Terry Young is the Founder and CEO of sparks & honey, “a cultural intelligence consultancy helping organizations understand explosive and immediate cultural shifts, as well as cultural tastes that develop over time.” By leveraging the power of culture, sparks & honey seeks to open minds and create possibilities in the now, next, and future.  Mr. Young is a frequent speaker and writer on the largest shifts that will shape the future, most recently addressing such topics as precision consumer 2030, the rise of Generation Z, new semantics, open business, diversity OS, and the future of giving.  His deep understanding of consumer behavior and digital and technology platforms allowed him to architect the sparks & honey model and cultural intelligence platform, QTM.

In our interview with Mr. Young, we discuss the future of workplaces, the meaning of true diversity and how to achieve and measure it, and how to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to build cultural intelligence across a wide spectrum of future topics. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview:

Cultural intelligence can help us understand why humans make the decisions that they make and how we can translate that information into opportunities. At scale, it can identify weak signals and emerging threats and help organizations anticipate change.

sparks & honey leverages AI and man-machine teaming to identify the impacts of cultural trends.

QTM — their AI cultural analysis system — uses natural language processing to analyze and map cultural trends at scale by scouring myriad sources — social media, patents, blogs, influencers, policy changes, academic papers, scientific discoveries — and then building a taxonomy of culture to categorize, cluster, and quantify these different ‘signals.’

The humans in this man-machine equation translate these signals into opportunities by adding nuance, intuition, and context to make sense of these trends and where the world is heading.

Cultural trends are classified in a ‘stack’ with three levels. Megatrends, like climate change, will structurally change society in the long term, 8-10 years out.  Macrotrends will create impacts in 1-3 years, while Micro-signals indicate short term changes.

Cultural Intelligence identifies the drivers of cultural change – not just what is happening, but why it is happening. For the military, cultural intelligence could help identify the emergence of radical ideologies and track new and convergent trends affecting the Operational Environment.

sparks & honey predicts that cultural changes are trending towards equity in organizations. This is something that is on the radar of many large organizations, but is being dismissed as a non-priority. Due to changes arising from the COVID-19 global pande

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