Professor James Woudhuysen

Professor of Forecasting and Innovation, writer, broadcaster and journalist

Professor James Woudhuysen | NMP Live

James Woudhuysen is Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester. A St Paul's School scholar and physics graduate, James began his career as technology editor, then editor of Design magazine. In the late 1980s he was head of research at the international designers Fitch.

In the early and mid-1990s, James led consulting in IT at the Henley Centre, part of the WPP Group. There he also advised major UK cities – London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester – on international competitiveness. He then went on to manage world-wide market intelligence for Philips consumer electronics in the Netherlands, and to work as a director of the product designers Seymour Powell.

James Woudhuysen has a knack of registering trends before other people and offering counterintuitive proposals on what to do about those trends. The only things James does not forecast are the weather, lottery, stock market, the horses and your own personal destiny.

James Woudhuysen...
- helped install and test Britain's first computer-controlled car park (1968)
- wrote about chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction, The Economist (1978)
- identified the user interface as the key issue in the design of IT (1981)
- wrote an instruction manual for word processing on a portable Commodore 64 (1983)
- anticipated by two years the Piper Alpha North Sea oil disaster, The Economist (1986)
- led an international multi-client study of consumer e-commerce (1988)
- advised a top US telecommunications operator to deliver the Web over TV (1993)
- reorganised worldwide market intelligence at Philips Consumer Electronics (1995-7)
- issued a devastating critique of America's boom (1999)
- forecast today's obsession with work-life balance (2000)
- upheld 3G mobile communications in the face of massive doubts, The Guardian (2002)
- highlighted the worldwide boom in gambling games, Cultural Trends (2003)
- influenced UK government policy in favour of the mass production of housing (2004)

Speech Topics

Professor James Woudhuysen helps clients to master new trends in society and innovation, so as to implement major shifts in corporate strategy, marketing, branding and design. He broadcasts on Radio 4's You And Yours, and is also on the editorial boards of New Design and the Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

Professor James Woudhuysen's speeches can be anything from 20 minutes to one hour. They are:
- broad but deep
- funny but serious
- very visual but very numerate
- highly topical but with forecasts and historical depth.

They cover the technology, economics, politics and sociology of IT. They are polemical, controversial, and - above all - they make people think. They are never 'death by Powerpoint'. Also, they show courtesy and good sense by relating his remarks to what other speakers have said on the day (a dying art).

Topics include:
The Future Of... IT; Energy; Brands; Transport; China; Leisure and Play; Cities, Construction and Housing; Retailing; Food; Forecasting; Research and Innovation. Professional, management and commercial practice for designers; The History Of... American Design; British Design


James Woudhuysen presented the first ever Arena lecture at Ecobuild 2010, giving an innovative insight into “How to avoid power cuts in the UK”. Thought provoking and compelling in delivery, James was a welcome contributor to the prestigious Arena programme.

Briony Mansell-Lewis, Ecobuild.

James Woudhuysen acted as Chairman for a recent Forum for Chief Information Officers held by Orange. He ran the event with a light but disciplined touch, and I was impressed by both his chairing skills and his insight. I look forward to James working with us again.

Olaf Swantee, Orange Europe.

Just less than 20 per cent of delegates to Mobile Government 2009 gave James a Good rating, and just less than 80 per cent rated him excellent.

Jay Patel, GovNet Events.

James Woudhuysen provided a very refreshing view on the subject of business agility at our recent customer event. He worked well with a CEO who had actually "done it"; James shared the breadth of his experience, the CEO the depth of hers. His presentation was amusing, controversial and thought-provoking.

Simon Carter, Marketing Director, Fujitsu UK&I.

James Woudhuysen went down very well indeed. It was spot on in terms of content and delivery. The feedback from our client, RAC, has been really positive too. James provided lots of stimulating material which was drawn upon throughout the rest of the workshop.

Celia Garforth, Planner, Rapier Advertising.

Your contribution to our companies' reflection on innovation was very well received. We felt that the participants got a lot of added value. I hope we will have other opportunities to meet.

Teresa Presas, Director General, Confederation of European Paper Industries.

Excellent job, James, truly inspiring! Many thanks! Very good feedback from delegates.

Jaimie Brown, Head of Communications, Novartis Oncology.

Books and DVDs

Clients often ask about purchasing books for giveaways and delegate packs. Below you’ll find a selection of products by Professor James Woudhuysen. Click the images to view on Amazon's website. For bulk orders, please speak with your Booking Agent.

To book Professor James Woudhuysen, please submit an online enquiry, send us an email or speak with one of our friendly booking agents on +44 (0)1372 361 004.

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Professor James Woudhuysen | NMP Live
Professor James Woudhuysen

Professor of Forecasting and Innovation, writer, broadcaster and journalist

you made the whole process of finding and engaging our speaker very easy.
Julie Smith, Head of HR - Hastoe Group
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