What We Do
Lyn is a cultural anthropologist who collects stories of change from around the world and tracks the new social practices that make you shake your head in wonder or concern about where we’re heading. Her core interest is in exploring how people make sense of the rapidly shifting world around them, whether it’s a “left-behind” child in a Sichuan village, an executive in a large multinational organization, or an amateur musician experimenting with new digital tools. She is passionate about understanding how people are using ubiquitous information and digital co-presence to express themselves in new ways and form new kinds of social relationships.
An IFTF Distinguished Fellow, Lyn contributes to the Ten-Year Forecast program, Tech Futures Lab, Health Futures Lab, and the Workable Futures Initiative. Fluent in Mandarin, she leads IFTF’s work in China. Current research interests include: kids and technology, social manufacturing and new global creative networks, personal identity and data, and the future of communication and collaboration. She enjoys designing bespoke research projects, group processes, and foresight presentations for a wide range of audiences.
Lyn directed IFTF’s Technology Horizons program (a membership offering of IFTF's Tech Futures Lab) from 2009-2012, and was a lead researcher in IFTF’s Global Ethnographic Network, a multiyear ethnographic research program that experimented with reflective personal forecasting methodologies with families in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Silicon Valley. She holds a BA in Chinese Studies and a PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Lyn’s personal futures goal: to help create an “Appalachian Trail”-like hiking system from north to south along the edge of western China, which would guarantee a sustained encounter with natural environments in that part of the world for future generations.
If you would like to contact Lyn, please send her an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her (650-233-9577).
Making the Future
“New social practices are like pivot points to new futures; by understanding the thoughts, assumptions, and motivations behind them, we get a glimpse of emerging possibilities for change, both good and bad.”