Rotary Club of Portland: Service Above Self

Threatcasting: Envisioning Future Threats to Empower Action

Threatcasting: Envisioning Future Threats to Empower Action

  • Tuesday
    March 13, 2018
    12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
  • The Sentinel
    614 SW 11th Ave, 3rd floor
    Portland, OR

Speaker: Brian Johnson

Threatcasting is a conceptual framework and process that enables multidisciplinary groups to envision and plan systematically against threats ten years in the future. As the Director of the Arizona State University Threatcasting Lab, BDJ brings together representatives from the government, military, corporations, trade associations, non-profits and academia to not only envision future threats but also how we can disrupt, mitigate and recover from these threats. BDJ will talk about his recent work in this area: the weaponization of artificial intelligence.


The future is Brian David Johnson's business. As a futurist he works with organizations to develop an actionable 10 -15 year vision and what it will feel like to live in the future. His work is called futurecasting, using ethnographic field studies, technology research, cultural history, trend data, global interviews and even science fiction to provide a pragmatic road map of the future. As an applied futurist Johnson has worked with governments, trade organizations, start-ups and multinational corporations to not only help envision their future but specify the steps needed to get there. Johnson is currently the futurist in residence at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the Director of the ASU Threatcasting Lab. He is also a Futurist and Fellow at Frost and Sullivan.

Johnson speaks and writes extensively in ongoing columns for IEEE Computer Magazine and Successful Farming where he is the "Farm Futurist”. He has contributed articles to publications like The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and Wired Magazine. Johnson holds over 30 patents and is the author of both science fiction and fact books (Humanity in the Machine, 21st Century Robot and Science Fiction Prototyping). He was appointed first futurist ever at the Intel Corporation in 2009 where he worked for over a decade helping to design over 2 billion microprocessors. Johnson appears regularly on Bloomberg TV, PBS, FOX News, and the Discovery Channel and has been featured in Scientific American, The Technology Review, Forbes, INC, and Popular Science. He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter. In 2016 Samuel Goldwyn released "Vintage Tomorrows" a documentary based upon Johnson's book of the same name.