Gerd Leonhard

Gerd Leonhard

Futurist, Humanist, Strategic Advisor, and Best-Selling Author

Speaker Categories: | Technology Leader | E-Commerce | Social Media | Cybersecurity | Information Technology | Consumer Trends | Life Balance | Disruptive Innovation | Futurist | Author

Travels From: -, Switzerland.

Speaker Fee Range: $20,001 to $40,000*

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Gerd Leonhard Bio
Speaker Topics

Futurist, Humanist, Strategic Advisor,
and Best-Selling Author

Gerd Leonhard is a widely-known and top-rated futurist, with over 1500 engagements in 50+ countries since 2004 and a combined audience of over 1 million people. Gerd focusses on near-future, ‘nowist’ observations and actionable foresights in the sectors of humanity, society, business and commerce, 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 5 other books including Technology vs. Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine. 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 opportunity-challenges of the coming 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, cognitive computing, the IoT, big data and automation, next-generation advertising, marketing and branding, as well as sustainability and related ‘green future’ topics.


In 2006, The Wall Street Journal called Gerd ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’. In 2015, Wired Magazine listed Gerd as #88 of the top 100 influencers in Europe. He’s #21 on the global list of futurists.

Keynote Speaker

Gerd's keynotes, speeches and presentations are renowned for their hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, often humorous and always personal motivational style. Gerd is highly regarded as a global influencer and has advised many business leaders and government officials around the globe.


His diverse client list of over 300 companies includes UBS, Mastercard, Unilever, Lloyds Bank, WWF, Nokia, The Guardian, Google, Sony, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, IPG, The EU Commission, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, VISA, and many others.


Explore with Gerd Leonhard how your organization can thrive utilizing technology without compromising on human principles. Discover how technological disruption is merely the start of a new opportunity to reimagine humanity. Identify your tribe’s renaissance through the lens of an alternative future. Before digital feudalism becomes the new normal, script your own future!


Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a global buzzword, and investments in AI, machine/deep learning and many related fields are exploding. The excitement is clearly infectious yet many leading scientists and technologists have voiced grave concerns about controlling AI, or rather, AGI (artificial general intelligence), and an AI-arms-race between the U.S. and China seems almost inevitable. At the same time, the benefit of intelligent assistance (IA) and so-called narrow AI holds huge promise for all sectors of business and industry, such as in financial services and banking, healthcare and medical, logistics, smart cities and the Internet of Things, in general. In this talk, Gerd outlines his 7-year view of the opportunities and challenges of AI, with a particular focus on what the implications for our society and culture as well as for humanity overall might be. Technology is morally neutral until we apply it – and we apply it everywhere, now!


n an era when machines are not only taking our jobs but are starting to run our lives, as well, how will we respond to the unprecedented economic, societal and ethical questions that this human-machine symbiosis will raise? Exponential technological change is impacting our lives at every turn, and intelligent digital agents (IDAs) and bots are about to become as normal as smartphones. What will it mean to be human in the near future? What will happen to work and jobs, to our social contracts and ethics, and to the way we do business? HellVen (Hell+Heaven) challenges and opportunities will abound: this could be heaven based on total abundance that may create a kind of ‘Startrek-Economy’, or it could just as easily be a dystopian hell – depending on how we prepare and lead with foresight, today. What do we need to do to make sure our future is mostly heaven, collectively? What are the political consequences, and what about regulation, treaties and agreements?


Recent research suggests that the power-users of social networks count among the loneliest people in the world, and that interacting too much with screens and devices as opposed to actual people may have severe toxic side-effects on human relationships. Increasingly, technological advances such as the smartphone and augmented / virtual reality and intelligent digital assistants first feel like ‘magic’, but after the initial excitement some of us experience a rather ‘manic’ obsession with them, and subsequently, the toxic effects of overuse such as attention deficit disorder or social isolation are not far off. A new wave of addiction to hyper-connectivity, dopamine-producing ‘likes’ and overall FOMO (fear of missing out) is already on the horizon – we can only speculate where an exponential growth of these issues may leave us within a decade (Black Mirror, anyone?). Do we need to remind ourselves and relearn how to be ‘merely human’, to be unaltered and un-augmented, to sense with our own eyes and ears, to be in the moment and to listen to ourselves and others instead of ‘forgetting ourselves’ among those magical devices and intelligent algorithms? This talk will point the way towards finding a good balance.


Successful businesses always maintain a constant conversation about the future: what lessons need to be operationalized today in order to avoid future irrelevance or worse, extinction ? It is essential to understand that everything that can be digitized, automated or virtualised, will be. Cognification, automation, disintermediation and robotization are now taking place across all industries, not just in media, content and marketing. Digital transformation – going from an analog or semi-digital world to a digitally-native world – is certain to be the #1 challenge-opportunity in the next 5-7 years. How can people and companies become better at understanding, and move faster to implement the transformations that are required? How will a company or an organization prosper in a world that is quickly becoming inter-connected and interdependent? What skills and mindsets will we need, and what should remain human even if it is inefficient?


The top 20 global technology brands and digital platforms are growing exponentially fast while many incumbent enterprises and former household-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 session, Gerd looks at how to evolve into a future-ready organization based on understanding and exploiting The Megashifts. The Megashifts include digitisation, automation, datafication, virtualisation and robotisation (for a total of 10), and understanding them is the ticket to future success. The Megashifts are fuelling are multitude of rapid innovations 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.
  • Technology vs. Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine
    Technology vs. Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine Purchase Book
  • The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution
    The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution Purchase Book

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Recent Books

  • Technology vs. Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine
    Technology vs. Humanity: The Coming Clash Between Man and Machine Purchase Book
  • The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution
    The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution Purchase Book


  • He talked about the future of advertising and media. The feedback of our guests was great. Gerd perfectly combined his knowledge and expertise with his unique talent to inspire and entertain the audience. The up front coordination went perfect.

  • Gerd Leonhard wrote The Future of Music, which basically said that the record business was terminally ill. . . . He's shaped our thinking. None of us know what the future looks like, so we can invent it, be part of it.

  • Gerd was a keynote speaker at our recent Spark2020 Leadership Conference and was central to setting up the discussion about what the future might look like and importantly what that means for our industry, our business and the people in it. Gerd's opening session was a great outside in view of the future and what that means for us. His perspectives were excellent and thought provoking and it set the day up well.

  • WWF International staff had the pleasure of listening to Gerd as a keynote speaker during the 2013 Learning Week - when he addressed the topic of moving "From conversation to conservation action". I know that everyone in the audience found Gerd to be inspiring, informative and challenging, and wanting more. Delivered in a punchy and dynamic "TED" style, Gerd's talk catalyzed much discussion after the talk, and since, and generated a thirst for further interaction. I, for one, am looking forward to further opportunities to hear his thoughts on moving from ego to eco.

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