One of the world’s leading Futurists, Ben Hammersley is the founder and principal of Hammersley Futures, an international strategic forecasting consultancy whose main work is in guiding corporations and governmental agencies to think clearly about the future.
The company specializes in how society reacts to technological innovation: including the future of crime and conflict, the changing nature of the workplace and the market, and the new cognitive tools needed to flourish in the coming decades.
Previously Ben Hammersley was executive editor of WIRED, the writer and presenter of the BBC’s “Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley” (now on Netflix or Amazon Prime internationally), a war correspondent in Afghanistan, an advisor to the European Commission, a pilot and wilderness medic in the USA, the author of 5 books, and the inventor of the word “Podcast”.
Hammersley is the author of the acclaimed book 64 Things You Need To Know Now For Then, a guide to the new concepts of the modern world. His most recent book, Now For Then: How To Face The Digital Future Without Fear, is on the latest ideas in technology, culture, business, and politics.
It demystifies the Internet, decodes cyberspace and ushers us through the innovation revolution in which we are all living. Additionally, Hammersley is editor-at-large for WIRED magazine, a columnist for BA Business Life magazine and the Principal of Onwards, Friend, a program that develops science and launch platforms for high-altitude and low-earth orbit. In fact, he is building his own personal satellite.
When Ben Hammersley speaks to audiences, he dissects intricate concepts and developing technologies and adds fascinating stories and analogies to make these topics accessible. While some speakers and pundits use a “doom and gloom” method to scare people about our rapidly developing future, Hammersley employs humor and common sense to illustrate his views.
His methods are especially helpful when illustrating that spheres of power and influence have dramatically changed in the last generation, and how most of us employ a way of thinking that doesn’t line up with today’s society—or the future.
“Our jobs, our businesses, our institutions and governments, and civic infrastructure, the marketplace, the flow of ideas, wars and the supply chain, are all—to a degree I think most would find terrifying—far more complex and weird than we’re generally aware. This is partly because of a reluctance to truly look, partly because orthodox understandings of the world are deeply culturally embedded, and partly because we lack the cognitive tools to actually do that thinking,” Hammersley says.
A speaker and consultant that can mold to any industry’s needs, Hammersley consults with organizations and corporations about trends, technology, and security, whether it’s in travel, financial services, human resources or government.
But Ben Hammersley doesn’t just talk to the big guys; he also consults with smaller associations and organizations. Through detailed research, he will sort through the issues troubling you, find your strengths, and devise a completely customized speech and action plan that will help your organization move forward.
He’ll share what holds your company back, what or who the disrupters are in your sector and exactly how you to navigate, succeed and thrive—in the future.
This is what you (actually) need to know (or ignore) about the future
Futurists are full of it. Most of their predictions are based on buzzwords, misunderstood technologies, and bandwagons they never fail to leap aboard, all dressed up with concept art, movie references, and a fear of missing out.
These can be entertaining, but are they useful? Helpful? No.
In this, the other kind of futures talk, Ben Hammersley will discuss the latest fads and fashions, and examine the technologies for what they actually are and what they can actually do.
He’ll show what is real and what is simply hope, or hype, or downright fraud. And by reminding us that the heart of strategy is what we choose not to do, will guide the audience to a deeper, more knowledgeable, and more powerful understanding of the world to come.
For something that holds the key to prosperity and success in the 21st Century, it is upsetting to realize that we’ve been doing it wrong.
We think about innovation in the wrong way. We’ve been using the wrong words, paying attention to the wrong things, and retelling the same, old, wrong, and misleading stories.
True innovation does not mean embracing the latest technological buzzword and trying to leap five years into the future with the help of an AI or a blockchain. It’s not dependent on a small and expensive class of technowizards, or magazine-cover masters of the universe. Instead, innovation is a skill and a mindset that can be learned by anyone.
It’s a continual process that truly cutting-edge organizations – from multinational e-commerce conglomerates to that great new dumpling place down the street – can develop within every single member of staff.
These talks show the true historical and cultural complexities of innovation and teach the audiences how to apply those lessons to their daily practices.
For any organization, industry, or individual who wants to be better tomorrow than they are today, and who suspects that the answer isn’t necessarily in the new shiny and disruptive tech, this topic will be inspirational, practical, and calmly life-changing.
For all the technological advances of the past 20 years, and the promises of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the other super-power giving technologies of the 2020s, the way we work today hasn’t changed for a hundred years.
The average knowledge worker’s desk is little different from a Victorian clerk’s. Their office would be a familiar place for their grandparents.
But as we become more aware of the challenges of the coming decade – with its commercial and cultural upheavals already apparent – we’re realizing that now is the time to reassess not only the very way we work but also the place in which we do it.
From the realizations that our company’s email culture is making us stupid, and that open-plan offices actually reduce collaboration, to the skills we need to work with non-human colleagues, and the concept of the cognitive architecture, this talk helps organizations and individuals who want to work smarter, and more successfully, in the 2020s understand what is happening to the workplace, and how they can make changes today that will future-proof them for tomorrow.
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