play out most often in the form of viral online videos produced by consumer electronics companies to promote a particular vision of the future, where, in a world characterized by bad ambient-pop music, the ubiquity of their products makes life better for everyone.
07/08/2013 05:25 EDT