Insights March 2nd, 2021

Dr. Brooks develops and promotes a wider Afrocentric perspective that champions Black storytelling and imagination, to push beyond the colonial mindset into an expanded vision of possible futures. Through his work with the Black Speculative Arts Movement, The Afrofuturist Podcast which he started with Ahmed Best, Institute for the Future, Fathomers, Dynamicland and others, Brooks aims to diversify and democratize the building of the future.

Lonny J Avi Brooks is an associate professor in communication at California State University, East Bay. As the Co-Principal Investigator for the Long Term and Futures Thinking in Education Project, he has piloted the integration of futures thinking into the communication curriculum.

As a leading voice of Afrofuturism 2.0, Brooks contributes prolifically to the field through diverse mediums including journals, conferences, anthologies, exhibits and festivals. “When is Wakanda: Imagining Afrofutures” was given on July 7, 02020 as part of Long Now’s Seminar series.

“As a forecaster and Afrofuturist who imagines alternative futures from a Black Diaspora perspective, I think about long-term signals that will shape the next 10 to 100 years.”

Dr. Lonny J Avi Brooks

About Dr. Lonny J Avi Brooks

Lonny J Avi Brooks is an Associate professor of Strategic Communication in the Communication Department at California State University, East Bay, which is, in turn, part of the newly formed School of Arts & Media. He is the Co-Principal Investigator for the Long Term and Futures Thinking in Education Project and has piloted the integration of long term and futures thinking into his Communication courses for the last three years. His current manuscript is Working in the Future Tense@Futureland: Circulating Futuretypes of Work, Culture and Ethnic Identity. (in review). His research of long term thinking is part of a larger study of how organizations (especially forecasting think tanks), interaction designers, and college youth envision the future of media and information technologies. His recent work co-authored with Reynaldo Anderson, “Student Visions of Multiple Urban futures 2050”, was just published as a chapter in Envisioning futures for environmental and sustainability education (2017). Lonny is the co-organizer of the Black Speculative Arts Movement Oakland symposium/film festival celebrating and exploring the Black Imagination at Cal State University East Bay in Spring 2017. Now he is producer and co-creator with Ahmed Best of the podcast Afrofuturism—Democratizing the Future!

This research brings together his interests in the social and cultural impacts of new media and the distribution of societal stories we invent to forward, mitigate, or restrain technological and scientific invention. He looks at futurist think tanks worldwide to investigate the metaphors employed in future scenarios of computing as they interact with historical, sociocultural memories, and present-day realities.  As part of his research on emergent trends in social computing and user experience research, he investigates how long term thinking can be implemented in higher education. Professor Brooks is a member of the research group Game Jam project to investigate gaming as a platform for understanding how gaming can provide students with immersive experiences in learning about media theory and practice.

Professor Brooks received his PhD in Communication at UC San Diego and an MA in Library and Information Science at UCLA. He is Past Chair of the Communication And The Future (CATF) division of the National Communication Association. His recent chapter “Playing a Minority Forecaster “In Search of Afrofuturism: Where am I in in this future Stewart Brand?” is now published in the anthology Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness (2015). He and his colleague Aram Sinnreich, co-edited “Imagining Futuretypes”, with their colleagues as a Special Forum for the Journal of International Communication, University of Southern California, Annenberg Press. (November 2016). In January, he presented “Expanding Imagined Affordance with Futuretypes: Challenging Algorithmic Power with Collective 2040 Imagination” published in the Conference Proceedings, Studying Social Media and Digital Infrastructures: a workshop-within-a-conference part of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-50) Jan 4-7, 2017.  Currently, he and Ian Pollock are co-authoring “Minority Reports from 2054: Challenging Algorithmic Power with Alt.Afrofutures—Building Collective Forecasting Imaginaries via Afrofuturetypes and Game Jamming” for the “Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures” special issue of TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is a world-renowned futurist speakerconsultant, researcher, and media producer. He helps trillion-dollar companies, progressive governments and the media shift their mindset from “what is” to “WHAT IF…” The result is empowered employees, new innovative products and incredible growth that leads to more revenues and a more resilient future.

Nikolas advised Robert Downey Jr.’s team for the ‘Age of A.I.’ documentary series, starred in ‘SMART DRUGS – a Futurist’s journey into biohacking’, and features on CTV, Global News, Sirius XM regularly. His mind-expanding research and opinion can be found on BBC, VICE, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Techcrunch, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, Sputnik and Venturebeat. 

Nikolas provides the opening chapter – ‘Start with Dystopia’ in a new book – ‘The Future Starts Now: Expert Insights into the Future of Business, Technology and Society’ for Bloomsbury. He is currently researching and writing a new book that equips executives and world leaders with insights and foresight tools to imagine disruption, strengthen strategic planning, and see unforeseen risks.

Nikolas is a Fellow of The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – The RSA. The organization has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years with notable past fellows including Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, and Tim Berners-Lee. 

Cities Society

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA (FRSA), a media personality, and has worked with over 400 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

Contact Nikolas