Wow, is it almost May 1? What a fabulous start for 2018, with keynotes in the lsat 4 months at events in Dubai, Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Calgary, San Antonio, Austin, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Nashville, Chicago, Albuquerque, and the Town of the Blue Mountains! (You’ll have to read to the end to understand that last one!)
These have involved association as well as corporate leadership talks that have focused on a vast range of different topics. Everything from disruptive trends, agriculture, transportation, finance, food and consumer behaviour, the energy and utility industries, economic development in the era of acceleration, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, mining and resources, to the future of self-driving cars, and more! Here’s an overview of the highlights!
World Government Summit, Dubai, UAE
I was invited to speak at this massive global conference, with 3,400 attendees from 60+ countries worldwide. It’s sponsored and opened by the Prime Minster of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and tasked with the issue of examining the future role of government in solving some of the challenges of our time.
It was an absolutely fascinating event; I shared the agenda with other speakers such as Goldie Hawn, Robert deNiro and Forest Whittaker, the head of the International Monetary Fund, the Prime Ministers of France and India, and more!
My session description? “Futurist Jim Carroll takes a look at the key trends which will impact our future in an era that has change happening faster than ever before. Even today, we have a new vocabulary that didn’t exist just a few years ago: self-driving cars, 3d printing, crowdfunding, the sharing economy, blockchains, personal drones, swarmbots, smart dust, vertical farms, Internet of Things, cognitive computing, smart factories, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, quantum computing, intelligent farms, smart clothing! What seemed to be science fiction just a few short years ago has become a reality today, as time compresses and the future accelerates.”
Take a look at the brief highlight clip of my talk – it even comes with ‘epic music!’
Purina, San Antonio, Texas
I do a LOT of talks in agriculture; so much so, that some folks have asked me how long I’ve been a farmer! That’s because, like very other industry, I get deep into the trends impacting the industry and folks in the room.
This event featured two talks over dinner over 2 nights, for over 500 local agricultural dealers from throughout the US, primarily the midwestern states. My keynote took a look at the global trends sweeping the world of agriculture – precision ag, genomics, drone technology, the acceleration of data insight, generational turnover of the family farm and more.
In addition, I took a hard look at what local dealers in co-ops and more should be focusing on as this industry, like many others, comes to embrace and be disrupted by e-commerce. It’s only a matter of time before Amazon starts having a big impact in this sector, and the path forward for the folks in the room is a focus on providing their base of customers with effect service, support, knowledge and insight.
Independent Insurance Agents, Austin, Texas
It”s not just farmers who are faced with disruptive trends – everyone else is, particularly in the world of insurance.
This talk took a look at the key disruptive trends sweeping the world of property and casualty, as well as life insurance. The theme tied in to the same type of theme for the Purina dealers – when you business model is disrupted and some consumers are choosing to go ahead without you, you only survive by focusing on your role and the value of the unique services you provide to ensure that others don’t.
Amazon might one day get into the business of selling insurance – what happens then? That’s one of the challenging scenarios I presented from the stage.
This organization provides health care services to a vast range of health insurers – organizations such as Blue Cross and others. And the day before my keynote on disruptive trends in the healthcare industry, Amazon announced a healthcare initiative with J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway.
What, Amazon again? Are you getting that there is a theme here? Definitely, which is why I now have a whole speaking topic dedicated to how to deal with Amazon. Do you?
Also, healthcare! Over the years, I’ve done a lot of keynotes on the future of healthcare. The Magellan folks saw me at an event, and decided I would be the idea person to kickoff the 2nd day of their event, with a talk that looked at the demographics, scientific, genomic, technological and other trends providing for massive disruption – and opportunity – in this sector.
For more, take a look at my keynote topic, Healthcare 2025: The Transformative Trends that Will Redefine Our Future.
Gemalto, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Security, security, security! Gemalto is one of the global leaders in providing complex solutions to the complex problems of a hyper-connected world, for a global client base of Fortune 1000 organizations, government and others. They found me, and figured I would be the best guy to put a spin onto that with a good hard look at the future of computer and security risk.
My keynote took a look at the future of security and computer risk – in the context of the disruptive trends of our times. This included a look at the core issues leading to a faster world and massive business model disruption and change – everything from the acceleration of science, to what happens when every company becomes a software company; the impact of an increase in the number of business partnerships due to skills fragmentation, and the issues that come from the acceleration of knowledge; not to forget the hyper-connectivity that comes from the Internet of Things and the new business models that emerges a result. From this, the new risk that emerges as a result!
In essence, my keynote took a look at how organizations are faced with new risk, unforeseen risk, faster risk, more complex risk, extended risk, and the acceleration of risk! This was somewhat similar to the talk I did for 2 client events for Baker McKenzie, one of the top 2 law firms in the world.
National Rural Electrical Cooperative (NRECA), Nashville, Tennessee
The future belongs to the fast – particularly in the world of the fast moving energy industry!
There’s a massive amount of change going in this sector – small, local, community energy producers. The electric grid, for example, is bound to become less centralized as residential ratepayers print three-dimensional solar cells from their home computers or run their heating and cooling systems from their cell phones. The acceleration of technology for backyard energy production and the ongoing reduction in costs of solar and wind and biomass. Quite simply, it’s an era in which private grids, and where small-scale generators sharing continues to take hold, will continue to upend the traditional utility-customer business model.
There was a great blog post, The GIS Of Trees: Location Intelligence and Maps are the Future of Just About Everything! to which I responded, from one attendee that captures the essence of my talk.
Ontario Dental Association, Toronto, Canada
You might think the world of dental care does not change much, or slowly, or not at all – but it does. The acceleration of 3D printing technologies for dental implants and more; the constant arrival of new materials and methodologies, ever more challenging patients, dentures and molars that connect via Internet-of-Things (#Iot) technology (yes, that’s a potential thing!) and more.
People and professions need insight into what comes next in order to align themselves to a faster future – without that, they become stuck, suffer from inertia, and fall behind or into irrelevance. That was the focus of my keynote for a few thousand dentists at this massive, sprawling conference. And all at 8AM in the morning!
Association of Manufacturing Technology annual conference, Miami, Florida
Can you say ‘irony?’ That’s the case when I did a talk on the future of manufacturing, at the Trump Doral resort, shortly after global trade barriers were announced.
The future of manufacturing is bound up in relentlessly fast trends – 3D printing, the digitization of the factory, changes in product development, mass customization and so much more – and that’s what I covered in my talk.
I also got a little bit aggressive with the message that one can’t hope to wave a magic wand and bring the industry back to 1970, and magically return a bunch of jobs. Did the message resonate? One followup email said so: “Jim, thanks for your reality check on the future of our sector. It’s all about innovation, new ideas, new methodologies, and having the courage to align to the future rather than wishing for the past. It was SPOT ON! NEEDED!”
National Mining Association, Scottsdale, Arizona
Well, this was fun! A keynote for CEO’s and senior executives of many American and global mining on the future trends that will provide opportunity and challenge going forward.
Everything from the continued acceleration of autonomous vehicle technology, to remote diagnostics, virtual reality, the Internet of Things and so much more. Everything, that is, but the acceleration of renewable energy. I’ll leave that small note for another day!
American Fidelity, Dallas, Texas
A company in the group benefits, insurance, banking and other financial services – with a corporate leadership meeting aimed at focusing on what to do to deal with the disruptive trends in the industry.
The senior management team had seen me last November when I spoke to the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, liked my message, and decided right away to invite me in.
We had a great discussion around the impact of mobile technology, accelerated expectations for interaction, disruptive competitors, empowered consumers and more. Key point – change in financial services continues to come quickly, and the fleet and the agile will survive.
CCI Wireless, Calgary, Alberta
Rural communities need broadband access, and this organization is working to provide it throughout this Canadian province.
In was brought in to speak to their annual general meeting, speaking to Board Members about the trends which are increasing the need for rural broadband access – such as the agricultural trends that I spoke about to Purina for months earlier. Agriculture is increasingly all about data and connectivity, and a region will fall behind if it does not have the infrastructure to support the rapid evolution of the industries upon which economic growth depends.
It was a bit like an economic development talk, and I have a detailed post on those ideas, 20 Big Rules for Economic Development in the Era of Acceleration.
Partners in Building, Houston, Texas
This company is one fo the most successful, established luxury home builders in the Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee markets. The CEO wanted to find someone to come in to speak to their team — 100 strong – with a focus on the future of homes, neighbourhoods, construction methodologies, materials and more. And, he found me!
Since I didn’t have a photo from this event, Ill take another approach: the photo above is from my daily quote, which I put together just before going to spend my time with them. I had shared with some of their team in advance some of the trends I would cover – in my combined keynote and workshop spanning 3 hours.- and the comment was made that it was pretty scary.
No, it’s not – unless you make it scary. Some people see the future and see a threat – innovators see the same future and see an opportunity!
Macola Software, Chicago, Illinois
They are a company in the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software) space in the manufacturing, consumer products and other industries, and invited me in to speak at their annual user group meeting.
My keynote took a look at the disruptive trends impacting the world of manufacturing and products, as noted in my keynote description on the talk: “Collapsing product lifecycles. Mass customization. Digitization, robotics and the cloud. Design based on crowd thinking. Build to demand, as opposed to build to inventory, business models. The role of the Internet of Things in product innovation as well as manufacturing process innovation. Spatial-innovation with advanced manufacturing robotics. New materials and substances that allow for change in product development. Rapid prototyping, sketch to scale, and agility-based business models…. are you ready for the new world of manufacturing?”
Global Financial Firm (private), San Francisco, California
This one was fun – a dinner talk for CEO’s and senior executives from major financial, energy and infrastructure firms worldwide. The name of the organization is private; suffice it to say I had several hundred billions of dollars of equity represented in the room.
It was late – I didn’t start till 845pm San Francisco time, and the crowd was obviously tired (and ‘refreshed’), but I kicked up the energy a notch and kept them entertained with a keynote that took at look at the disruptive trends of our time – energy, automative, highways, building construction and more.
Ontario Road Builders Association, Toronto, Canada
This event had a similar theme to the one above – with a more specific look at what is happening with the future of highways, vehicles and infrastructure.
The quote in the photo captures the essence of my keynote. Over the last 5 years, I’ve done numerous talks on just how quickly the concept of transportation is changing, as well as the methods involved. My goal with this group was to get them thinking on how the very concept of a ‘road’ and a ‘highway’ is changing in the era of acceleration.
If we are all sitting in electric vehicles that drive themselves, that’s a pretty big change. Innovators align themselves to these trends in order to turn them into opportunity! Want more insight? Read my post, 54 Things About Self-Driving Cars You Didn’t Know!
Admiral Beverage, Albuquerque
What do you do when you have a room full of Pepsi and Coors distributors, and are asked to challenge them on the future? You put into perspective the changes occurring in the world of retail, consumer behaviour, product development, and more.
Such as, the collapse of attention spans! This sector is also be “Amazon’d” as an increasing number of consumers take to shopping online – Amazon has over 100 million Amazon Prime member. And so while we live in an era in which know-nothing politicians rail against the future, savvy organizations are working hard to align themselves to the trends. Read more in my specific Amazon keynote topic, and take a look at the customized pre-event video (“The Future of Retail? It’s Fast“) I filmed for Admiral Beverage.
Town of Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce, Ontario
Last but not least – this one was a huge amount of fun – it’s the community where my ski chalet is located, 2 hours north of Toronto, Ontario!
They were having their AGM – I wasn’t booked that particular date – and agreed to come in and speak about the global trends that will somehow shape their future!
What a huge amount of fun, with a number of friends, ski buddies and neighbours in the room. They finally had a chance to see the truly odd job that their friend Jim has.
All in all, it was a wonderful spring, with a continued emphasis on highly customized keynotes in a wide variety of different industries.
And stay tuned – the next few months feature an equal number of fascinating events!