Last spring, Brian David Johnson, the Chief Futurist at Intel Corporation, gave a series of presentations at Champlain College, and then visited the 6th graders at Mater Christi School. His purpose was to encourage the students to express their ideas in terms of possible inventions that could make the future a better place for everyone.
Again this year, Brian David Johnson was invited by the College to meet with its constituents. He was interested in also meeting with the same group students he had met last spring to help him research a new book he’s working on which questions the future of the American Dream. Brian met not only with his former 6th graders, but asked to meet with both them and the 8th grade students as well.
During this February meeting, which also included personnel from Champlain College, a few parents, and several MCS teachers and administrators, the students were asked to ponder the following question: Is the American Dream relevant? If so, what might it look like? The students unanimously agreed that the dream is still relevant, but it might look different now than it had in the past. A wide range of responses were forthcoming: alternative, sustainable fuels as sources of energy will be found; all countries and its peoples will be included in the American Dream; every person on earth will have a good education; peaceful means, not weapons will be used to solve disagreements; differences will be respected (otherwise we stand in danger of becoming a blasé world); technology will be a tool of community – will not take the place of it.
It was evident that Brian David Johnson enjoyed the sharing: his respectful, positive manner had done a great deal towards creating an atmosphere in which the students, right from the beginning, felt comfortable in sharing their dreams in front of a fairly large audience.
As the Chief Futurist at Intel Corporation, Brian David Johnson’s work focuses on developing an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called future casting – using field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a vision of consumers and computing.
Sister Joanne LaFreniere, RSM
Director of Public Relations and Spiritual Life