Richard Yonck



Richard Yonck speaker, leading futurist, keynote

As a preteen, Richard Yonck started learning to program computers the same year futurist Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock was published. All of this fed his fascination with the future and the transformational changes it routinely brings about. With early careers producing science education programs and in computer science, he had a front-row seat to the digital convergence taking place in the 1980s and 1990s.


His mission is provide organizations and individuals with insights that spark imagination, reduce risk exposure and effectively connect the dots towards a preferred future.


While this was an exciting time, it also allowed him to witness the very real and disruptive impact that progress can have on people’s lives. All of this contributed to his passion for futures work, for understanding the impact of emerging technologies and the positive difference foresight strategy can make in building a better and more inclusive tomorrow.

Richard Yonck explores short- to long-range futures with an eye to how this knowledge can bring about the kind of real change that helps clients advance their strategic goals and realize their preferred futures. A sought-after keynote speaker, he has energized and excited audiences all over the world.

The former computing/AI contributing editor for The Futurist magazine, Richard Yonck has written for Scientific American, World Future Review, Fast Company, GeekWire, Salon, American Cinematographer and many others.

He has been interviewed and quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired, BBC News, Forbes, Puget Sound Business Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Singularity Hub and numerous podcasts and radio programs.


In addition, he is bestselling author of “Heart of the Machine”, where he explores the next giant step in the symbiotic relationship between humans and technology: Emotion AI, the ability of computers to recognize, respond to and interact with our emotions.


Audiences across the globe have called Richard’s keynote presentations, workshops and seminars “awe-inspiring”, “passionate” and “mind-blowing.” An international keynote speaker, Richard focuses on emerging trends and technologies, along with the many issues these will create for tomorrow’s world. With his unique perspective on the future, Richard is an avid guide to the changes and challenges we’ll face in the decades ahead.

The Future is Human: Finding our way in a changing world.

How can we ensure the future remains conducive to human life, values and experience? Explore the challenges and strategies that will help us become good stewards of the future.

Automation, Employment & The Future of the Workforce.

Augmented Reality Docent. Autonomous Vehicle Wrangler. DNA Test Interpreter. Digital Reputation Scrubber. In this era of ongoing workforce disruption, how can we prepare for jobs when they don’t even exist yet?.

AI: The century’s most transformational technology.

Future advances in artificial intelligence will alter nearly every aspect of our lives. How will we adapt as everything in our world becomes more and differently intelligent?.

Healthcare 2045: The amazing era of hyper-personalized medicine.

Routine gene therapy. Cancer vaccines. Next-gen immunotherapy. Vastly extended healthspans and lifespans. Learn how the future of medicine will transform our very definitions of health, illness and mortality.

Propelling Mobility: Where is the future of transportation taking us.

Building your organization’s future resilience.

The 2020 pandemic broke the global supply chain and experts say it will be five years before it’s fully functional again. How can we improve our future resilience to better weather the next worldwide crisis?.

The New Era of emotion AI: When machines understand our feelings.

Our devices are becoming increasingly able to read, interpret and influence our emotions. Learn about the amazing future of Emotion AI from the author of the best-selling book, HEART OF THE MACHINE.

Cultivating Agritech: The Future of a growth industry.

One of civilization’s oldest activities is being transformed by 21st century technology. From vertical farms to artificial pollinators to Impossible proteins, how will AgTech help us save the planet?.

Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence.

For Readers of Ray Kurzweil and Michio Kaku, a New Look at the Cutting Edge of Artificial Intelligence

Imagine a robotic stuffed animal that can read and respond to a child’s emotional state, a commercial that can recognize and change based on a customer’s facial expression, or a company that can actually create feelings as though a person were experiencing them naturally. Heart of the Machine explores the next giant step in the relationship between humans and technology: the ability of computers to recognize, respond to, and even replicate emotions. Computers have long been integral to our lives, and their advances continue at an exponential rate. Many believe that artificial intelligence equal or superior to human intelligence will happen in the not-too-distance future; some even think machine consciousness will follow. Futurist Richard Yonck argues that emotion, the first, most basic, and most natural form of communication, is at the heart of how we will soon work with and use computers.

Instilling emotions into computers is the next leap in our centuries-old obsession with creating machines that replicate humans. But for every benefit this progress may bring to our lives, there is a possible pitfall. Emotion recognition could lead to advanced surveillance, and the same technology that can manipulate our feelings could become a method of mass control. And, as shown in movies like Her and Ex Machina, our society already holds a deep-seated anxiety about what might happen if machines could actually feel and break free from our control.

Heart of the Machine is an exploration of the new and inevitable ways in which mankind and technology will interact. The paperback edition has a new foreword by Rana el Kaliouby, PhD, a pioneer in artificial emotional intelligence, as well as the cofounder and CEO of Affectiva, the acclaimed AI startup spun off from the MIT Media Lab.

Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence.

Future Minds: The Rise of Intelligence from the Big Bang to the End of the Universe.

For Readers of Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking, an Epic Journey through the Intelligent Universe

With the ongoing advancement of AI and other technologies, our world is becoming increasingly intelligent. From chatbots to innovations in brain-computer interfaces to the possibility of superintelligences later this century, our reality is being transformed before our eyes. This is commonly seen as the natural result of progress, but what if there's more to it than that? What if intelligence is an inevitability, an underlying property of the universe?

In Future Minds, Richard Yonck challenges our assumptions about intelligence--what it is, how it came to exist, its place in the development of life on Earth and possibly throughout the cosmos. Taking a Big History perspective--over the 14 billion years from the Big Bang to the present and beyond--he draws on recent developments in physics and complexity theory to explore the questions: Why do pockets of increased complexity develop, giving rise to life, intelligence, and civilization? How will it grow and change throughout this century, transforming both technology and humanity? As we expand outward from our planet, will we discover other forms of intelligence, or will we conclude we are destined to go it alone?.

Drawing on conversations with scientists and researchers at the forefront of AI, physics, cognitive neuroscience, complexity and other fields, Future Minds seeks to understand where all of this has come from and more importantly, where it is headed.

Future Minds: The Rise of Intelligence from the Big Bang to the End of the Universe.