Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dan Rasmus - Microsoft 'futurist'

How often do you get the chance to look over the horizon? Sometimes working in schools, and speaking as an ex Deputy Head, it can be difficult to scan the horizon beyond next year's timetable!
Microsoft has someone whose job it is to do just that and look 5/10/15 years out.

This week Dan Rasmus was in the UK. His official title is Director of Business Insights but 'futurist' is how he is often introduced.

He recently published his latest book 'Listening to the Future' which I do recommend. You can find out more at

Dan scans the horizon to help Microsoft and our customers consider their business, or in this case, education futures. He met with some of these local authorities in December when I ran an Executive Brieifing to Seattle. We met up again at New Line Learning (NLL) in Maidstone last week which provided a great context for a discussion about new models of delivery. Here is an Academy that is re-branding the notion of 'school' and the learning experience of young people.

I have been able to develop a close relationship with a growing number of progressive local authorities and some individual schools and Academies.

What they all have in common is that they are looking at their BSF, or other investments, as an opportunity to step off in a new direction. Most of the conversations I have with them are more about community renewal and regeneration than merely improving their schools with more ICT.

I get them together when I can to network and share and occasionally I am able to add some further stimulus to their work.

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