Talk About the Future During Winter Institute’s Bookseller-to-Bookseller Discussion Groups

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Booksellers attending the American Booksellers Association’s 16th annual Winter Institute will have the opportunity to break out into groups to discuss important topics about the future of bookselling.

Booksellers should watch their inboxes on Monday, February 15, for the Zoom link that will take them to their breakout room; the email will come from ABA (info@bookweb.org). Breakouts will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 18.

The topics booksellers will talk about are:

  • What are your greatest fears for the future of your store? Be as specific as possible.
  • What is the most recent prediction you’ve heard about the future? For the economy? For retail? For indie bookstores? How did those predictions make you feel? What did they make you think about?
  • What is your greatest hope for your store? Be as specific as possible.

These discussions are intended to prime booksellers for the Saturday, February 20, keynote “How to Think Like a Futurist” with futurist and author Brian David Johnson, who will be joining ABA CEO Allison K Hill for a conversation about the future of bookselling and how we can help shape it.

“In many ways, this Winter Institute marks a line between the past and the future as booksellers look to what comes next for their stores post-pandemic,” said Hill. “ABA felt that one of the most important opportunities we could offer booksellers as part of this conference is the time and space to consider that future. All of our keynotes will look at the recent past, the present, and how to move forward. The Bookseller-to-Bookseller breakout sessions are where they can begin the process that futurist Brian David Johnson and I will discuss in the final keynote: how to think about the future so that you can shape it.”

Booksellers can send questions for Johnson and Hill ahead of time via video or email to greg@bookweb.org using the subject line “Thinking Like a Futurist.” (Video questions may be played during the Q&A. All questions will be answered during or after the keynote.)

Johnson is the author of The Future You (HarperOne). From 2009 to 2016, Johnson was Intel Corporation’s first-ever futurist. Currently, he is a professor at Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory and School for the Future of Innovation in Society. He also works in a private practice with a broad range of groups, including governments, militaries, corporations, academics, nonprofits, and startups to help them envision their future.

Questions about Winter Institute can be sent to winterinstitute@bookweb.org.