About Richard Worzel

I am a futurist, and a professional member of the World Future Society. I make my living by helping corporations and industry associations plan intelligently for the future. I focus on North America, but deal with global issues. My Client list includes companies like Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Ford, Nissan, Lexus, IBM, Bell Canada, the U.S. Navy, the National Research Council, the Clerk of the House of Commons of Canada, Sun Life, the TD Bank, and many others.

The services I offer are tailored to the needs of the client, but fall into the following major areas: Keynote Speeches, Workshops and Seminars, and Innovation Sessions. Companies can also ask me to work with their planning groups on an on-going basis, or for a specific part of their planning cycle. I have also been asked to assess companies in which a client is considering making an investment, especially in technology companies where I may have some familiarity with the field.

Groups or companies wishing to know more about any of my services should contact me by e-mail at futurist@futuresearch.com or by phone at 1-416-489-4511.

I look forward to any feedback or questions you may have.

» Keynote Speeches

As part of a larger conference, I am often asked to make a keynote speech, typically to either kick off the conference and set the tone; or to end the conference, wrapping it up and sending the participants home with some valuable takeaways they can use in their work. Every speech is individually tailored to the needs of the conference in consultation with the client. I start this process by speaking with your conference planner or committee, either by phone or, if possible, in person.

From these notes, I prepare an extensive outline of my presentation about two weeks before the event, and email it to you for consideration and comment. Once I have your feedback on my presentation draft, I use them to focus my presentation even more tightly on the needs of the event.

I have testimonials in my files from clients going back almost 20 years. To see excerpts from testimonial letters from conference organizers and corporate sponsors who have used my services, see Clients & Testimonials. Or contact me for more details.

» Workshops & Seminars

These can range from half a day to an entire weekend retreat. Under a general title of “Inventing the Future”, I work with conferees to identify the major forces that will affect their companies as well as their personal lives, then help them identify the likely possibilities and the early warning signals they need to watch for. Next, we work through the major possible scenarios facing them the contingencies they need to prepare for and then work towards the contingency plans required.

Since each workshop must be different in order to fit the needs of a specific group, the results are as diverse as the groups themselves.

» Innovation Sessions

These are, by necessity, unique to each group. I’ve done projects with major communications groups, pharmaceutical companies, and others, on the future of their industries. These processes lasted several months, with occasional meetings interspersed with periods of research and consultation. I’ve also worked with a group of grade eight students from a public school, working with a corporate sponsor to teach them a number of brainstorming techniques, and eliciting their ideas for the future. All of these projects had very different planning cycles, and different end objectives, but they all focused on designing, then inventing the future.

» Futurist FAQ

What is a Futurist? Let’s start by saying what a futurist is not.

A futurist is not someone who “tells the future”. We don’t read tea leaves, tarot cards, crystal balls, or tell fortunes. Those who confuse us with soothsayers have never had any dealings with a business or consulting futurist.

Just as a biologist studies biology to understand it better, a futurist studies the future as a specific discipline with the intention of both understanding it better, and then helping organizations and people plan and prepare for the uncertainties ahead.

For a more detailed discussion of this, see our FAQs.

» Future Studies

There is no one method for studying the future, although there are a number of tools that are used. Here are some random thoughts on future-related information and sites.

» Bibliography

People often ask me how I manage to stay up with all the things going on in the world today. The simple answer is that I don’t, and I don’t think that anyone can. However, it’s fun trying, especially if you like reading. Included here is a partial listing of books that you may find useful.