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.
Taming the Wild Blue Future: What’s Next in Finance and Lending
The rate of change in business is not only accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. This creates the threat of falling behind a rapidly mutating marketplace, as well as the opportunity of grabbing a valuable edge over less nimble competitors. But to gain this requires the exercise of foresight, the ability to size up coming changes and prepare for them, an aptitude to innovate new solutions to both current and future needs, and the capacity to respond rapidly as the marketplace changes.
Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this presentation, he both describes the remarkable changes coming to the lending markets, and addresses the ways in which participants can steal a march on their competitors, including:
- How IT is changing qualitatively as well as quantitatively, with important implications in Big Data, customer relations, risk management, and speed-to-market. In particular, new techniques such as evolutionary algorithms combined with increasingly sophisticated applications of rule-based computing, mean that risk assessment of borrowers, risk management relating to loan documentation, and due diligence may all move to a human/computer hybrid model that can respond to client needs and market shifts far faster than traditional approaches.
- Given the increasing acceleration of change in business & technology, and the wide-ranging uncertainties relating to national politics that is driving change in regulation, no one player has a complete view of how the marketplace is evolving. This increases the value of cooperation and collaboration up and down the supply chain so that all parties can respond more rapidly as new developments emerge. There is well-established precedent for this: car manufacturers, which have much longer lead times owing to the nature of their product lines, have had to coordinate their actions with their suppliers, and to share more information about their own future intentions in order to slash the length of the product development cycle.
- Rapid-fire changes, and novel market conditions demand greater innovation, both in products and in internal processes. Yet, despite motherhood declarations of the importance of innovation, most organizations are quite reluctant to actually innovate. Not only does innovation require them to take significant risks and to do things they are not good at, but it forces professionals into a position of asymmetric risk: the potential rewards of a successful innovation are normally far less than the personal costs of failure and dismissal. But there are ways of flipping this asymmetric risk, and creating an environment of consistent, persistent innovation that can lead to major gains in market share if managed well.
- Given the uncertainties of the future, with the political, economic, market, and technological risks ahead, it is foolish to attempt a point forecast of the future and to gamble everything on it, no matter how macho that might seem. Instead, an approach using structured foresight to produce alternative possibilities or scenarios, and the consideration of potential contingency plans, is a more nuanced approach that brings a higher likelihood of success. The well-established techniques of scenario planning bring these advantages, and Richard will close with an overview of how they might be applied to the future of the lending business. He will also provide a toolkit to help participants improve their application of scenario planning to their businesses.
Wonderful and Terrible Times: What’s Ahead for the Financial Industry
America is in the midst of several major transitions that will offer wonderful opportunities, and carry terrible risks, over the next 5-10 years. Those who are prepared for the shocks and potential triumphs ahead will gain disproportionate advantages. Futurist Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a business visionary. In this overview of the future for financial companies, he will cover:
- The economic environment – Why America is doing well, and should do even better. What’s slowing the growth of developing countries like China and India, and what does that mean for us? How long will this expansion last, and what might bring it down?
- Technology – Not only is the rate of technological change accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. And disruptive technologies are appearing in a broader range of industries, such as manufacturing, than ever before, widening the problems and potential of disruption. How will this play out in finance?
- Shifting demographics – There are three age cohorts that are shifting into new phases of their lifecycles, which means their needs and demands will change. And there are two additional groups that are rapidly emerging as critical markets. Who are these people, and what will they want in the future?
- Black swans aren’t that rare – The shocks of the last financial cycle were partly caused by faulty – wishful – thinking. What are the potential shocks ahead of us, and what can you do to prepare for them?
- Innovation beyond motherhood – Everyone talks a good game when it comes to innovation. What does it take to make it a real part of your everyday business plan?
Richard will provide a roadmap of what’s ahead for financial institutions and their customers, allowing conferees to prepare to capitalize on tomorrow’s business. And he’ll leave conferees with a set of future planning tools that can help them develop a marketplace edge for the future.
Capitalizing on Tomorrow: Wealth Management and Your Future
The future of wealth management is going to be very different from the past, so the needs for high-performance are going to change.
Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and today’s leading financial futurist. In this presentation, he will lay out a roadmap of the future for those high performance wealth managers who want to continue their winning ways. To do so, they’ll first need to understand how the future of financial & wealth management will change. Such changes include:
- A baby boom generation with many things on their minds: how much they need to save in order to retire; how to generate income from investments without running too much risk; how to help their rapidly aging parents through the ends of their lives; how to help boomer children find meaningful careers and find affordable homes; how to help their grandchildren into successful education; and how to successfully fend off the tax man.
- Economic growth will be slower, so investment returns will be lower. Thus, the challenges of wealth management will be investment selection and asset allocation, a much more difficult task that buying index funds and riding the general rise in the market.
- An aging population will steadily increase the stresses on the health care & pension systems, on government finances, and on the physical well-being of those who are aging. In such a situation, new financial vehicles will be needed to achieve tax efficiency in an environment of rising taxation, and make it easier for those who are aging to manage their financial affairs with a minimum of time and attention.
- Meanwhile, younger generations will be facing a more difficult work environment. Foreign competition for jobs will continue, but the pressures from automation will dramatically increase as massively more powerful and more sophisticated technologies enter the workplace, replacing any worker doing routine work, regardless of pay level or nature of the work. In such an environment, more people will become entrepreneurs, inventing their own jobs. In all eventualities, they will need bankers who can help facilitate their professional ends while helping them secure their personal objectives.
- And as technology advances, social and economic structures will change as well. Think of how much banking has changed over the last 20 years because of technology. The next 10 years will see changes which are much more dramatic than those of the last 20.
All told, retail clients, high net worth individuals, and high achievers will all need a different kind of banker and wealth management partner, capable of looking at their financial picture, professional as well as personal, holistically, and not just in terms of products and services.
The future is going to see a polarization of service providers: those who sell products and services, and compete with everyone else in the market; and those who become trusted advisors through customization, attention to detail, awareness of all the customer’s needs, and an ability to deal with them all instead of just selling off-the-shelf products and services. It is by following this way that this year’s winners can put multiple Oscars on their mantelpieces.
Finally, Richard will provide a set of future-oriented tools for personal and corporate goal-setting and extraordinary achievement.
Dark Clouds & Silver Linings: Facing the Future of Investing
The future hasn’t happened yet, but many people act as if it has, and is predictable. The truth is that the future will catch us by surprise – but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for it. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this presentation he maps out some of the issues facing investors in the future, including:
- What if we’re wrong? We all believe we know what’s ahead for the economy, and that it will steadily improve. But what if something else happens, something less predictable? What might it be, and how should we prepare?
- The past 20 years have been a period of relative demographic calm, but the next 20 will be anything but. Three key cohorts are moving into new stages of their lifecycles, which will precipitate dramatic changes for individuals, society, governments, and the markets, and two others will have dramatic long-term implications.
- Technology is the predictable wild card. Not only is the rate of change accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. Accordingly, we only think we know what to expect, but the reality will be much more startling.
- We are seeing a shift in power in the global economy. America will remain the largest and most influential player, but its influence will be diluted by other players growing in importance, lead by China, India, Brazil and Mexico.
The future ahead of us is going to be vastly different than the present. Those who are prepared will prosper; the rest will be left behind.
The Next Fifty Years in Investing: or, How to Avoid Making Dangerous Decisions in a Crisis
Because they are inundated with information, investment professionals tend to believe that they have seen and heard it all, and worse, that they know it all. Yet, each of us knows that there is so much more that we don’t know that when a crisis hits the markets that we tend to be overly impressed with the urgency of the emergency and forget or overlook the bigger issues.
Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a former institutional investor, best-selling author, and is one of today’s leading futurists. In this long-term overview, Richard points out what’s important, as opposed to what’s urgent, including:
- Where does economic growth come from, and why is it going to be harder to come by?
- Which nations have hidden weaknesses that threaten their relative prosperity?
- How will you be able to tell those nations that will move ahead compared to those that merely plod forward? What’s the touchstone of success?
- Everyone knows that technology will continue to be a game-changer; but how? What technological advances are we not expecting, or if we are expecting them, are we not prepared for? And where will they lead us?
- And what’s the one wild card that virtually no one is talking about that will wreck the finances of nations and change the future of society and humanity, gradually at first, and then with gathering momentum?
John Maynard Keynes once famously said that in the long-run we’re all dead, but for a pension fund, which must think in terms of decades, today’s urgent issues must be kept in perspective. This presentation deals with the important issues that will decide the long-term success of a pension fund.