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Robert E. Horn

Stanford University

As a futurist and strategist, Bob Horn has worked extensively with task forces to create scenarios, strategic plans, and organizations that can execute them. He is specially know for presenting his results in the form of large information murals or large visual posters, that enable the groups to see both the big picture as well as to examine, on the computer, details from multiple points of view. He has worked with strategic planning on nuclear waste disposal (for the UK’s government agency); climate change and energy security issues for the UK Foreign Office. In many of these engagements, he has created a form of mural that portrays the strategic context and future scenarios, the current decision-making issues, and the crucial interaction of the private and public sectors. He recently finished a 4 x 14 ft mural for the World Business Council on Sustainable Development task force – Vision 2050 that covers 40-years and contains 350 milestones. He has innovated a new facilitated process that enables multidisciplinary task forces to better deal with so-called wicked problems. He calls this work the “mapping of social messes.”

Horn pioneered the exploration and use of visual language (the tight integration of words and visual elements). He says in the subtitle of his book Visual Language, that this phenomenon is becoming a new form of “global communication for the 21st century.” He has taught at Harvard and Columbia Universities. He is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University. His consulting clients have included the Alberta Department of the Environment, Foresight Canada, International Futures Forum, Boeing, AT&T, HP, NASA, Oxford University. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.

Up to 20 scientists and leading experts from all over the world and a wide range of disciplines are invited to share insights into their future-changing work at the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November, in front of 700 international guests. In an inspiring, information-packed 15 minutes each, speakers present the core of their breakthroughs – which walls are they helping to tear down and how will it transform our lives?

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