Monika Bielskyte is a futurist, science fiction worldbuilder, and a digital nomad who has been traveling around the world to over 80 different countries searching for where the future is headed. She’s in conversation with the bleeding edge of emerging tech culture from around the world, and trying to discern the underlying trends and catalysts for cultural transformation.
I recently had a chance to catch up with Bielskyte to talk about what types of trends that she’s seeing from around the world, why she’s interested in non-Western cultures and particularly the collaborative spirit that’s emerging in the Global South. She talks about various different decolonization efforts she’s seeing around the world, and how there’s a move towards contextual technologies and “designing with” rather than “designing for.”
Another big trend is a growing realization of the interconnectedness of all things, and how humans are fundamentally depended and connected to each other and the world we all live in. There’s also more people starting to embody the Ubuntu values of “I am because we all are,” and the old African saying of “If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together.”
Bielskyte also talks about how spatial and immersive computing represents moving to a regenerative economy that’s based upon the production of knowledge and experience and moving from ownership of material objects to have access to the experience. She also says that “It’s those who control the fantasy who control the future.” So she explores how science fiction world building within immersive technologies has the potential to inspire the culture to help build a future that we all want to live into.
Bielskyte is my favorite futurist as she’s got her finger on the pulse of what’s happening around the world, and so it’s always interesting to hear about her latest insights, pointers to International innovators, and where she thinks the future is headed.
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Crédit: world design Monika Bielskyte, concept artist eliud López, collaboration between ALLFUTUREEVERYTHING & LABCDMX