Benjamin Butler

Founder and Director, Emerging Future Institute

Benjamin J Butler is an Asia-based Futurist, Writer, and Speaker. He left England 20 years ago and has been ‘on the road ever since,’ accumulating a unique international perspective to advise leaders on where the world might be heading. He is a member of the faculty of Futur/io, the European Institute of Exponential Technologies & Desirable Futures, a member of the Global Future Council on Computing at the World Economic Forum, and a futurist with the UN’s Resilience Frontiers initiative. This year he launched a new unconference series called Future Explorers. 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. Among others, 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. Benjamin earned his Master’s Degree in Arts in 2016 in Holistic Science from Schumacher College with his Dissertation on new approaches to future thinking: quantum theory and futurism. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in 1999 in Japanese and Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, at the University of London. He also attended King’s College London, Columbia Business School at Columbia University, and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. 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 this year; 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.