Construction & Materials

What futurists (or “futurologists”) do is to help people plan and prepare for the future, as opposed to offer predictions about the future. This can involve looking at future trends, notably about new technologies and technology trends, and a lot more besides.

If you’re looking for a conference speaker, a keynote speaker, or a workshop presenter or facilitator on this topic, the examples below represent some of the keynote speeches or workshop presentations I’ve given as a futurist speaker in the past. But each presentation is created specifically to suit your needs. If you don’t see a presentation about the future that would work for your conference, by all means contact me, and we’ll see if we can create one specifically for you.

Accelerating Change: Steeling Yourselves for Tomorrow’s World

The demand for steel products mirrors the activity in the American economy – and the economy is changing at an accelerating pace. Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary who maps the changes ahead, and in this presentation, he provides an overview of what’s ahead for the sale of processed steel. Among the topics covered are:

  • America’s energy advantage – after decades of coping with rising energy costs and a growing dependence on foreign petroleum, America is now enjoying an edge due to its aggressive pursuit of shale gas – and may be about to shake foreign energy dependence entirely.
  • Global competition, global opportunity – Steel is a cornerstone industry, and every developed and developing nation wants a domestic steel industry, and all the offshoots that develop from it. This means that competition from foreign steel is only going to grow – but it also means that those who can compete can win market share in a market bigger than any in history.
  • Technology changes the game, again – The rate of change in technology is not only accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. This will lead to changes in automation, supply chain management, customer interaction, and the social environment in which we operate. Those unprepared for these changes will lose market share.
  • Futures thinking – A marketplace that changes with increasing speed, those who can identify and prepare for change first can scoop up market share while competitors are gasping in surprise. Richard will finish his presentation by providing a futures toolkit that can help managers and salespeople alike anticipate what’s to come – and profit from it.

Building Tomorrow’s Dream: The Future of Wood in a High-Tech World

The future isn’t given to anybody, and yesterday’s highest achievements become the foundation of tomorrow’s striving. Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary, as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst. In this presentation, he outlines the megatrends that are shaping our future, and discusses the particular issues that will affect the forest products industry, its markets and products, and the challenges and opportunities ahead. Among the topics discussed are:

  • Are we finally heading for a paperless society? Are magazines and newsprint vanishing relics of a by-gone era? And if so, what should forest product companies be doing about it?
  • The global economy creates new markets – and new competitors. How a North American company fares in a global marketplace will depend on how it envisions the marketplace, identifies its own place within specific market segments, and how it prepares to meet competitors, including unexpected ones from unexpected places.
  • Technological disruption has only just begun. All of the advances in computers and communications, including the disruption of retailing, publishing, supply chain management, and social trends and activism are merely a warm-up for the disruption yet to hit, including the largely unknown effects of 3D printing. But the interaction between what humans truly want, and what technology can deliver, is effectively unpredictable. How, then, do you prepare for the monumental uncertainties ahead?
  • Why climate change is happening is of less immediate concern than what to do about it. In particular, it seems clear that we will experience more extreme, and less predictable, weather. How will that affect construction, and how should forest product companies prepare for the changes ahead?

Richard will lay out a roadmap of the future ahead of us, and then, at the end, provide a toolkit to help manage the uncertainties of the future. ‘The future will belong to those who can anticipate the changes to come, and respond to them most constructively,’ he says. ‘And those who persist in resisting change will be crushed by it.’

Dark Clouds & Silver Linings: What’s Ahead for the Construction and Economy

The only thing that seems clear from today’s headlines is uncertainty. Is the American economy going into a second recession, or did it not actually emerge from the first? Is the EU going to crash and burn, or will they find a way through their problems? Will Canada continue to skate through, or will it be dragged down by the problems of others? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, best-selling author, and today’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he deals with the broad issues facing industry and the economy, including:

  • The prospects for the three economies important to industry: the American, the global, and the Canadian;
  • The potential financial and economic crises we might face, and what their implications will be;
  • The financial pressures facing governments here and abroad, and how they are likely to respond;
  • The construction issues related to climate change, including, but not limited to the emergence of rating systems like LEED ND and related issues;
  • How technology is going to change, and what the implications for labour and business will be.

Richard will provide attendees with a better appreciation for the landscape of tomorrow, as well as a set of tools to help them capture the uncertainty of the future, and turn it to advantage.

Surfing the Waves of Change: The Future of the Construction Industry

The world we grew up is vanishing, and the future we are headed for will be dramatically different. Richard Worzel is a strategic planner, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this presentation, Richard will not only survey the rough waters ahead, but offer specific techniques for surfing the riding the crests of the waves ahead. Among the topics covered will be:

  • How technology is going to change our economy, our society, and the construction industry, from materials to automation.
  • How the global economy is turning everything we knew on its head, and why this leads straight to the need for new ways of innovation;
  • What happens next with climate change and the Green Economy? Clearly this issue isn’t dead politically, but what’s happening beyond the debate?
  • What’s ahead with the economic and financial problems of developed economies, and how should you prepare for it?

After providing a survey of the waves of change coming towards us, Richard will leave us with a tool kit for dealing with the changes to come that can change the way you do business immediately. ‘Surfing the waves of change will be exhilarating for those who are prepared,’ says Richard. ‘Those who aren’t will wipe out and sink from the scene.’

How High Is Up: Bidding for Tomorrow’s Business

Is the boom in construction sustainable, or will it lead to tears, as the high-tech boom did in the late 1990s? For whom are we building, and where will they want to locate? How are the tastes and tides of society shifting? What is an ex-urban ring, and how will it affect your business? This provocative keynote addresses the fundamental factors that will make or break your future, and offers you a peak into the future to help your organization and your industry prepare for the technologies and techniques of the future. You’ll walk away with not only an appreciation for how demographics, government actions, technology, geopolitics, and the global economy will affect your daily life, but new conceptual tools to deal with the uncertainties that are the only sure thing about tomorrow’s world.

Tomorrow’s Work Space

Futurist and strategic planner Richard Worzel takes us out 20 years into the future to consider the offices of tomorrow. In the process, he’ll help us imagine the kind of work that we will be doing, how our tools and practices will change, what our workspaces will be like, where work will be done, and who will be doing it. Will today’s trend towards home offices continue? If so, to what extent? What infrastructure will we need, and how will be it be different from today’s office? How will we source materials, and, perhaps most difficult of all – where will we find skilled labor? Along the way, he’ll outline the future of technology, global competition, government regulation, and demographics, and let us know how they will affect our businesses. In addition, changes in customer expectations will radically modify how we conduct business, and even whom we perceive our competition to be!

Moving Into Tomorrow: Building Tomorrow’s Homes

Under the skin, today’s homes seem very like the homes of fifty years ago, allowing for minor changes in taste and architecture, yet under the skin there are dramatic differences. These differences are tiny compared to the changes coming the home building industry over the next 10, 20, 30 years or more.

Start with genetics – how will it change the way you build, and what you build with? Add in geopolitics and globalization, which will determine whom you buy from and whom you compete with. Throw in a dash of protectionism, stir deeply with technology, add a healthy portion of changing demographics and psychographics among home buyers, spice with financial market swings and – violà! You have a new world and a new industry.

Futurist and strategic planner Richard Worzel assesses the changes coming your way, and offers you the insights you’ll need to profit from the turmoil ahead.