Richard Worzel

Global Futurist
Toronto, Ontario

What Richard is Passionate About

Accelerating Horizons: Technology and Our Future 

Of all the forces driving change in our lives, technology is the wildest wild card. Not only is technology’s rate of change accelerating, but that rate of acceleration is increasing. And technology affects everything in our world: our economy, the workplace, the kinds of jobs we can find and do, what we need to know, how we use things, transportation, what we eat, which publications survive and which books get published, who’s famous – even art and performance are changed by technology.

Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a former institutional investor on Wall Street, and a best-selling author. In this presentation, he talks about how the future will change technology – and be changed by it.

Among the things he’ll discuss are:

• How do you know if a new technology will make it or not?

• Why is data suddenly a problem, and what can we do about that?

• Where is technology leading us?

• How will it affect tomorrow’s society?

Finally, Richard will turn to innovation, and discuss why organizations actively try to avoid it, even while claiming they are dedicated to it, how to overcome this hurdle – and how to kick-start an innovation culture.

After this presentation, your future won’t be any less scary or exciting, but it will be more manageable!

The Fifth Principle of Leadership: Embedding Foresight and Change Management Into Your Organization 

In addition to presenting his Four Principles of Leadership, futurist and business visionary Richard Worzel reveals a new Fifth Principle: Foresight and Change Management. In a world where change is not only accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing, the ability to anticipate what might happen, and be prepared for it, has become vital to survival and success. Moreover, it’s necessary for a leader to be out in front, and foresight enhances this aspect of leadership.

In this presentation, Richard outlines how an organizational leader can entrench foresight thinking and change management into his or her organization or group. Richard outlines the principles of foresight, and provides tools for its practice, including:

• Environmental scanning – What to look for, where to look for it, and who should do the looking;

• Scenario planning – Considering what might happen, assessing the probabilities involved, and developing contingency plans to prepare for the most likely possible futures;

• Risk and change management – Change is risky – but so is standing still. How do you decide which is better, and how do you manage the changes necessary to optimize the balance between risk and opportunity?

• The Desired Future & Backcasting – Defining the future you want to have happen, and then working backwards to the present to make it happen, developing robust plans that are likely to survive no matter what the future throws at you.

Your people will walk away with a deeper understanding of the future and how to make use of it, with toolsets designed for this purpose. Your leadership will be enhanced, and your people will be both better followers and better leaders, enhancing the prospects for your entire organization.

Innovation Beyond Motherhood: How to Turn Your Company into an Innovation Organization 

Everyone talks a good game when it comes to innovation, but the hidden, ugly truth is that organizations actually fear innovation. Why is this so? And what can you do to change the attitude of your colleagues from going through the motions in order to look good, to actively and eagerly engaged in being good?

In this half-day workshop, futurist Richard Worzel, a business visionary and corporate innovation specialist, leads you through the process of engaged innovation, including: Innovation beyond motherhood

• Why is it that people and organizations don’t want to innovate, what stands in their way?

• How to remove the risks associated with innovation in order to change attitudes about it.

• How to focus on aspects of your business that you’ve never considered before so that you can see things with fresh eyes, rather than merely repeating stale opinions and repeating yesterday’s actions.

• How to look at the world through your clients’ eyes, and then what to do about it.

Richard will end the workshop with a handbook that will allow your people to take home what they’ve learned, and make use of it with other colleagues, seeding your organization further with innovation beyond motherhood.

Get Your Game On: The Sweet Spot Is Back for the Property & Casualty Industry 

The economy has just entered a new sweet spot. Growth, although slower than in past expansions, is steady. Inflation is cool and likely to remain so. And talk of deflation has died out. All of this is good. Meanwhile, the consumer markets for auto, business, and home insurance – and all other consumer goods – are shifting in unprecedented ways, changing patterns of demand and market niches. Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary and a Chartered Financial Analyst. In this presentation, he surveys our future, and identifies the shifts that may catch us by surprise, including:

• Why we’re in a sweet spot, for how long, and whether it’s likely to last, or get shot down by some of the uncertainties hovering around us.

• How technology is going to disrupt our expectations and the way we do business all over again. And how it’s going to change our daily lives and the ways we interact.

• Who and where the critical markets of tomorrow will be, and how you should position yourself to prepare for them.

• How climate change is unfolding, and what surprises it contains that we are not expecting.

Richard will provide a roadmap of the future, then end with a toolkit that will allow you to capture and make use of the uncertainties ahead to build your business. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of what’s ahead, and tools that can help you turn that knowledge into market power.

Farms and the Future: What’s Ahead for Farmers & Farm Incomes 

Farmers lead the economy in many ways: involvement in the global economy; consumers of data and information; users of technology, both in IT and biotechnology; and leaders in what happens to consumers & the economy. But what’s next for farmers? Futurist Richard Worzel has worked with farming groups for more than 20 years, and brings a wealth of experience to helping them anticipate that very question. In this wide-ranging presentation he will deal with emerging agricultural technologies, new genetic and biotech developments; what’s expected from climate change; what will affect the global economy and farming input costs; and how these things will affect farm incomes and profits.

Where Humanity Meets – and Creates – the Future 

The term “innovation” has become a motherhood term to which everyone pledges allegiance. Yet, ironically, most organizations avoid true innovation even as they pay lip service to it, because it is difficult, dangerous, and you have to be willing to fail. Yet, innovation is how organizations will survive into the future. Indeed, innovation allows organizations to create the future they want.

Business visionary Richard Worzel is a professional futurist, as well as a best-selling author and innovation facilitator. In this presentation, he shows how people and organizations can use innovation to adapt to, and adopt, emerging technologies. Among the topics he will cover are:

-Where is technology headed, and how will it affect us? The broad range of technologies emerging include the biosciences, which will allow us to extend our life spans, perhaps dramatically; 3D printing, which will be as disruptive in the real world as the Internet has been in the virtual world; computers and robots, including computer intelligences, such as IBM’s Watson, and the newly emerging Fog computing. The implications for society, for communities, and for individuals will be wide ranging and profound.

-How is – and should – society adapting to the changes ahead? Technology is changing the way we communicate and interact, and with whom. It is prolonging our lives, which may threaten our ability to cope, financially, with an aging population. And it is challenging us to find more creative, more productive – more innovative – work by automating most forms of routine work.

-How can we overcome the problems and risks of innovation, and entrench it in our organizational culture? Here Richard will introduce the Opportunity Matrix, a tool to help people view their situation and environment afresh, and come up with dozens of incremental improvements that, collectively, can produce remarkable change. He will also leave conferees with a users guide to taking these techniques home to their own organizations, and allow them to create an innovation organization

Demographics Are Destiny: How Population Trends Affect the Economy 


It’s easy to forget that people are the basis of everything relating to economic trends, including consumer demand, housing, tourism, and potentially even inflation and deflation. Or, to put it another way, without people, there is no economy.

That being the case, how are national and global demographic trends shaping the destiny of tomorrow’s economy?

-As America’s population ages, its labor force growth falls, which leads to lower, slower GDP growth.

-An aging population buys replacements rather than increasing demand, hence an aging consumer force leads to lower economic growth and lower demand.

-Aging boomers will look to sell their family homes, but those who can afford to may wind up with two domiciles instead: one for winter down south, the other for the rest of the year up north. Or one in an urban center, the other in a calmer, more rural setting.

-Meanwhile, younger consumers, especially Millennials, are finally starting their long-delayed move into their household formation years. This will goose demand for housing, cars (somewhat – younger consumers are less interested in car ownership than earlier generations), baby clothes, insurance, and even the beginnings of retirement planning.

-Globally, the developed countries will face significant financial problems because of aging populations, established developing countries (except China, which is aging faster than almost anyone else) are burning through into their “demographic dividends”, and newly developing countries, notably in Africa, with their still-growing populations will win their place in the spotlight as quickly as they can develop stable governments and legal systems that protect property rights.

-All told then, at every level, demographics is signaling a changing of the guard, with some groups losing influence, and others gaining them.

Innovate, Automate, or Evaporate: What’s Ahead for Higher Education 


Whenever anyone starts talking about the future, no matter where they start, if they talk long enough, they will wind up talking about education, particularly higher education. But higher education itself is changing in ways that those involved may not recognize, and for which they will not be prepared. Business visionary Richard Worzel is today’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he discusses the forces that are driving change in education, ending with what private universities should do to thrive and survive, including:

-Why the answer to “Should I got to college?” is no longer an emphatic “Yes!”

-What the alternatives are to higher education, and why they are threatening colleges and universities.

-What’s wrong with the past model of higher ed, and how it will change.

-How technology is re-writing all the rules on post-secondary education – and where it’s going next.

-What MOOCs can’t do, and how to fix them.

-The way ahead: A different model of educating.

“Formal education, the pivot of tomorrow’s world, must perforce change, or it will become irrelevant,” says Worzel. “To keep it relevant implies staying slightly ahead of the forces driving change. Those who do this will profit mightily. Those who do not will be forced out of business.”

Why You Need Richard

Richard is today’s leading global futurist, with a client list that includes companies like Microsoft, Lexus, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, the U.S. Navy, the Clerk of the House of Commons, the TD Bank, Sun Life, and many more.

With degrees in mathematics and computer science, as well as the Chartered Financial Analyst Designation, what sets Richard apart is the intricate customization he undertakes for every single presentation, including the interests of each specific conference within a global context.

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Why You Will Love Richard

“The Gulf Coast Power Association had Richard Worzel address the 2016 Fall Conference on issues that may impact the electric power industry in the future. We were looking for a speaker that could address industry blind spots, in other words, what future issues are evolving outside of the electric power industry that could impact how, when and where business is transacted in this industry. Richard delivered. His presentation gave the conference attendees things to think about after the conference…along with the message that even if they did not…someone else is. Great food for thought. If you have an industry that needs to consider its “blindsides”, I recommend getting Richard to give his perspective of the future.”

Gulf Coast Power Association, Austin, Texas

“Richard was a fantastic speaker at our National Sales Meeting. We’re a multi-generational tech company with a very broad range of knowledge, backgrounds and talents. Richard customized his entire presentation to fit the entire group’s needs – and got us thinking about how we need to lean on each other to be a successful company. Great stuff!”

AVI Systems, Bloomington, Minnesota

“Richard Worzel was a pleasure to work with. He took extra time to cater his message specifically to meet the needs of our very unique audience—no canned speeches here! Conference attendees call Worzel “an engaging speaker,” “easy to listen to,” and “captivating.” He provided “excellent triggers for thought” and can be described as “enlightening.””

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Calgary

“It is with great pleasure to write this letter to thank you for your excellent presentation at Endurance’s Annual Risk Symposium in Naples, Florida. Our senior executive team and our clients always have high expectations for this select client event, and you not only met, but clearly exceeded them!

We always take a chance when we engage speakers who are not in the insurance or reinsurance business and so all of us were gratified that you took the time to learn about our industry, our business, the nature of the event, and how your presentation would fit with the other pieces of our program. We were delighted that you forwarded us your speaking notes in advance of the meeting so that we could work with you to customize it, making your presentation that much more meaningful and provocative. The resulting presentation hit the nail squarely on the head for our attendees. It was entertaining, intriguing, thought-provoking, timely, and immediately useful to our clients. We know from the feedback we received from our clients that your presentation had an impact on the way they plan for and think about the future. Indeed, we know this is true because one of those clients has now hired you to work with their board of directors. That says everything we need to know about how effective your presentation was.

On a personal note, what particularly pleased me was how you handled yourself in our social events, outside of the presentation. You attended the formal dinner with our clients the night before, and sat with one of the most strongly-opinionated people in the room. You not only kept up with him, but engaged him in a thoughtful and constructive manner that turned him into a big fan of yours. And working with you, both in preparation, during the event, and in the follow-up that you did afterwards was a pleasure. You are a true professional and made yourself part of our team, instead of just a hired gun who showed up, spoke, and left.

We appreciate your efforts on our behalf. You helped us create an outstanding event, but left us with a significant problem: Where will we find another speaker capable of following your act? We have no hesitation in recommending you to other organizations, and look forward to working with you again.”

Endurance Insurance & Reinsurance, Naples, Florida

“As a team, we really enjoyed your future-oriented approach to strategic selling. It fit perfectly with what we’ve been trying to put forward to our selling partners for years. You helped us make our case by putting it in concrete terms so they could see the benefits immediately. And the participants liked it very much as well: the survey response from our partners on your session was very favorable. On a personal note, I want to thank you very much for all of the preparation and hard work you put into the presentation. It really showed, and we appreciate it.”

Motorola Solutions, Las Vegas

“We recently engaged Richard Worzel to help us with strategic planning for our [New York City construction] company, Cauldwell Wingate. This is the third time we’ve used Richard’s services for this purpose, and we view him as an essential part of our planning team.

Richard is a professional futurist, and brings an impressive and wide-ranging knowledge of what’s ahead for the world, for America, for our city, and for our company to the table. At the same time, he understands business, and his research is firmly grounded in reality. In both his prepared remarks, and in the give-and-take of free-form discussion he is able to provide both information and ideas about the future that are intriguing and useful to our planning.

When it came to helping us create a strategic plan for our company’s future, he was able to help us identify the critical issues, and to focus on how we can prepare for them. By the end of the day we spent with him, we had the clear outlines of a workable plan to accomplish the things we need to do – and I very much doubt we would have been able to accomplish anywhere near as much without his guidance.

In short, Richard brings discipline, information, ideas, structure, and even wisdom to the strategic planning process, as well as a sense of humor that makes it easier and more enjoyable to work on life-and-death strategic issues. We have found his services to be invaluable.”

Caudwell Wingate, Naples, Florida

“As Chairman of CEO Edge (a Florida based multi-industry group) for our annual retreat I selected Richard as our keynote speaker. The format was small group half day session with Richard both presenting and leading the discussion. The group was comprised of both CEOs and their spouses, 24 in total. As a Futurist, Richard worked with me to craft the right blend and sequence of topics for the discussion. Throughout the pre-planning work Richard was collaborative and responsive to the audience mix and size. The session itself was nothing short of our most successful retreat to date. He clearly knows his material and everyone was impressed with the depth and breadth of his research in each area. The audience was so engaged in the discussion (held on a Saturday in Miami in January) they asked Richard to return after lunch for another hour and to join the group for dinner on Saturday night. I would recommend you consider Richard if a Futurist with good strategic planning skills is your target.”

CEO Edge, Miami Beach, Florida


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