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Discussing Changes at the Intersection of Technology and Humanity

Deb Westphal
November 07, 2018



“What's the problem we're trying to solve?

What is the question that we're trying to answer?

The key is getting the question right.”


I recently had the opportunity to engage in a fascinating conversation with a fellow life-long learner and high-touch futurist. That discussion with Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, founder of Wild Innovation and Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist for the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska, was recorded for the Rural Futures Podcast. On a weekly basis, this platform explores rural-urban divide, technology development, and the future of work.


On our episode, we talk through a host of interesting and timely topics about the incredible changes happening at this current intersection of technology and humanity.


Discussion Highlights

  • Why we need to engage in strategic, future-focused planning and collaboration
  • Why connecting dots between people, industries, resources, and even machines is a critical step toward progress
  • What the profile and role of the modern leader tells us about why people are more vital than ever – even as we are in the midst of what looks and feels like a technology revolution
  • How traditional power structures are shifting, giving way to more voice and impact for people everywhere, changing the profile of the leader
  • What platforms are connecting people across the globe in partnerships and how those connections are inspiring bold and sweeping change
  • Why the questions, challenges, and disruptions from members of our emerging generation represent one of the greatest opportunities for our future
  • Why the presence of artificial intelligence in every facet of our lives and businesses may represent the next greatest opportunity for our future



And why the key to all of this is getting the question right and ridding ourselves of the biases and belief systems that stand in the way of asking that question and pursuing the right answers. In the midst of this rich discussion, we have a concrete discussion about what is quite likely the most critical security risk for our planet and an honest conversation about the truest markers of leadership. There’s no doubt that we’re in the thick of trying to figure out the benchmarks of the future organization. Even as we identify them, they change.


This was an impactful conversation about the pursuit of the future that I sincerely enjoyed. I know you will too. 


Listen Here


Deb Westphal

Deb Westphal

As Chairman of the Board for Toffler Associates, Deborah brings skills and insights honed over 30 years working with some of the top minds and leaders of governments and Fortune 100 companies. Deborah has an MBA from Webster University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, and has completed extensive continuing education with Harvard Business School and Wharton Business School. She is also a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

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