The new book by JWT’s chief global futurist explores Big Tech’s expanded civic influence and has been optioned for TV/film by an award-winning media company—Silicon States launches this August.
In her debut book, J. Walter Thompson’s chief futurist Lucie Greene offers a bracing look at how Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and other Silicon Valley power players are using their influence to encroach upon the civil landscape of government, healthcare, transportation and housing.
Silicon States is a global snapshot and analysis of the future being built by tech. Through interviews with over 60 experts and new research conducted by JWT’s in-house proprietary insights unit, Greene explores how, with nearly bottomless supplies of cash and ambition, a small group of companies has been gradually seizing symbolic and practical civic leadership in America and worldwide. But Silicon Valley does not answer to the electorate, nor have its players been voted into office, Greene argues. And the perils of their influence are only now making themselves known.
“Tech’s massive cultural, economic and now potentially civic influence is one of the most important shifts occurring in our lives and it is happening before our very eyes,” says Greene. “I wanted to explore what the future world put forth by them could look like, from ‘hacked’ education and philanthropy to future city landscapes. Silicon States is the result of an illuminating two-year journey, which took me to Cuba, California, India and beyond.”
Greene has spent a career charting the rise of the Silicon Valley power players, among broader cultural shifts. She is the global director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson, JWT’s in-house futures think tank and consultancy. She leads original research into cultural change, sector innovation and consumer insights, working with JWT’s Fortune 500 clients to explore future change and its implications. JWTIntelligence is widely followed in the advertising industry and beyond. Greene was previously a futurist at leading London-based consultancy The Future Laboratory.
Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for our Future, launches in the US in August 2018, published by Counterpoint Press.
“Silicon States is the perfect book for this moment,” says Dan Smetanka, Counterpoint vice-president and executive editor. “At a time when our trust in government is at an all-time low and the powerful tech companies start to encroach upon many aspects of our lives, we need to stop and think about what kind of future they are offering us. Lucie Greene’s book presents a startling, provocative, clear-eyed look at the state of our state—as well as a glimpse into our possible future.”
The Front, founded by Thalia Mavros, former executive creative director of Vice Media, has optioned Silicon States for development.
Mavros says: “As a progressive, female-led company at the forefront of media activism, The Front aims to address powerful, universal topics such as those explored in Silicon States. Part of our mission is to compel people to take on cluttered, complex issues like gender inequality by giving them a roadmap for tangible action. Thought leaders like Lucie Greene are ideal partners because they want to rethink things. Our story-hunting approach, grounded in journalism, lends itself to developing new stories and new perspectives on these universal themes. We’re excited to bring these visions from the page to the screen.”
Silicon States is available for pre-order here