“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible”Lawrence of Arabia
Benjamin J Butler is an international futurist, strategist and philosopher based out of Asia for 20 years. He sits on various boards in the capacity of a future-thinker and leadership coach:
Known for his ability to forecast cycles or paradigm shifts in financial markets, society, technology and geo-politics, Benjamin has been a trusted sounding board and advisor for many leaders, coaching them through uncertainty in both their business and life; and to cultivate a futurist mindset.
Previously he worked in international investment looking at trends and patterns in the world economy and human affairs, working at various investment banks, hedge funds, and also writing the International Column at Dow Theory Letters with Wall Street legend Richard Russell who started it in 1958.
Benjamin worked for Nomura Securities for 5 years as a Senior Executive. He was Executive Director at UBS and Managing Partner at Mind Fund. In 2011, he became strategist and advisor for the CIO of a global Macro Hedge Fund and his personal Family Office on the deployment of capital globally from currencies and private equity to stocks.
One of Benjamin’s recent passions has been the pursuit of the Holy Grail of creativity and the quest for self-realisation. In addition to a period of investing in Silicon Valley, he spent a number of years travelling around the world meeting visionaries, entrepreneurs, creatives, martial artists, and even Zen Masters and Himalayan Oracles (!), with the goal of discerning states of mind that lead to insight. He believes that the harnessing of collective intelligence will result in a new form of Enlightenment.
He has given keynote talks at international conferences such as the World Knowledge Forum, MIPIM, the Asia Pacific Financial Forum, the Chinese government on the future of finance at the Tianfu Financial Forum, and the UN’s Resilience Frontiers. He holds a BA in Economics and Japanese from SOAS, University of London and an MSc from Schumacher College, with a dissertation focused on new scientific approaches to futurism. He has also read law at Kings College London and Investment Management at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His book, “The Futurist” is due out in 2020; a very human-centred dialogue about the future.
Benjamin has lived in Asia for 20 years, speaks Japanese, and is a student of Chinese philosophy. He is based out of Hong Kong and has worked extensively in Asia.
You can read his alternative resume here:
Member, Global Future Council on Computing , World Economic Forum
Faculty of Futur.io
Emerging Future Institute, Founder and Futurist
External Strategist to a macro hedge fund and family office , Blue Sky in Australia
Dow Theory Letters, Wrote about the future and financial markets with Wall St legend Richard Russell
Advisor to the School of Design, Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, Co-Creation and Creativity
Mind Fund, Co-Founder and Managing Partner. Invested in California-based start ups and also early investor in Bytedance (most valuable start up in the world)
UBS, Executive Director, Equities, Hong Kong
Edge Capital, Portfolio Manager
Nomura Securities, Senior Executive Manager (Equivalent to a Managing Director),. Trusted advisor to CIOs and Fund Managers around the world. Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Morgan Stanley, New graduate program trained in New York City and sent to Tokyo. Equities Department.
Monbusho Scholar, University of Osaka – Wrote a Dissertation in Japanese about the Asian Financial Crisis
SOAS, University of London, Japanese and Economics
Kings College London, Dickson Poon School of Law
Embley Park School (now Hampshire Collegiate School)
My experience is that many people are confused about the future as we face several tsunamis of change. Clearly as the age of Robots and AI is upon us many are fearful about their jobs. But its so much more than that. Exponential technologies will affect every facet of our lives and the world of 2030 is going to be very different from today. In addition, political and social tsunamis of change are upon us. Our old institutions are no longer capable of functioning in the emerging new world.
My experience in exploring the future could be useful as you endeavour to look forwards and imagine tomorrow’s world. And perhaps more importantly, to guide you on your journey into the future. I have been coaching and advising leaders throughout my career on how to deal with uncertainty and the psychology of change. I have come to realise that finding your unique purpose and passion in life, is not merely a luxury but essential in these challenging times.