Manuel Stagars at AXFI 2017

Design the future you want to see

Failure is an option, speaker tells AXFI Conference.

June 13, 2017

Everybody knows change is coming, but it’s still not clear how to accommodate it, says Manuel Stagars, an economist, film director, author, and serial entrepreneur.

Stagars creates documentaries that try to envision the big picture of technological change.

Rather than a lecture, Stagars says his films try to be “brain teasers” that start conversations.

“When we speak about innovation we speak about technology. But what doesn’t happen is the view of the big picture and what kind of world we want to live in," he tells the AXFI Conference in Minneapolis.

His advice for taking on a fast-changing future—where internet companies go from search to creating digital maps, then cars, then spaceships, and then space colonies—includes:

  • Don’t get hung-up on the details regarding technologies. The conversation needs to be less technical and more about the big picture.
  • Keep learning. Failure is an option. Get comfortable with that new model.
  • Distinguish hype from fact. Think about new technology from a distance.
  • Focus on how technology should make our lives better in the long run, not just more efficient.

Shape the conversation around technology, Stagars urges, don’t just be reactive to the change it brings.

Be more intentional about designing the future you want to see.