Ramez Naam

Leading Expert on Innovation and Disruptive Technologies
Ramez Naam
  • Spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams working on artificial intelligence, big data, and internet search
  • Holds more than 20 patents, including several as a co-inventor with Bill Gates
  • Speaks around the world on exponential innovation, the practical applications of technology, and the "8 Things Disruptors Do Differently"

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Ramez Naam is a former Microsoft executive, entrepreneur, inventor, and one of the day’s leading voices on disruptive technologies. Ramez spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams working on artificial intelligence, big data, and internet search. His software, including his work on early versions of Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer, has touched the lives of more than a billion people. He holds 19 patents—including several as co-inventor with Bill Gates. Dynamic and personable, Naam speaks around the world, captivating audiences as he illustrates “what disruption looks like” and shares the eight strategies incumbents should draw on to keep the pace of change. Naam’s presentations are geared at helping businesses optimize their positioning and products to win in a crowded, dicey marketplace. He is currently Energy Co-Chair at Singularity University.

A perfect blend of entertainment and insight—sharing videos of Teslas powering to 160mph using “Insane Mode” and graphs that break down how many VC-backed startups fail and succeed—he talks about the disruptive power of technologies (AI, robotics, drones, 3D printing, biotechnology, and more), and how organizations can adapt and thrive in this new era. Looking at the reasons Uber is worth $69 billion or Airbnb is worth $39 billion, he encourages audiences “do the math” and follow cost trend-lines, embrace the “flywheel” effect, lean into change even when it may appear threatening, and empower their teams to fail with a “default yes” mentality. Naam also specializes in the disruption that clean energy and related technologies are bringing to the $6 trillion energy, transportation, food, and water industries. Naam’s talks focus mainly on preparing audiences for both the incredible challenges of those transitions and the immense opportunities they bring with them.

In addition to his work at Microsoft, Naam has spoken extensively to executives and government leaders. He has briefed Fortune 100 CEOs, the Presidents of multiple nations, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Director and senior leaders of DARPA.

He is the award-winning author of five books, including the science fiction series Nexus. Naam’s books have won the Prometheus Award, the Endeavour Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and his 2015 book, Nexus: Install, was named one of NPR’s Best Books of the Year. In addition to the Nexus trilogy, he is the author of the book, The Infinite Resourcee: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet and More Than Human. His work has appeared in or been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Atlantic, Slate, Business Week, Discover, Wired, and Scientific American.

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Exponential Disruption Meets Exponential Organizations

Resources To Shape The Future

Eight Things Disruptors Do Differently. As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Here, Naam connects the dots between the tremendous technological advances of the last 20 years and the arrival of powerhouses that shattered industries by simply getting there first. Taking an honest look at the risk involved in paving new ground, he shares the eight things innovators do differently, including innovating from the bottom up and empowering teams to fail, embracing the network effect in a way that creates natural barriers for competition, and having the guts to disrupt themselves. Packed with humorous anecdotes and high-energy visuals, Naam’s talk will have your audience gripped, thinking through new ideas they can explore in their own lives, and reevaluating the future of their industry.

The Clean Energy Revolution. Of all the infrastructure available to developers, none has had a steeper price drop than solar power, which has come down 250-times in price since its arrival in the marketplace. Here, Singularity’s Energy co-chair talks about how solar and other clean energy sources will continue to change the world we live in, following the pathway of exponential technology that slowly but steadily becomes demonetized and democratized. Inspiring and powerful, Naam’s talk pulls in historical anecdotes, a look at technology evolving now, and a thoughtful review of the ways regulation needs to keep the pace of change. Highly-customizable, Naam’s talk is a can’t-miss for any group considering the impact of the clean energy revolution on their industry.

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