As well as the media training to which most of this website is dedicated, lead trainer Guy keeps his hand in as an interviewer with a regular podcast called the Near Futurist. He has been producing it for four years and is based on going to interminable conferences with futurists forecasting what’s likely in the next forty years.

Guy isn’t even confident that he’ll be around in his late nineties so he put this series together in 2019 to discuss just what’s likely in the very near future. He also facilitates conferences and speaks at events based on this podcast, for which he draws on 30+ years as a technology journalist.

In this edition, he and his excellent guests – Dr Nicola Millard of BT and Prof. Christoph Siemroth of the University of Essex – discuss the impact of flexible working and where the trend is going. Is it the panacea that some people are claiming, will it enhance productivity and build up the quality of life? (Spoiler alert: nothing is a universal panacea). The research isn’t as clear as many would have you believe and the idea that everyone will want to come back to the office in order not to pay for their own heating has its own flaws as we discuss.

The podcast is part of a series-within-a-series called Dividing Lines, which is a set of debates rather than straightforward interviews and is sponsored by Diffusion PR, which is a refreshingly non-interventionist sponsor – they suggest the odd topic (and there have been some excellent ideas leading to podcasts we’re proud of), nod the guests through and then back off completely. We’re grateful for their support.

Trivial note: Prof. Siemroth is a polite German gent who refused to correct Guy’s pronunciation of his surname. We apologise to any German people who might be listening – we did ask!

Click the link below or the cover image to spend half an hour listening to this episode.

Our lead trainer Guy Clapperton is very much active as a writer and a podcaster. His current podcast is the Near Futurist and it’s been running since October 2018.

“As a technology journalist of over 30 years’ standing I’ve seen a lot of futurist speakers,” Guy explains. “Many of them do excellent research and speak about the sort of thing that’s likely to happen in 40-50 years’ time. I can’t help but reflect that for many of their audience, including me, this isn’t going to be massively helpful because frankly, we’re unlikely to be around!”

Guy therefore interviews people who are influencing the way we’re going to live in a few years’ time. He’s covered going cashless, fighting fake news, big data and medical research and a great deal else. He hopes you’ll enjoy listening.