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Ian Pearson graduated in 1981 in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from Queens University, Belfast. He spent four years in Shorts Missile Systems, in many different disciplines from mechanical engineering to battlefield strategy simulation. He joined BT Laboratories in 1985 as a performance analyst, and has since worked in network design and evolution, cybernetics, and mobile systems.
He now concentrates on mapping the progress of new developments throughout information technology, considering both technological and social implications. As BT’s futurologist and a principal consultant, he lectures extensively on his futures views. In between conferences, current projects include machine consciousness, social trends and advanced computing technology.
He has received many awards for his papers, written several books and has made well over 300 TV and radio appearances. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, the Royal Society of Arts and the Institute of Nanotechnology.
Areas of Expertise
Ian has been BT's Futurologist for 15 years, keeping track of developments across the whole field of technology and informing BT on emerging opportunities and threats. He is sought after internationally as a conference speaker, where he delivers provocative views on the impact of future technology on business and society, and he attract much media attention.
Most of Ian’s audiences comprise CXOs and his customers include many Blue Chip companies and governments.
Ian’s customers look to me to identify threats and opportunities that others have missed. He is also recognised as being creative, so am often involved in shorter consultancy jobs and workshops for other business areas. His output is used extensively throughout the business at all levels of management.
Ian has made well over 300 TV and radio appearances, with thousands of printed press articles. He co-authored ‘Business 2010’ with Michael Lyons, and 'Where's IT going?' with Chris Winter and have made contributions to many other books. He edited The Macmillan Atlas of the Future, now available in six languages, and was the consultant for the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Guide to the future.
His current research activity includes conscious computing, bionics and social trends, and he has made many inventions across a range of IT fields.
His publications have always been well received and he has been given the following awards:
Prizes and awards (most recent first)
• BT’s ‘best external thought leader’, 2005
• Highly commended for ‘Living in an uncertain world’, Foresight, Vol 6 No 2, 2004
• Best Paper award for 'Engineering and Future Social Problems - the need for responsible development', BT Engineering Journal, Oct 2001
• Runner up award for Cyberspace - from order to chaos and back, British Telecommunications Engineering Journal, Vol 1, No1, Jan-Mar 2000, with David Greenop and Michael Lyons
• ACE Thankyou award, Jul 2000
• ACE Thankyou award, Mar 2000
• Best Paper Award for 'Who Cares? Future of Telemedical Technology', British Telecommunications Engineering Journal, Vol 14, part 3, with Peter Cochrane & Dave Heatley, October 1996
• Thank You Award from BT Centre for Human Communications, for publicising BT Laboratories, June 1996
• Highly Commended for '200 Futures for 2020', British Telecommunications Engineering Journal, Vol 13, part 4, with Peter Cochrane, October 1995
• Certificate of Merit for 'Broadband services, their markets and requirements', presented at EFOC & N 95, Brighton
• 'Most promising young engineer' for 'East meets west in cyberspace', 33rd FITCE European Telecommunications Congress, Dresden, August 30 1994, with Jon Chalmers and Jeremy Barnes
• Highly Commended for 'Broadband - Liberating the Customer' update issued in BT Engineering Journal, Vol 12, Part 4 January 1994, with Dave Greenop and Trevor Johnson
• IERE Benefactors Premium for 'Optical Telecommunications - Future Prospects', published in IEE Electronics and Communication Engineering Journal, Vol 5, No. 4, August 1993, pp. 221-232, with Peter Cochrane, David J T Heatley and Peter P Smyth
• Best Overall Paper for 'Broadband - Liberating the Customer', 32nd FITCE European Telecommunications Congress, Antwerp, 4 September 1993, with Dave Greenop and Trevor Johnson
Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Nanotechnology
Consultant editor of TCN Journal
Boards of Editors of 'Foresight', Shaping Tomorrow, 'Wireless Business and Technology', & the TCN Journal
Advisory Board of The Lifeboat Foundation
Founder member of the Association of Professional Futurists (expired)
World Futures Society
Institute of BT Engineers
Institute of Physics