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Leading in an Unpredictable World: A Conversation with Margaret Heffernan

Wednesday September 29, 2021

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm ET  

In an age of uncertainty, how can we think about the future? What do we need to do—and who do we need to be? 

Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, veteran CEO, author, Professor of Practice at the University of Bath, and popular TED speaker whose work questions and challenges the accepted wisdom about good lives and good work. Heffernan is widely known for her writing and talks on business leadership, management, innovation and creativity. 

Heffernan will be joined in conversation by The ExCo Group’s Managing Director and Former NYT Editor and Columnist Adam Bryant, to discuss her latest highly acclaimed book, Uncharted: How to Navigate the FutureIn the book, Heffernan challenges our addiction to data and our models for trying to forecast the future, and explores which skills and mindsets will be critical for agility and success in an unpredictable world.

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About the Book:

*A Financial Times Best Book of the Year* 

In her bold and invigorating new book, distinguished businesswoman and author Margaret Heffernan explores the people and organizations who aren’t daunted by uncertainty. We are addicted to prediction, desperate for certainty about the future. But the complexity of modern life won’t provide that; experts in forecasting are reluctant to look more than 400 days out. History doesn’t repeat itself and even genetics won’t tell you everything you want to know. Tomorrow remains uncharted territory, but Heffernan demonstrates how we can forge ahead with agility.  

Drawing on a wide array of people and places, Uncharted traces long-term projects that shrewdly evolved over generations to meet the unpredictable challenges of every new age. Heffernan also looks at radical exercises and experiments that redefined standard practices by embracing different perspectives and testing fresh approaches. Preparing to confront a variable future provides the antidote to passivity and prediction.  

Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to friendships, this refreshing book challenges us to mine our own creativity and humanity for the capacity to create the futures we want and can believe in. 

We encourage you to browse the selection of Margaret Heffernan’s acclaimed books, including Uncharted here.