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David Rowan

speaker location icon London, UK

Author of Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds

Founding editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine in the UK (2008-17)

Former technology columnist for The Times, The Sunday Times, British GQ and Condé Nast Traveller

“The feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive, which is largely due to your dynamism, good humour and professionalism” Rt Hon David Cameron, Prime Minister, G8 Innovation Conference

David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. He has since invested in more than 60 early-stage tech companies, including two that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and is an adviser to Lakestar, one of Europe’s largest venture-capital funds. David’s Amazon #1 business bestseller Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical

Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds (Penguin, 2019) has been published in Japan, Korea, Russia, Ukraine and beyond. The book, a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out sixteen proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — helping leaders build resilience in a post-COVID-19 world.

David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times, and hosts a new podcast series about tech founders called Walks With Founders. He has been asked to give more than 600 keynotes in recent years, and has received repeat requests to present for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel and Unilever. David has moderated events for the World Economic Forum and the UK and French governments, and is increasingly in demand to host webinars and virtual conferences. David deconstructs tech trends in real time, unpacking how major innovations like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, and more, are changing businesses and consumers. He focuses on how technology-led innovation can build prosperity even in economic downturns and amid the COVID-19 crisis. He delivers fascinating and knowledgeable presentations full of insight into the future of technology together with lively examples and engaging video clips which reveal that, in some cases, the future is already here. He’s typically asked to speak about how innovation and technology are likely to impact a particular sector (from manufacturing to motoring), and what incumbent companies can do to protect themselves. He customises every talk, and in recent months has addressed audiences in finance, fashion, utilities, television, insurance, shipping, travel, real estate and business software. He also speaks a lot about changing business models, and how companies can develop a culture of innovation.

And he is still searching for the future.

Speaking topics:

  • Lessons from my global quest for non-bullshit innovation
  • How to create a culture of innovation
  • How artificial intelligence and automation can boost your business
  • The new rules of business
  • How to profit from digital disruption
  • What startups can teach your business
  • How emerging technologies will impact financial services / recruitment / real estate / healthcare / agriculture / travel etc
  • Why the world will never move this slowly again
  • The future of the workplace
  • Ten technologies shaping our future
  • Ten lessons I’ve learned from the world’s fastest innovators
  • New business models that are redefining industries
  • The future of the customer experience
  • Finding opportunity amid the crisis
  • Why business innovation has never mattered more
  • Ten lessons from the non-bullshit innovators
  • What technology means for the future of your industry
  • The future of the workplace
  • Why it’s time to challenge the tech monopolies
  • The ten new rules of business
  • How to optimize customer engagement
  • Why purpose plus profit is the new mantra


Our Comment

"David has built a reputation over the past few years as a highly informative and charismatic speaker, imparting his encyclopedic knowledge of future trends in an accessible and stimulating style. His presentations are fast-paced, energetic, visually stimulating, packed with concrete examples, and infused with wit. He believes that the future is not unknown, and that with the right research we can project an accurate picture of the direction in which humanity is heading."

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