Loading Future Keynotespeaker Gerd Leonhard

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Core Topics

Nice to see you here!

As a Futurist and a Humanist, [virtual] Keynote Speaker, Advisor, Author and Film-Maker  I strive to share foresights and practical wisdom with my audiences and clients. I focus on actionable observations for the next 5-10 years, in Society and Culture, Policy and Government, Science and Technology, (such as Artificial Intelligence), Healthcare and Life-Sciences, Climate Change and Sustainability, Banking and Financial Services,  Jobs and Education, Human Resources, Mobility and Transportation, and Tourism and Hospitality.

Due to Covid-19, a lot of my work has zeroed in on what I now call Beyond-Corona-Future scenarios i.e. the near-future impact of Covid-19 on all aspects of our lives (have a look at my #1 speaking topic, Beyond Corona, here). And of course, almost all of my talks are virtual now.

Updated January 22, 2021: I just added a brand-new variation on the Beyond-Corona topic, taking a wider view: ‘The Good Future: People, Planet, Purpose and Prosperity”. Read more here.

Download GERD Core Topics as PDF

My most often-requested topic [virtual keynote]:

The Future Beyond Corona: what to expect in the next 3-5 years

Our world has been dramatically shaken up by the Covid19 crisis – and it’s becoming clear that there is no such thing as ‘going back to normal‘. The utter uncertainty resulting from this crisis often feels devastating, yet I believe that this situation also presents a very unique opening for what I call The Great Transformation: What seemed impossible just a year ago, has now become the ‘New Normal’ (like….helicopter-money). And we are questioning those traditional ‘normals’ more than ever before, such as globalisation, working from the office (vs WFH), economic, racial and gender inequality, the shortcomings of extreme capitalism, the insufficient action on climate change, over-tourism and excessive air-travel, and much more. WATCH THIS PLAYLIST with the latest talks on this topic. Visit this new topic overview page.

DETAILS  YOUTUBE PLAYLIST

2021 CORE TOPICS

Key Topics

GREEN IS THE NEW DIGITAL, SUSTAINABLE IS THE NEW PROFITABLE

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Key Topics

THE GOOD FUTURE: PEOPLE PLANET PURPOSE PROSPERITY

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Key Topics

AWESOME HUMANS AND AMAZING TECHNOLOGY: WORK & EDUCATION

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Key Topics

CULTURE EATS TECHNOLOGY FOR BREAKFAST: REHUMANIZE!

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Key Topics

HUMANITY AND TECHNOLOGY: DIGITAL ETHICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

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Key Topics

THE FORK IN THE ROAD: TACKLING HUMANITY'S 4 EXISTENTIAL RISKS

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Key Topics

THE FUTURE IS BETTER THAN WE THINK

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Key Topics

THE 10 MEGASHIFTS OF EXPONENTIAL TRANSFORMATION

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Key Topics

DEVELOPING A FUTURE-READY MINDSET

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BEYOND CORONA

The Beyond-Corona Future: what to expect in the next 3-5 years

Our world is being painfully but irreversibly rebooted by the Covid19 crisis – and we are not ‘going back to normal’. To many of us, this crisis may feel quite devastating but I think it also creates a very unique opportunity for what I call ‘The Great Transformation‘.  Watch the latest keynote videos here.  Have a look at my new Beyond Corona Topic Page (January 2021).

This keynote (usually held remotely) addresses topics such as:

  • What have we learned from this crisis?
  • The economic and business impact: the future of jobs, work, commerce and trade
  • The geopolitical impact: Europe, the U.S. and China – new power structures? De-Globalisation?
  • The future of capitalism: stakeholder value over shareholder value: finally, a sustainable capitalism?
  • The environmental impact: how will this crisis impact climate-change action? How real is the ‘end of oil‘?
  • The impact on medical & healthcare: entering warp-drive
  • The societal impact: is technological domination and permanent surveillance next?
  • The personal impact: fears and hopes, solidarity vs. opportunism, resilience vs desperation
  • The impact on investing: where will the money go?
  • The impact on education, learning and universities (and leadership)

As you may have guessed, this keynote is usually held virtually i.e. as a digital keynote, but in some instances can also be in-person i.e. in ‘real-life’, and for those with smaller budgets I now offer new interview & conversations formats, as well.

As part of this talk, I often present these 4 steps of coping with this crisis:
focus on survival  »  pursue radical collaboration  »  become masters of adaptation  »  pivot and transform (short video).

BOOKING INQUIRY  LATEST READS via GerdFeed

THE GOOD FUTURE

Why and how “People-Planet-Purpose and Prosperity” is the key to our Future

Amidst the fears and everyday realities of the pandemic, the increasing urgency to address global warming and the societal challenges of technological hyper-transformation the world continues to change at a mind-boggling pace. Radical and once unthinkable climate-emergency measures like new carbon taxes (such as for aviation or  meat) are becoming increasingly likely as consumers and concerned citizens around the world push for real change. At the same time, Company CEO’s are touting their new commitments to stakeholder values, not just shareholder values.

The Covid19 crisis is amplifying our already urgent questions such as: What kind of future do we want?  Is our economic logic suitable for the future? Will ‘free and open markets’ deliver solutions for complex global issues?  

Green New Deals‘ are blossoming everywhere. Waves of new funding will be injected into climate change adaptation and mitigation, creating 100s of Millions of new jobs in sustainability-focused sectors. 

This global shift towards a new kind of capitalism will reboot markets around the world in the next 5-7 years as we transition from the outdated single bottom-line of GDP-Growth and Profit to what I call the quadruple bottom-line: People, Planet, Purpose and Prosperity  (aka sustainable capitalism, post-capitalism or conscious capitalism). 

Sustainable is the New Profitable. PURPOSE is the new Product. 

BOOKING INQUIRY   MORE DETAILS HERE

SUSTAINABLE IS THE NEW PROFITABLE. GREEN IS THE NEW DIGITAL.

Why and how the decarbonisation of our economy is the biggest opportunity in this coming decade

‘Digital transformation’ is just business-as usual-by now. Around the globe, pretty much every organisation that intends to thrive in the next decade is hard at work on digitization, automation, virtualisation etc – what I call The Megashifts.

The next really big topic has been on the agenda for decades but apparently had to first be kick-started by the Corona Crisis: The Decarbonisation of our economies and the ‘gradually, then suddenly‘ departure from the fossil-fuel era.

Get ready: wide-ranging new carbon taxes are inevitable (airlines, meat etc) and fossil fuel subsidies will be turned into ‘nature positive’ investments. During the Covid crisis we have learned that being prepared for emergencies is utterly essential – and that yes we can indeed compromise and collaborate if we have to.  Covid19 is a test-run for climate change. 

I set forth that the circular economy is the only economy we’ll have in 2030, and that ‘sustainable’ is becoming the new ‘profitable’ in the next 5 years (yes…have a look at the stakeholder economy debates).

Any company that does not understand how this global move towards rapid decarbonisation will impact every segment of their business – from R&D to supply-chains, to production to distribution to marketing to branding – will wither and shrink or just fade away, and any individual that does not understand what it means as far as knowledge, skills and mindset is concerned, will quickly become dispensable.

In this talk, I explain why this tectonic shift is happening now, what it really means, and how to get behind it and prosper in this fork-in-the-road decade that’s coming up.  **watch this short film.

BOOKING INQUIRY   MY POSTS ON SUSTAINABILITY

AWESOME HUMANS ON TOP OF AMAZING TECHNOLOGY

The Future of Business, Commerce and Society, Work, Jobs and Education: Humanity will change more in the next 10 years than the previous 100 years

All too often, scientific breakthroughs, the latest technological achievements or obsession with GDP-growth dominate discussions about our future. Yet as the world is rapidly going digital and virtual,  I believe it actually is our humanity that needs the most attention, and that it will be our humanness which will make all the difference.

Computers will inevitably outpace humans in mere processing power, logic and efficiency, and the resulting ‘End of Routine’ is a certainty. Thus, the ticket to our future is to become more human, not less, not to compete with the machines but to use their increased competence to handle those tedious commodity tasks better and faster. Machines, computers and algorithms should have competence not consciousness.

What will happen to humans when machines become truly ‘intelligent’?  What about privacy,  mystery or serendipity? And what of emotions, intuition, imagination, consciousness (what I call, in my last book, the androrithms)? In this talk, I outline the challenge as well as some possible solutions – The Future is better than we think!

The biggest danger today is not that machines will eliminate us, but that we may become too much like them. (More details here.)

BOOKING INQUIRY

CULTURE EATS TECHNOLOGY FOR BREAKFAST – REHUMANIZE, NOW.

How to Build Resilient, Agile and Creative Organizations

We have reached peak ‘digital transformation’ – if you haven’t yet heard about why you and your business need to ‘go digital’ or ‘transform into a digital organisation’ you just may have lived under a rock during the past 5 years:) But now that this initial “transform or die” hype is winding down we are entering an era where it is no longer just about upgrading your IT-systems or investigating new business models.

Now it is all about making sense, staging experiences, and creating tangible human benefits. We must therefore transcend technology so that we can focus on what really matters: human flourishing and (customer) happiness. We must invest as much in humanity as we invest in technology. Today’s unique opportunity is to re-humanize technology so that it serves a deeper purpose. When humans are treated like algorithms the loss of trust is pre-programmed – and losing trust is something no organisation can afford.

If you don’t want to end up like some of the global social media platforms who are now facing a jaw-dropping loss of trust, regulation and anti-trust legislation, put the HUMAN back into the centre of everything you do, and the future will be yours!

BOOKING INQUIRY  Latest #TechvsHuman posts

HUMANITY AND TECHNOLOGY: DIGITAL ETHICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Our future could be hell or it could be heaven – it’s our choice!

Science fiction is increasingly becoming science fact. Witness the dramatic technological advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, human genome manipulation, autonomous vehicles, and quantum computing. In 10 years, technology will be almost limitless!  

For these reasons, the ethical and humane use of technology can no longer be an afterthought, but is instead an existential challenge. If we define ethics as “knowing the difference between having the power to do something, and doing the right thing”, who do we want making these critical decisions? Should it be for algorithms and profit incentives alone to determine our fate? Who will be “mission control for humanity”?  

As renowned Apple CEO Tim Cook once said, “Technology can do great things, but it does not want to do great things…” And the same is true of the organization and the economy as a whole.

In a world where technology will increasingly define every aspect of life, who do we want at the helm? If we define ethics as “knowing the difference between having the right or the power to do something, and doing the right thing”, who, then will decide what is right, and who will be “mission control for humanity”? 

BOOKING INQUIRY

THE FORK IN THE ROAD
Addressing Humanity’s Four Existential Challenges

Humanity has entered a critical moment in its history. We’re at a pivot point. The coming decade is a time of mind-boggling exponential change and great significance, because the decisions we make in the next 10 years will determine whether our future is bright, happy and prosperous, or whether it leads to misery or perhaps even our eventual demise as a species.  

And while many different forces are impacting our future, I propose that there are four overarching challenges that dwarf all others: 

  1. Dealing with the increasingly existential Climate Crisis
  2. Designing a new economic and geopolitical framework, based on “People, Planet, Purpose & Prosperity”    
  3. Managing and governing exponential scientific and technological progress 
  4. Understanding and regulating human Enhancement, longevity, and human genome editing 

The good news is that while our challenges are urgent, we are not yet too late. In fact, I often say that the future is better than we think- but we must make the right decisions, here and now and in this coming decade. What kind of world do we want to leave our children and our succeeding generations? 

“You can always count on humans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else”

BOOKING INQUIRY

THE FUTURE IS BETTER THAN WE THINK
10 Reasons to be Optimistic and 5 Actionable Strategies to Make it So

For decades, Hollywood  has flooded the public with visions of  dystopian futures. It is no wonder that many people fear AI and robots. Add the never-ending Covid-19 crisis, (de)globalisation, automation and geopolitical uncertainties to the mix, and the result is a widespread belief that the future is mostly bleak.

Yet the fact is that our world is not irrevocably destined to become a  dehumanized hellscape ruled by AI, or some other Black-Mirror-like nightmare, and our future certainly isn’t fixed – we create it with our (in)actions, every day. And if you look at the correct data, you’ll find things often are actually better than ever before.

The world is, in fact, improving at a rapid rate. Sure, the world’s progress in the past 30 years is not all just peachy and amazing – especially when seeing it in context with the current corona crisis. Yet we are well on the way of reducing extreme poverty and hunger, and chiselling away at many of the other woes that have plagued humanity since the dawn of time, including diseases, crime and war.  Indeed, we have a lot of reasons to be optimistic about our progress. In the next decade, I think we will have most of the tools (i.e. science and technology) we need – so now we must acquire the telos (will, purpose and wisdom).

So what can you do, as an individual, an enterprise or an organisation, to make sure your future will indeed be bright?  How will you develop a Future-Ready-Mindset? How will you turn these challenges/opportunities into positive action? If we are (or become) what we believe we can be, how do we change our beliefs and mindsets?

BOOKING INQUIRY

THE 10 MEGASHIFTS OF EXPONENTIAL TRANSFORMATION
How Organizations Can Make the Most of Disruption

While a rising tide lifts all boats, one-sided or blind disruption can capsize any organization. To create enduring, dynamic organizations built to last in today’s era of accelerating exponential technology, the most important thing is foresight and preparedness.

Unlike any other point in history, companies and organizations – and their people – find themselves forced to pivot and dramatically reinvent themselves, or face sudden disintermediation and irrelevance. From music to the automotive industry, big oil to big box retail, and everything in between, the pace of change is increasing and only poised to accelerate further as the 11 Megashifts (which include digitisation, automation, datafication, virtualisation, robotisation, and others) sweep across the industry and society, altering every aspect of daily life.

While organizations unprepared for the waves of change to come will not survive, those that ready themselves can take advantage of the enormous opportunities created amidst the chaos, from IoT and artificial intelligence to robotics and new human-machine interfaces (such as voice-control and intelligent bots).

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DEVELOPING A FUTURE-READY MINDSET
Character Traits, Skills, and Habits to Thrive

While there is no such thing as “knowing the future,” nothing is more important to the long-term success of your organization than the future-readiness and foresight of your employees, upper management, and C-suite. Every captain needs a compass, especially in these uncertain times of technological and social upheaval where only the organizations with an eye to the future can react quickly enough to not only survive, but thrive.

There is a reason the half-life of great organizations is getting shorter and shorter. Technological disruption and competition have killed many once-great companies. And today, amidst the upcoming megashifts poised to transform the world as we know it, only agile, resilient organizations with future-ready teams and leaders will have the fortitude and foresight to capitalize on these unprecedented economic opportunities.

The question is: are your people and processes ready?

BOOKING INQUIRY

ENGAGEMENT OPTIONS

VIRTUAL OR IN PERSON – LIVE or PRE-RECORDED

AVAILABLE ENGAGEMENT & PRESENTATION FORMATS

Gerd’s fees depend on the degree of desired customisation, audience size, preparation time required, and overall event context.

  • A virtual / online keynote with customised background visuals (15-60 min), LIVE online event or Pre-Recorded
  • A virtual keynote from Gerd’s existing library of pre-recorded talks, slightly edited with customised intros/outros and example reels (see an example here)
  • On-location keynote in person and with customized visuals (30-60 min), Q&A or a speech without any visuals or media. *** Subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions ***
  • A ‘Fireside-Chat with Futurist Gerd’ (no media, no presentation, conversation-style), hosted by a suitable and experienced presenter. Real-Life or Virtual.
  • A virtual panel or webinar participation (no speech, no presentation)
  • Futurizing Seminars or Workshops for executive board future-coaching
  • Virtual Advisory Session with Futurist Gerd

GERD’S FEES ARE BASED ON THESE VARIABLES:

  • Do you desire a virtual presence i.e. a remote talk from Gerd’s studio in Zürich, using highly immersive virtual backgrounds, in FullHD (see this video) or a personal / real-life presence, at your event location?
  • Is this about a current core topic (see above) with some basic customisations (lowest fee), or
  • Is it about a current or legacy topic, but with substantial customisation such as more domain-specific content requiring deeper research and preparation, or
  • Is this about an entirely new topic or subject matter, researched and designed for a specific occasion? 

 

Download Core Topic List as PDF

Advisory Sessions

Beyond keynotes and presentations, Gerd also offers bespoke ‘futurizing’ advisory sessions, workshops, seminars, as well as executive board and CXO future-coaching. Gerd is also a film-maker and heads up all StoriesFromTheFuture.tv projects. He is available for participation in fire-side chats, talk-shows, public debates and TV shows, and enjoys moderating events, as well. Gerd presents both in English as well as in German language.

MORE DETAILS SESSIONS INQUIRY

Gerd can address these industries and sectors

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