David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. He has since invested in more than 150 early-stage tech companies, including two that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and is an adviser to venture-capital funds, the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, and numerous tech businesses.
David’s Amazon #1 business bestseller Non-Bullshit Innovation: 17 Proven Ways to Transform How You Work (Penguin) has been published in Japan, Korea, Russia, Ukraine and beyond. The book, a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out 17 proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — helping leaders build resilience in an uncertain world.
David Rowan has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times. He has been asked to give more than 600 keynotes in recent years, and has received repeat requests to present for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel and Unilever. David has moderated events for the World Economic Forum, WIRED and the UK and French governments, and is increasingly in demand to host virtual conferences.
David Rowan deconstructs tech trends in real time, unpacking how major innovations like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, and more, are changing businesses and consumers. David Rowan focuses on how technology-led innovation can build prosperity even in economic downturns and amid market crises. He delivers fascinating and knowledgeable presentations full of insight into the future of technology together with lively examples and engaging video clips which reveal that, in some cases, the future is already here. He’s typically asked to speak about how innovation and technology are likely to impact a particular sector (from manufacturing to motoring), and what incumbent companies can do to protect themselves. He customises every talk, and in recent months has addressed audiences in finance, fashion, utilities, television, insurance, shipping, travel, real estate and business software. He also speaks a lot about changing business models, and how companies can develop a culture of innovation. And he is still searching for the future.
David is also running a climate-tech investment fund and a health-tech fund, and travelling regularly to keep up with startup innovation and research that’s jumping out of university labs. And he is at his happiest when translating these lessons to the grown-up world of business.
David Rowan also delights in moderating events and holding together an inspiring conversation, whether running an entire four-day Marrakech conference for a payments company, or moderating sessions in Munich for a Chinese telco. Moderating brings out the excitement of live journalism for me, taking me back to the thrills of hosting a dozen WIRED one- and two-day events, as well as my days presenting on UK national television.
In general he is translating what’s happening at tech’s cutting edge — learning from the disrupters — in order to help business leaders prepare for tomorrow. Running WIRED in the UK let him build close connections with the key people shaping tech; and running climate-tech and health-tech communities and investment funds now lets David keep up with the ever-accelerating pace of AI, quantum computing, metaverses, decentralised networks, materials science, and so much more.
How to understand the impact of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. What they mean for business resilience, the job market, process automation.
Technology offers hope for optimism as we enter an era of uncertainty and financial fragility. Here are the growth opportunities — from re- inventing supply chains to building new brand heroes.
COVID forced business leaders to move insanely fast to adapt. But how do you build a culture of effective innovation? Here are the lessons from David’s 20-nation quest for non-bullshit innovation.
David Rowan travelled across the world to understand what it takes for businesses and governments to leverage digital transformation in exciting ways. He shares ten lessons from his new book Non-Bullshit Innovation that can be applied to all sorts of organisations.
David delivers bespoke presentations for client meetings. Recent subjects have included the future of food and drink (clients including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Barilla); the future of aviation (IATA); the future of real estate (CBRE, Leading Real Estate, Cushman & Wakefield); the future of media (Sky, Schibsted, BBC); the future of healthcare (BUPA, Vitality, Kaiser Permanente); the future of financial services (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan).
How to attract talent, and motivate your team to perform its best work, in a fast-changing world when the “workplace” is more fluid than ever before.
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“I wanted to thank you for your time to moderate the G8 Innovation Conference. You set the tone for the day perfectly, engaging the audience and steering the presenters through a very full agenda. The feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive, which is largely due to your dynamism, good humour and professionalism.”
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, G8 Innovation Conference
“A stellar moderator – insightful and challenging to the speakers, witty and engaging for the audience, and very positive to work with.”
World Economic Forum
“Your contribution at the event was terrific. The content was highly relevant & extremely interesting. We also appreciated that you took on board the detail discussed on the briefing call ahead of the event. Your talk received the highest audience review on the feedback application. The level of your professionalism is unrivalled.”
Mercer, Hong Kong
"I wanted to thank you for your time to moderate the G8 Innovation Conference. You set the tone for the day perfectly, engaging the audience and steering the presenters through a very full agenda. The feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive, which is largely due to your dynamism, good humour and professionalism."
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