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Topics: Technology, A.I. Robotics, The Future
Expertise: The Future of Business
Steve Wells enables organisations and individuals identify pathways to plausible futures. He advises global clients on the transformative potential of disruptive technologies, how brands can leverage them to create distinctive identities in a fast changing world, and drive exponential growth and improvement. He has a particular focus on the new models of leadership, collaboration, and innovation required to sustain and differentiate brands in a rapidly changing reality.
Steve is an experienced international speaker, futurist, strategist, and facilitator. He prepares and delivers thought provoking client presentations, executive education workshops, and strategic foresight to clients and event delegates on the future of life, business, and society with a particular focus on how we enable a very human future.
He helps clients understand the key future factors driving innovation, growth, and disruptive change, highlighting the new thinking and business models being enabled by exponential technologies such as artificial intelligence, immersive technologies like augmented and virtual reality, 3D and 4D printing, the Internet of Things, and hyper-connectivity. He explores the mind-set shifts and leadership capabilities required to compete in the emerging future in order to help clients and delegates make informed choices on the potential impact of emerging technologies.
As COO of Fast Future Publishing, Steve is working on delivering a series of multi-contributor books exploring the emerging future. He is a co-editor and a contributing author for The Future of Business, Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business, and A Very Human Future – Enriching Humanity in a Digitized World, and Opportunity at the Edge – Change, Challenge, and Transformation on the Patch to 2025. He is also working on two forthcoming books.
Steve is a regular contributor to the BBC appearing on live national and regional radio and TV broadcasts, live broadcasts with other national radio broadcasters, and on various podcasts and on-line events to discuss the role of emerging technologies in the future of life, society, and business.
He previously worked as an independent Strategy Consultant and Foresight Researcher, and as a Strategy Development Manager in Pfizer Inc.’s UK business where he worked across C-suite and senior manager level to lead and facilitate the company’s strategic planning process.
POPULAR SPEAKING TOPICS
A Very Human Future
A Very Human Future explores the drivers of future change and the domains of action required to help ensure we enrich humanity in a digitized world, rather than succumb to technology. In this keynote, Steve examines the mind-set shifts required to focus on new ideas of leadership, education and training, the world of work, new ideas of investment for business and society more broadly, and how we should focus on paying greater attention to the needs of people. The content of this keynote draws on the book, A Very Human Future.
Exponential Technology Enabling a Reinvented Future
This keynote considers the pace and scale of technological development and the potential impact it could have on life, society and business. Using a number of case examples of technologies changing existing industries together with the second and third order effects, Steve explores the opportunities presented by new science and technology developments that allow us to reimagine the future. The content of this keynote draws on the book, The Future Reinvented.
Global Megatrends and the Future of Business, Work, and the Workplace
This keynote focuses on the critical future change drivers that are already impacting our world. Steve makes the case for adopting new mind-sets, underscores the importance of change, and the context for new ideas on leadership in order to take organisations through the digital transition. This keynote draws on the books, The Future of Business and The Future Reinvented.
Sustainability is Here to Stay
Sustainability is Here to Stay explores the potential impact of the wider adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to promote prosperity while protecting the environment. Steve explores how technological change and evolving political and regulatory mind-sets might create a new landscape for commercial success with social responsibility.
Going Beyond Genuine Stupidity to Ensure AI Serves Humanity
Going Beyond Genuine Stupidity considers the growth in artificial intelligence applications and expectations at how the technology will evolve. Steve explores the implications for business and society including how human futures can be reimagined, how new societal structures may emerge, and the challenges and opportunities for government and business. This keynote draws on the book Beyond Genuine Stupidity.
Two Worlds Collide
In this keynote, Steve focuses on the transition from an analogue world where we experience and focus on physical products, goods, services and adopt a traditional perspective on value and asset ownership; to a digital world where we free ourselves from the physical perspective on value and focus on data, information, and what digitization can help us achieve, and the societal trends it is driving.
Innovation and Disruption
A number of talks can be configured to include elements described above that focus on the “innovation imperative” and how innovation and creativity will impact work, jobs, roles across the C-suite, humanizing the enterprise, and the case for smart human-centric cities. In addition to bespoke research, other talks will draw on the books The Future of Business, Beyond Genuine Stupidity, The Future Reinvented, and A Very Human Future.
“What can I say? You were absolutely brilliant on the panel thank you so much! I’m so happy we were able to have Fast Future represented as you contributed such a critical piece to the conversation. No doubt you were swamped afterwards.
“We are so grateful for your generous and expert participation and hope you also enjoyed the evening.”
Caty Batten – Head of Partnerships, Peter Jones Foundation
“Steve, many thanks again for a great presentation earlier. It definitely got people thinking and provoked some good conversation.”
Chris Crauford – Head of Commercial Planning, Heathrow Airport
“Steve did a 30 minute presentation at a CIPD Thames Valley half day Career Conference in Reading, UK on 11 October 2017 to an audience of HR professionals, both employed and self-employed.
“Steve is very knowledgeable about his fascinating expert topic of global trends affecting both businesses and individuals and brings the topic to life by speaking with passion in an engaging way with the audience, and using the right blend of impactful images and words to get his point across. He answers questions from the audience in a clear and down to earth way. If you are looking for an approachable yet informed speaker on the topic of trends, Steve is your man.”
Rachel Brushfield – CIPD, Thames Valley
EXAMPLES OF RELEVANT ARTICLES
Navigating a Changing World – 10 Principles for Future Leaders
Financial Times – Navigating digital disruption
The Future Reinvented explores how our notions of the future are themselves being reinvented. The authors challenge us to reimagine how life, society, key industries, and the conduct of business could be transformed by a combination of radical technological, scientific, social, and economic developments shaping the decade ahead. The Future Reinvented offers unique snapshots of different aspects of a future in which the very tenets of reality are undergoing deep and vital transformations. The book is organized into three sections covering transformations in life and society, industries, and business, and presents holistic future scenarios that encourage strategic thinking about what lies beyond the hype.
Using a futurist perspective, The Future Reinvented offers glimpses of the future across a range of business sectors such as legal, automotive, and sales as well as in different areas of everyday life including retirement, education, and health. Readers are presented with vivid imagery which brings to life a number of different possible futures. These include workplace scenarios of people performing side by side with artificial intelligence or robotic colleagues; humans obtaining physical enhancements to become smarter, stronger, or more psychologically resilient; and strategies for how we might live in a “post-jobs world.” The book provides a powerful foundation for futures thinking and scenario planning in both a personal and organizational context. The authors identify early warning signals and signposts of critical emerging changes and developments on the horizon that could shape the next future.
The Future of Business explores how the commercial world is being transformed by the complex interplay between social, economic and political shifts, disruptive ideas, bold strategies and breakthroughs in science and technology. Over 60 contributors from 21 countries explore how the business landscape will be reshaped by factors as diverse as the modification of the human brain and body, 3D printing, alternative energy sources, the reinvention of government, new business models, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and the potential emergence of the Star Trek economy.
A Very Human Future – As society enters the fourth industrial revolution, a major question arises—can we harness intense technological bursts of possibility to bring about a better world? A Very Human Future illustrates how the evolution of society, cities, people, businesses, industries, nations, and governments are being unexpectedly entangled by exponential technological disruption. This is not a book about technology but an exploration of how we make it serve humanity’s highest needs and ambitions. Each chapter looks at how new ideas enabled by emerging technologies are straining the old social fabric, and proposes radical future scenarios, strategies, and actions to safeguard humanity from harm and enhance opportunity for all. This book is a manifesto for a future that is better than the past. A Very Human Future rejects an outlook where human beings live a mundane existence while technologies burst with possibility. Rather, we use this book to endorse a proactive approach to the future where technology is designed to benefit humanity purposefully and intentionally. To advocate for A Very Human Future we ask, for example, how do we use technology to overcome gender bias or to impart a meaningful education to new generations? Can artificial intelligence tools make government more trustworthy and help us deal with the impacts of automation replacing humans? What rights should people have when residing in smart cities? The scale of the new technologies requires a protective logic for moving forward, keeping humanity at the centre so that we avoid dehumanizing ourselves and future generations. A Very Human Future is not one, but many: positive stories and visions of the future can be powerful beacons for social adaptation. We argue that the time to control the narrative of the future and stake a claim for humanity is now. A Very Human Future uses knowledge as power, describing surprising ways new thinking and disruptive technology can impact society. This book explains that protecting what’s human is the key to retaining our dominance over future technological progress.