Rachel Botsman

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Global Authority on a New Era of Trust; Best-selling Author, “Who Can You Trust?” (Hachette, November 2017); Visiting Lecturer & Researcher, Oxford University

Biography

Trust is fundamental to every action, interaction and relationship. But how you do build and maintain trust in a disconcerting world of data breaches, fake news and political polarization? This isn’t the age of distrust, however – far from it. According to Rachel Botsman, trust is not dying; we are entering the next era of human relationships, transitioning from institutional to distributed trust amongst individuals.

Botsman, the world’s leading authority on the new era of trust, expertly deciphers how these trends impact business and society. Through dynamic keynotes, Botsman gives organizations a fresh lens and clear framework – brought to life by a wide array of examples – through which to view their relationships with the public, and provides new rules for how trust is built, lost and restored in the digital age.

Her latest seminal book, “Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Might Drive Us Apart” (Hachette, 2017) was named one of the Top 5 Tech Books of the Year by WIRED magazine and book of the month by the Financial Times. She is a regular writer and commentator in leading international publications including Harvard Business ReviewThe Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, CNN, the BBC, NPR and more. Botsman, whose global travels as a speaker and advisor have included every continent except (so far) Antarctica, appeared as a presenter in the spring 2018 documentary series on the history of trade, “First Civilizations,” on PBS.

In addition to her writing talents, Botsman is a superb speaker and advisor who has shared her ideas across the world with leaders at World Economic Forum, World Business Forum, and within Fortune 500 companies. Botsman urges organizations to commit to being trustworthy with the public and capitalize on the new ways in which people trust to reinvent their brands for the oncoming tumult of social change. Consistently ranked in the top one percent of all speakers at events she attends, she has spoken to thousands of people at companies, governments and public events as diverse as Xerox, Google, Accenture, Goldman Sachs and Salesforce, as well as The Drucker Forum and Clinton Global Initiative. Clients describe her as “transformative” and “the best-rated speaker ever.”

An engaging storyteller and visionary thinker, Botsman’s skill lies in discovering and explaining paradigm shifts happening in the world and making them meaningful to a wide range of audiences. Her talks at the prestigious TED conferences –she has given three – have been viewed more than four million times, and she was named as one of the world’s top 20 keynote conference speakers by Monocle.

Botsman is also widely regarded as the guru on the sharing, or collaborative, economy. Her first book, “What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live” (HarperCollins), predicted the rise of digital platforms long before they came to make up more than 10 percent of the global gross national product. The concept was named by TIME as one of the “Ten Ideas That Will Change the World.”

Having been recognized for her groundbreaking work on the new economy, Botsman became a lecturer at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School where she designed, and currently teaches, the world’s first MBA course on the “Collaborative Economy.” She now teaches a new course on “Trust in the Digital Age.”

Botsman received her BFA (Hons) from the University of Oxford and attended Harvard University for her post-graduate studies. She is a former director at the William J. Clinton Foundation and former partner in the Collaborative Fund, which offers seed capital and strategic support for creative entrepreneurs.

She was recognized as one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, and one of the top 50 management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50.

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

Videos

Books & Research

Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together - and Why It Might Drive Us Apart

(Hachette, November 2017)

Airbnb: Building a Revolutionary Travel Company

(University of Oxford's Said Business School Case Study, April 2015)

What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

(HarperBusiness, September 2010)

Media

The Trust Expert Helping People Navigate the Digital Age ($)

November 12, 2018

CIPD Annual Conference 2018: Transparency Not the Answer to Building Trust

November 7, 2018

How Trust Works in the Business World (Audio)

August 13, 2018

Trust Thinkers

July 26, 2018

TED Speaker Rachel Botsman on How Technology Has Changed the Concept of Trust

July 6, 2018

Social Credit Systems & Rampant Sexism: The Orwellian Future of Tech

June 28, 2018

The Leadership Lessons of Rachel Botsman

June 14, 2018

Bank Chiefs in the Dark About Their Cultural Problems

June 4, 2018

Wired logo

Apple Needs to be More Upfront About the iPhone's Black Box

April 12, 2018

Dawn of the Techlash

February 10, 2018

Digital Dystopia: The Changing Face of Trust (Audio)

January 19, 2018

hbr ideacast logo

How Technology Tests Our Trust (Audio)

December 12, 2017

Washington Post logo

We Are In a Crisis Over Trust in Government, Business and Online With No Fix in Sight

December 8, 2017

Should We Trust Our Fellow App Users More Than Politicians?

November 24, 2017

Wall Street Journal logo

Review: The Leap of Faith You Take in Deciding ‘Who Can You Trust?’

November 20, 2017

The Year is 2030, Trust Has Gone Digital. How Do You Score?

November 10, 2017

Paradise Papers: We'd Lost Trust in Institutions Well Before the Leak, Experts Say

November 7, 2017

Why We'll Be Sharing Everything in 2030

October 2017

Wired logo

Big Data Meets Big Brother as China Moves to Rate Its Citizens

October 21, 2017

In a Collaborative Age, Who Can We Trust?

October 10, 2017

Co-Parenting with Alexa

October 7, 2017

Who Do You Trust? How Data is Helping Us Decide

October 7, 2017

Wired logo

The Biggest Challenge in Security? Human Nature

August, 2017

How Has Technology Changed the Way We Trust?

February 14, 2017

Harvard Business Review logo

The Changing Rules of Trust in The Digital Age

October 20, 2015

Wired logo

A Bad Review Makes for Good Manners

May 7, 2015

Harvard Business Review logo

Sharing’s Not Just for Start-Ups

September 2014

Speech Topics

Trust in the Digital Age: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever

To survive and thrive, an organization needs trust – and we need it now more than ever. It’s fundamental to almost every action, relationship and transaction. Yet the rules of how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired are rapidly changing in the digital age. The trust we used to place in traditional institutions – governments, banks, media, and charities – has hit an all-time low. Trust is now flowing horizontally through systems and networks, in some instances to our fellow human beings and, in other cases, to programs and bots. The implications, both good and bad, for organizations, institutions and society are immense. Be it data breaches or misinformation, automation or algorithms, technology can feed our deepest fears yet embody our greatest hopes.

Drawing on extensive research and stories from her latest book, Who Can You Trust?”, Rachel Botsman illuminates with clarity, humour and optimism, the real impacts of technology on trust, giving companies clear language and thinking to embed trust into the fabric of the organization. She reveals in ways that are both entertaining and informative, what leaders and companies need to adapt to this new era to gain and keep customer’s trust.

How Can Leaders Build Greater Trust?

Leaders in organizations of all shapes and sizes are asking the same question: How do we build more trust? Yet, it’s not quite the right question to be asking.  Trust is not given; it’s something earned slowly, over time. It sounds simple but it is increasingly challenging when it feels like we are living in a world where trust both seems more difficult to attain and is lost at lightning speed. After a decade of research and working with Fortune 500 companies, Rachel Botsman has observed how the way we think and talk about trust often doesn’t reflect the way trust works in the digital age. She provides clear insights into how leaders can make smarter trust decisions in different areas of business. Through engaging stories, Botsman explains the four traits that create trustworthy environments and how to empower leaders, employees and colleagues to harness the true value of trust.

Lessons in Persuasion: How to Make “Trust Leaps”

Imagine the first time you swallow a digital-tracking pill, entrust your safety and possibly your life to a self-driving car or let a robot babysit your children. There’s one thing all these leaps require: trust. But in an era where we are increasingly alarmed about issues like tech addiction and data privacy, how can we be persuaded to cross the chasm of fear and take a risk on something new? In this dynamic keynote, Rachel Botsman reveals the fascinating relationship between trust, risk and innovation. Bringing together a wide range of research and stories, she explains ways to overcome common trust barriers and how people learn to trust strangers, products and ideas. Botsman offers organizations a new way of thinking about how organizations can enable these trust leaps for customers and employees, as well as for leadership teams themselves.

Restoring Trust in the Financial Sector

Of all the types of institutions whose levels of public trust have declined in recent years, few have seen such a rapid blow as those in the financial sector. The global financial crisis of 2008 was just one factor in the industry’s trust problems. In this presentation, leading trust expert Rachel Botsman unpacks what trust really is and why it’s the most valuable currency financial services needs to nurture and protect. Using concrete examples, she explains how financial institutions can reconnect with the public by being more trustworthy, restore their reputations and differentiate themselves from competitors.

The Collaborative Economy: A Transformative Lens, Not A Start-Up Trend

The collaborative/sharing economy is creating entirely new ways of doing business that are significantly impacting the way we live, work, bank and consume. We’re now more likely than ever before to trust strangers more than established authorities: we’re opening our homes and our cars to them.

Rachel Botsman takes audiences deep inside the ventures that are challenging the status quo – from Airbnb to Lyft, TaskRabbit to Transferwise – and identifies common reasons that make a sector ripe for disruption. She guides us through how start-ups think differently about value, trust and scale. She leaves audiences inspired by the scale and growth in the collaborative economy and provides clear insights on how organizations can think like an entrepreneur to respond to some of the most revolutionary changes we’ve seen in business and society in centuries.

Media

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Social Media

 

Biography

Trust is fundamental to every action, interaction and relationship. But how you do build and maintain trust in a disconcerting world of data breaches, fake news and political polarization? This isn’t the age of distrust, however – far from it. According to Rachel Botsman, trust is not dying; we are entering the next era of human relationships, transitioning from institutional to distributed trust amongst individuals.

Botsman, the world’s leading authority on the new era of trust, expertly deciphers how these trends impact business and society. Through dynamic keynotes, Botsman gives organizations a fresh lens and clear framework – brought to life by a wide array of examples – through which to view their relationships with the public, and provides new rules for how trust is built, lost and restored in the digital age.

Her latest seminal book, “Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Might Drive Us Apart” (Hachette, 2017) was named one of the Top 5 Tech Books of the Year by WIRED magazine and book of the month by the Financial Times. She is a regular writer and commentator in leading international publications including Harvard Business ReviewThe Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, CNN, the BBC, NPR and more. Botsman, whose global travels as a speaker and advisor have included every continent except (so far) Antarctica, appeared as a presenter in the spring 2018 documentary series on the history of trade, “First Civilizations,” on PBS.

In addition to her writing talents, Botsman is a superb speaker and advisor who has shared her ideas across the world with leaders at World Economic Forum, World Business Forum, and within Fortune 500 companies. Botsman urges organizations to commit to being trustworthy with the public and capitalize on the new ways in which people trust to reinvent their brands for the oncoming tumult of social change. Consistently ranked in the top one percent of all speakers at events she attends, she has spoken to thousands of people at companies, governments and public events as diverse as Xerox, Google, Accenture, Goldman Sachs and Salesforce, as well as The Drucker Forum and Clinton Global Initiative. Clients describe her as “transformative” and “the best-rated speaker ever.”

An engaging storyteller and visionary thinker, Botsman’s skill lies in discovering and explaining paradigm shifts happening in the world and making them meaningful to a wide range of audiences. Her talks at the prestigious TED conferences –she has given three – have been viewed more than four million times, and she was named as one of the world’s top 20 keynote conference speakers by Monocle.

Botsman is also widely regarded as the guru on the sharing, or collaborative, economy. Her first book, “What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live” (HarperCollins), predicted the rise of digital platforms long before they came to make up more than 10 percent of the global gross national product. The concept was named by TIME as one of the “Ten Ideas That Will Change the World.”

Having been recognized for her groundbreaking work on the new economy, Botsman became a lecturer at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School where she designed, and currently teaches, the world’s first MBA course on the “Collaborative Economy.” She now teaches a new course on “Trust in the Digital Age.”

Botsman received her BFA (Hons) from the University of Oxford and attended Harvard University for her post-graduate studies. She is a former director at the William J. Clinton Foundation and former partner in the Collaborative Fund, which offers seed capital and strategic support for creative entrepreneurs.

She was recognized as one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, and one of the top 50 management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50.

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

Books & Research

Array

Recommendations

Praise for “Who Can You Trust?”

“Rachel Botsman’s eye-opening, timely book delves into the unfolding crisis of trust spreading throughout the world. She brilliantly describes how the established trust framework is undergoing a radical transformation as digital technologies take root in every facet of our lives. Read this book and you’ll be ready for a revolution in trust that rewrites the rules of human interaction.”

―Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, Salesforce

“Profound…will cause you to think deeply about your business, your relationships and your life.”

―Don Tapscott, best-selling author, “The Blockchain Revolution”

In a time when people are doubting experts, suspicious of the media, and losing faith in government and business, Rachel Botsman is here with a lucid analysis of what it takes to build and rebuild trust. Trust me: this is a book you need to read.

―Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author, “Give and Take”, “Originals”, and “Option B”

“This book perfectly walks the reader through the past, present, and future of trust as we know it. Rachel’s expertise on this topic is unmatched. It’s an absolute must-read for business leaders and everyday consumers alike.”

―Nick Shapiro, Global Head of Trust & Risk Management, Airbnb

“Beautifully-written… the thesis is completely compelling. This is an important book.”

―Andy Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England

Who Can You Trust is beautifully written primer for a new world that sets you up to be a better citizen, consumer, and parent. I quickly learnt so much about so many things I wanted to know.”

―Sherry Turkle, Professor, MIT; New York Times best-selling author, “Reclaiming Conversation” and “Alone Together”

“In this extremely thought-provoking new book, Rachel Botsman educates and entertains as she reveals with expertise how our lives are already changing more than we know. A must-read for anyone interested in how the world works – and will work in the future.”

―Will Dean, MBE, CEO Tough Mudder

“Ms. Botsman has found a rich theme here and a fascinating way of interpreting technological change.”

― Philip Delves Broughton, Wall Street Journal

“…an absorbing, story-filled narrative that will leave readers with a new understanding of the phenomenon that drives life in our digital age… A sharp, thoughtful, sometimes-surprising account of how we build trust with strangers now.”

— Kirkus Reviews

“Witty… reveals some deep truths.”

―The American Spectator

“An enjoyably accessible, but cautiously skeptical, tour through this hugely transformative, but barely recognized, shift in our sometimes-irrational approach to trust…an excellent – and apparently trustworthy – primer to this fundamentally upturned society in which we may be spending the rest of our lives.”

―Winnipeg Free Press

“Rachel was absolutely wonderful and very well received by our audience in both the roundtable and the keynote. Her message could not be more spot on with Salesforce.”

— Jay Thayer, Salesforce

 

“Rachel was one of our best-rated speakers ever! People actually texted me just to let me know how amazing her keynote speech was.”

– Andreas Kustås, Oslo Business Forum

“Not one single day has gone by since the event without external and internal commendations on your engagement with our audience. Your message really connected and impacted the entire audience. It was also evident via our social engagement metrics.”

— Adobe

“Her presentation was exceptionally well received, with delegates giving her average score of 9.3, making Rachel our best speaker ever in the history of our conferences.”

— Australian Retail Credit Association

“The audience scored Rachel 4.84 out of 5.00. That’s amazing because Swedes are tough and score everyone 3! She helped to more than double the attendance of the conference this year over last.”

— Salesforce

“Her talk at Microsoft Research both provoked and inspired, setting off an active conversation that continues to this day and world-wide within the company.”

— Microsoft Research

“The feedback on your Spark presentation was outstanding! It was a high-energy, thought provoking session, and a wonderful way to close the conference. I am sure participants left with new perspective on their businesses. I look forward to working with you again.”

— Capgemini

“The ratings from our audience for Rachel were amongst the very highest we have ever received. Rachel’s presentation was both motivating and energizing, seasoned with critically important cases studies from companies that are transforming industries and lives.
”

— Cognizant

“The feedback from her session on trust has been wonderful! All of our delegates really felt they could take a lot away and actually apply it, which of course is our ultimate goal.”

— Xero

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A-Z Name

Botsman, Rachel

Intro Video

Video Thumbnail

TED Talk: We’ve Stopped Trusting Institutions and Started Trusting Strangers