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  • Gockhausen, Tobelhofstrasse, Gockhausen, Zürich 8044, Switzerland

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Gockhausen

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Speaker Bio

Over the past two decades, Gerd Leonhard has risen to one of the top 10 futurist keynote speakers worldwide, he focuses on the future of humanity and technology, digital ethics, artificial intelligence, future-leadership and foresights.

With over 2,000 engagements in 60+ countries since 2004, and a combined audience of over 2.5 million people.

Gerd has been listed by Wired magazine as one of the Top 100 Most-Influential People in Europe, and as ‘one of the leading media futurists in the World’ by The Wall Street Journal.

His keynotes, are renowned for their hard-hitting and provocative  style – inspiring, humorous, motivational, and always personal.

Using cutting-edge creative  motion design, Gerd’s performances have become a unique immersive experience on the big screen, reinventing the visual side of the conference industry.

Gerd is highly regarded as a global influencer and has advised many business leaders and government officials around the globe.

Gerd Leonhard

His diverse list of clients include governments, NGOs and Fortune 500 companies such as SAP, Microsoft, Google, Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, Sony, UBS, Tetrapak, Mastercard, BBC, Unilever, Lloyds Bank, WWF, Sony, The Guardian, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, France Telecom, The Financial Times, Ogilvy, Omnicom, The EU Commission, VISA, Audi, NetAPP and many others.

A true thought leader in the futurist space, Gerd is above all a dedicated humanist who believes that  all technological progress should further collective human flourishing. His credo is simple: People, Planet, Purpose and Prosperity.

Gerd uses his keynotes, presentations, workshops and advisory sessions to deep-dive on complex topics.

Recurring themes include the coming redefinition of human-machine relationships, exploring what it means to be human in a world of machines and algorithms, the future of work and jobs, and the ethics of technology.

As Gerd Leonhard likes to say, humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300 years – so let’s maintain and protect what makes us human!

Gerd Leonhard has spent his lifetime  engaging  with change, as a professional artist, internet entrepreneur, and author; now exploring the role of visionary thinker and speaker.

His background is in the music business; in 1985 he won Berklee College ‘Quincy Jones Award’ and subsequently spent 12 years working as a professional guitarist, composer and producer.

Gerd Leonhard

He then caught the internet-bug and became a digital music & media entrepreneur.

From 1995 to 2002 he served as Founder/CEO of several internet startups, based in San Francisco.

In 2002, following the .com meltdown and the 9/11 crisis, Gerd returned to Europe and discovered his new calling as a futurist and as the CEO of The Futures Agency, a global network of over 40 leading futurists, speakers and personalities.

The future is already here – we just haven’t paid enough attention!

As we rush headlong into a machine-led world where the very essence of human being is being increasingly challenged, often reminding us to consider what moral values are we prepared to stand up for before “being human” alters its meaning forever.

Gerd travels around the globe to speak at leading conferences, events and seminars, helping individuals, enterprises and government organizations to deal with ‘future shock’, and to embrace change.

He is also an influential author and the co-author of the visionary book ‘The Future of Music’ and the author of five other books including his last best-seller, ‘Technology vs. Humanity’, which is now available in ten languages.

Gerd’s films on the future of technology and humanity, digital transformation and artificial intelligence have reached millions of viewers.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA, London) and an advisory board member of the Indian and Canadian Research Institutes.

He resides in Zürich, Switzerland and presents both in English and German.

KEYNOTE TOPICS 2020

THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION - TOP VIRTUAL KEYNOTE!

A with/post-corona future: what to expect in the next 3-5 years

Our world is being painfully but irreversibly rebooted by the Covid19 crisis – and we are not ‘going back to normal’. To many of us, this crisis may feel quite devastating but I think it also creates a very unique opportunity for what I call ‘The Great Transformation‘.

This keynote (usually held remotely) addresses topics such as:

• The economic and business impact: the future of jobs, work, commerce and trade
• The geopolitical impact: Europe, the U.S. and China – new power structures? De-Globalisation?
• The future of capitalism: stakeholder value over shareholder value: finally, a sustainable capitalism?
• The environmental impact: how will this crisis impact climate-change action? How real is the ‘end of oil‘?
• The impact on medical & healthcare: entering warp-drive
• The societal impact: is technological domination and permanent surveillance next?
• The personal impact: fears and hopes, solidarity vs. opportunism, resilience vs desperation
• The impact on investing: where will the money go?
• The impact on education, learning and universities (and leadership)

Keynote Topic #1

BEYOND CORONA

The Beyond-Corona Future: what to expect in the next 3-5 years

Our world is being painfully but irreversibly rebooted by the Covid19 crisis – and we are not ‘going back to normal’. To many of us, this crisis may feel quite devastating but I think it also creates a very unique opportunity for what I call ‘The Great Transformation‘.  Watch the latest keynote videos here.  Have a look at my new Beyond Corona Topic Page (January 2021).

This keynote (usually held remotely) addresses topics such as:

  • What have we learned from this crisis?
  • The economic and business impact: the future of jobs, work, commerce and trade
  • The geopolitical impact: Europe, the U.S. and China – new power structures? De-Globalisation?
  • The future of capitalism: stakeholder value over shareholder value: finally, a sustainable capitalism?
  • The environmental impact: how will this crisis impact climate-change action? How real is the ‘end of oil‘?
  • The impact on medical & healthcare: entering warp-drive
  • The societal impact: is technological domination and permanent surveillance next?
  • The personal impact: fears and hopes, solidarity vs. opportunism, resilience vs desperation
  • The impact on investing: where will the money go?
  • The impact on education, learning and universities (and leadership)

As you may have guessed, this keynote is usually held virtually i.e. as a digital keynote, but in some instances can also be in-person i.e. in ‘real-life’, and for those with smaller budgets I now offer new interview & conversations formats, as well.

As part of this talk, I often present these 4 steps of coping with this crisis:
focus on survival  »  pursue radical collaboration  »  become masters of adaptation  »  pivot and transform (short video).

Keynote Topic #2

THE GOOD FUTURE

Why and how “People-Planet-Purpose and Prosperity” is the key to our Future

Amidst the fears and everyday realities of the pandemic, the increasing urgency to address global warming and the societal challenges of technological hyper-transformation the world continues to change at a mind-boggling pace. Radical and once unthinkable climate-emergency measures like new carbon taxes (such as for aviation or  meat) are becoming increasingly likely as consumers and concerned citizens around the world push for real change. At the same time, Company CEO’s are touting their new commitments to stakeholder values, not just shareholder values.

The Covid19 crisis is amplifying our already urgent questions such as: What kind of future do we want?  Is our economic logic suitable for the future? Will ‘free and open markets’ deliver solutions for complex global issues?

Green New Deals‘ are blossoming everywhere. Waves of new funding will be injected into climate change adaptation and mitigation, creating 100s of Millions of new jobs in sustainability-focused sectors.

This global shift towards a new kind of capitalism will reboot markets around the world in the next 5-7 years as we transition from the outdated single bottom-line of GDP-Growth and Profit to what I call the quadruple bottom-line: People, Planet, Purpose and Prosperity  (aka sustainable capitalism, post-capitalism or conscious capitalism).

Sustainable is the New Profitable. PURPOSE is the new Product. 

Keynote Topic #3

SUSTAINABLE IS THE NEW PROFITABLE. GREEN IS THE NEW DIGITAL.

Why and how the decarbonisation of our economy is the biggest opportunity in this coming decade

‘Digital transformation’ is just business-as usual-by now. Around the globe, pretty much every organisation that intends to thrive in the next decade is hard at work on digitization, automation, virtualisation etc – what I call The Megashifts.

The next really big topic has been on the agenda for decades but apparently had to first be kick-started by the Corona Crisis: The Decarbonisation of our economies and the ‘gradually, then suddenly‘ departure from the fossil-fuel era.

Get ready: wide-ranging new carbon taxes are inevitable (airlines, meat etc) and fossil fuel subsidies will be turned into ‘nature positive’ investments. During the Covid crisis we have learned that being prepared for emergencies is utterly essential – and that yes we can indeed compromise and collaborate if we have to.  Covid19 is a test-run for climate change. 

I set forth that the circular economy is the only economy we’ll have in 2030, and that ‘sustainable’ is becoming the new ‘profitable’ in the next 5 years (yes…have a look at the stakeholder economy debates).

Any company that does not understand how this global move towards rapid decarbonisation will impact every segment of their business – from R&D to supply-chains, to production to distribution to marketing to branding – will wither and shrink or just fade away, and any individual that does not understand what it means as far as knowledge, skills and mindset is concerned, will quickly become dispensable.

In this talk, I explain why this tectonic shift is happening now, what it really means, and how to get behind it and prosper in this fork-in-the-road decade that’s coming up.  **watch this short film.

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  • Sanna Salovuori
    02/03/2022 at 12:25 pm

    “Gerd 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 through-out the day and in many blog posts afterwords. We organizers were all very happy about this”
    PING Helsinki event
    Sanna Salovuori, Co-founder

  • T.A. Cook and SAP
    02/03/2022 at 12:24 pm

    “Gerd provided amazing collaboration and partnership during our recent futurist-focused client event in Southern, California….our client was thrilled and the attendees took away a great wealth of information that will surely help them increase revenues and surpass their competitors using the technology-focused information provided during his presentation.”
    T.A. Cook and SAP

  • Dana Kršaková
    02/03/2022 at 12:23 pm

    “Eye-opening, thought-provoking, brilliant….. Gerd’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.”
    ITAPA Slovakia
    Dana Kršaková, Michal Ivantyšyn, Conference Directors

  • Kristoff Vandermeersch
    02/03/2022 at 12:23 pm

    “Gerd Leonhard distinguishes from other futurists trough his emphasis 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”
    HR Expo
    Kristoff Vandermeersch, Stimulearning

  • Ashley Friedlein
    02/03/2022 at 12:23 pm

    “We’ve hired Gerd 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?”

    Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & Chairman
    Ably GmbH

  • Jeremy Hope
    02/03/2022 at 12:23 pm

    “Gerd came in remotely and lit up our Conference, everyone was talking about his thought provoking insights throughout the rest of the day!”

    Jeremy Hope, Head of IT Sales and Solutions
    Huawei

  • Clive Viegas Bennett
    02/03/2022 at 12:22 pm

    “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.”

    Clive Viegas Bennett, CEO
    MGI Worldwide [London]

  • Nuno Pires
    02/03/2022 at 12:22 pm

    “Gerd allows the audience to travel to and from the future. The result remains long after the conference, when you rewind his presentations after a few years, and see it happening in front of your eyes. I had the pleasure to hire Gerd when I was at Pestana Hotel Group, and this specific event reached the highest score ever in 4 decades. Gerd is a pleasure to work with, and I highly recommend his services.”

    Nuno Pires, CEO
    SPORT●TV

  • Sandra Santos
    07/10/2021 at 1:55 pm

    “In our Annual Meeting, we had Gerd with us (virtually). This meeting’s motto was “It is up to you”, looking forward to BA Glass future. It was fundamental to count on Gerd participation to take us into the Future. Gerd did an exciting presentation around the opportunities and risks we have in hand, reminding us that asking “how the Future will be?” is the wrong question. “The Future will be what we will make of it!”, he wisely said. Thank you Gerd, for your enormous inspiration.”
    – BA GLASS –
    Sandra Santos, CEO

    Keynote Talk - Live

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  • Jaime Ng
    04/24/2021 at 1:55 pm

    “CommunicAsia was truly honored to have Gerd Leonhard as one of our keynote speakers for this year. Gerd’s addition to the Summit has been breathtaking and inspirational. His visionary address on The Next 5 years in Global Digital Transformation truly captivated the audience. Thank you for being with us!”
    – Singapore Exhibition Services –
    Jaime Ng, Conference Director

    Keynote Talks - Virtual

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  • Simon Hocquard
    04/10/2021 at 1:49 pm

    “Gerd has the ability to take you on a journey into possible futures without fear. A call for us all to spend time thinking about the future and being ready for it when it arrives – hugely inspiring and thought provoking. Everybody can benefit from listening and talking to this man!”
    – CANSO –
    Simon Hocquard, Director General

    Keynote Talks - Virtual

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  • Fathi Tlatli
    02/10/2021 at 1:52 pm

    “Gerd Leonhard has delivered a highly acclaimed, thought provoking and insightful keynote speech on the Sustainable and Digital Transformation at our global DHL Auto-Mobility conference.”
    – DHL –
    Fathi Tlatli, President Global Auto-Mobility

    Keynote Talks - Virtual

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  • Elisa Robustelli
    01/16/2021 at 1:51 pm

    “We invited Gerd for our primary guest speaker at “The Human-Centric Future” event, Online and in Milan in January 2021. Gerd’s extraordinary, inspirational vision of the future was much appreciated by our clients”
    – ManpowerGroup –
    Elisa Robustelli, Sponsorship Manager

    Keynote Talks - Virtual

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  • Patricia Bastos
    11/08/2020 at 1:52 pm

    “Gerd really made a big difference to our event because when he speaks about the future changes, technology, behaviors, he worries about connecting all of these changes with the audience reality, showing that it is possible to succeed, as humans, in this new world. He connects to the audience in a way that we feel that there is space for both humans and technology to live together.”
    – Tetra Pak, Brazil –
    Patricia Bastos, Communications Director

    Keynote Talks - Virtual

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  • Adam Carroll
    07/30/2020 at 1:55 pm

    “Working with Gerd 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”
    – Inter Public Group –
    Adam Carroll, VP, Global Talent Management

    Keynote Talks - Virtual

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