So, here we have 2018 – A Futurist’s Journey into Creativity. It’s the story of my past year. Read on.
2017 was like a whirlwind rock tour. I never knew I could be that busy, see so many people, do so many talks, make so many friends, or have so many opportunities.
I felt humbled by the whole experience. Overall, it was really great, and something had to change. I was burnt out worse than I had ever been in my career – and, I know how to work damn hard and push my limits.
In December 2017 I retreated into California and connected with great friends, and the creative community. It was revitalizing and inspiring. It made me stop and think about what I wanted to become, how to make the biggest impact I could, and what I wanted to build.
Now I’m sat here in my new apartment that I share with my amazing life-partner (that I met in February 2018) and reflecting on the past 12 months. It feels very different from that time in California. The Vancouver rains have set in and I am preparing to head to the UK and Morocco for the holidays.
In reflection, 2018 was a BIG year. A transformational year. A great year.
2018 started with a renewed focus on making impact through provocation, thinking, and foresight. This article outlines some of the projects, keynotes, and revelations I’ve had throughout the year, and highlights how I want 2019 to go.
January began with a documentary project I had been planning with Fathom Films’ Director Ann Shin for the CBC. It was a documentary on smart drugs and the positive effects they could have on a work-hard lifestyle (i.e. my lifestyle). Filming commenced in January in San Francisco with sessions in Toronto and Vancouver later from February through to May. The film is due out mid-2019 and we’ll take it on tour as well. Long hours, hard work, and lots of fun.
Around the same time I decided to start making my own videos. I built a home studio – then scrapped it (it was too confining for the ideas I had). So, I took my camera gear on-the-road and shared thoughts and feelings as I traveled. It was during this time that I realized that Facebook and Instagram were valueless mediums for sharing ideas so I left them. This freed up time and has let me focus on building content and valuable relationships.
In June I ran Future Camp yet again – an unconference on the future. Fifty keen minds joined to create a conference on the future. While it was an inspirational event, it became clear that the format needs to evolve. Big changes with that in 2019.
Then in the Summer I was engaged to advise another documentary for Youtube Red called the ‘Age of A.I.’ with Network Entertainment who is working with Robert Downey Jr’s production crew. I can’t share anything about the project but I’ve been advising scriptwriters and production continues.
I continued to develop my love of design, consultancy, and further built out my practice – EXPONENTIAL MINDS. I worked with clients to create speculative futures design on products and company structures and partnered with another great futurist Dré Labre from tbd.company on applying his Strategic Science Fiction work with clients. The biggest was a 180-person design jam. Exhilarating and uplifting. We also worked together on Dark Futures Toronto and that sold out in 24 hours so more of them to come in 2019 and beyond. Dark Futures 6 was also held in Vancouver in December 2018 and will expand to NYC and San Francisco in 2019 due to popular demand.
Throughout 2018 I had been continuing with TV and radio appearances and in the Summer CTV approached me to collaborate on producing a monthly segment called ‘Future Fridays’ which is ongoing and a lot of fun.
I had the pleasure of working with a number of great governments, clients, and associations through the year. SAP, PwC, YPO, NACO, IDEO, Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC), Government of Cayman Islands, City of New Westminster, BMW China, University of Waterloo, RED Academy, 3Q, Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, Canadian Ski Areas Association, BCAA, WESTAC, League of Innovators, BUILDEX, BILD, Avison Young, VR/AR Global Summit, and many others.
One highlight in the year was my keynote at Google on ‘The future of children, technology, and privacy’.
This keynote discussed how platforms, devices, and algorithms have hijacked the family. And, what choices we have to protect our privacy. It gained a lot of attention and it’s a conversation I am actively pursuing.
One of the things that keeps me focused on building out my business is the people I meet. It nourishes me and helps me grow. At the Autotech Symposium at the University of Waterloo I met some amazing people – including the people who designed my Chevy Bolt EV. And, just the other day I saw this tweet from an attendee at the event – a very experienced lawyer called Mark High:
Makes things very worthwhile when I see that people are taking control of their futures using the opinions and information that I put together.
Bookings are flying in for 2019 already with some incredible clients. If you’re reading this and interested in collaborating on creating an incredible event then contact me and we can discuss.
In late-2017 I was tired, extremely burnt out, and a little lost in my own thoughts. It was stifling.
That’s when a great friend of mine turned me onto journalling. It’s where my random thoughts and observations, notes on books I’m reading, challenges and goals, how the day/the week /the month/the year has been, to do lists, along with deep reflection and shallow thought-dumping happens.
It’s been a game changer and a regular practice.
The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
I have made fitness a focus as well and now work out twice a week with my trainer. I’m feeling stronger and fitter for that. I’ve also embraced the Wim Hof Method as well for cold therapy to build resilience. That was actually the biggest wellness revelation from the CBC documentary I filmed. People at the spa I frequent squeal when cold plunging. I just sit there or stand under the freezing shower with bemused onlookers. Wim Hoffers know each other in moments like this though. Take a look at the ‘Ice Man’.
Then in May and June I stepped into a program some friends recommended me to. It is called ‘The Work’. It incorporates a weaving together of psychology, spirituality and New Science through group work and support. I’ve always embraced alternative therapies and plan-based medicines so this felt like a great fit.
I worked with a group whose mastery comes from years of studying and working with the likes of Drs. Gordon Neufeld, Bruce Lipton, Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Daniel Siegel, Brian Weiss, James Hollis, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, Gabor Maté and John Bradshaw, Sandy Levey (ACIM), Duane O’Kane, Eckhart Tolle, Debbie Ford, Rob Williams and many more. Creation of peaceful loving relationships, good health and abundance – a true “Consciousness of Deserving.”
5 days of deep reflection and personal work reflecting on the personal development in the first 6 years of life and the knock-on effect of those formative experiences on each subsequent year. Day-by-day I have grown more than I have done in previous years. It’s been a real blessing.
I’ve also embraced PSYCH-K, otherwise known as Psychological Kinesiology. It is a self-help tool developed by Robert M. Williams in 1988 with the goal of changing beliefs in the subconscious mind. Most traditional tools such as insight therapy, affirmations, will power, journaling and visualization are limited to the conscious mind. This uses muscle resistance, NLP and other methods to retrain the mind and subconscious. It’s enabled me to better embrace the abundance and worthiness I deserve and help build out my 8 rules of life that form my personal philosophy:
- Your thoughts create your reality;
- Love yourself and believe in self-worth;
- Feel deserved of good health, increased wealth, abundant relationships, strong family, and happiness;
- Speak your truth and stand by that, no matter what;
- Have resolve – be strong, be silent with your truth, and remember that defense is the first act of war;
- Be compassionate and curious;
- Do ‘the work’ often…stop, listen, and learn;
- Every day is an opportunity for your greatness to shine.
2019 Hopes and Wishes
So, what better way to end this than to state the top-10 things I want to do in 2019. Maybe you are reading this and thinking that you can help, or want to be involved.
This is a call for you to contact me, let’s work together in 2019…
- I’m moving to Toronto. And, planning on doing more work in the United States as well. Let’s talk about working together in those places.
- I want to further build out my consultancy – EXPONENTIAL MINDS. I have big plans for that. Many consultancies and agencies are failing at foresight-based work. The time has come to revolutionize thinking.
- I want to advise more multi-billion dollar companies, board of directors, C-level Executives, and world leaders on an ongoing basis.
- I want to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and to the United Nations in Geneva (I did some work with them a few years back on social media strategy). It’s time for that to happen.
- I want to give keynotes at significant conferences in the Middle-east (not Saudi Arabia), China (preferably Shanghai and Hong Kong), and back out in Singapore. I’d like to do more speaking in the UK and Europe as well.
- I want to further build out formal partnerships with design agencies, PR companies, market research companies, and management consultancies.
- I want to take DARK FUTURES to NYC and San Francisco – I’m looking for venues and speakers in both places.
- I want to do more TV, Film, and Documentary work. I advise scriptwriters and help designers create new worlds.
- I want to build out our foresight community. We have a goal to change the world so let’s aim to do that together.
- I want to help you have a more woke life in terms of how our culture in growing and changing.
Let’s get uncomfortable! Let’s feel more. Do more. Challenge all thinking and convention.
Nikolas (Nik) Badminton, Futurist and CEO, EXPONENTIAL MINDS, December 2018.
Nikolas is a world-leading Futurist Speaker that drives leaders to take action in creating a better world for humanity. He promotes exponential thinking along with a critical, honest, and optimistic view that empowers you with knowledge to plan for today, tomorrow, and for the future.