Joel Barker | Independent Scholar and Futurist

Joel Barker

Independent Scholar and Futurist

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Orlando, Florida, United States

Joel Barker

Joel Barker was the first person to popularize the concept of paradigm shifts for the corporate world. He began his work in 1975 after spending a year on fellowship meeting and working with visionary thinkers in both North America and Europe.He discovered that the concept of paradigms, which at that time was sequestered within the scientific discussion, could explain revolutionary change in all areas of human endeavor. By 1985, he had built the case and corporations and nations were seeking his advice.In 1980, in addition to his work on paradigms, he began to focus on a second crucial component for organizations and individuals: the importance of vision.In 1986, he released his first videotape, Discovering the Future: The Business of Paradigms. By 1988, it was the best selling business video in history. In 2001, he updated this film to include contempory examples and a shortened version. It has been translated into 16 languages and continues to influence people all over the world.In 1990, he released his second video, The Power of Vision. This became his second best seller and has also been translated into more than a dozen languages.His book on paradigms, Future Edge, published in 1992, was listed as one of the most influential business books of that year by the prestigious Library Journal. It has been used for more than a decade.Joel Barker has worked with organizations, both for profit and not for profit, all over the world as well as with nations, including Singapore, Venezuela, Canada, Mexico and Peru.His honors include an honorary Doctorate in Visionary Leadership from St. Mary's University and the Excellence in Education Award given to him by the international education association, Pi Lambda Theta for his part in supporting educational innovation.Formerly director of the Futures Studies Department of the Science Museum of Minnesota from 1974 to 1978, he has spoken to more than 1 million people around the world and his films have been seen by more than 250 million people around the world.His two most quoted phrases:"You can and should shape your own future; because if you don't someone else surely will."And for leaders,"No one will thank you for taking care of the present if you have neglected the future."

Innovation at the Verge
How to Find the New Territory for New Ideas!

Innovation has always been key to the ongoing success of both business and society. Joel Barker has found an unused pathway to innovation in the 21st century.

In this presentation he will explain how to find, explore, and use this new territory of innovation—Terra Innovata Incognita. He will show how Mother Nature has been using this territory for over 500 million years to create biological innovations, and then show how you can make it work for your organization.
He will illustrate his theory with examples from many industries and societies around the world.
A new source of innovation for your organization
A new approach to producing innovation on a regular basis
Specific examples to illustrate the theory
Guidelines for activating the process inside your organization

This speech can be customized for clients and can last from 30 minutes to 90 minutes plus interactive experiences.

Finding the Future Faster
New tools and New Responsibilities for 21st Century Leaders

How can you get more information about the future in a more timely fashion without hiring a special staff to do it? This presentation answers that question with Joel Barker’s “Strategic Exploration tools” which use staff already in place to find the future faster.

The basic thesis of this presentation is that with just a couple of changes in information gathering structure, you can engage your team in simple systems that will increase the amount of useful information gathered significantly at almost no added cost.

This presentation overviews the idea of Strategic Exploration, illustrates four key techniques and then teaches two of them.

Understanding the difference between strategic exploration and strategic planning
An understanding of the Implications Wheel® and the Strategy Matrix® as key exploration tools and how they work
A framework for thinking about the future: the “Possibilities Cone” for conceptualizing how new ideas are brought to reality
A process: Trend Interrogation for examining the importance of emerging trends
A process: TIPS™ Teams for collecting information about trends and innovations from the environment cheaply
This Presentation/workshop can be used with large groups and small groups. The TIPS™ Team exercise max’s out at 100 participants but the Trend Interrogation exercise can be done with very large groups.

The Power of Vision
A 21st Century Look

There is a lot more to understanding vision than just what Jim Collins has written about. Joel Barker, who introduced the importance of vision to corporate America starting in 1985 shows you the qualitative side of vision that all leaders need to know.

Why vision is still a key ingredient in all successful organizations:
How to quickly assess someone’s attitude toward the future using the Polak Grid
How hope and vision are intertwined
How the mass media negatively influences your vision and your children’s vision of the future and how to fix it
How to inoculate your people with long term hope
The Polak Grid as a simple measurement device for vision
A process for finding positive images of the future
An understanding of the language of hope

Driving Innovation and Creating New Wealth
The Real Role of Diversity

This presentation turns the diversity discussion inside out and shows how organizations, cultures, and nations with great diversity gain extraordinary access to new innovations and new wealth.

Barker makes the case for the following formula: Diversity is the base on which innovations are created; innovation is the base on which new wealth is generated. If we want to grow the wealth of the world, then we need innovation, which means we need diversity. Barker also explains the mechanism of how diverse elements are turned into wealth through a process called "mutualism."

This discussion on diversity brings everyone into the tent to become significant contributors and breaks through the clichés of diversity that focus on just color, gender, and culture.

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Joel Barker

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