Age of the Unthinkable
February 15, 2010
Hosted by John D. Schmidt
Joshua Cooper Ramo, Managing Director of Kissinger Associates and author of The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It, joins ZOOM’D to describe our entry into a revolutionary age—one laden with unprecedented dislocation and disruption as well as vast potential for new fortunes, new power, fresh hope, and a new global order. Joshua brings alive through experience and example the story of a new way of thinking, while laying bare the shared conventional wisdom of the best minds and its inherent flaws. This important ZOOM’D conversation explores what the ground-breaking age of surprise and innovation means to us individually and collectively, and what actions we can take to steer its outcomes. The conversation points to the next five to ten years and the revolutionary architecture needed to impact financial and environmental systems as well as national security.
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ZOOM’D takes you out to big picture issues of the day, in to up-close-and-personal capacities of leadership, and toward a desirable future of constant renewal.
Whether focused on the economic crisis, energy, climate change, or sustainability at large, ZOOM’D looks at what is really going on. We’ll examine patterns at play, drivers behind them, perspectives of leadership, and the importance of changing the way we pursue the future.
ZOOM’D uniquely interweaves emphasis on the objective and subjective—on tangible shifts needed in systems, institutions, governance, and behaviors; and on intangible values, cultures, and leader mindsets needed to see, shape, and orchestrate the shifts.
ZOOM’D bridges the conceptual to the practical for all in business, government, and civil society to benefit from and to activate leadership around.
John D. Schmidt
John D. Schmidt is the founder and CEO of Avastone Consulting, an international consultancy committed to the vitality and sustainability of client organizations and the larger global community. He serves as advisor to global corporations and nongovernmental enterprises, and is a thinker, designer, and practitioner in integral approaches to complex challenges and human development.
John’s expertise offers a rich foundation for ZOOM’D. He is a seasoned consultant with 30 years experience in getting to the heart of matters, discerning what is really going on, and framing appropriate actions. He focuses on deep understanding—listening for surface realities—and deeper truth. He makes sense of complexity, integrating the long view with the here-and-now.
John values the interiority of life and how the developmental nature of mindsets shapes the world we live in—across economic, social, and environmental arenas. He is dedicated to his own growth and contemplative practice, spending 25 days per year in retreat. He is creatively gifted in developing other leaders through deep immersion experiences.
John serves as guest faculty and contributor to learning institutes, universities, and community service organizations. He is a board member of the SHIFT Foundation (which develops young global leaders) and Kosmos Journal (a voice of global awakening). He passionately pursues active enjoyments of life—he is a road cyclist, skier, fly fisher—and lover of the ocean.