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Gerd Leonhard


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Over the past two decades, Gerd Leonhard has risen to one of the top 10 futurist keynote speakers worldwide. 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. Gerd focuses on the future of humanity and technology, digital ethics, artificial intelligence, future-leadership and foresights. 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. 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, Siemens, RTL, The Financial Times, Ogilvy, Omnicom, The EU Commission, VISA, Audi 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.

Gerd Leonhard is not just a leading expert on the future, he is also a humanist who believes that all scientific and technological progress should further collective human flourishing. People, Planet, Purpose, and Prosperity is Gerd’s credo. As Gerd likes to say, humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 300 years – let’s make sure that we can still maintain what makes us human.

The second decade of the twenty-first century may not quite be the world of George Orwell, yet, but living in these times is certainly puzzling. Futurism used to be the study of the future, but nowadays it seems hard enough to read the present. Gerd Leonhard has spent his lifetime engaging with change, as a professional artist, internet entrepreneur, author, and now as a visionary thinker and speaker.

Gerd Leonhard's Programs

Supercharge Your Next Virtual Event, Digital Conference or Training Session

The world has changed: face-to-face conferences, events, and customer or employee engagement programs are on hold for the foreseeable future. But your organization still needs to talk to clients, customers and partners, and to constantly up-skill leaders as well as the workforce for continued innovation and transformation. Companies everywhere are struggling to navigate uncertain waters as unstoppable societal and technological shifts threaten once-powerful industries and enterprises.

And that is where Gerd Leonhard comes in. Since dominating pre-COVID conference stages around the globe and working with the likes of Microsoft, Audi, DELL Technologies, UBS, Electronic Arts, the European Commission, and many more governments, NGOs, and leaders of the Fortune 500, his industry-defining presentations and commitment to digital have allowed him to become the world’s leading virtual futurist speaker and presenter for those organizations that look not only to survive but to thrive despite the Corona-Crisis and beyond.


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.’  (video below) 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-Globalization?  • 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.


Our future could be hell, or it could be heaven – it’s our choice!

The progress of science – and the technological innovations that are built on it – remains on an exponential and combinatorial track. I think it is fair to say that our world is going to change more in the next 10 years than in the previous 100 years.

Two of today’s principles will remain valid: 1) Technology can do great things – but it does not want to do great things. It does not want anything. *Tim Cook 2) Technology is not good or bad, it just is – it is morally neutral until we apply it (W. Gibson). A world based on exponential technological progress could be hell or could be heaven – and it’s up to us to create our preferred future.  In this talk, Gerd is sharing his key in/foresights on what is likely to happen by 2030 and present his vision on how our future could end up being mostly heaven.

The bottom line is that we are very likely to have almost all the necessary tools for realizing those ‘heavenly’ scenarios at our disposal within the next decade: tackling climate change, solving water and food shortages, switching to renewable energy, and preventing life-threatening diseases. But technology will not solve social, political and other ‘human’ problems – this will be up to us. We will have all the right tools – but will we decide on the right policies?



Transforming your organization

The top 20 global technology brands and digital platforms are growing exponentially while many incumbent enterprises and former household-name-brands are forced to ‘pivot’ and dramatically reinvent themselves or face sudden disintermediation and irrelevance. Witness the media industry, or recently, the incumbent car industry giants in Europe. In this eye-opening session, Gerd looks at how to evolve into a future-ready organization based on understanding and exploiting The Megashifts, a key meme first presented in Gerd’s recent book Tecnology vs. Humanity.  The Megashifts includes digitization, automation, datafication, virtualization, robotization, and others, and understanding them is the ticket to future success. The Megashifts are fueled by a multitude of game-changers such as The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics, new human-machine interfaces (such as voice-control and intelligent bots). In this riveting talk, Gerd depicts the key trends, reveals the likely minefields, and identifies the key opportunities, dishing up a mixture of future-shock and awesomeness to stimulate some serious thinking. Watch this related video.







Gerd Leonhard's Books