Amy Webb

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Amy Webb

Futurist; Harvard Nieman Fellow; NYU Stern Futures Forecasting Professor; Bestselling Author of “The Signals Are Talking” and “Data, A Love Story”; Founder of the Future Today Institute

Biography

Amy Webb knows what’s coming. The futurist, author and founder of the Future Today Institute, she identifies emerging trends and maps how they’ll transform the future of business, international relations, culture and the world. A recent Wall Street Journal profile described her methodology, which combines data-driven research with “aggressive computation.” Webb’s forecasting tools are taught in universities, and her Future Today Institute team advises Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, government agencies, large nonprofits, universities and startups worldwide. Her futures forecasting work has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, CNN, NPR, and more. She was recently named to the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar list of management thinkers most likely to shape the future.

The authority on forecasting and strategy, Webb collaborates with a number of institutions. She was a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media and international diplomacy. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, where she has served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Emmy Judge for emerging technology categories. She sits on several advisory boards, including the SXSW Accelerator.

An engaging and energetic speaker, Webb customizes every presentation for each audience using original research and insights specific for the organization, industry or conference. Attendees typically receive a digital folder full of resources, tools and actionable ideas following the presentation. Webb’s popular TED talk,  based on her bestselling memoir “Data, A Love Story,” has been viewed more than 5 million times and translated into 32 languages. It has been the featured in-flight entertainment on Delta flights and in Marriott hotel rooms.

She is the author of three books, including “The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream” (PublicAffairs, December 2016) which explains how leaders and organizations can predict and manage technological change. It was selected as one of Fast Company’s Best Books of 2016, was an Amazon’s best book of December 2016 and was a #1 Bestseller. Signals has been translated into a number of languages.

Webb designed and teaches the futures forecasting MBA course at the New York University School of Business. She was a 2014-15 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research on the future of education reform received a national Sigma Delta Chi award. Every year, she lectures about the future of media and technology at a number of universities, which have included Institut d’études politiques de Paris, Temple University, Tokyo University and National University of Kyiv.

The first half of Webb’s career was spent in journalism: she was a reporter with Newsweek (Tokyo) and the Wall Street Journal (Hong Kong) where she covered emerging technology, media and economic trends.

Amy Webb is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream

(PublicAffairs/Hachette, 2016)

How To Make J-School Matter Again

(Harvard, 2015)

Data: A Love Story

(Dutton/ Penguin, 2013)

Intro Video

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Amy Webb's 9th Annual Tech Trends Presentation at the 2016 Online News Association Conference

A-Z Name

Webb, Amy

Biography

Amy Webb knows what’s coming. The futurist, author and founder of the Future Today Institute, she identifies emerging trends and maps how they’ll transform the future of business, international relations, culture and the world. A recent Wall Street Journal profile described her methodology, which combines data-driven research with “aggressive computation.” Webb’s forecasting tools are taught in universities, and her Future Today Institute team advises Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, government agencies, large nonprofits, universities and startups worldwide. Her futures forecasting work has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, CNN, NPR, and more. She was recently named to the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar list of management thinkers most likely to shape the future.

The authority on forecasting and strategy, Webb collaborates with a number of institutions. She was a Delegate on the former U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, where she worked on the future of technology, media and international diplomacy. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, where she has served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Emmy Judge for emerging technology categories. She sits on several advisory boards, including the SXSW Accelerator.

An engaging and energetic speaker, Webb customizes every presentation for each audience using original research and insights specific for the organization, industry or conference. Attendees typically receive a digital folder full of resources, tools and actionable ideas following the presentation. Webb’s popular TED talk,  based on her bestselling memoir “Data, A Love Story,” has been viewed more than 5 million times and translated into 32 languages. It has been the featured in-flight entertainment on Delta flights and in Marriott hotel rooms.

She is the author of three books, including “The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream” (PublicAffairs, December 2016) which explains how leaders and organizations can predict and manage technological change. It was selected as one of Fast Company’s Best Books of 2016, was an Amazon’s best book of December 2016 and was a #1 Bestseller. Signals has been translated into a number of languages.

Webb designed and teaches the futures forecasting MBA course at the New York University School of Business. She was a 2014-15 Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where her research on the future of education reform received a national Sigma Delta Chi award. Every year, she lectures about the future of media and technology at a number of universities, which have included Institut d’études politiques de Paris, Temple University, Tokyo University and National University of Kyiv.

The first half of Webb’s career was spent in journalism: she was a reporter with Newsweek (Tokyo) and the Wall Street Journal (Hong Kong) where she covered emerging technology, media and economic trends.

Amy Webb is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

The Great AI Awakening 

“Can machines think?” That sentence begins Alan Turing’s famous 1950 paper on machine intelligence. For as long as we’ve had computers, we humans have been trying to anthropomorphize them. Conversation between humans and machines, and ultimately machines with each other, is the foundation upon which modern AI is being built. Right now, we are on the brink of a great AI awakening, says Amy Webb. So what happens when we get what we’ve always said we want? What happens when the machines really do learn not just to think – but are trained to out-think us humans? She answers these questions and helps you prepare for and harness the great AI awakening.

The Real Future of [X] 

You’ve undoubtedly studied trends within your own industry, but how can you prepare yourself and your business for what’s next in a world of constant disruption? In this custom, provocative presentation, Amy Webb contextualizes trends from within your [X] – your industry and interests – and explains how they fit into a more holistic vision of the future. She will showcase the latest emerging technology research for any of the following industries and explain how scenarios unfold 10 years into your future:

  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • News Media
  • Governing
  • Entertainment
  • Transportation

How to Think Like a Futurist

The world’s most successful leaders must manage the present and innovate for the future. This requires a new kind of strategic thinking. Drawing from her bestselling, award-winning book, “The Signals Are Talking,” Amy Webb explains how leaders can harness a futurist’s strategic tools for the benefit of their organizations. In this presentation, you will learn how to think like a futurist, how to rethink risk, and how you’ll know when to act. As a backdrop, Webb will share future scenarios of emerging technologies from your industry and those adjacent to it: artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and biohacking – helping you discover your own ability to not only forecast what’s on the horizon, but how to create your own preferred future today, in the present.

Scenes from the Year 2027

Soon, technology will begin to intersect with our daily lives in weird and wonderful ways. We don’t often think about that intersection, and yet emerging technology will be used to design the future of humanity. In this mind-bending session, Amy Webb will offer a provocative series of snapshots from our near and far future. How will we communicate? Where will we live? Will sophisticated algorithms and artificially intelligent systems replace the relationships we have with other humans? What will our technology do for us? To us? The possibilities are exciting, inspiring – and a little scary.

The Future of the Internet of Things

In the near future, we will be surrounded by invisible infrastructure enabling your house to talk to your car and your car to talk to your wearable devices. Amy Webb quickly explains what the IoT is and why it’s so important; she then launches into scenarios that tie the IoT directly to your field. She discusses what to expect as the IoT matures and how your industry – and you, yourself – will fit into the ecosystem. It’s a field worth tens of billions of dollars – but there’s a catch. What are the second, third and fourth order implications of the IoT? What happens when all the devices in our lives start talking to each other? Webb discusses the promise, power and potential peril of the future of IOT.

The Future History of Our Cities

The convergence of a number of technologies – ubiquitous WiFi, self-driving cars and trucks, digital assistants, drones, genetic engineering and organic building materials – will start to change our cities in the near future. Everyday life will look quite different, but so will city management. Think landscapers, tiny urban farms and the end of gridlock. Amy Webb shares a snapshot from the future, detailing all the ways in which our cities are likely to evolve, and offers warnings for business and government leaders – not to mention the average citizen – living in the present.

Ten Reasons Future Generations Will Call Us Barbarians

We use “barbarian” to describe people who are uncivilized; it’s easy to imagine humanity’s primitive ancestors as horrible, ignorant savages. But consider this: won’t future generations think the same of us? What are we doing today that people in the far future will think are barbaric? To start, we farm our meat instead of growing it. We discriminate based on race and gender, rather than our intellectual, emotional, financial and physical capabilities. We take blunt-force pills intended for the general population, not hyper-personalized chemical compounds delivered via nanobots. In this eye-opening session, Amy Webb flips what feels comfortable and familiar on its head as you journey deep into the future.

The Future of Donald Trump’s America

No one saw him coming. A year ago, Donald Trump was a fringe candidate – too far afield of mainstream politics to be taken seriously. In the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election, members of the media, business leaders, political strategists, and voters all want the answer to a very simple question: What comes next? What will America – and our relationship with the rest of the world – look like in four years?

Business leaders are grappling with disruption across multiple industries and tech sectors – while others will soon learn artificial intelligence will affect jobs, how Russian hackers are threatening cybersecurity and what life will be like once our cars drive themselves. This nonpartisan presentation is continuously updated, and gives critical guidance on how to think like a futurist in order to most accurately answer pressing questions about the future of our economy, business, emerging technologies and political systems in Donald Trump’s America.

 

 

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Recommendations

“When you listen closely to Amy Webb, you hear how the future might unfold for us humans. It’s worth listening. Amy’s at the forefront of understanding how technology continues to permeate every aspect of our lives and how those interactions — with each other, with the world, with our things — inform what we care about and who or what we should follow and use and embrace. Nobody else is doing what the Future Today Institute does for brands. Amy and her team have both unusual discernment and healthy skepticism. What sets their work apart is how adeptly they use research, peppered with trademark humor and candor, to offer insights we can all use. Like right now. If you’re looking for help solving the puzzle of what’s next (and what to do about it), there’s no better guide than Amy Webb.”

– Matt Mansfield, VP-Product Innovation, CQ Roll Call

“Once every three months, Amy walked into a room of Time Inc’s top editors and told us about the future. These are among the most cynical, seen-it-all-before people in the media world but for two hours they sat spellbound as Amy told us what was coming around the bend, how it would effect us, and, most important, how we could capitalize on it. Nobody missed these sessions. Ever. An incredibly engaging and efficient speaker, Amy shares big ideas quickly and in a way that made sense to those of us who weren’t digital first thinkers. I would walk out feeling like I did after my best college seminars: My brain sparked with new ideas, paradigm shifts, and opportunities.”

– Bill Shapiro, Director of Editorial and New Business Enterprises, Fast Company

“Amy Webb’s foresight in the technology space is both inspiring and extremely valuable for businesses. She distills complex concepts into relevant digestible tidbits that provide insight to subject matter experts and newbies alike. Beyond mere encyclopedic knowledge of digital products and services, Amy Webb’s most valuable asset is her mystical awareness of which strategies and concepts are on the cusp of transforming consumer and enterprise life as we know it.”

– Bill McBain, Associate Director of Finance, Huge

“What Amy Webb does better than anyone else: She stays on top of complex technical innovations, information and geek-speak and distills them into relatively simple concepts and practical applications. This last is particularly significant – Amy helps you grasp what the semantic web or mobile broadband, for example, mean to you and your world, why you should care, and how you can use it.  I’ve seen her present several times in the past few years and each session has been forward-looking and highly relevant to media and tech professionals. She’s a terrific communicator, direct, smart and honest.”

– Katharine Fong, Editor in Chief, California Educator

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