1) Gerd Leonhard
- Gerd Leonhard is a widely-known and top-rated futurist, with over 1500 engagements in the past 15 years and a combined audience of over 1 million people. Gerd focuses on near- future, ‘nowist’ observations and actionable foresights in the sectors of humanity, society, business, media, technology and communications.Gerd 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 The Future of Music and the author of 4 other books. 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 discovery of digitally-native business models, the opportunities and challenges of an 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, the IoT, big data and automation, next-generation advertising, marketing and branding, as well as sustainability and related ‘green future’ topics.
This week Gerd spoke to Business Insider about cryptocurrency, the professions that will disappear over the next 20 years, and why he quit Facebook. Gerd said ”When I talk about humanity changing, I mean society, our jobs, our work and our economy. In a broader sense, I also mean our chemistry, our consciousness … everything that makes us human. Until now, technology has remained outside our bodies. But now, technology is so advanced that it can be used inside our bodies. We can use technology to change our minds — to be superhuman. In the next 10 years, technology will be inside our body: we’ll have nanobots in our bloodstreams and brain-computer interfaces.”
2) Ian Bremmer
Professor Ian Bremmer is an American political scientist and expert speaker specialising in US foreign policy, states in transition, and global political risk. Ian is President of Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy he founded with just $25,000 in 1998. The company now has offices in New York, Washington, and London and is one of the most successful political risk consultancies in the world, advising financial services companies, multinationals and governments on how political developments can move markets. Ian created Wall Street’s first-ever global political risk index, and has written several best-sellers, including “The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?” (Viking, 2010), which focuses on the geopolitical implications of state capitalism. He also wrote, “The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall” (Simon & Schuster, 2007), selected by The Economist as one of the best books of the year. His latest book is “Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World” (Portfolio Penguin, 2012). Here he argues that, while our need for global cooperation has never been greater, the world is facing a leadership vacuum that has increased the potential for open conflict. In this context, Ian shows where positive sources of power can still be found, and how they can be exercised for the common good.
This week, Ian spoke with Laurie Erlam about Donald Trump, the global economy, and the attempted colonisation of Mars. On the topic of the threats of globalisation, Ian said ,“This is a serious problem, it’s not one that’s really being addressed by our governments right now, which is why now we are seeing such a tremendous backlash. In other words, here in the United States all we talk about is Trump. In the UK all you talk about is Brexit. Implying that if only we could somehow throw Trump out or reverse Brexit that things would get better. Us vs Them is not because of Trump or Brexit. Trump and Brexit are because of us vs them. It’s because of the failure of globalism and that’s really what I am truly trying to get at with the book.”
3) Rachel Botsman
- Author of the influential books Who Can You Trust and What’s Mine is Yours, Rachel Botsman is recognised around the world for her visionary insight on how a new era of trust and technology is changing the ways we live work, bank and consume. Rachel Botsman designed and teaches the world’s first MBA course on the ‘Collaborative Economy’. She is currently designing a new course on ‘Trust in the Digital Age.’ She is a regular writer and commentator for The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Guardian and more.She is the author of two highly acclaimed books. Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Could Drive Us Apart, explains a huge shift in trust from institutions to individuals. Her first book, What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live, predicted the rise of platforms such as Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Uber, long before they became popular. The concept was named by TIME as one of the “Ten Ideas That Will Change the World”.
At its annual conference, The Women Presidents’ Organisation (WPO), an international peer advisory group and business growth catalyst, will examine many aspects of “Disruption and the Future of Business”.Twenty years ago, the Women Presidents’ Organisation was its own disruptive concept. While many organisations supported startups, women entrepreneurs who had achieved success needed a unique kind of business education to continue to accelerate growth. In the second stage of development, founders and presidents are confronted with different strategic and operational challenges.
Rachel Botsman is set to reveal new rules of trust in a shared economy, where technologies are changing how and whom we trust – we can’t wait!
4) Jim O’Neill
- Jim O’Neill stepped down from Government, having been Commercial Secretary to the Treasury from May 2015 until September 2016. During that time, and since Spring 2014, Lord O’Neill had chaired a formal Review into AMR (antimicrobial resistance) reporting its final recommendations in May 2016, and contributed to high level agreement at the UN in September. Until October 2014, Jim chaired the Cities Growth Commission in the UK, when it provided its final recommendations, which formed the impetus for the government’s policy on devolution as well as the concept of the Northern Powerhouse. He is the Honorary Chair of Economics at Manchester University. Jim worked for Goldman Sachs from 1995 until April 2013, spending most of his time there as Chief Economist. Before 1995, Jim had worked for Swiss Bank Corporation, Marine Midland Bank and Bank of America, starting in the City in 1982.Jim is the creator of the acronym “BRIC” and has conducted much research about these and other emerging economies. He has published various books on the topic, and in early 2014 made a documentary series for the BBC entitled MINT:The Next Economic Giants. He writes frequently on these and many other international economic and financial topics for leading international media.
He is one of the founding trustees of the UK educational charity, SHINE, and following his move into government, he became their lifetime President.
Jim has served on many educational foundation boards, as well as having served on the boards of a number of international organisations and think tanks.
- Speaking this week at the University of Manchester, where he is an honorary professor of economics,
Jim said that despite years of economic growth and record rates of employment, there was still a budget deficit and the ratio of debt to gross domestic product [currently 85.3 per cent] had not peaked. “It is far from clear to me that the UK needs a fiscal stimulus,”