Amy Webb: Preparing for the Future, Today
World-Renowned Futurist; Founder & CEO of the Future Today Institute and Professor, Strategic Foresight at New York University Stern School of Business
- One of the foremost futurists in the world, recognized as one of Forbes’ “Five Women Changing the World” and “50 Leading Female Futurists.”
- With her dynamic and humorous style, Webb helps audiences unleash their ability to imagine the future to unlock growth and have greater purpose driven decision-making.
- An advisor to Fortune 100 and Global 1000 companies, investment firms and government agencies, Webb adapts her strategic foresight methodology to each audience to share curated tools, frameworks, and action steps for any organization.
- Author of the annual Future Today Institute's Tech Trends Report, which is downloaded more than 1 million times every year.
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As organizations look to navigate today’s disruption while preparing for the complexities of the future, world-renowned quantitative futurist and tech leader Amy Webb provides the strategic foresight and forecasting that is crucial to businesses adapting and positioning themselves for sustained success in this era of unprecedented transformation. Believing that the global challenges faced by business and society are interconnected across disciplines, Webb possesses expert-level knowledge of the industries critical to keeping the world moving and draws from her work and research to share insights on emerging trends and technologies that will revolutionize the ways we work and live. She is the founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute, a leading foresight and strategy firm that helps leaders and organizations prepare for complex futures.
Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Webb leads an extraordinary exploration into the emerging trends and technologies that will turn industries on their heads and reshape every aspect of our lives — from synthetic biology and metaverses to artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and more. Thought-provoking and visibly enthusiastic about the possibilities that lie ahead for businesses, Webb prepares organizations for what’s next in and outside of their fields, and shares actionable strategies for thinking like a futurist, getting out ahead of disruption, managing the present while innovating for the future, and enhancing purpose-driven decision-making.
In her work with the Future Today Institute, Webb is a trusted advisor to the world’s most admired companies, three-star admirals and generals, and the senior leadership of central banks and intergovernmental organizations. She has pioneered a data-driven, technology-led foresight methodology that has been implemented by hundreds of organizations to power their growth. Webb is a professor of strategic foresight at New York University’s Stern School of Business, where she developed and teaches future-focused MBA-level courses, and is also a visiting fellow at Oxford University’s Säid School of Business. She has been recognized by Poets & Quants as “one of the most impactful business professors in the world.” Webb’s influence can be felt in policy, government, and even the entertainment industry. She collaborates closely with Hollywood’s leading writers and producers to ensure the most accurate depiction of science, technology, and the future in blockbuster films and widely recognized TV shows and commercials. Prior to founding the Future Today Institute in 2005, Webb began her career as a journalist, first covering technology and economics for The Wall Street Journal while based in Hong Kong and later relocating to Tokyo to report on emerging technologies for Newsweek.
A powerful voice on all things tech- and future-related, Webb is the author of several bestselling books, including the critically acclaimed The Genesis Machine, which examines the future of synthetic biology — which she predicts will be the most important technology of our lifetime. She has provided thought leadership as a columnist on the future and big data for Slate and a contributing editor and tech columnist for Inc, and her insights into the future are featured frequently in today’s top publications, including the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wired, Fortune, and several others. In addition to being elected a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Webb serves as a Steward and Steering Committee member of the World Economic Forum’s Future of Media, Entertainment, and Sport Board, as well as its Global Futures Council. She is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, a fellow in the United States-Japan Leadership Program and a Foresight Fellow in the U.S. Government Accountability Office Center for Strategic Foresight. Previously, she served as a visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, as well as a U.S. Department of State delegate for the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media, and international diplomacy.
A visionary with extraordinary insight into what the future of business and society might look like, Webb is a winner of the Thinkers50 RADAR Award, and has been named to the BBC 100 Women list and the Thinkers50 Radar list of influential management thinkers shaping the future of how organizations are managed and led.
Scenes from the Future: A 10- and 20-Year Forecast of Your Industry. Technology continues to intersect with our lives in new, weird, and wonderful ways. With tech’s integration into our daily lives becoming second nature to so much of the world, we often overlook this intersection. And yet, emerging tech will play a key role in shaping the future of humanity. In this mind-bending session, world-renowned futurist Amy Webb takes audiences on a captivating journey as she provides a thought-provoking series of snapshots into the near and far future of business and society. Drawing from her work and research as founder and CEO of the Future Today Institute, she develops a set of optimistic, neutral, and chaotic scenarios that describe your organization or industry’s plausible scenes 10 and 20 years into the future, offers insights for how your organization can achieve its preferred future, and puts forth probable answers to tomorrow’s most pressing questions about work, relationships, and our way of living.
Emerging Tech Trends. Which tech trends should we be monitoring? How can businesses distinguish between “trend” and “trendy?” And most importantly, how can you prepare yourself and your organization for what’s next in a world where constant disruption is the norm? In this custom speech, futurist Amy Webb taps into her research of your organization and industry and links it to curated, data-driven longitudinal tech trends to reveal the forces shaping the future of your business. She connects trends from within and outside of your field to illustrate a chain reaction of events, the potential outcomes of those events, and the ways they might shake up your business, as well as provide tools and strategies for adapting. This talk has been adapted from the world’s largest and most prestigious stages, including the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, to help organizations in any industry position themselves as the disruptors before being disrupted.
Imagining the Post-Covid Future. The Covid-19 pandemic has been the catastrophic catalyst for change that has reset our world and forced us to rethink the ways we live, work, and interact with one another. As we collectively make the gradual return to not-quite normal, we’re faced with new challenges in global supply chains, inflation and economic decline, geopolitical conflict, healthcare, politics and governance, and human rights — all of which have the potential to stall innovation and disrupt businesses and society to a point of no return. In this data-driven investigation into what the post-covid future entails, futurist expert and strategic forecaster Amy Webb outlines foresight tools and custom, easy-to-execute strategies organizations can implement to begin laying the groundwork for their desired futures. She draws from more than two decades at the forefront of modeling next-order implications to help organizations figure out how to mitigate risk and solve their future problems today.
How to Think Like a Futurist. The world’s most successful leaders are the ones with the ability to manage the present and innovate for the future. As Amy Webb shares, this requires a new kind of strategic thinking. Drawing from her bestselling, award-winning book, The Signals Are Talking, Webb demonstrates how leaders can harness a futurist’s strategic tools to ignite future-focused creativity and innovation in support of their organization’s strategic objectives. In this talk, she provides an adaptable framework for how to think like a futurist, rethink risk, and know when to take action. She shares future scenarios for emerging tech in your industry and those adjacent to it — from synthetic biotechnology and artificial intelligence to metaverses and blockchain — and helps you discover your own ability to forecast what’s on the horizon and use that way of thinking to create your own preferred future today.
Web3, the Metaverse, and Your Organization. We’ve entered the era of decentralization. Established, recognized authorities — financial institutions, government agencies, market regulators, and more — are being disrupted by tech innovators. Meme stocks, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), interactive virtual realms known as metaverses, and new forms of authority are reshaping the world as we know it. But this is only the beginning. In this gripping session, Amy Webb explains how decentralization trends across different sectors will soon influence transactions in every industry — from real estate to banking and insurance — and explores the impact that metaverses and the other technologies that will be introduced in the digital future will have on business, governing, education, and society.
What’s on the Horizon for Artificial Intelligence? Artificial intelligence has been one of the most powerful technologies of our lifetime in the ways it has reshaped business, privacy, commerce, agriculture, warfare, healthcare, education, and even our interpersonal relationships. What do we have to look forward to and what should we be worried about now as artificial intelligence continues to evolve beyond what we ever thought was possible? Drawing from insights from her bestselling book The Big Nine, Amy Webb provides a high-level overview of everything your business needs to know about AI. She draws attention to custom optimistic and catastrophic scenarios your organization may face as we advance from artificial narrow intelligence to artificial general intelligence, and finally, to artificial superintelligence, and provides the tools needed to maintain agency of the future of our organizations.
The Genesis Machine: Rewriting Business and Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Humanity’s ability to solve its existential challenges — from climate change and ending food insecurity across the globe to putting an end to the next viral outbreak before it becomes a pandemic — will potentially be determined by the most important technology that you’ve never heard of: synthetic biology. But, this new technology is not without controversy and ethical dilemmas. Through a powerful technological platform combining biology and artificial intelligence, it will give humans the power to read, edit, and write DNA — thus allowing us to control our genetic destinies.
But who should decide how we engineer human life? Should there be limits to human enhancements? Is it right for humans to play God? Sharing original research and insights from her acclaimed book, The Genesis Machine, Futurist and synthetic tech expert Amy Webb leads this riveting examination into the opportunities, risks, and ethics of synthetic biology, and how we as humans will make decisions on issues such as whether to program novel viruses to fight diseases, what genetic privacy will look like, and how companies should earn revenue from engineered cells. In this talk, she provides the background for thinking through the upcoming economic growth, business ecosystem, and governing challenges posed by redesigning life, as well as the vast possibilities waiting for business and humanity on the horizon.
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