Futurist Speaker Gerd Leonhard

Gerd Leonhard

Futurist & Keynote Speaker, Author, Future Strategist and CEO, the Futures Agency

Nominated as one of the Top 100 Most-Influential People in Europe by Wired magazine. Speaker Gerd Leonhard is a devoted humanist who wishes for all technological evolution to benefit the greater good of humanity. Organizations book Gerd Leonhard to learn why culture is more important than technology, what technology innovation will be like in the next 5 years, how we should become more human, the future of work, and more.

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    Gerd Leonhard biography

    Futurist speaker Gerd Leonhard has become very popular in the past 20 years. His speaking career began in 2004, and since then, he has spoken in over 60 countries in front of millions of people. Wired magazine has nominated Gerd as one of the Top 100 Most-Influential People in Europe. In addition, The Wall Street Journal has named him a pioneer in media futurism.  

    Digital ethics, AI, foresight, and the future of leadership are Gerd’s primary interests. In addition to being hard-hitting and provocative, his keynotes are enlightening, funny, motivating, and personal. He has delivered keynotes in over 100 countries. Throughout the years, Gerd’s performances have evolved into a one-of-a-kind immersive experience thanks to the use of innovative and creative motion design, ultimately redefining the visual aspect of the conference sector.

    Speaker Gerd Leonhard is a renowned international influencer who has provided advice to several government officials and business leaders worldwide. Gerd’s clients’ list includes Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, SAP, Accenture, Google, KPMG, and Deloitte. He has also worked with UBS, Sony, Mastercard, Tetrapak, Unilever, BBC, WWF, Lloyds Bank, The Guardian, Siemens, The Financial Times, VISA, and more.

    Moreover, Gerd is a devoted humanist who wishes for all technological evolution to benefit the greater good of humanity. 

    During his presentations, keynotes, advisory sessions, and workshops, Gerd talks about the relationship between humans and machines. He discusses what the future will be like in an AI and machines dominated world. Gerd believes we must protect what makes us human.

    Gerd Leonhard has a background working in several sectors, including music. He has also served as the CEO and founder of various internet startups. It was 2002 when Gerd finally discovered his calling as a futurist. Gerd wrote the book The Future of Music. He is also the author of a best-selling book called Technology vs. Humanity.

    Millions of people have seen Gerd’s films on digital transformation, the future of technology and humanity, and AI. He is a member of the Indian and Canadian Research Institutes’ advisory boards and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London. 

    Gerd Leonhard Speaking Videos

    Gerd Leonhard - Technology vs. Humanity
    Gerd Leonhard – The Future of Technology and Its Impact on Direct Democracy

    Gerd Leonhard Keynote Topics

    We have reached peak ‘digital transformation’ – if you haven’t 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!

    The top 20 global technology brands and digital platforms are growing exponentially 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 11), 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 futureshock and awesomeness to stimulate some serious thinking.

    Scientific break-throughs, exponential technological progress, economic growth and jobs 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 become 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?

    In this fast-paced talk, I cut to the chase. Only my most important future-observations make it into this presentation. 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 keynote 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.

    Automation is everywhere, already: from electronic bridge-tolls to connected cars with dash-cams and selfparking capabilities, to digital wallets and mobile payment platforms, to networked medical devices and quantified-self applications, to sensor networks for traffic control and robotic nurses for the elderly – and this is only the beginning. The next 5 years will bring rapid advancements in all areas of AI, robotics and the Internet of Things, and almost all of them will bring more automation to every sector of our society (and I am sure this will not always be a good thing, either). I believe that in the near future we need to focus on human-only jobs and non-routine tasks that only humans can undertake, focusing on creativity, design, tacit pattern recognition, negotiation and other ‘soft skills’, on right-brain capabilities or on emotional context (EQ).

    However, unemployment is very likely to soar, regardless, as ever smarter and cheaper machines increasingly automate all routines. So will we see the rise of a minimum guaranteed income (i.e. get paid without working) in some developed countries such as Switzerland? The very concept of work and ‘earning a living’ will need to be reimagined, and soon. The end of routine is not the end of human work!

    Successful businesses always maintain a constant conversation about the future: what lessons need to be operationalized today in order to avoid future irrelevance or worse, extinction? For one thing, it is essential to understand that everything that can be digitized, automated or virtualised, will be. Cognification, automation, disintermediation and robotization and 7 other Megashifts are now taking place across all industries, globally, not just in B2C sectors like media, content and marketing. Digital transformation – going from an industrial society to a digitally-native world – is certain to be the #1 challenge-opportunity in the next 5-7 years.

    How can people and their organisations become better at understanding the new challenges and opportunities, and move faster to develop the mindset and implement the transformations that are required? How will a company prosper in a world that is quickly becoming hyper-connected and interdependent? What skills and mindsets will we need, and what should remain human even if it is inefficient?

    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 nonacademic 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.

    FAQs on Booking Gerd Leonhard

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