Discussing Changes at the Intersection of Technology and Humanity



“What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?

What is the question that we’re trying to answer?

The key is getting the question right.”


I recently had the opportunity to engage in a fascinating conversation with a fellow life-long learner and high-touch futurist. That discussion with Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, founder of Wild Innovation and Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist for the Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska, was recorded for the Rural Futures Podcast. On a weekly basis, this platform explores rural-urban divide, technology development, and the future of work.


On our episode, we talk through a host of interesting and timely topics about the incredible changes happening at this current intersection of technology and humanity.


Discussion Highlights


  • Why we need to engage in strategic, future-focused planning and collaboration
  • Why connecting dots between people, industries, resources, and even machines is a critical step toward progress
  • What the profile and role of the modern leader tells us about why people are more vital than ever – even as we are in the midst of what looks and feels like a technology revolution
  • How traditional power structures are shifting, giving way to more voice and impact for people everywhere, changing the profile of the leader
  • What platforms are connecting people across the globe in partnerships and how those connections are inspiring bold and sweeping change
  • Why the questions, challenges, and disruptions from members of our emerging generation represent one of the greatest opportunities for our future
  • Why the presence of artificial intelligence in every facet of our lives and businesses may represent the next greatest opportunity for our future



And why the key to all of this is getting the question right and ridding ourselves of the biases and belief systems that stand in the way of asking that question and pursuing the right answers. In the midst of this rich discussion, we have a concrete discussion about what is quite likely the most critical security risk for our planet and an honest conversation about the truest markers of leadership. There’s no doubt that we’re in the thick of trying to figure out the benchmarks of the future organization. Even as we identify them, they change.


This was an impactful conversation about the pursuit of the future that I sincerely enjoyed. I know you will too. 




About the Authors

Deb Westphal

Deborah Westphal is a passionate humanist who has guided our era’s top minds and leaders to challenge biases, ignite ideas, and build connections and resilience for a secure and sound future. Her career spans more than 30 years in government agencies and Fortune 100 companies, and on virtually every continent. In 1999, Alvin Toffler tapped her as one of the founding members of his eponymous consulting firm, Toffler Associates. From 2007 through 2018, she served as the firm’s CEO and has since contributed her experience and knowledge as a member of the board. Through her work, she has guided notable organizations including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Marriott, U.S. Air Force, Baxter International, Bayer, Heinz, Microsoft, Koppers, PPG, DARPA, National Security Agency, Loral Space Systems, NASA, Qwest, Verizon, and Westinghouse. Deborah’s empathetic and thought-provoking style helps readers spot patterns that signify future risks and opportunities. She’s a sought-after speaker and writer who provided the Foreword to After Shock. Her book, Convergence: Technology, Business, and the Human-Centric Future, was published in May 2021 by Unnamed Press. Find her at

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