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About Jim Carroll



If you’ve been following me, you’ll know I’ve been doing a series of customized event videos which serve as promos for various client events. They’re short, to the point, and effective. 2-4 minutes in length.

Do they work? I’m headed to Houston right now, and the client reported that after they sent oft the video teaser, attendance registrations went up by 75%

Learn more about how I make them in this clip. The magic comes in two forms – I film in my home green screen studio, and then the magic is added by my awesome overseas video producer in Russia! Armine is actually from Armenia, and works in her day job in the TV scene in Moscow. In her spare time, she helps me out! The result is amazing! Literally. Give this a watch now.

Kick your event up a notch with your own customized video. Watch them here – and contact me for more information.

And stay tuned – we will soon be launching an opportunity for a cool video keynote summary! More details to come.

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.

Magellan Health

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.

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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!

 

Are you tired of booking a keynote for your event – having a perfunctory phone call with your selected speaker – and having them show up at the last minute, only to deliver a  canned message that doesn’t relate to anything that is important to your participants?

So am I. They give the industry, and folks like me who work hard for your event, a bad name. And that’s not me. I really go the extra mile in working with you on material that goes beyond the event date.

Here’s a good example – I was recently booked to headline the annual summit for the Trapeze Group known as Think Transit – a company that provides software for the urban transit industry. It’s coming up this June in Nashville.

Beyond several planning conference calls to talk about content, and how I can best align my message to their overall event gaols, I took on a number of other projects to give them some extra benefits:

  • a full Q&A interview about the future of their industry, which they ran as a blog post

  • and a highly customized event promotional video, that they have been using to heighten interest in the event

In addition, I’ve been doing extensive research in my go-to tool, Dow Jones Factiva, which lets me access thousands of newsletters, newspapers, magazine, research reports and more information, so I can zone in on the specific industry issues at hand. I describe that in this short video here.

So if you are bored with the typical keynote speaker who does little to pay attention to your needs, give me a call! I’ll even pick up the phone!

Let’s face it – your annual event, conference or leadership meeting is critically important. The last thing you need is a speaker in the opening or closing keynote slot who is going to give you perfunctory attention, deliver a canned talk, take your money, and leave you wondering, ‘what was that all about?’

Not me! I take the approach that I’m going to have to work hard to have the right to take your money!

Consider a recent project I worked on with the Trapeze Group, a software company in the urban transit space. After some back and forth, they decided I was the right guy to open their annual conference in Nashville this June. What helped to convince them was the level of customization I do in terms of the topic — something that has earned me a global reputation with a massive A-list set of clients.

But it wasn’t just that – it was the fact that fact I would go the extra mile for them with ‘event collateral’ – material they could use to drive interest in and attendance at the event. After all, that’s one of the most important up front goals.

We’re not even 2 months away from the event, and here’s what the Trapeze Group has already!

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So, I had a potential client ask, “do you have any really futuristic video clips that don’t involve some of the trends of today?”

I’m not quite sure what the question actually means – interpreting what a client is looking for is sometimes a great mystery, which is why I always suggest that they jump on an exploratory conference call with me.

But if a client wants freaky futuristic stuff, I’ve got that too. Here’s a clip, where I’m on stage at the World Government Summit, talking about a future in which we might enhance the ability and capacity of our brains through Human-Computer Interface technology and off-brain storage, through what I would call a Yottabit ball. Sort of the type of stuff we might see in 2030 or further out.

The fact is, we will witness the next evolution of the size of the human brain with this type of thinking. Like, wires that go from our brain into a crystal ball that will help us to offload some of our thinking and brain processing. Current trends with HCI might lead us to this type of future.

But I don’t do a lot of this type of thing on stage. I really find that freaky doesn’t work in getting people to align themselves to the future.

Continue Reading

The life of a speaker is always kind of interesting, because you get approached by all kinds of people who try to convince you to fly to the other side of the world and share your insight – barely for the price of a cup of coffee!

That’s a bit of an exaggeration, of course, but over 25 years on the stage I’ve seen it all. The most common approach is when you get a client who tries you to convince you that the mere opportunity of allowing you to speak to *them* will be great for your “exposure.” Um, exposure? Excuse me, have you seen my global client list? I don’t need exposure.

It does happen all the time though. Yesterday a global luxury brand approached me ; they were having a critical leadership meeting, and wanted my insight into fast moving trends in their industry. But they couldn’t meet my fee requirements; as in many cases, I was out of fee range.

And of course, I said no. At this point in my career,I seem to be turning away 5 to 10 keynote requests *per week*. If you are a luxury brand, you stick with your value proposition!

Is this a gripe? Not at all – the situation often seems kind fo funny to me. Here you have a brand whose entire value proposition is based on the quality of the brand image, and the value of the product they deliver. High-end stuff.

So it is too with some of the leading futurists in the world. We know what’s coming next, and we can share our insight with you, but it will take an investment! (-;

 

Do you want to book the same old boring speaker who will show up and deliver a canned message – or do you want to book someone who truly cares, and goes the extra mile? If you are like most people, you’ll do what you’ve alway done, and will end up with the same old boring, predictable, uninspiring leadership event. That’s sad.

The Admiral Beverage Group in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has booked me to come in for an upcoming leadership meeting that will focus on the future of retail, consumer behaviour and more. They join good company – organizations like Disney, The GAP and Godiva Chocolates have had me in for similar events.

To get the leadership team thinking in advance about the event, I went and filmed this little video clip about the event, trends and more. Give it a watch!

Then ask yourself – are you going to go out and book the same old boring speakers like you always do – or do you want to kick up your event a notch?

A question came in from a potential client last night, and after writing a long answer, I thought it was probably a good idea to blog it and place the answer on my site!

The question was for a potential European event, and really had to do with whether I could work with an a European / international audience, be respectful in my timing, work with the translation team, work with simultaneous transition, and provide enough regional or localized content.

The answer is yes, yes, yes and yes….!

On stage in Sao Paolo for the Worldskills global conference. My audience featured individuals from 85 countries.

My mother tongue is English, and sadly, while I don’t speak any other languages (despite some 10 years of French lessons in elementary and high school!), I regularly speak on an international basis. This involves working with translators. focusing on international content, and working to keep my pace slow enough for the audience to be respectful of their needs.

Here’s the critical background on the international work that I do:

  • global audiences. I do a LOT of international work; I’ve presented in Sao Paolo, Budapest, Munich, Athens, Stuttgart, Prague, London, Paris, Brussels, Ghent, Stockholm, Zurich, Tokyo, Mexico …. and in all of these situations, have ensured that I have slowed my pace to be respectful of the audience.
  • simultaneous translation. Many of these events have featured onsite translation through headsets; the fact is, I regularly do sessions that feature simultaneous translation, and know the criticality of sharing the deck in advance with the translation team
  • advance translation planning. In some cases, I have done a Skype or Google Hangout walkthrough with the translation team of my slide deck, so that they are comfortable with the content and direction
  • a long track record with stage translation. I’m based in Canada and have been on stage for 25 years. Given that, my earlier years featured several hundred (!) events that have involved simultaneous translation (English/French) with headsets/translations. It’s just a thing in Canada!
  • sequential translation experience! My Budapest event actually featured sequential translation into Hungarian as opposed to simultaneous translation. Tthat was kind of fun, since my translator was actually on stage with me, followed me around, and even mimicked my stage actions!

There are many relevant examples of the international work I have done.

  • I just keynoted Nikon’s 100th anniversary dinner in Tokyo, with an audience from 37 countries. I provided my slide deck in advance to the translation team; I was simultaneously translated into Chinese and Japanese.
  • in January, I keynoted the first leadership meeting for Ulker; the parent company is Turkish, and the meeting represented the entities of the corporate group with the leadership team for Godiva Chocolates (Belgium), Ulker Biscuits (Turkey) and McVitie’s Biscuits (UK),  but with individuals from each of those 3 groups from around the world; a secondary booking had me with Godiva’s global supply chain team from 25 countries. Both massively global audiences.
  • Accenture had me speak at their annual energy conference in San Francisco; we had utility executives from China, Japan, Russia, Philippines, India, and 26 other countries. In that case, I was simultaneously translated into Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Japanese!
  • my keynote for the Worldskills conference in Sao Paolo featured simultaneous translation into Portuguese and Spanish.

In addition to speaking internationally, I often do Fortune 500 events that feature a leadership team from around the world. Some recent examples are global leadership meetings for Dow Chemical in Wilmington (2 events) with individuals from 57 countries; Disney (27 countries); and dozens, dozens more. So can I work with an international/European audience? Definitely yes. (Plus, when I mentioned for the Ulker group that I was Canadian, I got cheers. I think that the Canadian brand image is kind of fun right now!)

The other question that often comes up has to do with regional content, as in European specific examples/storylines. Can I customize my content so that it doesn’t include just American examples. (Well, did I mention I’m Canadian?)

It’s not the cover of the Rolling Stone, but I was once featured on the cover of CEO Magazine Hungary. The only speech where I had armed guards in the room with Uzis! But that’s another story for another time!

The answer is yes – I can easily and often do that do that. Many of the client bookings above have involved a necessity where my examples include global, not North American centric examples.I am regularly booked and work with content that is specific to the folks in the room. And so my Godiva Chocolate supply chain event included retail trends from Asia, India, the Middle East. My Dow Chemical talk took a look at global trends with examples for many of the different groups in the room.

The fact is, I do *extensive* research as a part of my talk, and regionalization is part of what I bring to the table if we need to do that with the content.

I work hard to alleviate the concerns of any clients who book me, and this includes translation and internationalization.

So – pick up the phone and call me. Let’s chat!

Oh, wow, is it autumn already? The air already seems like it!

With that, I return to a full schedule with a full number of fascinating events that will take me to Tokyo, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York, Richmond, Virginia, Lincoln (Nebraska), Oklahoma City Vancouver, Philadelphia, Chicago and more!

One event is in the National Cowboy Museum, and another in a historical Japanese garden. In no particular order, here’s a little bit of what’s to come in the months to come!

To start, Vancouver for the 2017 Edge Summit : a keynote for 450 CEOs on the impact of disruption.

Washington, for a talk on the future of accounting, financial advisory and consulting!

Chicago, for a talk on what comes next with the 1-800 industry, and the future impact of increasingly empowered consumers:

Philadelphia, for the impact of fast paced change on managing complex environments for a leading company in this software space:

Las Vegas, for the future of retail!

And again in Las Vegas – the future of economic development!

Richmond, Virginia for the future of manufacturing:

Oklahoma City, for the future of the economy. This one is really cool – it’s in the national cowboy museum!

And the highlight? Tokyo, to headline Nikon’s 100 anniversary!

That’s but a sample – I’m still getting inquiries and bookings!

Learn about the *extensive* research and customization that Jim undertakes for all of his keynotes and leadership presentations.

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