Staff Report

International futurist Matthew Griffin, a British futurist and global strategist to a variety of governments and Fortune 500 companies, will deliver the keynote presentation during the Future Forum virtual event from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, being organized by EconAlliance for 2020. 

The founder of The 311 Institute and other forward-thinking organizations, Griffin is an adviser to agencies and/or leaders of several governments (U.S., United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, UAE, Singapore) and counts among his clients numerous global firms (JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Accenture, Deloitte). Griffin helps CEOs and global leaders anticipate and pivot for an uncertain future, near and long-term. 

Speaking from the perspective that what he calls “exponential” technologies are capable of up-ending certain industries, e.g. the financial sector, in a single day, Griffin’s keynote will ask “What Could Disrupt Your World in 2021?”  and will share information on the exponential technologies changing industries, businesses, communities, education and workforce development, portfolios and individual lives. Griffin believes that the exponential technologies like artificial intelligence, 5G, virtual and augmented reality, quantum computing, blockchain, synthetic biology and 3D printing are not just emerging, but are here today, changing everything at the speed of life.

Reacting to Griffin’s keynote and providing additional perspective will be a panel of industry representatives recruited to add context and local relevance to Griffin’s global view. EconAlliance will welcome the following panelists to represent key county industries such as agriculture, energy, manufacturing, and space enterprise. 

  • R. Dean Foreman, PhD, chief economist, American Petroleum Institute
  • John Furiman, engineering manager, Safran Cabin Santa Maria 
  • Leslie Kovacs, president, Firefly Black LLC, Government Space Launch Services
  • DeAnn Davis, PhD, senior VP of science, Western Growers Association

The panel will be moderated by Eric Daniels, public policy and external affairs, PG&E.

Also featured as part of the online Future Forum will be presentation of the annual EconAlliance Innovation Award to a company or organization enhancing Northern Santa Barbara County innovation and economic vitality, as well as a brief overview of the organization’s 2020 highlights.

EconAlliance invites industry and community leaders, financial advisers, and education and workforce professionals to consider registering for the 2020 Future Forum, as the exponential technologies being featured are likely to change the worlds of business, finance and education. Cost for the online event is $25 per person, with more information and registration for the Future Forum featuring the international futurist and industry panel available at Registration deadline is Dec. 1, with webinar link sent to registrants Dec. 2. For specific questions, email