Greg Williams

Editor-in-Chief, WIRED Magazine

Greg Williams
  • Transformative trends expert who knows what’s next first
  • Distills complex changes into entertaining, engaging, and accessible insights
  • Challenges audiences to rethink business models in ways that capitalize on disruptive technologies

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Greg Williams is an authority on technology trends and the ways they impact business and society. As editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, Greg meets the innovators, thinkers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and creatives who are changing the world and writes on a variety of subjects, including innovation, technology, business, creativity, and ideas. A journalist and author of five novels, Greg formerly served as the executive editor of WIRED for seven years before taking the publication’s helm. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities, Inc. speakers bureau, he possesses a unique combination of storytelling expertise and an in-depth knowledge of the future of technology and entrepreneurship. This enables him to transform complex information into entertaining and accessible insights that prepare audiences for what’s coming next. Greg primarily speaks on what’s new and what’s next and how businesses and brands can best prepare themselves for what’s coming. He also has extensive experience as a conference facilitator and moderator.

He speaks on aspects such as the Internet of Things (IOT), smart phones as a remote control for life, wearables, hardware as the new software, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI), the power shift from top-down to distributed models, e-commerce, data, and why old business models don’t work.

Spending his days scanning the horizon for world-changing technologies, ideas and companies, Greg is constantly on the lookout for genuinely transformative trends. His dynamic presentation style enables his audiences not only to understand these shifts, but also inspires them to implement the changes they need to make in order to move their businesses and brands forward is a fast-changing landscape.

Greg has delivered keynote speeches at technology and corporate events throughout Europe and the Americas, at educational institutions such as the Strelka Institute in Moscow, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in London and Oxford University, and has given future trends presentations to numerous corporate clients in the energy, banking, retail, and fashion sectors. He also consults for several advertising agencies.

He has interviewed CEO-level business-people at both private and public events and has moderated panels with executives from FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies at high-profile conferences and private gatherings. Greg enjoys an international career – he has lived in both London and New York – and travels regularly in search of the people and ideas that are transforming our world. This year he has delivered keynotes, moderated panels and facilitated conferences in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

His essay on neuroeconomics was recently featured in the book, Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Greg is also the co-founder of the digital storytelling platform MyLondonStory, which is available as an iOS app. Greg's success as a long-form storyteller in novels and journalism means that he has a particular interest and expertise in the power and role of content as traditional media channels transform and new ones proliferate.

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Greg Williams Interviews Former Prime Minister Tony Blai

Greg Williams: Biggest Lessons in Tech Today

2018 London Showcase Recap

The Technology Trends Disrupting Your Business & How To Flourish In The Digital Age. If your organisation hasn’t been disrupted yet, it’s only a matter of time before someone rethinks your business. From commerce to banking, energy to automotive, finance to travel, every vertical has changed beyond recognition over the past decade. Greg argues that the pace of change will accelerate even further in the coming years as technology and data are used in unprecedented ways and that the only way to thrive in this dynamic environment is to embrace change.

In this fascinating talk, Greg looks at the key trends in technology, science, and ideas that every organisation needs to know about, from artificial intelligence (AI) to virtual reality (VR), the rise of the millennials to how every organisation is now a software business, why external data offers unparalleled opportunities for enterprise, why the blockchain could be as powerful as the internet, to the end of ‘top down’ businesses and the rise of mission-driven enterprises. This is a talk that is guaranteed to enable organisations to prepare for the future and to make the most of emerging opportunities.

Cyber Security & Emerging Threats. Today, every organisation is in the software business—this means great opportunities, but also significant vulnerabilities as the more connections there are on the network, the more chances there are for the bad guys. Digital ubiquity has left us vulnerable, whether that’s personal (one study suggested that half of all Americans had digital data stolen from them in 2014), societal—such as the power grid being compromised—or our civic institutions coming under attack from state actors. Technology offers us not only the opportunity to tackle some of the greatest challenges known to man, it also means we are subject to significant, emerging threats—the dangers are many and significant and will only increase as nascent technologies such as wearables and the internet of things become mainstream. In this arresting talk, Greg—who curates WIRED’s highly-respected Security conference—examines emerging threats from hackers, criminals and foreign actors and defines the hazards of the future that every individual and organization needs to be aware of.

How To Win In Digital Commerce. Greg has written extensively on the future of commerce and believes that consumer expectation is only going in one direction – and that's ever higher. Digital has shifted the landscape in terms of retailers having to be on 24 hours a day in order to respond to customers and find opportunity. The online/offline split no longer matters – it's how retailers leverage digital that will really count in the coming years. The topics that Greg covers in this fascinating talk include the use of artificial intelligence to predict customer behaviour, how satellite data can drive efficiency throughout the supply chain, how the blockchain can help brands gain consumer trust, how software detectors, high-definition cameras and deep neural networks can measure subconscious micro-expressions that enable stores to understand consumer sentiment, and how to use big data for customer retention. This is a talk that offers deep insights and real-world learnings that every retailer can benefit from.

The Web Meets The Real World. If the first ten years of the web was about finding new social and innovation models we are now in an age where we are applying a digital layer to the real world. Growth in technology is no longer linear – it’s exponential. And this rapid rate of evolution is bringing about a fundamental change in the relationship between human beings and the world around us: for instance, the first human genome was decoded at a cost of $2.7 billion in 2000; today the same procedure will cost $100. These technologies are often interdisciplinary and are leading us towards a new period of convergence. In this talk Greg examines the way in which the virtual and physical worlds are beginning to merge, covering areas such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence, why headsets mean that sight will be the next interface, how additive manufacturing will change manufacturing and consumption models and the rise of biology as a computational domain.

Everything You Think About Big Data Is Wrong. There is a great deal of talk about ‘big data’, but conversations around it nearly always revolve around internal data sources which are, by definition, lagging indicators regarding the health of an organisation. Using research and specific examples from the book, Outside Insight, which he wrote with entrepreneur, Jorn Lyseggen, and is published by Penguin, Greg makes the case that business intelligence gathered from the vast amount of data being generated throughout the global economy and available on the open web can have a transformative impact on every business. Greg’s argument is that organizations will move from reliance on internal data to external sources, and that these will be every business’s most important tool for understanding opportunity and predicting future performance.

Greg offers an absorbing presentation showing how organisations must mine the wealth of data available on the open web for relevant insights—sales leads, consumer behaviour, hiring patterns, competitor investments, import/export information, environmental degradation – in order to future-proof themselves in a global economy where change is accelerating at an astonishing pace. This talk includes persuasive, entertaining case studies from a range of organisations that Greg interviewed for the book, that have applied this new form of business intelligence for the digital age and shows audiences that strategic data-led decisions based on open source data is the most powerful tool available to today’s forward-looking organisations.  

New Business Models For A Digital Age. From the sharing economy to the rise of the crowd, 3D printing to the cloud and software as a service, the shifts in the global economy mean that old business rules no longer apply. Organisations must examine their structures and mindset before new, agile start-ups find more efficient ways of acquiring customers and delivering services. Growth in tech is not linear and incremental—it’s exponential—and this is bringing about a fundamental change in the role of information. The rapid growth and scalability of technology businesses, exemplified by Uber, Instagram, and WhatsApp applies to all businesses—because there are two kids in a basement somewhere in North America, Europe, or Asia right now who are building a platform that tens of millions will be using a year or eighteen months from now. Greg’s talk is a reminder that organisations must embrace change and continually challenge themselves in order to remain relevant in world where startups can acquire significant market share and challenge incumbents in just a few months.

Profit Isn’t Enough: Today’s Organisations Must Be Purpose-Driven To Succeed. "Today's culture of quarterly earnings hysteria is totally contrary to the long-term approach we need." This isn’t a quote from an idealistic politician, it’s the words of Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest investor with $4.6 trillion in assets. Fink’s words echo a significant new trend in business—the move from organisations needing to be driven by more than just the pursuit of profit in order to achieve success. A significant number and range of businesses—from start-ups like Warby Parker, to multinationals such as Unilever—are embracing the idea that being ‘mission-driven’ will be a necessity for forward-thinking organisations and that the adoption of these principles has helped to drive the success of Southwest Airlines and Starbucks. In this inspiring talk. Greg reveals how long-term thinking and the establishment of meaningful goals can drive employee engagement, contribute to wider society—and increase profits.

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