If you’re wondering what a cosmopolitan who doesn’t live on his achievements looks like, we are delighted to introduce you to one!

His name is Roger Spitz, he was born in South Africa and grew up partly in Monaco before studying in London. As a specialist in mergers and acquisitions, he advised BNP Paribas clients mainly in the Tech sector, during his years in England. We met him during a FrenchFounders event in Silicon Valley.

When Roger Spitz moved to San Francisco in 2016, he thought that he would transpose his European professional experience, while exploring other ecosystems.

He had a well-organized life, a job that he mastered, but he decided to open his intellectual horizons and took interest in “disruption“. This term disruption can encompass many things, but let’s just say that it commonly includes new economic models, anything that causes a radical change in an existing sector.

To achieve his goal, in his free time, Spitz takes design thinking training, meets AI researchers, reads a lot about foresight… and finally notices that all the notions of strategy, innovation, and disruption that he acquired over the years, are more or less outdated.

The cards have changed, one can no longer think and build strategies on the same basis as before. Gaining market share is perhaps no longer the key to success. Industries and values have been turned upside down.

In the course of our conversation, he cites the case of the pharmaceutical sector, which is undergoing major changes thanks to artificial intelligence. Or the example of a protein that becomes the essential element of a new type of food; as he notices, we are in Tech, food, or agriculture?

All this makes you think and suddenly reflect on what will create tomorrow’s value or destroy it. The answers to these two questions are different from the answers we could have envisaged 5, 10, or 15 years ago.”

For Roger Spitz, the big question is how to reconcile the unknown-unknown, often defined as an event that is very difficult for us to imagine.

Do you think that the Silicon Valley environment has facilitated this personal journey?

Before I came to San Francisco, I had sensed all these questions, but I had not yet articulated them. It was only by forcing myself to look at them closely that things took shape.

However, whatever the quality of the people I met, the reflections that were carried out, and the programs that I followed at the time, I had the feeling that everything remained compartmentalized.

In short, I still didn’t know how to answer the questions that we haven’t yet asked. Let’s take the great complex challenges of climate, and societal change… these are problems that can not be solved in a linear way. There is no method to solve them.

I came to the conclusion that I had to experiment with things differently, not like in the past, 5, 10, or 15 years ago. And above all, I wanted to share all this new knowledge and make it accessible to as many people as possible.

How did you choose to change things on your scale?

I decided to take the plunge just before the pandemic and create the Disruptive Futures Institute. I took everything I had learned from my past work experiences, and personal research and decided to try to help others think about the reality of the world.

I started writing about disruption topics in trade journals, intervening by leading workshops online.

Surrounded by a team of about 15 experts in philosophy, AI, and Buddhist studies… and with the collaboration of Dr. Lidia Zuin who is also a journalist and science fiction author, we wrote the Definitive Guide to Thriving on Disruption.

These four manuals are highly illustrated to be accessible to the greatest number of people and are structured as follows:

  • Reframing and navigating disruption – how to understand the world
  • Essential frameworks for disruption and uncertainty – what do I do with my understanding of the world – how do I deal with constant change
  • Beta your life – Existence in a disrupted world – this manual addresses more personal issues, how to last in a changing world
  • Disruption as a springboard to value creation – how to use disruption to create value, create business models, and understand complex challenges.

These are reference guides that can be started, put down, and picked up again. We all need to see the world differently, to prepare ourselves differently, without being experts.

Concretely, beyond these reference manuals, the Disruptive Futures Institute offers keynotes, and workshops for established companies, start-ups, organizations like NASA, or schools.

You can always start by ordering the manuals available on Amazon, in paper or Kindle format.

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