Jack Uldrich on Senate Run and Need for Foresight in Government

September 11 2008 / by Jeff Hilford / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Government   Year: General   Rating: 8 Hot

Congratulations to best selling futurist and Future Blogger contributor Jack Uldrich who finished second in his bid for the Minnesota Independent Party nomination for U.S. Senate. Given his late entry into a 7 competitor field that included winner Dean Barkley, who served a short stint in the U.S. Senate as Paul Wellstone’s replacement in 2002, it was a very admirable effort. Barkley was also the endorsee of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, whose gubernatorial campaign he successfully managed in 1998. Jack easily finished ahead of the Independent party’s endorsed candidate and the rest of the field on his way to capturing 12.4 percent of the vote.

I caught up with Jack today to get his quick take on the role of foresight in the political process.

JH: What kind of response did you get as a futurist running for office?

JU: It didn’t help or hurt. I actually changed the description of what I do to ‘Business Technology Forecaster” to make it more accessible. People’s perceptions of futurists are sometimes more pie-in-the-sky than pragmatic, though in the long run, the impact of accelerating change will necessitate that we all become futurists.

JH: What role do you think foresight should play in politics?

JU: It’s absolutely critical. Look at all the big issues: energy, the economy, climate change, healthcare, social security – they’re all being dramatically impacted by accelerating technological change. Take energy for example – there are so many technologies that will be available sooner than people think that you can’t have a rational conversation without factoring these in. Social Security is another big issue. We have a 10 trillion dollar debt, but a 70 trillion dollar commitment to prepare for in the future. Given the life extension technologies on the horizon, even this number will rise significantly.

JH: How will the impact of foresight in politics evolve over the next four years?

JU: Washington needs to begin addressing these issues now. If they don’t, these issues will be hoisted upon them very quickly. Like an 800lb brick.

JH: How do you feel now coming off the campaign?

JU: I’m glad to have gone through the process, learned a lot and am very thankful to my supporters. I’m disappointed to not have the chance to face-off against Al Franken and Norm Coleman, as I feel that I could have elevated the conversation in a number of critical ways.

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MemeBox Interviews Best-Seller and U.S. Senate Candidate Jack Uldrich

July 21 2008 / by victoria15 / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: 2008   Rating: 6 Hot

In the not too distant future cancer will be eradicated, clean and powerful new forms of energy will be the norm and people all across the globe will have access to clean drinking water. While to some such predictions may sound like narrative straight out of a utopian sci-fi novel, according to best-selling author and futurist Jack Uldrich those are realistic possibilities in a world driven by accelerating change.

A global futurist, speaker and proprietor of well respected consulting firm Nanoveritas, Uldrich advises a variety of businesses on nanotechnology developments and, more broadly, how to keep ahead of the curve of a variety of rapidly advancing technologies. On July 10, 2008, I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Uldrich and discuss a host of interesting issues including robots in hospitals, solar panels mixed into wallpaper and paint, and the potential for low-cost solar cells to uplift underdeveloped regions around the world. In the days that followed, Mr. Uldrich announced his bid for the U.S. Senate which, if successful, would make him the first professional futurist to hold national office.


Here’s the full text of the audio interview with the man who could become the next U.S. Senator from the great State of Minnesota, chock full of wisdom and also some great advice for both students and lay persons looking to get a leg up on the future:

M: What do you do and how is that related to the future?

JU: I am a writer and a public speaker and all of my books focus on the future. Really since my first book on nanotech 5 years ago, I have broadened out to looking at all emerging technologies and all of my speaking engagements are around trying to prepare business and trade organizations to prepare for the future.

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