The Top Futurist Speakers to Have at Your Conference - 25 minutes read

The Top Futurist Speakers to Have at Your Conference

No one knows precisely what the future will bring, but some people seem to have their finger on the pulse of tomorrow more than others. These individuals’ ability to see what’s coming next makes them high-demand for tech conferences and events all over the world.

Here are fifty of the best futurist keynote speakers that speak at significant tech events. These speakers consult C-level executives and equip sales and marketing teams to move into the future with stealth and confidence.

Joel Comm hits the top of the list with his almost 25 years of doing business online. He has 15 books, a chart-topping iPhone app, hosts a top blockchain podcast and is the co-creator of Yahoo! Games. Comm is a top futurist speaker helping businesses and brands “get there” before the competition. Joel makes seemingly complex material easy to understand, refreshing, informative and entertaining.

Tan Le is a futurist speaker who’s all about the brain. As the founder of EMOTIV, a maker of brain-wearable technology, her talks focus on the use of neurotechnology and its effects on advertising, education, and people with neurological issues. Tan Le has spoken at the PCM, the University of Vermont and a host of other futurist events.

As the former VP of Engineering for Siri and having worked on Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, Cheyer is a futurist speaker with an expertise in artificial intelligence. His talks prepare businesses for the new AI environment. Adam Cheyer has also talked about the future of personal assistants, building start-ups, and the future of AI in business.

Eric O’Neill is a former FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence operative who helped to capture notorious spy Robert Phillip Hanssen. He is the subject of the feature film, “Breach.” O’Neill’s talks about cybersecurity and advances in cyber espionage have made him one of the top futurist keynote speakers. Eric O’Neill is also a lawyer and author whose talks give insights into work situations that are relevant to several different industries.                         

Peter Zeihan is one of a small number of futurist speakers who have worked for the U.S. State Department and private think tanks. His talks specialize in the relationship between the United States and other superpowers, and he discusses the future of global energy and finance. Peter Zeihan has talked about the end of Europe, a world with China, the future of worldwide agriculture and manufacturing, and more.

Vivek Wadhwa is a Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering and teaches in Silicon Valley about technology and industry disruption. His talks cover the future of innovation, technology, and healthcare. Wadwha is a top futurist keynote speaker because of his comprehensive take on future developments. Vivek Wadwha is ready to discuss the benefits of unlimited green energy, clean vehicles and mass-produced 3D printed meat, but also the downsides of artificial intelligence, human redundancies and new viruses.

Ben Casnocha stands out among futurist speakers. He is the founder of e-government firm Comcate, advises venture capital firm Wasabi Ventures, and mentors at the startup incubator, Techstars. Casnocha was also the chief of staff in the office of the chairman at LinkedIn and is now a partner in his VC firm Village Global. Ben Casnocha’s speaking topics have covered the new employer-employee relationship, millennials at work, and the importance of thinking like an entrepreneur in today’s work environment.

Mike Walsh is the CEO of Tomorrow, a consultancy that helps businesses prepare for the 21st century. While other futurist speakers look 20, 30 or 50 years ahead, Mike Walsh describes how business, employment, Big Data, and the Internet of Things will develop over the next five years. He has spoken at the main stage at the Million Dollar Round Table in front of an audience of more than 8,000 people.                                   

Scott Klososky is the developer of HUMALOGY, an idea that blends technology and humanity. His talks are about cybersecurity, data intelligence, trends, and digital marketing. Klososky is a top futurist keynote speaker because of the breadth of his knowledge, picked up in a series of start-ups in fields from digital marketing to online banking. Scott Klososky has a depth knowledge learned while sitting on the boards of technology firms.

Erik Qualman is an MBA Professor at the Hult International Business School and the founder of, a blog about the way social media affects life and work. Other futurist speakers might not want to adopt his trademark green glasses, but they do envy his live performances on stage. People love to listen to Erik Qualman’s talks on innovation, leadership, trends, and transformation.

Rohit Bhargava talks about marketing, branding, innovation, digital strategy and business trends. Bhargava’s primary focus is his Non-Obvious Trend Report published at the end of every year and is read by more than a million people. He’s spoken on futurist topics at events run by companies including NBC, TEDx, MetLife and Prudential. Rohit Bhargava’s topics include how to be more innovative and, he says, actually predict the future.

Most futurist speakers talk about the future, Peter Diamandis helps to create it. He is the founder and executive chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation, which awards prizes for large, ambitious competitions. Diamandis talks about how people will meet their needs in water, food, energy, healthcare, and more, and he has spoken for General Electric, Coca Cola, and Microsoft, among others.

Shara Evans is the founder and CEO of Market Clarity, a technology analyst firm that researches the telecom and emerging technologies markets. Evans also founded and sold Telsyte, a telecoms and technology research consultancy firm. What makes Shara Evans a top futurist speaker is her combination of an engineering background, her work with top scientific research organizations, and her regular technology punditry in the Australian and other media.

Jim Carroll’s talks focus on what businesses should do in an era of acceleration and disruption. He gives companies the guidance they need to align with and adopt new trends. Few futurist speakers have Carroll’s grip on innovation or his 25 years of experience. Jim Carroll has spoken at events for 7,000 leaders, and he’s also given a one-hour talk at an event for just eight senior executives.

Patrick Dixon is a top keynote speaker who has written more than a dozen books about trends. Dixon focuses on the long-term, slow-moving trends that drive business opportunities, and he explains how businesses can use them. Patrick Dixon has spoken at a broad range of futurist events discussing the future of industries from food and the packaging industry to the automotive industry and banking.

Marcus Buckingham is a leading authority on employee productivity, and also talks about leadership and management. He used to be a senior consultant with The Gallup Organization but now focuses on cultivating employees’ strengths. Futurist speakers often tell a business what the future is going to bring so that they can prepare themselves for those developments. Marcus Buckingham helps companies manage their employees to create those futures.

Phill Nosworthy is the founder and managing director of Switch L+D, a learning and development company that coaches teams at leading organizations. Nosworthy’s focus on education and what businesses need to know to prepare for the future makes him a top futurist keynote speaker. Few other futurist speakers can help their audiences gain the skills they need to prepare for the coming economy.

Erik Brynjolfsson is Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, a professor at MIT Sloan School, and a Research Associate at NBER. His research looks at the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and performance, digital commerce, and intangible assets. Brynjolfsson has spoken at TED talks in Long Beach, CA, at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida, and at the National Science Foundation among others.

Daniel Kraft speaks about innovation and healthcare. He is the founder of IntelliMedicine, a company building personalized medicine, and is the inventor of the MarrowMiner, an FDA-approved device for harvesting bone marrow. Futurist speakers can imagine the future, but few can say that they were as ready to lead it, as Kraft was. Daniel Kraft was a finalist for astronaut selection, and while he might not have made it into space, he does look to the stars.

Peter Sheahan is the founder and Group CEO of Karrikins Group. He talks about how businesses cope with increasing commoditization and the emergence of new technological disruption that threatens business models. Peter Sheahan has spoken at more than 2,500 events, reaching a total audience of more than half a million people.

Lisa Bodell is the CEO of futurethink, an innovation training firm. Her focus is on simplicity, and she talks about how businesses can simplify innovation and manage change, making adaptation easier and businesses more competitive. Most futurist speakers see the coming world as a complicated place filled with challenges and difficulties. Lisa Bodell’s ability to eliminate complexity makes her a top keynote futurist speaker.

Kevin Surace is the creator of the first smartphone and digital assistant and is now looking at climate change as an engineer. He talks about how to make manufacturing processes more environmentally friendly. Kevin Surace has spoken at many corporate and organization events, including those in the power industry and the software industry.

Seth Mattison is an expert on workforce trends and generational dynamics. He works with brands, institutions, and leaders to explain what work, influence, and leadership will mean in the 21st century. Mattison is a top keynote speaker and a top futurist speaker because he’s able to match future trends with organizational changes and the role of leadership.

Erica Orange is Executive Vice President and  Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, a futurist consulting firm. She looks at emerging social, technological, and other trends, and identifies their significance for businesses. Orange has spoken at events organized by the sporting goods industry, insurance companies, and Erica Orange frequently speaks up for the education industry.

Greg Williams is the Editor-in-Chief of the UK version of Wired Magazine. He is a leading authority on technology trends and their effects on business and society. Other futurist speakers read the articles he edits to stay in touch with trends. Williams grip on those trends has made him a top keynote speaker on topics from ecommerce to data marketing.

Mikko Hypponen is a security expert and Chief Research Officer of F-Secure. His talks focus on cybersecurity. He discusses what the next killer virus might be, how the world can cope with it, and how to protect digital privacy in an age of government surveillance. Hypponen has spoken at events including TEDGlobal in Edinburgh, EDIST in Toronto, DLD in Münich, Forum the la Haute Horlogerie in Lausanne, and at various IDC events.

Nick Bilton is a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, a former lead technology writer for The New York Times, and the host of the Vanity Fair podcast, Inside the Hive. He has written books about the growth of Twitter, and the development of the dark Web, and covered the growth of Theranos in an article that inspired HBO’s documentary “The Inventor.” Among futurist speakers, Nick Bilton’s on the front line, talking to changemakers and reporting on their activities.

Neil Jacobstein is the chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University, an organization made up of people from Google and the X PRIZE Foundation. Jacobstein looks at the future of technology and artificial intelligence, and their impact on the industry. Neil Jacobstein has spoken at TEDx events and is a mediaX Distinguished Visiting Scholar.

Shawn DuBravac is a former chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association, an organization representing many of the world’s leading consumer electronics companies. DuBravac provides economic analysis and discusses technology trends affecting consumer electronics. Few keynote speakers can cover such a broad range of topics or dive so deeply into how data is building a new future.

Jerry Kaplan is a serial entrepreneur. The founder of four Silicon Valley startups, he teaches philosophy, ethics, and the impact of artificial intelligence at Stanford University. Kaplan has spoken at events including the WSJ CEO Council Annual Meeting, the LinkedIn Speaker Series, the Wired NextFest in Milan, and the Dong-A Economy Summit in South Korea.

Salim Ismail is the founder and chair of ExO, a former executive director at Singularity University and a Yahoo executive who sold his own company to Google. He talks at a variety of futurist events discussing innovation, growth, and the new kind of organizational structure needed by tomorrow’s businesses. Salim Ismail explains how companies can leverage technology and strategy to grow as much as ten times faster than their peers.

Erik Peterson is a partner and Managing Director of A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council. He was a fellow of the World Economic Forum who now examines key long-range trends and explores how they transform opportunities and risks for population, resources, and technology. Erik Peterson is a top keynote speaker who has addressed audiences at colleges and business events around the world.

Andrew Scott is a professor and of economics at London Business School. His talks at futurist events discuss the future of the financial sector, regulation, demographic change, and sustainability. Andrew Scott has spoken at events for companies including Fujitsu, Citibank, and Hays.

Ayesha Khanna is a co-founder and CEO of ADDO AI, an artificial intelligence firm. She’s also the founder of 21C GIRLS, a charity that teaches coding and AI to girls in Singapore, and an advisor to Octa, a chatbot for travelers, and Arro, a sports robot. She talks about AI, smart cities and fintech. Ayesha Khanna combines experience on Wall Street with life as a start up entrepreneur. She has spoken at futurist events organized by major financial, technology and industry conferences, provided high-level government briefings, chaired symposiums such as AI Asia, and spoken at TEDx events.

Brian Solis is a principal analyst at Altimeter Group. He explores the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture, and helps brands and startups to manage digital transformation and adapt to new connected markets. Brian Solis is a top keynote speaker who shares his vision and experience of the dynamics defining innovation, connected consumerism and digital lifestyles.

Someone with a spiritual background is unusual to find at a futurist event, but Bruno Marion is also known as “the Futurist Monk.” He is an expert on global trends and innovation, and in addition to meeting CEOs, he even talks to gurus in India, people in jail, the super-rich, and the homeless. He talks about future trends, organizational shifts, and radical innovation.

Calum Chace spent 30 years in the industry and now speaks about artificial intelligence and its effect on society. His significant interest is on the relationship between machine and human cognition, and how it may make most people unemployable. Calum Chace has spoken at events organized or sponsored by Price Waterhouse Coopers, Telefonica, and the annual investors’ meetings of top private equity firms.

Mariana Mazzucato is a professor of Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London. She focuses on the relationship between innovation and growth, with an emphasis on the symbiotic partnerships that result from growth that is innovation-led, inclusive, and sustainable. Mariana Mazzucato is one of the top motivational speakers who has addressed events for transnational organizations as well as the business and public sector.

Nicolas Sadirac is the co-founder of computer science schools “42” and “Epitech.” He pioneers “active pedagogy” in France, a new approach that looks for talent in people of all backgrounds. He talks about educating tomorrow’s technological world. Most futurist speakers try to predict the future. Nicolas Sadirac is also building it by giving today’s youth the skills they need to build it.

Pablos Holman is a hacker and inventor. He has worked in cryptocurrency, AI for stock market trading, 3D printers, and even built spaceships at Blue Origin for Jeff Bezos. Pablos Holman has spoken at various futurist events, discussing innovation, invention, hacking, technology, and cybersecurity, including for Singularity University, Stanford University, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum at Davos.

François Bourdoncle is a top keynote speaker, the CEO of FB&Cie, and a pioneer of Internet search technology. He was the co-founder and CEO of Exalead, a search engine for enterprises, and worked on the LiveTopics project for AltaVista. Francois Bourdoncle talks at futurist events about search technology and Big Data.

Louisa Heinrich was a design director during the dotcom boom, creating many of the first digital consumer projects for banks, healthcare and governments. Her company, Superhuman, focuses on the human aspects of digital technology. Heinrich speaks about the future of technology, its effect on society, personal identity in the digital age, screen-less interfaces, and more, and has spoken at futurist events including MEX in London, MIPTV at Cannes, and MoCo in Amsterdam.

Danny Forster is an architect, a designer, and the host of Discovery Channel’s series Build It Bigger, which looked at spectacular engineering and architectural projects around the world. He talks about the future of architecture and its filming and is unusual among futurist speakers for his hands-on experience of building the physical world. Event audiences get to see Danny Forster’s creations on more than the screen and the stage.

Catherine Mohr is Vice President of Strategy at Intuitive Surgical, a Silicon Valley firm that makes a surgical robot. She started her career as an engineer, then became a surgeon before switching to strategy. Catherine Mohr is a top keynote speaker who talks about alternative energy, emerging markets, green building techniques, and medical technology.

Gregory Polletta is the founder of iGNITIATE, a strategy and industrial design firm that He is also the co-founder of the international award-winning design brand gregorysung. Polletta is also one of the top guest speakers about design, product development, creativity, and consumer behavior, and is a top futurist keynote speaker because his knowledge of design gives him a unique insight into how we interact with the digital world we’re building.

Chuck Martin is a leader in the field of emerging technologies and the Internet of Things. He also edits the world’s most extensive AI and IoT daily publication. His talks focus on the growing Internet of Things and its effect on the economy. Chuck Martin has spoken at futurist events on behalf of companies including Intel, Microsoft, AT&T, MasterCard, and IBM.

Chad Hurley has already created the future. As the co-founder and CEO of YouTube, he re-created the way the world watches video.  He talks about the rise of YouTube, about the lessons learned creating a revolutionary product, the changing media environment, and what technology is bringing next. Chad Hurley is a top futurist keynote speaker because few other futurist speakers have had such a real, direct influence on the future they’re discussing.

Christer Holloman is the chairman of First Tuesday, a network for high growth SMEs, and helped Expedia founder Rich Barton to launch Glassdoor in Europe. He is also the CEO of fintech start-up Divido. Christer Holloman talks about technology and social media. He has spoken at events on behalf of brands including Visa, Microsoft, and Ogilvy.

James Bilefield is a former digital president of Condé Nast and was an executive at Skype and Yahoo. His talks describe the challenge of scaling Skype around the world and managing the digital transformation of Condé Nast. Bilefield is a top futurist speaker who gives audiences a unique insight based on his experience with some of the world’s leading start-ups.

Christian Baudis is a renowned futurist keynote speaker. He is the former managing director of Google Germany. Christian is the founder of My Digital, a digital innovation and consulting firm. Christian Baudis talks about digital media, digital transformation, and online customers. As a former Google executive, he understands how decisions are made at the world’s biggest tech firms.


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