Gerd Leonhard


FUTURIST STRATEGIST & CEO, THE FUTURES AGENCY. One of the leading Media Futurists in the World.

Gerd Leonhard speaker, keynote speech, futurist, technology

Gerd Leonhard is a widely-known and top-rated futurist, with over 1500 engagements in 50+ countries since 2004 and a combined audience of over 1 million people. Gerd focusses on near-future, ‘nowist’ observations and actionable foresights in the sectors of humanity, society, business and commerce, media, technology and communications.

English · French

Gerd Leonhard is also an influential author, a sought-after executive ‘future trainer’ and a trusted strategic advisor. He is the co-author of the best-selling book Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine”

and the author of 5 other books including ‘The Humanity Challenge’ (June 2016). Gerd is also the host of the web-TV series TheFutureShow and the CEO of TheFuturesAgency, a global network of over 30 leading futurists.

Gerd is considered a leading voice on a wide range of topics including digital transformation and the opportunity-challenges of the coming exponential society, a sustainable business and cultural ecology, social media and communications, TV / film, radio and broadcasting futures, mobile content and commerce, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, ‘hard-future’ consumer trends, human-machine futures and AI, cognitive computing, the IoT, big data and automation, next-generation advertising, marketing and branding, as well as sustainability and related ‘green future’ topics.

In 2006, The Wall Street Journal called Gerd ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’. In 2015, Wired Magazine listed Gerd Leonhard as #88 of the top 100 influencers in Europe. He’s #21 on the global list of futurists

Gerd’s keynotes, speeches and presentations are renowned for their hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, often humorous and always personal motivational style. Gerd Leonhard is highly regarded as a global influencer and has advised many business leaders and government officials around the globe.

His diverse client list of over 300 companies includes 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, IPG, The EU Commission, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, VISA, and many others.

When Gerd Leonhard speaks, it’s not just a presentation, it’s a unique and gripping performance. One of the most remarkable and unique keynote speakers in the world today, Gerd’s talks are honed by thousands of hours of experience in front of a combined audience of over 2.5 million people in 50+ countries. His passionate exploration of our relationship with technology ensures an unforgettable experience for the audience. Gerd is also an expert VIRTUAL PRESENTER.

How To Get Future-Ready.

Gerd Leonhard often start his talks by stating that the future is already here but that we’re just not paying enough attention. He 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, He shares his 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!

Disruption to construction: futurizing your business.

In this dynamic talk, Gerd delivers the immersion and the excitement that is often necessary to truly futurize your business or organisation, and to challenge and change established mindsets, toxic assumptions or satisfied attitudes. Understanding that the ‘digital default’ is becoming the new normal is often crucial to the process of constructing a new future.

Angling for quick disruptions is no longer sufficient: everything and everyone is getting connected, everywhere and at all times; mobile devices have already become our external brains while bots and intelligent assistants are next – connected devices are now truly becoming the ‘the extension of man’. This coming hyper-networked society will not just change the very definition of ownership, property and control, but business models in general will become increasingly transient rather than permanent and predictable.

How can you get ready for this kind of VUCA future, personally and professionally? How will you move beyond disruption towards constructing a truly sustainable future? Watch this keynote excerpt on how to become future-ready.

Robotics Vs Humanity: what the future holds.

Humans and ‘intelligent machines’ are increasingly interconnecting and overlapping. The Internet of Things aka the internet of everything is already here, and artificial intelligence and the singularity are global buzzwords. AI is certain to play a role everywhere, and robots are dropping in price dramatically while gaining quickly in functionality and skills.

But how will we – as linear beings – cope with this increasing empowerment of software and machines, the huge uptake in the flow of real-time information, and the far-reaching implications that these developments will have? What will happen to our ethics in a world of ultra-smart intelligent agents, artificial intelligence and the coming ‘singularity’?

The future of education, learning and training. Redefining Leadership for a new digital era.

In the near future, more and more products will become services, and many services will then become experiences, across most sectors of our society, as we are currently already seeing in television, books and transportation. As Mark Andreessen likes to put it: ‘software is eating the world’. Add the rise of ‘digital darwinism’ i.e. a much increased efficiency that almost always results from this total digitisation of society, and you will truly have a VUCA ( volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) world.

It will be all about radical openness and liquid, irreverent creativity, awakening imagination and a kind of human-only ingenuity in your team members, about generating actionable foresights and quickly recognising patterns among an ever increasing noise, and about focusing on what humans do best – because all the real economic and cultural value will be created here.

The future of privacy.

Most of us are sharing personal data on the Internet, and exponentially so, now that the ‘Social-Local-Mobile-Video-Cloud’ is available almost everywhere. Our data is inevitably shared while we search the web or while we use mobile apps, share updates, rate a vendor or restaurant, use our mobile devices to navigate, buy something with a credit card, use a customer incentive card or just post a short comment on social media platforms.

Will total surveillance – and related concepts such as the ‘quantified employee’ who is constantly monitored with intelligent software tools and via wearable computers and cameras – become our new reality, or will we need some sort of ‘digital non-proliferation agreement’ i.e. some global digital rights bill to stem this tide of happy/creepiness? Is privacy really dead, and if so, should we revive it?

Rebooting capitalism and the future of consumption: will ‘sustainable’ become the new profitable?.

Over the past 2 centuries, the industrial and even the early information-age paradigm of ‘profit and growth at pretty much any cost’ has remained at the very core of our leading capitalist economies – and seemingly no viable alternative to capitalism, itself, has emerged. Growth is what everyone desires and what every nation seems to strive for; and GDP / GNP curves is how we traditionally measure growth – anything but an upward trend is immediately punished on stock-markets and in country-credit-worthiness ratings.

What will happen if we just continue with ‘business as usual’? Will technologists, by themselves, really find a way to undo all the damages we have already done? What will define ‘sustainability’ in the next 10 years?

Digital obesity, digital detox, and the coming 'joy of missing out': will 'offline' become the new luxury?

Increasingly, people are complaining about ‘the tyranny of connectivity, about getting bloated with information and being overloaded with data, media, updates and notifications. There now is so much of everything, and it all ‘tastes’ so good, and the price is right (well, mostly…zero), so we just keep eating more of it. Are we risking to become ‘digitally fat’, data-bloated and over-saturated with too many good digital snacks that are being pushed at us – and where will this take us when the flow of ‘big data’ actually accelerates 100x in speed, variety and volume?.

So does technology still mean pure empowerment for consumers, mostly, or is it really becoming a tool for a new kind of enslavement – or both? And if we had to consider this question, could we actually live ‘off the grid’ and still function in a networked society? How do we strike the balance?

The future of the internet: big data, big brother, big tech, big telco and big gov…?

Technology is progressing exponentially, and what sounded like science-fiction only 3 years ago is now becoming a reality: VR and AR, self-driving cars, predictive search and anticipatory services, ultra-smart electronic agents and voice / gesture controlled devices, digital classrooms and affordable telepresence. Connectivity is becoming like water and ultra-smart mobile devices are the new cigarettes: low-cost, omni-present, hyper-social and ultra-addictive.

We are looking at the most amazing commercial opportunities as well as some quite vexing ethical challenges in the next 7 years and beyond. I share my insights and key foresights on the future of the Internet, telecommunications and telemedia, data, privacy and technology, depicting the most crucial scenarios that are likely to await us in the immediate future, globally.

Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine.

Futurist Gerd Leonhard breaks new ground again by bringing together mankind’s urge to upgrade and automate everything—down to human biology itself—with our timeless quest for freedom and happiness. Before it’s too late, we must stop and ask the big questions: How do we embrace technology without becoming it? When it happens—gradually, then suddenly—the machine era will create the greatest watershed in human life on Earth.

Technology vs. Humanity is one of the last moral maps we’ll get as humanity enters the Jurassic Park of Big Tech. Artificial intelligence. Cognitive computing. The Singularity. Digital obesity. Printed food. The Internet of Things. The death of privacy. The end of work-as-we-know-it, and radical longevity: The imminent clash between technology and humanity is already rushing towards us. What moral values are you prepared to stand up for—before being human alters its meaning forever? Gerd Leonhard is a new kind of futurist schooled in the humanities as much as in technology.

In his most provocative book to date, he explores the exponential changes swamping our societies, providing rich insights and deep wisdom for business leaders, professionals and anyone with decisions to make in this new era. If you take being human for granted, press Reset now with this passionately argued call to create a genuinely braver new world.

Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine.

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Gerd Leonhard