Robert Tercek

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Business Futurist and Digital Media Pioneer; Former President of Digital Media, Oprah Winfrey Network; Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, University of Southern California

Biography

Every industry – established enterprises and feisty startups alike – will be entirely transformed and redefined by technology in the next five years. We’re entering an era defined by data, and Robert Tercek is helping organizations navigate through the massive changes, seize control and shape their future.

At the forefront of digital change for more than two decades, Tercek offers a rare combination of visionary thinking, hard-won practical insight and tireless passion for the way information and data shape (and reshape) our world. In his book “Vaporized” (LifeTree Media, September 2015) – which was named by GetAbstract as the 2016 International Book of the Year – Tercek takes us inside the world’s largest cultural and economic transformation since the industrial revolution, and explains what it means to consumers, employers and policy makers.

A well-known and highly regarded digital media pioneer, Tercek is one of the most prolific creators of interactive content. He has created breakthrough entertainment experiences on every digital platform, including satellite television, game consoles, broadband Internet, interactive television and mobile networks. Tercek’s business strategies are informed by personal experience as a pioneering executive and entrepreneur in disruptive startup ventures. His 20 plus-year career is marked by achievements, including several milestones: the first multichannel television service in Asia (STAR TV in 1991); the first multiplayer Java games on the Web (Sony, 1997); the first interactive game shows on U.S. Television (Sony, 1999); the world’s first streaming video service on mobile phones (PacketVideo and NTT DoCoMo’s V-Live, 2001); the largest audience for live interactive video events on the web (Oprah Winfrey’s 2009 web casts); the most popular free book download in history (Suze Orman on Oprah.com, 2009).

Recognized as one of the “25 Executives to Watch in Digital Entertainment” by Digital Media Wire, Tercek is also named as one of the “Digital Dozen” most influential players in new media by Variety; the Industry Standard dubbed him a “TV Anarchist.” His unique views on managing innovation are sought by organizations around the world. He has served in executive leadership roles at major media companies, most recently as president of digital media at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and previously as senior vice president of digital media at Sony Pictures Entertainment, and earlier as creative director at MTV: Music Television. He co-founded five startup ventures, including 7th Level, Inc., which went public in 1993. Tercek also provides strategic insight and advice to many companies seeking to enter the networked entertainment market, among them: Nokia, Motorola, AMD, MSN, Sony Computer Entertainment, Taito, Bandai Networks, Siegel and Gale, CMP Media Group, VNU Media Group and The Anthony Robbins Companies.

Tercek has also supervised new media strategy and the creation of online programs for many of the world’s leading motivational speakers and authors, including Anthony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Suze Orman, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Elizabeth Lesser, Jean Chatsky, David Bach, Marcus Buckingham, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Martha Beck.

An enthusiastic advocate of the future of media and entertainment, Tercek is a highly sought, dynamic speaker. He has delivered feature talks at NAB, CES,GDC, MIPTV, MILIA, E3 Expo, Sundance Film Festival, South By Southwest, X Media Lab, 5D New Television, Tokyo Game Fair, the Austin Game Conference, 3GSM, KidScreen Summit, MIT’s Futures of Entertainment Summit, CTIA, Future of Television Summit, The Mobile Games Seminar, The Games and Mobile Forum, and many private corporate events.  In 2001, he founded the Game Developer Conference’s Mobile Symposium.

Tercek also has a passion for education. He serves as an adjunct professor and lecturer at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, where he introduced the curriculum for interactive media, and served on the faculty of the Peter Stark Producers program. He has been a guest lecturer at several universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad.

In 1985, Tercek was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in Kiel, Germany. In 2008, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in recognition of his achievements in social media for the benefit of society. He is a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and contributed to the founding of the Interactive Media Peer Group at ATAS. Tercek has lived and worked throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Robert Tercek 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®.

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Biography

Every industry – established enterprises and feisty startups alike – will be entirely transformed and redefined by technology in the next five years. We’re entering an era defined by data, and Robert Tercek is helping organizations navigate through the massive changes, seize control and shape their future.

At the forefront of digital change for more than two decades, Tercek offers a rare combination of visionary thinking, hard-won practical insight and tireless passion for the way information and data shape (and reshape) our world. In his book “Vaporized” (LifeTree Media, September 2015) – which was named by GetAbstract as the 2016 International Book of the Year – Tercek takes us inside the world’s largest cultural and economic transformation since the industrial revolution, and explains what it means to consumers, employers and policy makers.

A well-known and highly regarded digital media pioneer, Tercek is one of the most prolific creators of interactive content. He has created breakthrough entertainment experiences on every digital platform, including satellite television, game consoles, broadband Internet, interactive television and mobile networks. Tercek’s business strategies are informed by personal experience as a pioneering executive and entrepreneur in disruptive startup ventures. His 20 plus-year career is marked by achievements, including several milestones: the first multichannel television service in Asia (STAR TV in 1991); the first multiplayer Java games on the Web (Sony, 1997); the first interactive game shows on U.S. Television (Sony, 1999); the world’s first streaming video service on mobile phones (PacketVideo and NTT DoCoMo’s V-Live, 2001); the largest audience for live interactive video events on the web (Oprah Winfrey’s 2009 web casts); the most popular free book download in history (Suze Orman on Oprah.com, 2009).

Recognized as one of the “25 Executives to Watch in Digital Entertainment” by Digital Media Wire, Tercek is also named as one of the “Digital Dozen” most influential players in new media by Variety; the Industry Standard dubbed him a “TV Anarchist.” His unique views on managing innovation are sought by organizations around the world. He has served in executive leadership roles at major media companies, most recently as president of digital media at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, and previously as senior vice president of digital media at Sony Pictures Entertainment, and earlier as creative director at MTV: Music Television. He co-founded five startup ventures, including 7th Level, Inc., which went public in 1993. Tercek also provides strategic insight and advice to many companies seeking to enter the networked entertainment market, among them: Nokia, Motorola, AMD, MSN, Sony Computer Entertainment, Taito, Bandai Networks, Siegel and Gale, CMP Media Group, VNU Media Group and The Anthony Robbins Companies.

Tercek has also supervised new media strategy and the creation of online programs for many of the world’s leading motivational speakers and authors, including Anthony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Suze Orman, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Elizabeth Lesser, Jean Chatsky, David Bach, Marcus Buckingham, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Martha Beck.

An enthusiastic advocate of the future of media and entertainment, Tercek is a highly sought, dynamic speaker. He has delivered feature talks at NAB, CES,GDC, MIPTV, MILIA, E3 Expo, Sundance Film Festival, South By Southwest, X Media Lab, 5D New Television, Tokyo Game Fair, the Austin Game Conference, 3GSM, KidScreen Summit, MIT’s Futures of Entertainment Summit, CTIA, Future of Television Summit, The Mobile Games Seminar, The Games and Mobile Forum, and many private corporate events.  In 2001, he founded the Game Developer Conference’s Mobile Symposium.

Tercek also has a passion for education. He serves as an adjunct professor and lecturer at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, where he introduced the curriculum for interactive media, and served on the faculty of the Peter Stark Producers program. He has been a guest lecturer at several universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad.

In 1985, Tercek was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in Kiel, Germany. In 2008, he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in recognition of his achievements in social media for the benefit of society. He is a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and contributed to the founding of the Interactive Media Peer Group at ATAS. Tercek has lived and worked throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Robert Tercek 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

Artificial Intelligence – The Big Data Solution

Eight years ago, most companies were data-poor. Today, the situation is reversed: many companies are overloaded with far more data than they can manage. Robert Tercek, digitization expert, knows where to find the solution: Artificial Intelligence (AI). It’s no coincidence that machine learning has begun to gain real traction; as companies connect more devices to the cloud, instrument their entire process and track more details of their business, the volume of data generated each year doubles. The datasets are now so large that they surpass the capacity for humans to manage them or understand them. That’s where AI fits in, making sense of the data via machine learning. Intelligent machines won’t replace human experts; instead they will augment human abilities, endowing us with super powers.

The organizations that learn to tame huge datasets, courtesy of machine intelligence, will enjoy a sustainable strategic advantage. Tercek demonstrates how firms can harness the incomprehensible amount of data being generated by sensors and connected devices and convert it into a valuable asset, preparing companies for the next step in the evolution of business.

Vaporized: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World

Media industries took the first blows dealt by the rise of digital technology. One by one, once-tangible goods such as music CDs and video DVDs were “vaporized,” replaced by pixels and bytes of data – forcing media industries into a state of rapid and constant reinvention. Some areas of the business bottomed out; new opportunities for nimble players have emerged. The digital revolution is picking up speed, and is set to transform every industry and economic system on the planet in almost unimaginable ways – even those once thought to be immune from its effects. In his groundbreaking new book “Vaporized” (LifeTree Media, September 2015), named International Book of the Year 2016, Robert Tercek takes us inside the world’s largest cultural and economic transformation since the industrial revolution, and explains what it means to consumers, employers and policy makers.

The Internet of Money

Money is information. We’ve known that for decades. What is new today is the ability to leverage the information power of money to make the entire economy more efficient.  The Internet of money means that we’ll be able to make better decisions in real time. A novel convergence of enabling technologies, consisting of smartphones, cloud computing and machine intelligence, combined with the blockchain protocol, promise to yield significant increases in operating efficiency and far greater transparency. Key metrics like GDP will be instantly available to all players, so we will no longer need armies of government accountants and economists to keep us informed with yesterday’s statistics. Moreover the data will be machine-readable, which means more parts of the value chain can be automated and “vaporized” into software. The upshot? Faster decisions, thinner margins, leaner firms, decentralized decision-making, and bigger bets, but, interestingly, less risk. Smart money combined with smart contracts and the software-defined enterprise will be the hallmarks of the 21st century economy.

Inventing the Future: Thriving in a World of Constant Change

Massive change is a permanent feature of the business landscape. Mature businesses are under pressure to evolve rapidly and new startup ventures face a throng of global competitors. Robert Tercek shares five proven strategies for identifying opportunities in a chaotic field, motivating a team to unite around an inspiring vision and how to execute what was previously unimagined. It’s no longer sufficient to respond to change, Tercek explains. Every leader must anticipate change, seek it out, understand the dynamics that propel it, and seize control and drive change. The best way to thrive in the future is to take an active role in its creation and evolution, he says. Throughout his career, Tercek has invented the future, and he teaches your team how to do it, too.

Blueprint for Control of the Information Economy

The profound disruption now underway in broadcast media reveals a startling truth: information is no longer subject to the old rules of the industrial economy. The collapse of old media is just a prelude to the massive transformation that will affect every mature business from the industrial era. Robert Tercek navigates the entirely new ecosystem for value creation that is replacing the old industrial model of markets and channels; it’s dominated by companies that control the flow of data. Business leaders need a clear view of the road ahead in order to make the right strategic decisions. Tercek provides a framework for strategic decision-making, what he calls the blueprint of the new information ecosystem. He offers amazing insight into the dynamics that will affect any company that deals with information-rich products and services.

The Activated Audience: How to Master Participatory Media

The most significant change in our era is the shift in control from producers to consumers. Every company must now contend with an audience that is empowered to speak up, organize, and take action. Is the activated audience a threat? Robert Tercek sees it as an enormous opportunity. He explains how to harness the immense power of participation to build stronger connections to key audience segments. Drawing from his experience as the producer of highly successful online multiplayer games and the largest live seminars ever produced, he reveals the keys to motivating audience engagement by providing roles and tools that direct willing participants towards constructive and purposeful interaction. Every organization dealing with end users will benefit from mastering these lessons.

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Recommendations

“Robert delivered an amazing keynote address at our Management Team Conference.  He invested time in understanding our firm and needs that greatly increased the impact of his already impactful message.  His breadth of understanding of digitization and its impact on business and society gave our team a broader view into possible futures we and our clients may face that will add value to our firm for years to come.”

–Kerry Stover, Chief Operating Officer, Pariveda Solutions

“Robert’s keynote at NetBase LIVE was a HUGE game changer for our inaugural conference and one of our most loved sessions. I’m still getting compliments from attendees touting that ‘Robert’s keynote was the best presentation they’ve ever seen.’ Robert completely knocked it out of the park and delivered a truly impactful session that left brands and agencies immediate and actionable insights to take back to their organizations. If you need someone to provide a though provoking and dynamic session, Robert is your man!”

–Kevin Lau, Senior Marketing Manager, Netbase

“Rob’s presentations are energetic, future looking and inspirational. The effect of his presentations is so much more than informational. He truly inspires the audience to think differently, to consider new ideas for the future, and then to build plans and take actions to innovate in anticipation of that future. Rob is energetic and enthusiastic in his presentation style, using unique and engaging graphics and narrative to tell a story of where we are and where we might go to be successful.”

–Betsy Gerdeman, Senior Vice President of Development Services,
PBS

“Robert is a consummate professional. An energetic, captivating speaker who has a passion for his topic and the experience, knowledge, and skill to back it up. His workshop and keynote were easily the most popular events of our conference. Highly recommend Robert for any company that would like assistance in their creative process.”

–Douglas MacDonald, Partnership Management,
QTel Group

“Robert Tercek commands the respect of the global media industry, his peers, and countless conference attendees who have heard him speak. What sets him apart is that rare combination of visionary thinking, hard won practical insight, and tireless passion for the way media shapes our world. It was a privilege to have Robert speak at this year’s seminar. He lit up the room. What’s more, he created a customized presentation, tailor-made hand-outs, and promoted the event using his own online show and social media clout. Make no mistake, Robert is far more than an inspiring keynote presenter. He is a catalytic partner committed to the success of your event.”

– Simon Mainwaring, Founder, We First
Social Branding Seminar

“We were fortunate to have Mr. Tercek as one of our keynote speakers at our premiere national industry conference, Prime Time in Ottawa, in 2011. Our delegate feedback to his address was so positive that we invited Robert to speak again at our event in 2012. Robert Tercek is a leading speaker on media innovation and creativity. His insight on the latest global media trends and his extensive experience as a producer of leading-edge content across multiple platforms make Robert uniquely qualified to provide strategic guidance to anyone doing business in media today. Not only is Robert keenly aware of the myriad interwoven variables that come into play in the media environment, his presentation style is organized, logical, clear and concise, with just the right amount of humour. I highly recommend Robert Tercek as a keynote speaker for any event that is focused on the media sector, or for any media company looking for a business strategist to help guide them to greater success.”

– Mark Seguin, Senior Vice President of Policy,
Canadian Media Producers Association

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Intro Video

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THE SOFTWARE-DEFINED SOCIETY: Robert Tercek keynote speech at Huawei Innovation Summit