Michael Steep

Legendary Tech Pioneer & Operating Executive; Founding Executive Director, Stanford Program for Disruptive Technology & Innovation
  • Highly sought-after strategic leader who has advised clients including Airbus, BMW, and Google
  • Contributing editor to Forbes and a sitting member of the Smart City London Board
  • Helps audiences get ahead of disruption with practical tips for fueling innovative ideas powered by new technology

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As a highly influential tech leader, pioneer, and practitioner, Michael Steep has delivered countless global keynotes on how organizations across industries can transform disruption into practical opportunities for bottom-line growth. Among his key messages is the fact that there is a sea of change underway, yet more money is now invested in outside research and development companies focused on truly disruptive invention than inside our own organizations. As outside innovation continues to grow at an exponential rate, the very time-honored processes we use to innovate, attract talent, and deal with digital transformation have stalled, and leadership is tasked with the challenge of keeping up with emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and determining which ones will advance their strategies and support their business goals. Steep’s expertise is gleaned from his four-decade career leading operations at companies including Apple, Microsoft, and HP, where he worked in the presence of Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, and David Packard and witnessed firsthand what went into creating some of the greatest breakthroughs and transformations within organizations and entire industries.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speaker’s bureau, Steep possesses near-encyclopedic level knowledge into more than 20 industries, including financial services, technology; manufacturing; healthcare; retail; and entertainment, and delivers tailored keynotes that explore the effects of current and future trends and technologies on specific organizations and the verticals they operate in. As part of his preparation for every keynote, he speaks with each client in advance to understand their concerns then calibrates and customizes each presentation to bring relevant and real-world case examples that reflect how technology has been leveraged to power innovation in specific industries, and outlines aspects from these cases that organizations and associations can emulate as they look at new ways to approach their business challenges. The broad-based expertise that Steep shares is intended to show groups that they don’t have to integrate every new technology into their strategies, but the ones they pursue have the potential to completely evolve their businesses. In addition to his keynotes, Steep’s leads innovation workshops that reveal specific processes companies can use to transform early-stage technology into growth.

Steep served as the founding executive director for the Disruptive Technology Program at Stanford where he spearheaded the development of the latest approaches to digital transformation and built bridges between Stanford’s disruptive technologies lab and corporate partners — including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Meta, Hitachi, and Visa — to create new opportunities for innovation and monetization. He is also the one of the founders of Transform Innovation, which expands access to the nearly 5,000 early-stage technology labs from the top engineering schools. He works with faculty from Stanford, MIT, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and San Diego engineering, on transformative projects and startup ventures. Through his speaking engagements, he interacts with nearly 5,000 executives every year and offers feedback on their challenges and discusses their issues around innovation, as well as their desire to rethink the way they manage innovation within their organizations and in their own careers. Additionally, he is a trusted advisor to major governmental organizations, including the CIA and Department of Defense, on matters pertaining to the impact of emerging technologies on national security.

As an adjunct professor at the Stanford, he created and taught an engineering course entitled “Reinventing Innovation.” He also published his highly regarded book First Light of Day, and is the author of numerous papers on the impact of early stage technology on business models. Previously, he held roles as senior vice president of global business operations at PARC Xerox, GM for Microsoft’s Innovation Outreach Program for the Office of CTO (Bill Gates), and operating executive at Apple, HP, and IBM.

From launching the first software for IBM PC, to developing the first QuickTake digital camera at Apple, working on the team launch of Azure at Microsoft, and working to fund both AI and cybersecurity startups today, Steep has been an impactful presence behind many of the innovations that have shaped recent history and holds the unwavering believe that we are in the beginning of a new golden age where emerging technologies will define who we are, what we can accomplish, and how we can redefine companies and industries.  x

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Speaker Video

Michael Steep: An Exploration into Machine Learning & AI

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Transforming the Power of AI Into Bottom-Line Opportunities (Tailored to Your Organization’s Needs). Legendary tech pioneer, innovator, and executive Michael Steep leads audiences on a forward-looking exploration into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and its profound impact on their specific industries. He draws upon his current work with Silicon Valley startups, the top five engineering schools, and his decades of experience as an innovator and disruptor at tech giants including Xerox PARC, Apple, Microsoft, and IBM Lexmark to demonstrate to groups how AI is driving innovation at an exponential rate and reshaping their industries.  

Steep is both a top-rated and a highly effective speaker who has addressed thousands of industry executives during his keynotes, worked with university and commercial engineering labs on ground-breaking technology, and advised government agencies. He is a  practitioner who has “walked the talk” and is well-positioned to bring a practical focus to complex topics including:

  • How AI is both a risk and opportunity crossing every industry including financial services, manufacturing, auto, and healthcare
  • The ways in which AI-driven automation optimizes production, reduces costs, and enhances quality control.
  • AI’s ability to change the consumer’s experience and behavior through continuous connection and mobility
  • AI’s acceleration of medical breakthroughs — improving patient care through predictive analytics; reducing healthcare costs, and delivery time for new drugs
  • What you need to know to change the way our organization approach’s digital transformation by leveraging AI technologies, including machine learning
  • Large Language Models like ChatGPT and Bard, and how to assess risk and corporate liability
  • Real-world case examples of how AI is being applied today and how it will likely to be used in the future

This talk offers a groundbreaking roadmap for organizations to harness the transformative power of AI and emerging technologies while navigating the challenges they present. It spurs them to envision a future where AI becomes a driving force for innovation and growth. Ideal for industry associations and customized to their needs.

Breakthroughs in Cybersecurity: New Advancements for Protecting Our Critical Infrastructure. In this riveting keynote, Michael Steep examines the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity and the groundbreaking innovations that are shaping the future of digital defense. With his deep expertise in technology and security, Steep sheds light on the most crucial developments in cybersecurity and their implications for individuals, organizations, and nations. As Steep introduces audiences to these breakthroughs, such as Extended Detection and Response; the Zero Trust model; and AI-powered cyber defense, he arms them with the knowledge and tools needed to stay ahead of threats in the digital realm and outlines a path to a more secure digital future.

As a disruption leader and practitioner, Michael Steep possesses unsurpassed insights into emerging technologies and their potential impact on business and society long before these advancements enter the public conscious. In this keynote, he shares the latest developments in cybersecurity with a focus on emerging millisecond platforms that intercept, evaluate, and prevent bad actor attacks using machine learning speeds. He evaluates where we stand in addressing the increasing ransomware and state-actor attacks including the pros and cons of these new technologies, and, most importantly, how organizations can purposefully leverage them in order to innovate and create new approaches to securing data. He also addresses privacy concerns, and the role the consumer plays in protecting our critical infrastructure.

Key takeaways from the session include:

  • A comprehensive understanding of where we are today in cybersecurity technologies and the impact on society, consumer behavior, and predicting consumer motivation
  • A simplified view of a complex subject every CEO, Board, and IT executive needs to know to limit corporate liability while also reducing cost through more effective data management
  • A practical set of case study examples of how new technologies can be used to transform industry business models
  • Insight into what we need to know in order to use technology where it can be most effective to drive practical business results
  • An overview of what we need to know to equip leadership for incorporating emerging technologies into company strategies


Supply Chain and Sustainability. In this talk, Michael Steep leads a deep dive into the most pressing global challenges and the innovative solutions that are reshaping how organizations and industries operate, and paving the way for a greener future. In discussing the importance of sustainability on businesses and their bottom lines, Steep addresses topic areas including the role of technology in creating sustainable solutions, the challenges and benefits of circular economic strategies, and the importance of large-scale collaboration and partnerships among governments, businesses, and organizations in support of a more sustainable future.

In this talk, Steep focuses on the highlights of what companies need to do to design, build, and sustain products and services for the longer term. Sustainability is a generic term that means different things to different people. Seldom do we focus on the nuts and bolts of HOW to build sustainability into the architectures of platforms used by corporations for mission critical functions. 

Steep is in a unique position to offer a solution that addresses the HOW and WHAT on long term sustainability.

This keynote on sustainability covers the following main topics for consideration:

  • An overview of sustainability and what it really means for the enterprise customer
  • A practical “nuts and bolts” guide to the critical problems and processes needed to ensure compliance and longer-term sustainability of products and services
  • A look at the IT lifecycle and how it impacts sustainability options
  • Real world case examples
  • A look at the traditional view of sustainability countering major environmental problems and climate change
  • The challenges of adopting green technology and new clean energy sources.
  • What is important to highlight from an IT perspective for the IT executive


The Digital Transformation of Healthcare and Patient Services. Perhaps one of Steep’s most in-demand talks, this keynote focuses on the digital transformation of the healthcare services industry. New emerging technologies have already transformed everything from how we deliver patient care and services, to medical practices, pharma, neuroscience, and Medicine 3.0.

Key takeaways from this session include:

  • An overview of emerging technologies impacting the healthcare industry
  • A practical “nuts and bolts” guide to the critical problems and processes needed to ensure superior healthcare delivery
  • Technologies including robotic surgery, neuroscience, and AI applications in antibiotic investigation and research
  • New cyber technologies that can protect patient privacy before a serious breach occurs
  • Practical case examples
  • A deep dive into patient behavior and new approaches to motivating effective behaviors


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