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Institute for the Future Announces The Nature of the Future: Dispatches From the Socialstructed World by Marina Gorbis, Executive Director

April 9, 2013 - Palo Alto, CA

Who are amplified individuals and what are they doing to disrupt traditional organizations and infrastructures? What are the new roles and skills needed to navigate this emerging world in which weekend software hackers can displace large software firms, and rapidly orchestrated social movements can bring down governments?

We are living in a time when technology is empowering individuals to do things in completely new ways. In The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World (Simon & Schuster; April 9, 2013; $26.00), Marina Gorbis -- executive director of the Institute for the Future and research consultant and strategic partner to hundreds of corporations, foundations, governments, and nonprofit organizations -- describes amplified individuals who are empowered by technology and are using social connections to change the way we work, solve problems, and create value today.

As a renowned futurist and Silicon Valley thought leader, Gorbis provides examples of new opportunities to create, learn, and share in this world. She also tells personal stories about these social innovators, who come together in meetups, salons, hackathons, live/work houses, clubs, and many other places that cross traditional organizational and discipline boundaries. They don't ask for permission and are often not paid for their efforts, at least not with money. They are less interested in technologies per se than in playing with established ways of doing things and conventional ways of thinking, creating, learning, and being.

Gorbis calls this phenomenon "socialstructing" -- combining initiative, passion, social connections, and the drive to build new things outside of existing institutions, ultimately with more flexible and resilient results. In the book she outlines how individuals are socialstructing by filling gaps -- doing things that previously only large institutions could do to create products and services -- more efficiently and with greater ease and access than ever before. She provides practical advice based on her research for those wanting to navigate and effectively participate in this world. And she describes new kinds of network roles that are proving critical to our present and our future, such as experts, who trigger content; brokers, who trigger connection to ideas; coders, who understand new technologies and platforms; and edge surfers, who test boundaries and push the limits of networks.

The Nature of the Future provides an optimistic vision of tomorrow, inspiring readers to think about their own skills and passions and how they can contribute to socialstructed efforts.

About the author

Marina Gorbis is executive director of the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit research and consulting organization based in Silicon Valley. She has consulted to hundreds of organizations in business, education, government, and philanthropy. Gorbis is a sought-after keynote speaker, blogger, and advisor on future organizational, technology, and social issues. She holds a master's degree from the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

About the book

The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World
By Marina Gorbis
Simon & Schuster
April 2013 | $26.00 | Hardcover | ISBN: 978-1-4516-4118-9


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