David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen.
He has since invested in more than 150 early-stage tech companies, including two that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and is an adviser to venture-capital funds, the Harwell Science and Innovation
Campus, and numerous tech businesses.
David’s Amazon #1 business bestseller Non-Bullshit Innovation: 17 Proven Ways to Transform How You Work (Penguin) has been published in Japan, Korea, Russia, Ukraine and beyond. The book, a 20-country
quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out 17 proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business helping leaders build resilience in an uncertain world.
David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times. He has been asked to give more than 600 keynotes in recent years, and has received repeat requests to present for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel and Unilever. David has moderated events for the World Economic Forum, WIRED and the UK and French governments,
and is increasingly in demand to host virtual conferences.
David deconstructs tech trends in real time, unpacking how major innovations like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, and more, are changing businesses and consumers. He focuses on how technology-led innovation can build prosperity even in economic downturns and amid market crises. He delivers fascinating and knowledgeable presentations full of insight into the future of technology together with lively examples and engaging video clips which reveal that, in some cases, the future is already here.
He’s typically asked to speak about how innovation and technology are likely to impact a particular sector (from manufacturing to motoring), and what incumbent companies
can do to protect themselves. He customises every talk, and in recent months has addressed audiences in finance, fashion, utilities, television, insurance, shipping, travel, real estate and business software. He also
speaks a lot about changing business models, and how companies can develop a culture of innovation.
David Rowan is in international demand as a keynote speaker, event host and moderator, after-dinner speaker and webinar presenter. He travels frequently, and has a home studio at his London base for online presentations and moderating. His current keynote topics include:
WHY THIS IS AI’s “NETSCAPE MOMENT”:
How to understand the impact of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. What they mean for business resilience, the job market, process automation.
EVENT MODERATING: David has moderated events for the UK and French governments; WIRED; World Economic Forum; Pictet; Royal Academy of Engineering. He hosts awards ceremonies, frequently interviews CEOs on stage, and is often asked to host multi-day events.
“You set the tone for the day perfectly, engaging the audience and steering the presenters through a very full agenda. The feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive, which is largely due to your dynamism, good humour and professionalism.” – David Cameron, G8 Innovation Conference
“The team was blown away and they are a hard group to impress.” – Google
“A stellar moderator – insightful and challenging to the speakers, witty and engaging for the audience, and very positive to work with.” – World Economic Forum
“Fascinating.” – Goldman Sachs
“Your contribution at the event was terrific. The content was highly relevant & extremely interesting. Your talk received the highest audience review on the feedback application. The level of your professionalism is unrivalled.” – Mercer, Hong Kong
“Truly inspirational.” – Warner Bros
David brings his extensive experience as a newspaper and magazine editor, and television broadcaster, to communicating complex trends in clear, accessible ways that give audiences that “Aha” moment of understanding. His presentations are fast-paced, energetic, visually stimulating, packed with concrete examples, and infused with wit.
His recent audiences include leading global banks (Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barclays); real-estate professionals (CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield); consulting firms (McKinsey, Tata, Capgemini); manufacturing and retail businesses (Castrol, Technogym, Panasonic); and governments. He also moderates for the World Economic Forum and the UK and French governments. Despite his heavy speaking schedule – recent engagements ranged from Brazil to Mumbai – David takes pride in custom-researching every presentation for that particular audience.
He writes a technology column in The Sunday Times, and contributes to publications including WIRED, GQ, The Times, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, and Campaign.
David has taken 130 flights in the past year to investigate the companies and entrepreneurs changing our world, and has spent time with the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen.
He’s an early-stage investor in 50 tech companies and founder of a non-profit taking amazing people for weekend adventures in the world’s most extraordinary locations. And he is still searching for the future.
—Lessons from my global quest for non-bullshit innovation
—How to create a culture of innovation
—How artificial intelligence and automation can boost your business
—The new rules of business
—How to profit from digital disruption
—What startups can teach your business
—How emerging technologies will impact financial services / recruitment / real estate / healthcare / agriculture / travel etc
—Why the world will never move this slowly again
—The future of the workplace
—Ten technologies shaping our future
—Ten lessons I’ve learned from the world’s fastest innovators
—New business models that are redefining industries
—The future of the customer experience
David also does a lot of moderating, chairing and interviewing at events, including moderating for the World Economic Forum, the UK Government’s G8 Innovation Conference, the Duke of York’s startup pitch events, and WIRED’s conferences.
“Your opening talk was just fabulous and perfectly set the stage for the next few days. I am forever in your debt for playing such an important role and being so giving of your time throughout the week. The feedback on your talk has been extremely positive.” – PopTech
“David was fantastic. The content was perfect. David stuck to the brief we gave him and had clearly prepared materials that were bespoke to Sky. The talk was fast paced, interesting, relevant and accessible. It set up the innovation session of our agenda really well and I was delighted with the result.” – Sky
“You were a stellar moderator – insightful and challenging to the speakers, witty and engaging for the audience, and very positive to work with.” – World Economic Forum
We consider Sandra at Connect, our virtual team member.
Her enthusiasm and determination to engage the perfect speaker never fails to deliver and impress our audiences.
Institutional Investor Conferences
"It is a pleasure to work with Sandra and Connect Speakers. The conferences are stimulating and efficiently organised and there is always a lovely personal touch to ensure that all goes smoothly."
Linda Yueh, Economist, Writer & Broadcaster