Peter Schwartz (born 1946)
Is an American futurist, innovator, author, and co-founder of the Global Business Network (GBN), an elite corporate strategy firm, specializing in future-think and scenario planning. As of October 2011, he now serves as Senior Vice President for Global Government Relations and Strategic Planning for Salesforce.com.
Schwartz was born in 1946 to Klara and Benjamin Schwartz, Hungarian Jews who had been in concentration camps and were living in a displaced persons camp in Stuttgart, Germany. The family soon moved to Norway, where they lived until he was five. At this point, they emigrated to America, and found a new home in Camden, New Jersey. Schwartz grew up and attended school there. He won a National Merit scholarship, and was able to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on full scholarship. He served as RPI's May commencement speaker for the class of 2009.
According to Stewart Brand, Schwartz was a member of Students for a Democratic Society. After graduating in 1968 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering, Schwartz taught high school in Philadelphia and worked in the innovative student housing program at UC Davis. In 1972 he became an employee at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), where he began to develop his unique method of scenario planning, and rose to director of the Strategic Environment Center. In 1982, he moved to London to work for Royal Dutch Shell as head of scenario planning. In 1985, while giving a speech at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory of UC Berkeley, he met his future wife, Cathleen Gross. He moved to live with her in Berkeley, California in 1987. They married and had one son, Benjamin "Books" Schwartz, born in 1990.