48 hours after my very first Tinder date, I was applying to university for a course I’d never heard of.

Prior to this, I hadn’t gone to University (I chose Art School instead) and had no compelling reason to change that. Evidently this was not your usual Tinder date. It was a critical moment in a strange, serendipitous series of events that changed my career and way of understanding of the world.

It began with a question

This was during my tour of duty in the public service.

I was writing policy based on our expectations of need 5-10 years in the future. But there was a question niggling inside me.

What if the future doesn’t look like an extension of today? What are we assuming will change and stay the same? What else could happen?

That led to a book

I took my question to my favourite bookstore (RIP Embiggen) and asked who I should read to help answer it.

My local bookmonger rolled the ladder across the shelf, climbed up and passed me Black Swan by Nicholas Nassim Taleb. I took it home and inhaled it.

And ended with a Masters degree

2 days later I’m making small chat on a date and mention something I’d read in Black Swan that struck me as really interesting.

My date told me this was a text they discussed in his Masters course. What course you say? A Masters of Strategic Foresight.

Applications for study closed 2 weeks after that night. Mine was among them.

We never went on a second date (though we remain good friends!), but my life would be vastly different if we hadn’t had that first date.