About

Humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in past 300 years – are you ready?

Discover, imagine and design your preferred futures, today!

I’ve been a Futurist for more than 15 years, with more than 1500 engagements for over 800 clients in 47 countries, and an estimated global audience of 1.5 Million people.  I focus on 5- to 10-year future scenarios, yet my work is becoming increasingly ‘nowist’ i.e. about the here-and-now, because “the future is already here – it’s just unevenly distributed” (as one of my favourite science fiction writers, William Gibson, likes to say).

My passion and my topics. My main theme is the future of technology and humanity. In a world where technological progress is exceedingly exponential and combinatorial, how will we define what is human, and what is not? What will humans do, in the future, and what will be done by technology? What should and what should not be automated? From genetic engineering to artificial intelligence and robotics, from cognitive computing to the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 – we are heading into a future where much of what used to be science-fiction is becoming science-fact. What consequences will this have on society, culture, economy, business, government, the environment … and ourselves? What do we need to do today to make sure the ultimate result will still be human flourishing?

My role. I serve as a compass, translator, remixer, catalyst or coach for my audiences and my clients, helping them to discover and create their preferred futures. In this coming convergence of technology and biology, of man and machine, of algorithms and what I call humarithms, I aim to contribute independent leadership and global-minded stewardship. In this context, I am very fortunate to have the support of my fellow futurists, dear friends and colleagues at The Futures Agency (where I serve as Founder and CEO).

My style. I tell powerful stories about the future that may sometimes disturb the present. I aim for holistic and interdependent views, unique insights, impactful penny-drops, prescient foresights, deep observations and above all, practical wisdoms. My style is entertaining yet hard-hitting, often slightly fast and rather colourful but always personal and intimate, humorous and irreverent.

Team Human. Rather than to try and become an expert-on-everything I like the concept of a future-focused polymath – and of course, I aim to be a humanist, above all. One of my key principles is to ‘assume less, and discover more’. I strive not to (just) be smarter but to be more human – because I think this is where our future lies, as well. And I’m solidly with Douglas Rushkoff when he says ‘I’m on team human’.

As an author and writer, I like to push the envelope and set the backdrop for my keynotes and future-workshops, starting with the best-selling book ‘The Future of Music’ (2005) and leading towards my upcoming book ‘The Humanity Challenge’ (2016). On that note, many of my digital books can be downloaded for free via GerdCloud.com (my public dropbox folder).

As a keynote speaker and presenter, I like to take my audience onto an immersive trip into the near-future, mixing ‘future shock’ and ‘future awe’ into an engaging, inspiring and unforgettable experience.

As a workshop leader and future coach, I like to stage experiences and kick off unforgettable conversations that will challenge the participants’ assumptions, reframe their views on who they are and what they do, and why, and open new doors for and with them.

As a TV host and film producer, I like to entertain but always with a deep purpose. I depict the future in order to reboot the present, with the goal of having longterm impact.

As the CEO of The Futures Agency, I like to bring together the most brilliant understanders, communicators and change agents around the world, and undertake missions to help our clients find their way forward.

I live in Zürich, Switzerland – and in airport lounges around the world:).

This is what people say about me (LinkedIn Endorsements): LinkedIn Jan2016

Download this page as PDF: About Gerd   Download Gerd’s 2016 Portraits (OK to use for media purposes, link via Flickr)

My new 2015 speaking topics are listed here.

Download them as PDF: Topics March 2015 Gerd Leonhard Futurist Speaker

Download my latest bio: Gerd Leonhard Biography June 2015

Spanish-language bio: Gerd in Spanish

Some German-language resources

My German-language website GerdLeonhard.de is here.

My latest topics in German (PDF): Themen Gerd Leonhard Futurist

My German bio: Gerd Leonhard Futurist D

2015 Interview über Digitalisierung

Gerd Leonhard über die vernetzte Gesellschaft – Trend Report Trend Report 2015

2015-08 Job Revolution

Here is a playlist with my latest films and keynotes on the topic of humanity and technology


Official biographies

Short version

Gerd Leonhard, Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Author and CEO of The Futures Agency Listed by Wired Magazin as one of the top 100 most influential people in Europe (2015), Gerd Leonhard’s work focusses on the future of humanity and technology, digital transformation, big data, automation, AI and robotics, media, content, marketing and advertising, telecommunications, culture and tourism, banking and financial services, and leadership. In his keynotes, presentations, workshops and advisory sessions Gerd often addresses topics such as digital darwinism and the challenges of digital transformation, the redefinition of human-machine relationships, automisation and the future of work and jobs, privacy versus publicy in the era of big data, the sharing economy, and many more. His presentations are renowned for a hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, humorous and motivating style. Gerd is a much sought-after speaker, having presented at more than 1500 events in 40+ countries since 2005. His list of clients include UBS, Mastercard, Unilever, Lloyds Bank, WWF, Nokia, The Guardian, Google, Sony, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, The EU Commission, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, VISA, and many others. Gerd Leonhard is a member of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA, London). He resides in Zürich, Switzerland.

Long version

Gerd Leonhard is a well-known Futurist and Author of 5 books, a highly influential Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader & Advisor and the Creator / Host of The Future Show.  He is well-known as the co-author of the influential book ‘The Future of Music’ (Berklee Press, 2005), and as the author of ‘The End of Control’ (2007), ‘Music 2.0’ (2008), ‘Friction is Fiction’ (2009, Lulu Publishing), and ‘The Future of Content’ (Kindle-only, 2011).  Most of Gerd’s books can be downloaded as free PDFs via GerdCloud.com (shared Dropbox folder). Gerd’s background is in music and the music business; in 1985 he won Berklee College’s ‘Quincy Jones Award’ and subsequently spend 10 years working as a professional guitar player, composer and producer. He then caught the Internet bug and became a digital media entrepreneur and start-up Internet CEO, based in San Francisco, for 7 years. In 2002, Gerd returned to Europe and started his career as a Futurist, Keynote Speaker and Strategic Advisor.

He now travels around the globe and speaks at many major conferences and events, company retreats, seminars and in-house trainings on the Future of Technology and Humanity, the Future of Business,  Media, Content and Entertainment, Marketing, Advertising & Branding, Telecommunications and many more topics.

Gerd is considered a leading expert on topics such as the future of humanity, big data and privacy, digitally native business models, the networked society, a sustainable business ecology, social media, social business and So-Lo-Mo communications, TV & Radio futures, mobile strategies, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, consumer trends, and the development of ‘green futures‘ scenarios. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal called Gerd ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’. In 2015 Gerd was voted one of the top 100 influencers in Europe, by Wired Magazin.

Review his public endorsements here, or via LinkedIn. Gerd’s keynotes, speeches and presentations are renowned for his hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, personal and intense motivational style.  Gerd’s diverse client list includes Consumers International, Youtube, Nokia, SAP, Motorola, Rhodia, SES Asra, the WWF, The Guardian, Google, Sony Music, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, the BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB / TribalDDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, the European Commission, the Government of New Zealand and many others. In April 2014, Gerd launched The Future Show (TFS) . TFS is the first web-TV show that explains the fast-paced world of technology to a general consumer and business audience in an irreverent, critical, engaging and exciting way. Gerd is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (London) and a member of the World Future Society. A native German and long-time US-resident (San Francisco and Boston), he now resides in Zürich, Switzerland.

Information for Media and for Clients (most resources can also be downloaded via the links in the top nav bar)

Various links

Image below via the GBTA (thanks)

Gerd GBTA enpowerment OpeningMeridian122


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