Michael Rogers

Columnist, MSNBC's The Practical Futurist, & Futurist-in-Residence of The New York Times

Michael Rogers
  • Award-winning journalist and novelist with over thirty years of professional speaking experience
  • Former vice president of The Washington Post's new media division
  • Co-founder of Outside magazine and former writer for Rolling Stone
  • Dynamic speaker helping businesses think about the future and the effect of technology their organization

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Michael Rogers is a different kind of futurist: One who combines real business experience with a deep technology background. Add to that the keen eye of an award-winning journalist, the storytelling skills of a novelist, plus thirty years of professional speaking experience—and you have The Practical Futurist.

A dynamic speaker who delivers an entertaining and common-sense vision of change for business and individuals, Michael blends technology, economics, demographics, culture, and human nature. In addition to authoring five books about the future, Rogers recently completed two years as futurist-in-residence for The New York Times and is a columnist for MSNBC.com.

He has worked with companies ranging from FedEx, Boeing, and GE to Microsoft, Pfizer, and American Express, as well as both NASA and the Department of Defense. He addresses groups ranging from venture capitalists and corporate executives to educators, students and the general public and is also a regular guest on radio and television, including Good Morning America, the Today Show, PBS, CNN, and the History Channel.

Rogers began his career as a writer for Rolling Stones and went on to co-found Outside magazine. He then launched Newsweek’s technology column, winning numerous journalism awards, including a National Headliner Award for coverage of the Chernobyl meltdown.

For ten years he was vice president of The Washington Post Company's new media division, guiding both the newspaper and its sister publication Newsweek into the new century, as well as serving as editor and general manager of Newsweek.com where he won the Distinguished Online Service award from the National Press Club for coverage of 9/11. 

His work in interactive media ranges from the first Lucasfilm computer game and interactive CD-ROMs to Prodigy, America Online and finally the Internet. He has received several patents for multimedia storytelling techniques, and is listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. In 2007, he was named to the MIN Digital Hall of Fame, and in 2009 he received the World Technology Network Award for Lifetime Achievement in Media and Journalism.

Rogers studied physics and creative writing at Stanford University with additional training in finance and management at the Stanford Business School Executive Program. He is also a best-selling novelist whose fiction explores the human impact of technology. He lives in New York City where he works on book and television projects.

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Smart Everything

Management Challenges

Generation Telecommute

Always Connected

Futurist-in-Residence for The New York Times

Management Meets The Future. Managers are facing multiple new challenges: virtual work forces, flattened corporate structures, a new generation of ambitious, and cyber-savvy workers, a heightened atmosphere of public scrutiny—not to mention the perennial pressure to do more with less. How are smart managers coping and what’s next to come?

Use The Downturn To Rethink, Restructure, & Thrive. The recovery remains weak, but three key elements will still characterize successful businesses during the remainder of the decade: Virtual organization, global vision, and the extended Internet of smart objects and cloud-based intelligence. These new tool may even create entirely new business models. Coming out of this long downturn presents the perfect opportunity to rethink and restructure, using low-cost software tools, to fit the emerging new paradigm.

Your Business In 2028. For this popular speech, Rogers—who is also a best-selling science fiction writer—interviews the client to get a sense of their business, practice or discipline. He then creates a scenario of what their profession or business might be like toward the end of the Twenties and the world we will inhabit. He’s done it for lawyers, healthcare professionals, transportation companies, financial services companies—and even for beauty salons and weight-loss clinics!

The Virtualization Of America. Over the next decade, more and more of our work, what we care about and how we interact with others is going to move into the virtual world, mediated by computers and the Internet. In addition, we’re seeing the rise of a new generation of “digital natives” who are remarkably comfortable with virtual relationships.  What will this mean for how our businesses and organizations must grow and evolve in the years to come?   

The Digital Lifestyle. Computers, the Internet and the digitization of all media are changing many aspects of the American lifestyle—from how we work, where we shop, how we entertain ourselves and even how we meet our mates. It is also beginning to reshape the way our homes are built, furnished, and lived-in. What does the digital lifestyle mean for what companies must do to reach their customers and how products must change to meet new needs? Elements ranging from pop culture, consumer electronics, and even home décor are required to fully understand the scope of the transformation.

The Future Of Media. The rise of the Internet and the digitization of all media are having a profound effect on the media industries. What will the next decade see in content and services delivery, customer expectations, the protection of intellectual property, and the role of traditional media? Will we still have newspapers? Will we still have traditional television? Who will create, distribute, and profit from the news? And the rise of citizen journalism—via blogs and social media—means that for corporations, nothing is under the radar anymore. Who will be the winners and losers between cable, satellite, landlines, and wireless? 

The Challenges For Law. Between globalization of services and the digitization of business, the legal profession is facing more change in the next decade than has occurred in the past century. Michael has worked extensively with the American Bar Association, state bars, and individual firms to talk about how the profession can adapt, what younger lawyers can expect and how older lawyers need to adapt. 

Healthcare & Wellness: What’s Ahead. Information technology and genetic science are combining to create a fundamental shift in the way we think about and treat disease. At the same time, however, prices continue to rise and there is as much pressure to use technology to cut costs as to advance health science. How do we balance the enormous potential of advancing technology with the real world questions of delivering affordable healthcare?

Education: The Basics Go Digital. After creating the award-winning Parents’ Guide to Children’s Software, Rogers has followed education and technology issues closely. He often speaks to audiences of both parents and educators about technology and learning—and specifically how the rise of computers and the Internet has actually increased the importance of the thinking skills that underlie the traditional three R’s. He has worked with both K-12 audiences and higher education on both issues of pedagogy as well as new business models in the virtual age. 

Energy Futures: Assessing The Choices. Rogers has followed the world energy picture since he shared the National Headliners Award for coverage of the Chernobyl disaster and its implications for nuclear energy. He has written extensively on alternative energy and recently participated in the United Nations conference Bridging the Divide on bringing new energy technology to developing countries, as well as speaking and consulting for a variety of energy companies.

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