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10. Future Shock

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"We've lived through some huge surprises the last few years," says Andrew Zolli. "And now that we've sufficiently recovered economically, long-term strategic planning is back." Zolli, a futurist—"I hate that word," he admits—and the curator of the red-hot Pop!Tech conference, quadrupled his consulting business in 2004, winning assignments from such blue-chippers as GE, Sun, eBay, and Target. His mission is to help these companies "understand what the next 25 years might look like, make more informed choices in the present, and help them develop their own ability to deal with discontinuities such as 9/11." Zolli does this by assembling "fit-to-order hothouses" of experts and integrating design to make concepts more understandable. Zolli has lost some business because he doesn't sell a "six-step plan," but he's not hurting: He has already booked all of the revenue for the work he'll do in 2005. Not even he saw that coming.


Andrew Zolli, 34

New York, New York

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