After 40 years of working and what I think might be 18 years of talking on stage about the future I’m done. No more futures. I did a talk this morning in the City of London and existed stage left (I’d like to think Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Odean in 1973, but his persona was far more alluring and he did it with far more style).
I do have a new book for children coming out in May/June next year that will require some support, but beyond that that’s all folks. I will continue writing – but not about the future – and might do the odd talk about other things. Beyond that I plan to spend my days looking out various windows pondering the nature of human existence.
For years I’ve been thinking about organising drinks for a group of people interested in the future. I did it once at Imperial College, which was a disaster. The mindset of some people at Imperial was that the drinks had to have an ROI – a measurable result. Yup, you spend £200 and it has to be justified with an immediate outcome.
I remember arguing about this a bit and thought I’d won. I hadn’t. I showed up to a room above the Polish Club in Exhibition Road and there were whiteboards, Posit notes and pens. I assumed another event had run late, but no. The idea was to ask people what they wanted to discuss and cluster like-minded individuals around the whiteboards. I wondered, is this how these people organise their dinner parties? Does a lamb kebab require an ROI?
I got a bit drunk. So did a professor of computing, who at the top of his voice declared “Richard, we are now friends, that’s the fucking outcome:”
Anyway, I’m foolish enough to try this a second time. All I need is a date and most importantly a venue. I think a nice pub in the backwaters of Belgravia, near Victoria Station.