I aim to speak about things that really matter. I address topics that I feel passionate about, and share personal learnings that I feel will help my audience. I like to think of it as ‘practical wisdom’. Humans are at the heart of my work, and many answers to the questions I pose come back to the core principle of using technology to further collective human flourishing. For example, how will we deal with the negative externalities i.e. the unintended consequences of exponential technological progress? What are our biggest opportunities and challenges in society for the next ten years? How do we stay human in a machine-led world? (For more thoughts on this, read my 2019 mission statement, here)
Immersion, engagement and lasting impact is crucial to my engagements. I aim to go way beyond ‘keynotes as usual’ using a format we call The Future Show: for big venues that feature larger screens and LED-walls, my team creates custom-made animations and graphics, video-clips and audio. Check out some of my shows on Youtube. I am equally happy to speak at smaller and more intimate events, with or without visuals. After all, sometimes a great live debate can be just as powerful as a presentation! As context and curation is key, I encourage all prospective clients to get in touch with me and my team to discuss your particular needs.
Below are my core speaking topics for 2019. If desired, I can also cover adjacent topics, as well as my legacy topics from the previous years. However, please note that we will prioritise requests that closely align with the key 2019 themes outlined below. I hope to hear from you soon!
Sometimes it seems that technology is the only thing that will matter in the future. I beg to differ. Sure, data is the new oil and artificial intelligence maybe the new electricity, but this makes being human more important - not less.
Bertolt Brecht famously commented that humans tend to think 'dinner first, then morals'. I observe that we've had many amazing digital feasts already - now it’s time for Ethics and Humanity to top the menu.
Artificial Intelligence is a very confusing topic for many people, and one that has been greatly distorted in the media. I suggest to differ between IA (intelligent assistance), AI and AGI, and to look at the merits of each.
In this fast-paced and provocative show, I cut right to the chase - only my most important future observations make it into this presentation. Using current examples, I hypothesise that the future is no longer a timeframe: it's a mindset.
If you believe 'digital transformation' is what it's all about, think again. I propose 9 other Megashifts that are the result of game-changing technological advances: Virtualisation, cognification, robotisation, automation - read on.
The future is already here - we just haven’t paid enough attention to it. Science fiction is increasingly becoming science fact and we must increasingly challenge our assumptions about what is possible. Futurize, now!
Scientific break-throughs, exponential technological progress, economic growth and related economic gains often dominate the discussions when we ponder the future. However, as the world is going rapidly digital, I believe it is our humanity that needs the most attention, and it is our humanity that will make all the difference in a world dominated by algorithms and smart machines. Our future is to become more human, not less, and the biggest danger today is not that machines will eliminate us, but that we come too much like them!
Consider how quickly the world is changing: data is now really the new oil, artificial intelligence is becoming the new electricity, and the Internet of Things could well be the world’s new nervous system. Digital giants and social media platforms have replaced banks and energy conglomerates as the most powerful companies in the world. Algorithms, AI and bots are gearing up to run the show in every industry. What will happen to humans when machines become truly intelligent? What about privacy, secrets, mystery, serendipity, emotions, intuition, imagination, consciousness, and…free will?
This talk is expanding on the core themes explored in my recent book, Technology vs. Humanity.
Science fiction is increasingly becoming science fact. Witness the dramatic technological advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, human genome manipulation, autonomous vehicles and quantum computing. I reckon that in 10 years technology will be almost limitlessly powerful! It is for these reasons that I believe that the ethical and humane use of technology can no longer be an afterthought, but that it is in fact an existential challenge. 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”? Technology is morally neutral until we use it (hat-tip to William Gibson) – and we will use it absolutely everywhere in the near future. Do we need a ‘Digital Ethics Council’?
AI has become a global buzz-phrase that hogs our attention everywhere – yet the very idea of AI is being frequently misinterpreted, misunderstood and misrepresented. Hopefully this presentation can clear up this confusion! From a non-academic perspective I explain the differences between what I call IA (intelligent assistance), AI and AGI (artificial general intelligence), and what each of them could mean for our near-future. I depict what is real and what’s not so real (yet), and where things are going in the next 5-7 years. Examples are usually drawn specifically from a client’s domain or industry. This talk also includes some elements from the Technology vs. Humanity talk, as outlined above, and often addresses the impact of AI on work, education and jobs, as well. Be sure to watch my popular 2018 film: we need to talk about AI.
In this fast-paced talk, I cut to the chase. Only my most important future-observations make it into this talk. Culled from my firehose-like-mix of recent reads, news, reports, research, videos and films, and influenced by the many brilliant people I meet and speak to, this constantly updated talk lays out the top-10 things I find most relevant for our immediate future. This talk is highly customisable and can cover almost any desired segment within business, society, technology and humanity.
I often start my talks by stating that the future is already here but that we’re just not paying enough attention. I also suggest that the future is no longer a mere extension of the present because the changes that are now impacting every aspect of our lives are exponential, combinatorial and interdependent. The future is no longer a time-frame, it’s a mindset.
‘Tomorrow’ is happening increasingly faster than we think, and it is therefore vitally important to boost our future-readiness, to nurture a future-mindset, and to ‘futurize’ ourselves as well as our organisations.
In this talk, I share my approach to observing, understanding and imagining the future, both on a personal as well as on an organisational level. The future is not something that just happens us – it is something we create!
The top 20 global technology brands and digital platforms are growing exponentially fast while many incumbent enterprises and former household-name-brands are forced to ‘pivot’ and dramatically reinvent themselves, or face sudden disintermediation and irrelevance – witness the media industry, or recently, the incumbent car industry giants in Europe. In this eye-opening session, Gerd looks at how to evolve into a future-ready organisation based on understanding and exploiting The Megashifts, a key meme first presented in Gerd’s recent book Technology vs. Humanity.
The Megashifts include digitisation, automation, datafication, virtualisation, robotisation, and others (for a total of 10), and understanding them is the ticket to future success. The Megashifts are fuelled by a multitude of game-changers such as The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics, new human-machine interfaces (such as voice-control and intelligent bots). In this riveting talk, Gerd depicts the key trends, reveals the likely minefields and identifies the key opportunities, dishing up a mixture of future-shock and awesomeness to stimulate some serious thinking. Watch this related video. Download the free Megashifts chapter from my 2016 book Technology vs. Humanity, here.
Beyond keynotes and presentations, Gerd also offers bespoke ‘futurizing’ 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.