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Marina Gorbis    

Executive Director, Institute For The Future

Marina Gorbis is the Executive Director of the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a Silicon Valley nonprofit research and consulting organization based in Silicon Valley. In her 14 years with IFTF, she has helped hundreds of organizations in business, education, government, and philanthropy to improve innovation capacity, develop strategies, and design new products and services. Her current research focuses on how social production is changing the face of major industries — the subject of her book, The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World.

The Nature of the Future introduces us to the emerging relationship-driven or socialstructed economy, where individuals harness the powers of new technologies to create new, social models of products, services, and wealth. Marina argues that the Internet's low transaction costs are facilitating distributed, social solutions to some of our most immediate needs and our most intractable problems. She shows how pioneers are filling gaps and doing the seemingly impossible by reinventing business, education, medicine, banking, government, and even scientific research.

“To paraphrase Margaret Mead, we are all immigrants to the future; none of us is a native in that land. The very underpinnings of our society and institutions—from how we work to how we create value, govern, trade, learn, and innovate—are being profoundly reshaped. We are all migrating to a new land and should be looking at the new landscape emerging before us like immigrants: ready to learn a new language, a new way of doing things, anticipating new beginnings with a sense of excitement if also with a bit of understandable trepidation.”

Marina's recent projects include: -Future of Learning. The Future of Learning project aims to map key drivers reshaping education, envision future scenarios for higher education, and deliver actionable insights that will help participating organizations better prepare for the future.

-Future of Work. The Future of Work project aims to map key disruptions reshaping the future of work, create a comprehensive and actionable set of tools to help organizations best navigate in the rapidly changing world of work, and engage both new partners and new disruptors interested in working together to investigate the opportunities and challenges that these present for both individuals and organizations.

-Global Innovations Forum. Marina founded the Global Innovations Forum, a multiyear IFTF project aimed at understanding sources of innovation in different regions. Combining regional economic indicators with ethnographic research with households in Japan, Nordic Europe, and Silicon Valley, the project provided unique frameworks and tools for tapping innovation capacities in different regions.

A native of the Ukraine and equally at home in Silicon Valley, Europe, India, and Kazakhstan, Marina is particularly well suited to see things from a global viewpoint.

She has written for BoingBoing, FastCompany, Harvard Business Review, and major media outlets.

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The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World

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