Insights · January 30th, 2024

I’ve been attracted to counter and subcultures since my early teenage years – the 1980s. 

Punk, post-punk, hardcore, Hip Hop culture (b-boys, graffiti, turntablism, rap), skateboarding, surfing – whatever takes us away from the uniform square of normal, accepted UK life.

At university I hung out with the bands and comedians as they rolled through and spent my time digging in old and new record stores for jazz, funk, trip hop (not a fan of the phrase but think Mo Wax, Ninja Tune, Wall of Sound) and DJing wildly strange electronic / industrial music in the student union.

I had my crew of weirdos and I was proud of pushing thinking beyond the Overton Window and that informed my studies in computer science, linguistics, CogSci and artificial intelligence. One of my lecturers – Martin Lefley – was an anarchist and into dark industrial video and music. Good chats with that guy. 

Working life in the UK almost killed my spirit. Software consultant, management consultant – BMW, 3 bedroom house, marriage, normality. Constant travel and commutes. Oh man, the commutes sucked the life out of me.

In 2008 I escaped that life to Vancouver, BC. Two years later – now single in a small apartment by the beach – I reclaimed my weird (it’s funny how autocorrect wants me to swap that word for ‘wisdom’). Eventually I quit my fancy advertising job and dove into West Coast counterculture communities in alt-tech, crypto, biohacking, indie computing, 3D printing, shamanic journeying and more. I ran events to give a platform to important topics and thinkers – DARK FUTURES, Cyborg Camp, From Now, Future Camp. Fun times and a crew of folks that wanted to support and have fun.

I’ve been in the futures exploration game for 13 years or so. Well, I’ve been in it for most of my life but this incarnation purely for that amount of time. 

I now speak to companies all over the world and grace stages of 200 to 37,000 people. People connect with me because I think differently about the world and process connections between signals, trends and scenarios a little differently than others – thanks non-divergent brain. Futurists are weird by nature – adventurers into the wild unknown. Now, being weird is useful in business. I’m into that and the people that are into it as well – I think the pandemic kind of gave a lot of people permission to be that way.

New ideas and disruption is born in the weirdness. Look at the top execs in the world – they are all a little weird.

In 2024, I am reconnecting to my weirdness and inviting clients to do so as well. I don’t really call it weird in conversations per se but it sure is. There’s no doubt about that.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

Hunter S. Thompson

Want to talk about weird futures / tech / music / counterculture? Reach out to me today.

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is a world-renowned futurist speaker, consultant, author, media producer, and executive advisor that has spoken to, and worked with, over 300 of the world’s most impactful organizations and governments.

He helps shape the visions that shape impactful organizations, trillion-dollar companies, progressive governments, and 200+ billion dollar investment funds.

Nikolas Badminton’s book Facing Our Futures: How Foresight, Futures Design and Strategy Creates Prosperity and Growth has been selected for 2023 J.P. Morgan Summer Reading List, and featured as the ‘Next Gen Pick’ to inform the next generation of thinkers that lead us into our futures. 

Reach out to Nikolas to discuss having him come and speak at your event or board retreat – click here.

Facing Our Futures
Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 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