An internationally renowned futurist and business strategist, Peter Schwartz is the senior vice president for Government Relations and Strategic Planning at Salesforce.com, the innovative business commerce company. In this capacity, he directs the company’s policy and politics throughout the world and manages the organization’s ongoing strategic conversation. He specializes in scenario planning, working with corporations, governments, and institutions to create alternative perspectives of the future and develop robust strategies for a changing and uncertain world. His research and scenario work encompasses the fast-moving world of connected business, energy resources and the environment, technology, telecommunications, media and entertainment, aerospace, and national security.
He has a long and storied history of pioneering futures-based work. Schwartz founded the Global Business Network (GBN) in 1988 in his Berkeley basement with several close friends, including Napier Collyns, Jay Ogilvy and Stewart Brand. GBN became the premier scenarios-based consultancy, which Schwartz described as an “information hunting and gathering company.” In his early career, Schwartz led the scenario team at Royal Dutch/Shell in the 1980s, where many of the scenario tools he pioneered were used to great advantage.
Schwartz has written several books, on a variety of future-oriented topics. His first book, “The Art of the Long View” (Doubleday, April 1996) is considered by many to be the seminal publication on scenario planning, and is used as a textbook by many business schools. “Inevitable Surprises” (Gotham, June 2003) is a look at the forces at play in today’s world, and how they will continue to affect the world. He also wrote “The Long Boom” (Perseus, September 1999), with co-authors Peter Leyden and Joel Hyatt, which is about the future of the global economy. His book “When Good Companies Do Bad Things” (Wiley, April 1999), is an argument for corporate responsibility in an age of corruption. “China’s Futures” (Jossey-Bass, January 2000), is a vision of several different potential futures for China. He also co-authored the Pentagon’s “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security”.
He has worked as a consultant on several movies, including “Minority Report”, “Deep Impact”, “Sneakers”, and “WarGames.” He serves on the board of directors for the Long Now Foundation. In 2007, Schwartz moderated a forum titled “The Impact of Web 2.0 and Emerging Social Network Models” as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos.