Mark Stevenson is an entrepreneur, author, broadcaster and expert on global trends and innovation.
“Stevenson wears no blindfold. His tools are curiosity, open-mindedness, clarity and reason.” – Chris Anderson, TED Curator
Mark is the author of the best-selling An Optimist’s Tour of the Future (Profile Books) which has been translated into 10 languages and was described by Wired “a very coherent and entertaining journey through the world of future technology” and by New Scientist as “a refreshing reminder that the future will always belong to the optimists”. The book is being turned into a movie in association with legendary visual futurists Syd Mead (Bladerunner, Tron, Aliens), Ian McCaig (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Terminator) and legendary futurist/ designer/ artist Roger Dean.
Mark has also written for The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Intelligent Life, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and The New Statesman. His key skill is an ability to take complex or abstract concepts and make them understandable by non-specialists without trivialising the subject matter. His second book (also with Profile) about systems innovation, provisionally titled The Shift: why our systems are failing us and what will replace them will be published in 2015.
Mark is regularly asked to talk to both private and public audiences on matters of future narratives, institutional innovation, complexity, belief systems and learning. Engagements include The Economist, The US National Space Symposium, IBM, Google, Michigan School of Art and Design and Oxford University. He also speaks regularly at schools as well as the occasional rock festival. His experience of spending a year as a stand-up comedian gives him the necessary skills to put a wide range of audiences and viewers at ease.
“Mark Stevenson is one of those rare visionaries who fascinates an audience and makes them laugh in equal measure. Stevenson’s talk was a highlight within London Literature Festival and we expect great things from him... Do not be surprised if he becomes a household name in the not-too-distant future.” – Jana Stefanovska, Southbank Centre, London Literature Festival
“A tremendous speech. A standing ovation. It is not often that you can hear a pin drop in a room that size – but the audience was enthralled. Wonderful!” – Elliot Pullman, CEO, US National Space Foundation
Mark is co-founder of Flow Associates, a learning agency which develops optimum environments for creative innovation tied to critical thinking. The company has offices in London and Delhi and works with cultural institutions, government bodies, corporations and schools. Recent clients include The Smithsonian Institute (Washington D.C.), Audi HQ (Ingolstadt), The British Library (London), State Council for Education Research and Training (Delhi), The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture (Moscow) and medical research body The Wellcome Trust.
Mark is futurologist-in-residence at investment analyst company Primary Energy Research and also sits on the advisory boards of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge, the crowd-investing company Trillion Fund and Every1Mobile, which builds large-scale social networks on mobile devices in developing economies. Additionally he is part of the Transport and Fuels steering committee for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Senior Advisor on Global Trends and Innovation for Grupo Punset.
Mark is also a comedy writer. His work has been performed on Radio 4 and his play (co-written with Jack Milner) Octopus Soup hits the London stage in 2014.
Mark is a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Nibmaster General at the Ministry of Stories and the founder of The League of Pragmatic Optimists – an organisation that creates meeting places in cities and towns across the globe “where people who want to make the world better can meet, generate ideas and projects, get inspiration and a recharge, find collaborators and have their neurons tickled in the cause of improving the story of humanity.” Currently the organisation has chapters in the UK, Spain, New Zealand and Costa Rica.