Navigating the Future: Essential Networking Skills for the AI Era

How often do you meet new people each month? How many communities do you belong to? AI is rapidly transforming our lives, and with increased longevity, maintaining the status quo means falling behind. To live comfortably, it’s essential for us to meet a variety of people. Unfortunately, our cities and buildings aren’t designed to facilitate networking with diverse individuals. Here, I’ve written some tips on maintaining relationships with a variety of people.

Despite not being very confident in my abilities, I often get asked if there are any tricks to continuously connect with diverse people, so I thought I’d write about it.

I believe the concept of “Life Shift” underlies this question. I often discuss this with clients through my work, and it feels like more people are starting to act on living longer compared to the past. As AI changes our lives dramatically, it becomes crucial to connect with a variety of people and create innovations to adapt to changing times. Key to this are relationships with diverse individuals, gaining new perspectives, and increasing employability and adaptability.

One thing I always practice in relationships is to talk about the future. To build future relationships, it’s essential to discuss future prospects. Whether meeting someone for the first time or after a long time, I make sure to talk not just about my current job title but also about what I’d like to do in the future and what we can do together.

Traditionally, terms like friends, acquaintances, lovers, spouses, and family or relatives are used to describe relationships from the past to the present. A relationship that only talks about the past remains in the past and doesn’t share new times. To become a future relationship, you must continue talking about the future. Even if you are sitting next to someone and sharing a space, if you’re not sharing time, your relationship remains parallel without intersecting. Therefore, we need to think about how we can share time as much as possible.

What does talking about the future entail? The best way is to talk about what you want to do. It could be something you’re aiming for now or even just what you want to eat today. Perhaps later, the person might invite you to eat that food. The most important thing is to orient your vector towards the future.

The innovation I mentioned earlier is also an extension of this skill, where the point of intersection with what both parties want to do becomes innovation. It’s not just about crossing paths with the skills or things we had in the past but about both sides stepping forward to meet. As someone interested in architecture and diversity, I keep thinking about how architecture can interact with promoting diversity while I talk daily.

However, the real challenge is that talking about “what you want to do” can be surprisingly difficult. Even when building structures, we spend a lot of time with clients organizing what they want to do. Perhaps because our education doesn’t train us to create the future, many people might not have the habit of thinking about what they want to do, regardless of their experience level. That’s why it’s crucial to meet many people and keep saying a little more about what you want to do than yesterday. Even I am not particularly good at this, so I still make a monthly list of things I want to do and keep trying and erroring what I truly want to do.

Please start talking a little about what you want to do. I’m sure your words will lead you to an exciting world. Please try it!

Interior architect


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