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Alec Ross

speaker location icon U.S.

Author of the New York Times bestseller "The Industries of the Future"

American technology policy expert

Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine

“In a world growing more chaotic, Alec Ross is one of those very rare people who can see patterns in the chaos and provide guidance for the road forward. He has an unusual diversity of expertise that allows him to apply multiple lenses to the world’s challenges and dream up the kind of innovative solutions that are changing the world.” – Eric Schmidt, Alphabet Chairman and ex-Google CEO

Alec Ross is one of America’s leading experts on innovation.

Alec is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Industries of the Future. The Industries of the Future explores the technological and economic trends and developments that will shape the next ten years including robotics and artificial intelligence, advanced life sciences, cybersecurity, big data and the code-ification of money, markets and trust. Described by the Financial Times as “a lucid and informing guide on even the most technical issues” The Industries of the Future goes beyond the technical and provides the geopolitical, cultural, and generational contexts out of which new innovations are emerging. Since its publication in 2016, it has gone into an 8th printing in 24 languages and been a best-seller on 4 continents.

Alec serves as an advisor to investors, corporations and government leaders to help them understand the implication of factors emerging at the intersection of geopolitics, markets and increasingly disruptive network technologies. He has served as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and as a Senior Fellow at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs. He served for four year as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, a role created for him to help modernize the practice of diplomacy and bring innovative solutions to advance America’s foreign policy interests. He led national security projects across the globe.

Prior to his service in the Obama Administration, Alec served as the Convener for the Technology & Media Policy Committee on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team. In 2000, he and three colleagues co-founded a technology-focused social enterprise and grew it from modest origins in a basement into a global organization serving millions of low-income people, with programs on four continents.

His writing has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Foreign Policy. His academic writing has appeared as the journal cover articles in publications including the SAIS Review of International Affairs and the NATO Review.

Speaking topics:

  • Innovation, Automation, and Education in Tomorrow’s Economy
  • Foreseeing the next wave of marketplace opportunities, risks and disruptions
  • 10 innovations that will change all of our lives in the next 10 years
  • Futureproofing Our Children: Parenting and Leading in a Changing World
  • Understanding the Changing Geopolitics of our Networked World
  • Managing large-scale innovation
  • The road forward for the USA and Asia
  • The road forward for the USA and Europe
  • Cyber Crime & Cyber War – your industry on the battlefield
  • Decrypting Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain
  • Today’s University Students, Imagining and Inventing the Future


Our Comment

""Alec’s extraordinary first-hand experience of global diplomacy and the organisation and application of power gives him unique insights into the future of geopolitics, and the disruptive nature of technology innovation on states, large organisations and citizens around the world. He also provides a thoughtful perspective on US politics. His twitter commentary was commended ‘the best feed to follow’ by Time magazine in 2012.""

The Industries of the Future

In The Industries of the Future, Ross shows us what changes are coming in the next ten years, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or sputter. He examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.

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