Leader Profiles

Leader Profile: Ray Podder


Synthesizing art, innovation, science, regenerative economics and evolutionary strategy towards serving the highest quality of life for all life.


What are your practices for keeping yourself future ready?

The main thing that I do is practice presence. Our thoughts have a way of misdirecting us; the fastest thing in the universe is the speed of thought. We rely on incomplete stories about the past and project the future as a continuation of that narrative, without looking at what is really happening and what is that bigger picture now emerging. I believe we are in position to see the emergent future clearer, when we can see it in ourselves.  And that is not an easy thing.  Changing our perspective changes how we react to change.  It’s easy to get distracted by or subscribed to narrative.  Any narrative that works for everyone first starts with yourself and what is happening around you right now.


What do you bring to the Future Ready Now community?

My skill is to be able to make sense out of things that look complex or disjointed. I am driven by finding a coherent pattern.  I take in all this complexity and show simple coherence, painting a picture with stories and systems that enables others to see the whole.

You make system thinking accessible to the larger audience when you start to understand that you are a living system with those three interdependent autopoetic or self-making qualities:

  • Cognitive systems or WHY we make decisions based on our beliefs and knowledge.
  • Contextual systems or WHAT we believe informs the environment we think we’re in.
  • Creative systems or HOW we adapt and thrive within that context with what we create.

The most critical of these systems is the system of ideas or the cognitive paradigm that informs the others. In business, this translates directly into a personal, team, global dynamic. For example, today’s business challenges can be addressed by examining and rewiring our thought systems (who we think we are) that drive both where we think the market (or context) is, and what we create (the product) to meet it. So if we looked deeper into what is actually driving key issues in business, it looks something like the following:

       The Future of commerce is about the nature of TRUST

       The Future of education is about the nature of TRUTH

       The Future of work is about the nature of PLAY

       The Future of wealth is about providing for future generations, or LIFE

       The Future of government is about who is best informed to RULE decisions.

       The Future of Innovation is about why we MAKE what we do.


What do you see coming in the near future?

It’s already here. We just don’t have the systems or story containers to describe them yet. The core of my work is to identify and describe those containers. No different than how Capitalism described containers that Feudalism could not capture before the industrial revolution, even though the activities were present.

Today I see transactional markets transitioning into co-creative networks, and Capitalism transitioning into Holism. I am seeing something very interesting emerging…that is reorganization based on decentralized individual empowerment. Dynamic peer to peer agreements trumping established rule sets. In the past when you took an action you became embedded in a set of predetermined rules, because centralized management needs standardized rules for predictable outcomes. Once you take the first step there are implicit rules about what the next step could be. You join the company and you are expected to carry out your compartmentalized role. You started courting someone, you got pinned or engaged, then the social norms would dictate how you should behave in that configuration. But when the actors have access to more information and more options the container starts to break apart because the container can’t account for all of the variables.

People being able to dynamically self organize around what is important, comes when people are clear about what they are doing and why. What is emerging is that people are beginning to understand who they are, and why they do what they do. Personal evolution across all social contexts has huge implications. When more self realized people show up to the party, there will be dynamic ways of managing decisions, resources and relationships.

However, this still needs new models and new stories and continuously empowering each other to show up as new leaders. For example, multidisciplinary talent in our creative communities now are the norm, not the exception. A photographer can also be an effective writer and web developer, because removing the friction in our technical abilities now allow people to better express their ideas and intentions. A planetary level strategist can also be an effective mother and world traveler. We don’t yet have stories for such people and what they actually contribute to the next living systems. We will.