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Futurist Keynote Speaker - What is a Futurist? How do Futurists Work?

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Dr Patrick Dixon: Future Strategy, Keynote Speaker - Patrick Dixon: Futurist Keynote Speaker

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Dixon is often described in the media as Europe's leading Futurist, and has been ranked one of the 20 most influential business thinkers alive today (Thinkers50 2005). He has brought Futurist insights to a wide range of industries and clients including Google, Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Phillips, GSK, UBS, RBS, Airbus, BP, Shell, Nokia, Siemens, AT&T, Allianz and Prudential. He is author of 14 books including Futurewise which contains hundreds of Futurist insights, and Sustainagility. He has given Futurist presentations to conference audiences in 53 nations.

"All leaders are Futurists to some degree: they have to think ahead and plan for tomorrow and that means constantly watching out for the latest trends.  

All leaders need a clear and compelling vision of a better world

"You may think that you have the best strategy and change management programme, but if the world changes in a way you don't expect, you can just land up going faster in the wrong direction."

"Some industries have to take a very long term view.  For example, the pharmaceutical industry has to guide new products through a 15 year development pipeline, and then aims to sell for 10 years until patents expire - so their own Futurists always have to take a view about the future of health care two decades or more ahead.  The oil industry may need 10-20 years to make a decent financial return from a new deep sea oil field, in order to justify investing in huge amounts of infrastructure.  So their Futurists have to work out what they think oil prices could be in 10 to 20 years time."

Need a world-class Futurist keynote speaker? Phone Patrick Dixon now or email.

"Professional Futurists spend almost all their time listening and observing, talking to history-makers in many different industries and nations, taking a wide view of unfolding events. Futurists with a track record, whose insights have been proven in the past to be helpful, are in very high demand from large corporations as they refine their strategies. Futurists are usually very well travelled, have deep insight into different cultures, personal experience of emerging markets and are constantly watching out for new influential groups."

Institutional blindness is a great risk to any large corporation and Futurists can be affected by it if they spend too much time in one business or sector.  Too much time by bankers with other bankers.  Too much time by phone company people with other phone company people.  The result can be disaster.  That is why, as I say, all the most prominent Futurists tend to work across a very wide range of industries, cultures, nations."

"Futurists also need detailed understanding of each business they advise, and are used to identify major new market opportunities as well as to help identify and manage risks.  Many best-known Futurists operate as independent advisors rather than as an integral part of large organisations. Having said that, Futurists are found in every large organisations, working on strategy, design, research and development and so on.

"Some say that because no-one can see the future clearly, Futurists are a waste of time.  But the fact is that every business strategy depends on taking a view about future competitor activity, future consumer trends, future regulation, future prices of raw materials, future demographic changes.  So the work of Futurists is fundamental to every business success. Futurists protect and enhance business performance, add to shareholder value and keep corporations one step ahead of competitors, but only so long as organisations are agile enough to be able to embrace change."

"Futurists save cost and time:  the earlier a trend is spotted, the more time a business has to prepare, adapt products, roll out new advertising, relocate factories, hire new staff."

Futurists use well-established methodologies to scan the horizons for relevant data, which is then weighted according to significance, based on potential to disrupt existing markets, value of the market affected, and other factors.  One of these methodologies is to construct scenarios with varying degrees of realism, as a launchpad to think more widely, and also as a way to test existing strategy."

"Most debates at Futurist conferences, or after Futurist keynote conference presentations are about timing rather than substance.  Many major trends are beyond dispute:  the role of the Futurist is to evaluate their importance to the specific business interests of the corporation."

"Examples of these huge and very long term trends are:  fall of telecom and IT costs towards zero; gradual ageing of Europe and China, compared to the young populations of India and Turkey; limited resources of water, oil, and other essentials; shift of economic power from developed to emerging nations; transition from IT / web access fixed to one place, to an always on, mobile world of connected people and things.  While Futurists may debate about their relative significance to a particular business plan, their strength as global trends is beyond doubt."

For more Futurist views on future of marketing, leadership, management, motivation, real estate, travel and tourism, banks and banking, financial services, retail, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution and logistics, energy and transport, food and drink industry and so on, see:

Need a world-class Futurist keynote speaker? Phone Patrick Dixon now or email.

Futurist presentations - over 300 Futurist conference keynote speeches, lectures and presentations for a wide variety of clients and industries

Futurist videos - hundreds of videos with over 6 million video views

Patrick Dixon - Futurist biography

How great conference speakers can transform your business - and make or break your career if you are an event organiser.  Secrets of all great conference speakers.



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January 18, 2011 - 12:33
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