Born in Germany, resident in Switzerland and a frequent visitor to Silicon Valley, Gerd Leonhard is a global citizen of the future who spends his life travelling through worldwide meetings, workshops and conferences on transformational change.
A star keynote speaker on topics of major strategic importance – from digital disruption to business remodelling to specific vertical scenarios across public and private sectors, Gerd is a rare hybrid of artist and researcher / scientist, with a pioneering background in digital music ecosystems and a head start in the disruption game. For the last fifteen+ years, he has been the first choice in business leaders’ minds for inspirational and paradigm-shifting advice.
Futurists have supplied some of the most penetrating visions for enterprises and organisations intent on reinventing themselves and redefining their sectors. Gerd Leonhard is something more: a humanist who not only thinks about the future, but someone who resides there and travels back to the present day to share his insights and practical wisdom.
The future is more unknowable and yet happening much faster than ever before in human history, and humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300 years. In business, winning or losing is now happening faster than ever before. Topics such as digital transformation or artificial intelligence may be popular themes, today, but in Gerd Leonhard’s world, they are only two among the multiple Megashifts that will completely reshape business and life.
In our personal lives, waves of technology and social change are radically reshaping our reality, our cultures, our society, and very soon, our biology. Humanity has never been as empowered before, while at the same time our lives are also impacted by new kinds of instability – from vanishing jobs and weakening national identity to social unrest and terrorism.
Futurism used to be the study of the future, but nowadays it seems hard enough to read the present. Gerd Leonhard has spent his lifetime engaging with change, as a professional artist, internet entrepreneur, author and now as a visionary thinker and speaker.
Listed by Wired Magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in Europe, Gerd Leonhard’s most popular keynote topic is “Technology and Humanity – the next 10 years”, based on his book ‘Technology vs Humanity’, and his fundamental message: “Embrace technology but don't become it”.
Keynote Conference Speaking
In his award-winning keynote presentations, Gerd Leonhard addresses the key components of digital transformation and what it means for society, business and culture. He touches on topics such as artificial intelligence and robotics, IoT, the future of work, jobs and skills, the future of efficiency, digital ethics and the future of humanity.
Technology is evolving exponentially, changing our world at mind-boggling pace. Data is indeed the new oil, and AI is the new electricity. Science fiction is increasingly becoming science fact as we are entering the age of cognitive computing, thinking machines and AI, augmented and virtual reality, the Internet of Things, deep learning, bots and intelligent digital assistants. Will this be heaven or will this be hell? One thing is certain: The next 20 years will bring more changes than the previous 300 years.
In his keynote speeches, presentations, workshops and advisory sessions Gerd considers what it means to be human in a world of machines and algorithms, the coming redefinition of human-machine relationships, the future of work and jobs and many more. His presentations are renowned for a hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, humorous and motivating style.
Each of Gerd Leonhard’s speaking engagements is customised to market, audience and immediate context – no two audiences have ever experienced the same Gerd. He is constantly learning and refining his vision and arguments, enriching his highly persuasive style with story dynamics that involve the audience at a deeper, more experiential level.
Gerd’s vision is twofold: to present the multiple futures facing every industry or organisation at any one time, and – crucially – to help the participants identify and discover the true future which belongs to their unique destiny and back story. In a world of often unimaginative plots, with many enterprises simply impersonating others, Gerd’s guidance is priceless.
Gerd Leonhard is a much sought-after conference speaker, having presented at more than 1700 events in 60+ countries over 15 years, with a combined audience in excess of 1 million people.
His list of clients include Google, Sony, UBS, Mastercard, Unilever, Lloyds Bank, WWF, Nokia, The Guardian, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, The EU Commission, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, VISA, and many others.
Gerd Leonhard is a member of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA, London), and an advisory board member of the Indian and Canadian research institutes.
Gerd came in remotely and lit up our Huawei Cloud Conference, everyone was talking about his thought provoking insights throughout the rest of the day!
Gerd Leonhard was the opening keynote speaker at our social media and content marketing event and made a huge impact to all 400 listeners. People discussed and quoted him throughout the day and in many blog posts afterwards. We organisers were all very happy about this.
Gerd Leonhard distinguishes from other futurists trough his emphaisis on the human factor in the story between man and machine. While some focus on predicting what technology will bring soon, he actively searches a positive story for humanity and he clearly sets limits on technology.
Your presentation was a huge success. You managed to scare delegates to death and give them hope at the same time – quite a feat and exactly what they needed! Thank you also for crafting your ideas so that it tied very directly into our business, rather than being just a rehash of a standard presentation.
Eye-opening, thought-provoking, brilliant...Gerd Leonhard’s visionary speech challenges the very core of our beliefs, he can link seemingly unrelated trends and deliver a presentation in engaging and entertaining fashion.
We’ve hired Gerd Leonhard a number of times over the years to keynote our events. Gerd is super professional, collaborative, efficient, absolute pleasure to work with. Perhaps more importantly he is also an inspirational speaker who not only gets tech/marketing but also the bigger picture around society, behaviour and business. And he used to be a professional guitarist – what more could you want?
Working with Gerd Leonhard was an excellent experience, and he definitely pushed our executives’ thinking forward. Not only did he outline major technological and societal trends affecting our business, he did so in a way that was engaging and personal.
Gerd was this year’s opening speaker at InnoTown – Next Technologies. From the first contact Gerd was a pleasure to work with, and his talk was an absolute thrill, with his high energy presentation style and great visuals. He received top-notch ratings from the InnoTown-crowd.
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