David Rowan

The leading authority on technology’s impact on business.

Founding Editor-in-Chief, WIRED UK (2008-17). Bestselling author of "Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds"

David Rowan speaker, conferencias, wired, innovation

How to attract talent, and motivate your team to perform its best work, in a fast changing world when the “workplace” is more fluid than ever before.


David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen.


He has since invested in more than 150 early-stage tech companies, including two that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and is an adviser to venture-capital funds, the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, and numerous tech businesses.


Former technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times, he has been asked to give more than 600 keynotes in recent years, and has received repeat requests to present for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel and Unilever.

David’s Amazon #1 business bestseller “Non Bullshit Innovation: 17Proven Ways to Transform How You Work” (Penguin) has been published in Japan, Korea, Russia, Ukraine and beyond. The book, a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out 17 proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — helping leaders build resilience in an uncertain world.

David Rowan has moderated events for the World Economic Forum, WIRED and the UK and French governments, and is increasingly in demand to host virtual conferences.


David Rowan deconstructs tech trends in real time, unpacking how major innovations like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, and more, are changing businesses and consumers. He focuses on how technology-led innovation can build prosperity even in economic downturns and amid market crises.

The past couple of months have been busy, speaking for banks, food conglomerates, governments and consulting firms from New Orleans to Singapore. Clients have ranged from American Express to CBRE, the UAE government to Twilio, and topics have inevitably centred on how AI can benefit their organisations in concrete ways; how leaders can navigate powerfully converging exponential technologies such as AI, quantum computing and now spatial computing; how to build a culture of adaptive innovation in an organisation when the world will never move this slowly again.


David Rowan delivers fascinating and knowledgeable presentations full of insight into the future of technology together with lively examples and engaging video clips which reveal that, in some cases, the future is already here.


He’s typically asked to speak about how innovation and technology are likely to impact a particular sector (from manufacturing to motoring), and what incumbent companies can do to protect themselves. He customises every talk, and in recent months has addressed audiences in finance, fashion, utilities, television, insurance, shipping, travel, real estate and business software. He also speaks a lot about changing business models, and how companies can develop a culture of innovation.

David Rowan is also in demand internationally as an event host and moderator, after-dinner speaker and webinar presenter. He has also been moderating on numerous stages — at Dubai’s vast Gitex summit (interviewing the UAE’s Minister for Artificial Intelligence was a highlight, below), and at startup events such as the Sigma Squared Summit and the 10xFounders Summit. I’m spending a lot of time at university research labs and startup clusters, and I guess my main role is to translate what’s happening at the cutting edge in order for today’s business leaders to know how to plan.

He also delight in moderating events and holding together an inspiring conversation, whether running an entire four-day Marrakech conference for a payments company, or moderating sessions in Munich for a Chinese telco.


How to understand the impact of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. What they mean for business resilience, the job market, process automation.


Technology offers hope for optimism as we enter an era of uncertainty and financial fragility. Here are the growth opportunities — from reinventing supply chains to building new brand heroes.


COVID forced business leaders to move insanely fast to adapt. But how do you build a culture of effective innovation? Here are the lessons from David’s 20-nation quest for non-bullshit innovation.


David Rowan travelled across the world to understand what it takes for businesses and governments to leverage digital transformation in exciting ways. He shares ten lessons from his new book Non-Bullshit Innovation that can be applied to all sorts of organisations.


David delivers bespoke presentations for client meetings. Recent subjects have included the future of food and drink (clients including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Barilla); the future of aviation (IATA); the future of real estate (CBRE, Leading Real Estate, Cushman & Wakefield); the future of media (Sky, Schibsted, BBC); the future of healthcare (BUPA, Vitality, Kaiser Permanente); the future of financial services (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan).



- How to be human in the emergent era of transformative AI, neural interfaces, simulated realities and planetary chaos.
- What AI means for the data centre.
- How exponential tech forces retailers to think like startups.
- The impact of AI on operational real estate.
- How exponential tech could impact aviation cybersecurity.
- The Ten New Rules of Business.
- How to optimise Customer Engagement.
- Why purpose plus profit is the new mantra.


David has moderated events for the UK and French governments; World Economic Forum; Pictet; Royal Academy of Engineering. He has hosted numerous awards ceremonies, frequently interviews CEOs on stage, and is often asked to host multi-day events.

Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds.

'In this remarkable book, David Rowan tells a story of transformation: how an organisation has found a new way of doing things through innovation driven by ruthless entrepreneurial imagination. What is especially useful is that he does not just stick with small startups, let alone dreamy “inventors”. He finds innovation in big companies and even within governments.' - Matt Ridley, The Times.

David Rowan travels the globe in search of the most exciting and pioneering startups building the future. He’s got to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Spotify, Xiaomi, Didi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious entrepreneurs disrupting businesses in almost every sector. And yet too often the companies they’re disrupting don’t get it. They think they can innovate through jargon: with talk of change agents and co-creation gurus, ideas portals and webinars, make-a-thons and hackfests, paradigm shifts and pilgrimages to Silicon Valley. It’s mostly pointless innovation theatre ― corporate nonsense that has little to do with delivering real change. But during this quest he's also discovered some genuinely exciting and transformative approaches to innovation, often in places you might least expect.

Get ready for:

· The airline that rewards passengers for walking their dog
· The bank that performs surgery
· The country that’s an app store

And many more.

Packed full of tips for anyone looking for radical ways to adapt and thrive in the digital age, this carefully curated selection of stories will reveal ideas for creating genuine innovation from some of the world’s most inspiring leaders.

Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds.