James Woudhuysen is Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester. A St Paul's School scholar and physics graduate, James began his career as technology editor, then editor of Design magazine. In the late 1980s he was head of research at the international designers Fitch.
In the early and mid-1990s, James led consulting in IT at the Henley Centre, part of the WPP Group. There he also advised major UK cities – London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester – on international competitiveness. He then went on to manage world-wide market intelligence for Philips consumer electronics in the Netherlands, and to work as a director of the product designers Seymour Powell.
James Woudhuysen has a knack of registering trends before other people and offering counterintuitive proposals on what to do about those trends. The only things James does not forecast are the weather, lottery, stock market, the horses and your own personal destiny.
- helped install and test Britain's first computer-controlled car park (1968)
- wrote about chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction, The Economist (1978)
- identified the user interface as the key issue in the design of IT (1981)
- wrote an instruction manual for word processing on a portable Commodore 64 (1983)
- anticipated by two years the Piper Alpha North Sea oil disaster, The Economist (1986)
- led an international multi-client study of consumer e-commerce (1988)
- advised a top US telecommunications operator to deliver the Web over TV (1993)
- reorganised worldwide market intelligence at Philips Consumer Electronics (1995-7)
- issued a devastating critique of America's dot.com boom (1999)
- forecast today's obsession with work-life balance (2000)
- upheld 3G mobile communications in the face of massive doubts, The Guardian (2002)
- highlighted the worldwide boom in gambling games, Cultural Trends (2003)
- influenced UK government policy in favour of the mass production of housing (2004)