"Stevenson wears no blindfold. His tools are curiosity, open-mindedness, clarity and reason."Chris Anderson, TED Curator.
Mark’s latest book, We Do Things Differently: the outsiders rebooting our world is out now and receiving rave reviews…
Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare and government, food production, energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it’s clear we need new approaches. Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, across four continents.
From Brazilian favelas to high tech Boston, from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, We Do Things Differently travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future. At each stop, he meets innovators who have already succeeded in challenging the status quo, pioneering new ways to make our world more sustainable, equitable and humane.
Populated by extraordinary characters, We Do Things Differently paints an enthralling picture of what can be done to address the world’s most pressing dilemmas, offering a much needed dose of down-to-earth optimism. It is a window on (and a roadmap to) a different and better future.
‘Reluctant Futurist’ Mark Stevenson is a strategic advisor to governments, NGOs and corporates, helping them face the grand systems challenges of our time and understand their (changed) role in meeting them, or dying gracefully if they need to. Though branded a ‘futurist’ by others Mark is more, as one client puts it, ‘Chief Annoying Question Asker’. He helps organisations change the way they feel, think, invest and operate in order to answer the intertwined questions the future is asking us – on climate change, inequality, the retreat of democracy and the failures of the markets to price risk properly (to name just four). His two bestselling books, An Optimist’s Tour of the Future and the award-winning We Do Things Differently map out some existing and proven solutions to our current dilemmas. He also enjoys a successful side career as a comedy writer and songwriter, which he regards as essential for maintaining key skills needed in his strategy work. “The brain does the PR for what the heart has already decided, if you can’t speak to the heart any systems change is dead in the water.” His hit podcast with comedian Jon Richardson and fellow systems change advocate Ed Gillespie is available on all major platforms.
You can get a free chapter from, and find out all about We Do Things Differently here.
You can find reviews (and a free chapter) from An Optimist’s Tour… here.
"Mark always has his eye on the prize, which means taking action that creates a positive impact in the world. He doesn’t shrink from asking tough questions and challenging our industry to do better. He pushes us beyond our familiar territory to recognise the wider systemic context.” Arran Riddle, Content Director for Policy and Regulation, GSMA
"Mark's approach to giving strategic advice is bold, unapologetic and consistently pushes you to examine your own instincts and the contributions of those around you. What makes Mark stand out? He truly cares. He invests himself in the journey and travels it with you. He helps to make big picture connections and has many times translated difficult challenges, questions and debates into language that we all (not just senior management - all staff) understand and can relate to." Melanie Stevenson, Medicines Sans Frontiers UK Strategic Planning Lead
"Mark Stevenson is an asset to anyone's team. He brings a wide diversity of thinking, coupled with a determination not to let things go if they are good ideas, and combines that with humour and extraordinary strategic insight. His links to people who are not usually available to us, and his willingness to think the unthinkable and then act on it, have proved potentially ground breaking. I would strongly encourage others to use Mark's talents - and enjoy the experience in the process." Lieutenant General R E Nugee CB CVO CBE, Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy Lead, Ministry of Defence
Mark advisory roles include being Medicins Sans Frontiers ‘Futurist without Borders’, Ambassador for Client Earth, advisor of climate strategy to the UK Ministry of Defence, ‘futurenaut’ at solutions-mapping hub Atlas of the Future, mentor at music industry re-boot The Rattle and ‘Chief Annoying Question Asker’ at The Tour Production Group (working with the world’s biggest tour managers to create the regenerative tour)
You can read Mark’s interview with Atlas of the Future here.
Mark is regularly asked to talk to both private and public audiences. Engagements include The Economist, The US National Space Symposium, IBM, Google, Michigan School of Art and Design, Oracle and Oxford University. He also speaks regularly at schools as well as the occasional rock festival. His experience of spending a year as a stand-up comedian gives him the necessary skills to put a wide range of audiences and viewers at ease.
"Mark Stevenson is one of those rare visionaries who fascinates an audience and makes them laugh in equal measure. Do not be surprised if he becomes a household name in the not-too-distant future." Jana Stefanovska, Southbank Centre, London Literature Festival
"A tremendous speech. A standing ovation. It is not often that you can hear a pin drop in a room that size but the audience was enthralled. Wonderful!" Elliot Pullman, CEO, US National Space Foundation
“Mark’s ability to be a disruptive influence on the status quo was a perfect opening for our seminar. He was provocative, engaging and at times very funny. I was highly impressed by his interpretation of the brief, professionalism and ability to engage the audience. I cannot imagine a setting or topic where Mark’s views and presence would not add value.” Marie Walker, CEO, Event Creation Network
A cultural change practice, WDTD is staffed by people who are aren’t just successful entrepreneurs and business-people, they’re also all independently successful artists, performers and writers. “You’re just as likely to find someone from WDTD in a script meeting or stand-up club as you are in the boardroom or on the shop floor,” says Mark. “That means they have a deep understanding of what will engage people on an emotional level to embrace new challenges as well as what it takes to continually re-enforce a culture of creativity”. The company is based in London but works internationally with clients as diverse as UK Sport, RSA, Molson Coors, Standard Chartered Bank, Abbvie and the BBC.
A learning agency which develops optimum environments for creative innovation tied to critical thinking. The company has offices in London and Delhi and works with cultural institutions, government bodies, corporations and schools. Recent clients include The Smithsonian Institute (Washington D.C.), Audi HQ (Ingolstadt), The British Library (London), State Council for Education Research and Training (Delhi), The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture (Moscow) and medical research body The Wellcome Trust.
The League of Pragmatic Optimists, a club with various chapters around the world that Mark founded for those wanting to fix the world where they are is currently undergoing some rework behind the scenes – including a new funding structure. Watch this space.