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Ed GillespieFuturist specialising in corporate sustainable development
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Ed Gillespie is a writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. He is the author of ‘Only Planet – a flight-free adventure around the world’ a book about his circumnavigation of the globe without getting on a plane, which the Independent said “Allow[s] the world’s flaws and beauty to seep into your soul”. Ed’s core talent is to take the complex, interconnected, interdependent nature of the many challenges the world faces, from climate change to disruptive innovation, and make common sense of them for non-specialist audiences.
Ed is co-founder of Futerra, a change agency that specialises in business transformation and creative communications and campaigns. For almost eighteen years Futerra has become internationally renowned for its influential and award-winning work on some of the biggest corporate sustainability initiatives. Professionally Ed is known for his own unique brand of authentic ‘insultancy’ – being strategically rude to clients, with judicious wit and wisdom to inspire them to greater heights and aspirations. He is highly adaptable, constructively challenging and pushes audience assumptions of business as usual, opening minds then mapping possible practical solutions and opportunities.
Ed Gillespie is the co-founder of the Global Goals Accelerator, a business programme aimed at delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. He is actively involved in a number of pioneering ethical businesses as a Director or Investor, from Growing Underground, a renewable energy powered, LED-lit, hydroponic farm in a disused underground tunnel in South London, through Demand Logic – a ‘fitbit’ for buildings, to Loco2.com a pan European rail-ticket agency that makes it as easy to book a trans-continental train as a plane. Others include Common Objective (ethical fashion), Engaged Tracking (carbon indices) and Bennaman (alternative fuels).
Ed is a facilitator with the Forward Institute for responsible leadership, a Director of Greenpeace UK, a Trustee of Energy Revolution and alongside fellow futurist Mark Stevenson is one half of the ‘Futurenauts’ doing live shows and podcasts on pragmatic optimism.
Aside from contributing regularly to a range of media from the BBC to the Guardian, Ed Gillespie is a sought after speaker, event host, lively compere and trusted Chairperson, renowned for his entertaining presentations laced with thoughtful insights, trends and humour. Since 2001, he has presented all over the world, from Hong Kong to Bratislava, from Korea to Auckland. And he’s been heard by every kind of audience, from the UN and national governments, to multi-national corporations and global associations. He’s even dabbled with stand-up comedy to enhance his presentational and engagement skills.
His recent speaking engagements include giving the inaugural ‘Bonn Speech’ on Global Transformation for the German Government, a keynote on ‘The Future of Energy’ in Slovenia, ‘The Power of Business with Purpose’ in Finland and ‘Climate of Disruption’ on climate change and disruptive innovation for Schroders in Belgium.