Amy Webb

Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist and a bestselling, award-winning author. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the Founder of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and their organizations prepare for complex futures. Webb is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Säid School of Business, a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center, a Fellow in the United States-Japan Leadership Program and a Foresight Fellow in the U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Strategic Foresight. She was a Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research received a national Sigma Delta Chi award. She was also a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media and international diplomacy. Webb has advised CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies, three-star generals and admirals and executive government leadership on strategy and technology. She is the author of several popular books, including The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity, which was longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year award, shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award, and won the 2020 Gold Axiom Medal for the best book about business and technology, and The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream, which won the Thinkers50 Radar Award, was selected as one of Fast Company’s Best Books of 2016, Amazon’s best books 2016, and was the recipient of the 2017 Gold Axiom Medal for the best book about business and technology. Her bestselling memoir Data, A Love Story is about finding love via algorithms. Her TED talk about Data has been viewed more than 8 million times and is being adapted as a feature film, which is currently in production. Webb was named by Forbes as one of the five women changing the world, listed as the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020, and the Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led. 

Amy serves on a script consultant for films and shows about artificial intelligence, technology and the future. Most recently, she worked on The First, a sci-fi drama about the first humans to travel to Mars. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and has served as a Blue Ribbon Emmy award judge.

3 words to describe Nature?

Essential. Quantifiable. Mysterious.

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility. Humility. Humility. (Seriously!)

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The hiking paths of Mt. Hayachine, which is part of the Kitakami range in northern Japan.

Walking among the giant redwoods of Sequoia National Park.

Hiking the foothills of Stowe, Vermont, especially in fall.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Concerned. The oceans are a vast ecosystem that we've ignored and polluted.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

At home. There is a concept in Japan known as "shinrin-yoku," which is loosely defined as taking a forest bath. Connecting with trees and the sounds of a forest, breathing in the air, and taking time for contemplation and reflection are ways to improve mental clarity, emotional health and physical stamina. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?


When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Spirited. Some of my fondest memories are of canoeing and camping in Big Bend National Park in Texas and waking up with the sunrise. Even in the summer, the air is fresh and cool, and there's both a calmness and a sense of anticipation for a new day.  

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Like I'm at work. When I'm researching, reading and writing, I listen to brown noise, which has lower, thicker tones than white noise. Some of the brown noise tracks I listen to include a continuous stream of rumbling thunder.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Cold. Even if it's not actually cold.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

There was a small lake near our house, and it was fully alive: snakes, butterflies, fish, frogs, weeds, flowers, trees, and all sorts of bugs. My dad used to take me there just to walk around, look at tadpoles, and observe nature. One afternoon we found a beehive beneath a pile of boulders. We climbed on top and spent hours watching the bees do their work.