Jamais Cascio

Jamais Cascio writes about the intersection of emerging technologies, environmental dilemmas, and cultural transformation, specializing in the design and creation of plausible scenarios of the future. His work focuses on the importance of long-term, systemic thinking, emphasizing the power of openness, transparency and flexibility as catalysts for building a more resilient society.

Cascio’s work appears in publications as diverse as Metropolis, Technology Review, and ForeignPolicy.com. He was featured in National Geographic Television’s SIX DEGREES, its 2008 documentary on the effects of global warming. Cascio has spoken about future possibilities around the world, at venues including South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas, FuturShow3000 in Bologna, Italy, the 2007 Singularity Summit in San Francisco, and the TED 2006 conference, “The Future We Will Create,” in Monterey, California.

Recent projects of note include:

  • In late 2008, he served as scenario design lead for the “massively multiplayer forecasting game,” Superstruct, for the Institute for the Future, creating the world of 2019 inhabited by the game’s thousands of players.
  • In 2008, he was invited to be a kick-off blogger for the Science Fiction Channel’s future-focused website, How You Can Save the World, joining luminaries such as Richard Branson, physicist Michio Kaku, and astronaut Rusty Schweikart.
  • In 2007, he served as lead author on the Metaverse Roadmap Overview, a cross-industry examination of the next decade’s evolution of online technologies.
  • In 2007, his work on calculating the carbon footprint of cheeseburgers went viral, appearing in dozens of newspapers and magazines, multiple radio programs, hundreds of websites, and even as part of a museum exhibit. Increasingly, the cheeseburger has become an icon of the surprising carbon impact of everyday life.

Cascio has worked in the field of scenario development for over a decade, and is currently a Research Affiliate at the Institute for the Future. After several years as technology specialist at scenario planning pioneer Global Business Network, he went on to craft a wide array of scenarios on topics including energy (for an industry think tank), nuclear proliferation (for a political research non-profit), and sustainable development (for a multi-client project). Cascio serves as the Director of Impacts Analysis for the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, and is a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

In 2003, he co-founded WorldChanging.com, the award-winning website dedicated to finding and calling attention to models, tools and ideas for building a “bright green” future. In his time at WorldChanging, Cascio wrote the plurality of the site’s content, covering topics including urban design, climate science, renewable energy, open source models, emerging technologies, social networks, “leapfrog” global development, and much more. In March, 2006, he started Open the Future as his online home.

Cascio has also applied his scenario development skills in the entertainment industry, advising multiple television and film projects, and designing several well-received science fiction game settings, including Transhuman Space: Broken Dreams (speculating on the future of the developing world) and Transhuman Space: Toxic Memes (examining future popular culture and political movements).

Cascio lives outside of San Francisco, California, with his wife, two cats, four Macs, and the inevitable hybrid cars.