Geoffrey Cain, a geo-political expert, is Senior Fellow for Critical Emerging Technologies at Lincoln Policy Network. He regularly advises, consults and speaks for corporations, venture capital and private equity firms, and political leaders on the ways that foreign governments deploy novel technologies and to be more risk-averse in these new, uncertain futures. A foreign correspondent and author, Cain’s most recent book, The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey Into China’s Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future, was called “a prescient, alarming work on the overreach of technology and state power” in a Kirkus starred review. His first book, Samsung Rising, was longlisted for the 2020 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year award. In 2022, Geoffrey began to serve on the advisory council of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University.
A former correspondent at The Economist, and senior correspondent at GlobalPost, Cain has been a regular commentator in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Financial Times, and Foreign Policy, a contributing editor at The Mekong Review, and a regular guest on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and Bloomberg. His work takes him to the world’s most authoritarian and far-off places, from inside North Korea to the trans-Siberian railway across Russia, from investigations into genocide in Cambodia to experiments in technological surveillance in China. He has testified before Congress on his expertise.
He was a senior advisor to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, investigating malign actors who deployed technology and illicit financial tools to undermine American businesses. A Fulbright scholar, he holds a master’s with distinction from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and a bachelor’s at The George Washington University. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2022, Geoff became a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University.
Where the world is headed
As a foreign correspondent and geopolitical expert, Geoffrey Cain has lived all over the world, interviewing world leaders including Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, exploring the remote, improbable, dangerous and authoritarian—and, for his investigative work, has been subject to a police investigation for spying and detained many times.
He’s found that emerging authoritarian nations like China and Russia, with growing power, will shape the future for American business and political leaders.
First, the world of the future will be determined by who controls the software space—AI, facial recognition, biotech, while the era of hardware is fading. Second, business victories will also go to the leaders who can tap into creative and narrative-driven fields, since AI will automate reasoning-heavy fields. Finally, as future epidemics and geopolitical conflict takes hold, most successful businesses will pull back from China. They’ll bring manufacturing home due to falling logistical costs and AI advancements.
Inside the real-world 1984
Geoffrey Cain has spent three years among the Uighurs, a group in western China that lives under the most sophisticated surveillance state ever created. A vast surveillance system called SkyNet (yes, like Terminator) spies on everyone through artificial intelligence and millions of cameras. If SkyNet suspects they will commit a crime, they can be arrested on the spot and sent to a concentration camp.
It’s a troubling future, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are things you can do today, at home, to protect yourself, your identity, your cyber-security and your future.
The first step is acknowledging that your technology is spying on you. The second is to set up a cyber-security system – it’s surprisingly easy, and I’ve developed it based on my reporting. The final step is to know how to verify truth in our social media world.
Success in technology means breaking old habits
Based on a decade reporting on the Apple vs. Samsung wars, in both Silicon Valley and around the world, Geoffrey Cain explains the keys to victory in the fast-changing technology industry. First, breaking old habits. Second, achieving scale. Third, telling the best story. Finally, the small steps should not overpower the big vision.
These four factors determined how the world’s costliest and most iconic business battle played out—and how each side attempted to get an edge on the other, leading to dramatic victories for both.
The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey into China's Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future
An in-depth, on-the ground view of how Chinese officials have co-opted technology, infrastructure and the minds of their people to establish the definitive police state.
Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech
An explosive exposé of one of the biggest and most secretive companies in the world, Samsung, as the Korean juggernaut battles Apple and Sony to dominate the world of technology