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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 the world’s flaws and beauty to seep into your soul”.
His core talent is to take the complex, interconnected, interdependent nature of the many urgent challenges the world faces, from climate change to disruptive competition and make common sense of them for non-specialist audiences. He often works at C-suite level to help Boards understand big business’s role in ‘self-disruption’ of their own business models, and creating entrepreneurial ‘lifeboats’ of lean innovation.
Ed Gillespie is a credible and experienced voice on a range of key future-focused issues; from ‘Big Data’, through the future of work and the impact of AI, robots and technology, to how climate action can and must be reframed as seismic opportunity not just catastrophic threat. Professionally he is known for his own unique brand of authentic ‘insultancy’ – being strategically and playfully cheeky 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 hearts and minds and then mapping possible practical solutions and opportunities.
He is the co-founder of the Global Goals Accelerator, a business programme aimed at delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, the first two businesses supported were Panda Packaging (bamboo and coconut based plastic alternatives) and Agronomex (tackling food waste at the farm gate). He is actively involved in a number of other 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, to Demand Logic – a ‘fitbit’ for buildings. Others include Common Objective (ethical fashion), Engaged Tracking (carbon indices), Poplar (communication platform for frontline staff), Small Robot Company (farming as a service) and Bennaman (alternative fuels).
Ed Gillespie is also 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.
A regular media contributor 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.
“Ed Gillespie spoke with so much knowledge and passion, but also with application that can be taken back to my business”
Fortnum and Mason
“Keynote speech from Ed was highly inspirational and has given me a lot to consider moving forward”
“One of my highlights from the meeting was learning sustainability from Ed Gillespie”
“I just want to thank you again for your amazing lecture...the participants still talk about it as the most inspiring and important seminar they have ever been to. You truly made an impact on their hearts and souls, an impact which will ripple through to their future work. Unforgettable!”
Norwegian seminar host