Richard Worzel


Richard Worzel

Leading Futurist

The innovative organization is nimble, informed, and ready to change directions–and that’s what organizations need to be or become now, because not only is the pace of change accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. Business visionary and futurist Richard Worzel helps organizations anticipate what’s ahead so they can prepare for it, and move their culture from reactionary to creative. He identifies the roadblocks that slow down an organization’s ability to change, and helps create roadmaps to achieve aspirational goals.

Richard is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a former investment professional, with a broad depth and breadth of knowledge in business, global trade and local economics, and organizational innovation. For more than a quarter of a century, he has helped organizations adapt and prepare for the changes to come, including for clients like Coca-Cola, Lexus, Proctor & Gamble, the TD Bank, the US Navy, the National Research Council, and the Clerk of the Canadian House of Parliament.

Richard has written five bestselling books, and regularly publishes FutureSearch blogs on issues related to, and affecting, the future.

Strategic Foresight for Risk Management

In an increasingly dangerous world, risk management is a rapidly emerging discipline for large company executives, small company entrepreneurs, and professionals responsible for managing their own career-paths. In this introductory presentation and workshop, Worzel provides an overview of the future our society, the economy, and your organization are facing, and trains your people in tools they can introduce into their existing planning process that will enhance what they are doing, and dramatically improve their ability to anticipate many problems before they occur, and deal with ones that are unavoidable.

The Green Economy: Social Responsibility that Pays Dividends

At the end of the 20th Century, public interest in environmental issues was on the wane. Today, public opinion is well past the tipping point, and organizations are scrambling to catch up. What this means is that leading the field in green issues can be both a strategic and a tactical competitive advantage in tomorrow’s business world. In this broad-ranging view of the rapidly emerging Green Economy, Worzel talks about what’s to come, and how to do well by doing good.

The Real Estate Roller Coaster: What's Ahead?

The real estate industry, after a long and successful run, faces a volatile future for many reasons. In this overview of a national and international industry that is nonetheless driven by local and regional forces, Worzel offers real estate professionals critical strategic intelligence in order to make risk management and strategic foresight clearer and simpler for those intent on not just surviving, but thriving and growing in good times and bad.

Insuring the Future

This session is designed to provide agents specializing in life, living benefit, and financial planning products in the insurance industry with a forward perspective on their business, and to give them take-aways that they can use to improve that business immediately.

The Emergence of Alternative Energies

The combination of spiking oil prices and the rising consciousness of global climate change has created a startling demand for new energy sources that is reshaping the economic landscape, and creating once-in-a-generation opportunities. This fast-paced, orbital view of an exploding field will provide you with insights that will help your decisions tomorrow morning, and guide you in shaping your strategies for years into the future.

How Dairies Can Contribute to a Greener Society: Breaking the Carbon Habit Without Breaking the Bank

With the dramatic fall in the price of oil, it would be tempting to assume that the pressure to go green has disappeared. That would be a mistake, as the facts of climate change are still very much in evidence. This leaves the question: how can we, as individuals as well as producers, contribute to a greener society? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, best-selling author, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he:

  • Outlines the critical issues relating to climate change, and humanity’s part in it;
  • Identifies the ways in which we are contributing to climate change; and
  • Talks about the ways in which we can change the harm we do without destroying our businesses, of ways of going green while making it a profit-contributing process instead of a profit-draining one.

To finish off, Richard will outline a technique for identifying new ways of improving efficiency, in order to benefit both profits and the environment.

Planning for the Planners: The Future of Meeting Planning in the Financial Industry

Samuel Johnson once said that the prospect of hanging in the morning focuses the mind wonderfully, and the financial industry is certainly finding its focus. It has received a kicking the likes of which it has not had this generation, and arguably not since the Great Depression. This makes has made it difficult to create meetings that are attractive and relevant to industry players – but what’s to come? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, strategic planner, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this presentation specifically tailored to meeting planners who work with and serve the financial community, he describes:

  • The prospects for the financial markets and the global economy: when will the pain abate?
  • The aftermath: who’s likely to remain standing? And how will the major players’ (especially banks and insurance companies) positions change?
  • The forces that will drive change in the financial community’s future, including the prospects for new financial instruments and client needs, shifting demographics, rising global competition and opportunity, increased longevity, postponed retirements, and the rapid changes in jobs and work in tomorrow’s world; and
  • The changes coming to meeting planners: the inroads and innovations coming from technology, the intensity and intent of younger meeting planners, the changing attitudes of suppliers; and how societal shifts are forcing changes in content and presentation styles.

The times ahead are going to be harder for all purveyors of financial advice and instruments, yet that merely underlines the need for superior preparation. Richard’s presentation provides a roadmap of what’s ahead for the industry and those meeting planners who work with it, and identifies the pivotal issues and approaches the offer the most promise.

The Rise of Bioscience

This is the bioscience century, where changes to the tools we use, the things we are able to do, and even who we are and how we function will undergo revolutionary transformation. Knowledge of developments within and beyond your field will be vital to successfully capitalizing your efforts, whether on behalf of a company, a group of investors, or by a government for its citizens. As a professional who keeps a steady focus on developments in the biosciences field, Worzel gives audiences a broad assessment of the biosciences century, and the developments that will shape its destiny.

Responsive Leadership in an Era of Change

Leadership doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but must adapt to circumstances. And tomorrow’s business and social environment is creating novel challenges that past techniques don’t completely answer. As a strategic planner, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a professional futurist who is steeped in traditional and linear thought, Worzel recognizes the confusion and the problems conventional leadership methods create, and in this keynote builds thought bridges to help people over the inherent conflicts, and into new leadership for a strange, new era.

The Future of Money

Money isn’t everything, but it is central to everything in our economy. Those who plan to thrive in an increasingly competitive world will need to know where money is coming from, where it’s going, how it will influence their company and industry, and what to expect and prepare for in order to be ready for the future. This intriguing and entertaining presentation Richard Worzel will leave your people with take-aways they’ll be able to use tomorrow morning to be more effective – and increase their share of tomorrow’s money.

Critical Care: The Future of Local Pharmacies in Today's Economy

The economic environment we are facing today is dramatically different than any we have experienced in the last decade – and is, in some ways, different from the environment our society has faced in the last 80 years. This means that the ways of responding to it must also be different. Richard Worzel is a strategic planner, Chartered Financial Analyst, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he will provide a road map of the future for the local pharmacy/retailer, which will cover:

  • What’s happened to the economy, the financial markets, and the consumer, and what’s going to happen next, including the prospects for different parts of Canada
  • The prospects for 2009 and beyond, with particular emphasis on retailing
  • How the shifts in demographics are going to affect health care in Canada, and how that will affect the role of the local pharmacist;
  • Tuning in on what’s going through the minds of your customers, and how to develop new ideas to support and improve your retail prospects in a tough market.

Pharmacies, especially those associated with larger retail outlets, fill a special niche in our society – and one that is, in some ways, one of the most competitive in the economy. Turbulent times are times when market share is up for grabs, and they play to the strengths of those who anticipate the future properly, and plan well for the changes ahead.

Corporate Innovation: The Key to Survival and Success

Virtually everyone in the corporate world pays lip-server to the truism that innovation is critical to corporate survival. The bigger issue is how do you create an organization that is consistently innovative? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, strategic planner, and Canada’s leading futurist, and sees innovation as no less than the engine that carves out a corporation’s future. In this presentation he creates a blueprint on innovation, including:

  • What “innovation” actually means in practical terms, as opposed to the motherhood, theoretical concept everyone always talks about.
  • What innovation can do, and what it can’t, and how to manage the short-comings.
  • What are the pre-conditions for successful innovation – and what are the costs of not preparing properly.
  • Why organizations that fiercely proclaim that they are dedicated to innovation secretly despise it.
  • What tools you can use to provoke innovation, who should use them, and how; and
  • What else you need to do beyond innovating, without which there is very little point in even starting.

The process of innovation is, and should be, never ending, but this one-hour keynote will let you jump-start your organization on the path to innovative future success.

The Next Fifty Years in Investing

Because they are inundated with information, investment professionals tend to believe that they have seen and heard it all, and worse, that they know it all. Yet, each of us knows that there is so much more that we don’t know that when a crisis hits the markets, as it has now, we tend to be overly impressed with the urgency of the emergency and forget or overlook the bigger issues. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a former institutional investor, best-selling author, and is, today, Canada’s leading futurist. In this long-term overview, Richard points out what’s important, as opposed to what’s urgent, including:

  • Where does economic growth come from, and why is it going to be harder to come by? And is there hope we can change that result?
  • Which nations have hidden weaknesses that threaten their relative prosperity?
  • How will you be able to tell those nations that will move ahead compared to those that merely plod forward? What’s the touchstone of success?
  • Everyone knows that technology will continue to be a game-changer; but how? What technological advances are we not expecting, or if we are expecting them, are we not prepared for? And where will they lead us?
  • And what’s the one wild card that virtually no one is talking about that will wreck the finances of nations and change the future of society and humanity, gradually at first, and then with gathering momentum?

John Maynard Keynes once famously said that in the long-run we’re all dead, but for a pension fund, which must think in terms of decades, today’s urgent issues must be kept in perspective. This presentation deals with the important issues that will decide the long-term success of a pension fund.

Grabbing Change by the Horns: Will Transformation Mean Evolution, Revolution, or Annihilation?

Not only is the rate of technological change accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. Meanwhile, the ripple effects of technology in social, economic, political, and business affairs are making it harder to foresee and manage change. Richard Worzel, leading futurist and strategic planner, as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst and best-selling author, leads this exploration on the issues and impact of change in technology, including:

  • What are the discontinuities ahead in IT, and how will they affect governance?
  • How will IT have to change to cope with both new technologies, as well as rising expectations from the general public?
  • What non-IT factors will influence the changes ahead, and how will they feed-back into IT management?
  • How is government going to change, and how should policy makers prepare for these changes?
  • How long will the recession last, what happens afterwards, and how will that affect both expectations and resources in IT management?

You will walk away with a roadmap of tomorrow’s world, one that will help you make the unavoidable transformations ahead be constructive rather than detrimental.

What to Do When the Future Looks Grim

Maybe that light at the end of the tunnel is the end of the recession, or maybe it’s a freight train coming your way. Either way, standing frozen in one spot by indecision won’t help, and may be devastating. Yet, many organizations find themselves paralyzed by the threats of the worst recession we’ve experienced since, well, 1991 – which really isn’t all that long ago. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, strategic planner, best-selling author, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this presentation, specifically tailored to address the problems of this economy and this time, he talks about how to take advantage of the problems ahead:

  • Times like these are times when market share is up for grabs. Right now, most organizations have gone into catatonic shock, and are looking for ways to retreat. This makes it an ideal time to look for ways of going forward as there’s less competition.
  • Substitute brains for money. In an economy like this, when money is in short supply, you can substitute innovation and creativity for cash. Using structured brainstorming techniques, you can come up with new ways of dealing with problems.
  • Don’t run back into a burning barn. Retreating into old habits, just because you’re comfortable with them, is not going to lead you out of your problems, but back into them.
  • Look for new opportunities. Using Richard’s own Opportunity Matrix techniques, come up with 2-300 new ideas for generating business, then pick the 10 you like best. Repeat until you have re-engineered your future to be what you want.
  • Decide! When you make a decision in this environment, you might be right, or you might be wrong, but if you don’t decide, you will automatically be wrong. That can be catastrophic right now. Decide – and then do course corrections as needed.

There are many things you can do to deal with a future that looks grim – and facing it dead on is the first of these things.

Driving Tomorrow: The Future of the Automotive Industry

Car manufacturing is arguably the most important manufacturing industry in the world, and may also be the most rapidly changing heavy industry. Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary grounded in the real world, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a best-selling author. In this overview of the future of the automotive industry, he provides a roadmap of what’s ahead, including:

  • How demand for cars is changing due to demographics, with boomers retiring, Millennials having different tastes, women rising in importance, and populations continuing to migrate into urban centres.
  • How 3D printing technologies are changing all manufacturing industries, but particularly cars, precipitating changes in techniques, designs, weight, distribution & logistics, customization, and much more besides.
  • How and why public attitudes are changing on climate change, GHGs, emissions, and CAFE standards, and what those attitudinal changes mean to the industry.
  • What are the power & fuel systems of the future? What are the roadblocks, and how will the trade-offs be made?
  • What are the prospects for the global and North American economies, and how should the auto industry prepare?

Richard will start with the big picture, then bring it down to the automotive aftermarket, then end with an overview of futurist planning tools that can help organizations become more flexible, and develop their foresight. The result will be both a better understanding of what’s ahead, and better tools to exploit the future.

Rising from the Crash: What's Next for the Foodservice Industry?

Successful foodservice consultants need to be thinking beyond the recession, because the future is mutating rapidly. Richard Worzel is one of today’s leading futurists, and in this presentation he presents a roadmap to the future, including:

  • How the economy will change because of the global recession;
  • Why the Green Economy is very much alive and well;
  • Where technology is taking us;
  • Why organizations really only want to pay lip service to innovation.

Richard’s presentation will cap the conference, and give you tools and information you can take home and use immediately, and into tomorrow.

Strange, Wonderful, and Terrifying: The Next 20 Years of Our Lives

Many of us wake up in a world we find remarkable, with the changes we’ve experienced in communications, technology, health care, travel, culture, and social trends, among others. Some have been very positive, such as the dramatic increase in health and life expectancy through the 20th Century. Others have been less desirable, such as the increase in terrorist activity, the decline in general politeness, and the financial crash of 2008. Yet, the changes behind us are as nothing in comparison to the challenges and opportunities ahead of us, and from so many different sources. With emphasis on the future of technology and global finance, Richard Worzel, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today’s leading professional futurists, will provide a roadmap of the next 20 years, including:

  • How technology will change the way we live, with whom we will work and communicate, and even how our bodies function;
  • How the global economy will reshape the geopolitics of the world, and produce more wealth in the next two decades than humanity has accumulated in any previous century, providing both greater opportunities, and greater risks than ever before;
  • How demographics will shift the balance of power, with consequences for young people, retirees, governments, plus the rich and poor alike;
  • How discussions of life expectancy will transform into discussions of life span, with the potential for dramatic expansions in human longevity, even indefinite life spans, becoming tantalizingly real; and
  • A discussion of Wild Cards – low probability events which, if they occur, will have dramatic consequences – including significant climate change, bio-terrorism, food crises, and more.

The future is a broad topic, and the next 20 years will be amazing and alarming. This presentation will heighten your awareness of what’s to come, and help you plan and prepare for the unknowns ahead.

Getting Greedy When Others Are Fearful: Linking Innovation, Sustainability, and Profits

Dark times are when the best players make the biggest gains. Everyone else is lying low, resources are hard to come by, and consumers are an endangered species. Richard Worzel, one of today’s leading futurists, sees real opportunities in today’s situation, and this presentation offers retailers insights on:

  • Why today’s “new” marketing tools – such as Facebook and Twitter – are only the beginning of personal marketing on a mass basis;
  • Why getting into your customer’s head is now more necessary and more possible than ever before;
  • Why sustainability – today’s environmental issue – will not disappear the way scarcity of resources – the issue of the 70s – did following the previous oil price break in 1980-81, and therefore why working on sustainability now, even in hard times, is critical to future survival and success; and finally
  • Why innovation is not popular, and why you need to create a new culture of innovation, starting from the bottom.

In addressing these issues, especially the issues of sustainability and innovation, Richard will provide two sets of tools. The first, called the Opportunity Matrix, offers a means of producing a steady stream of new ideas for incremental innovation. The second, the handbook on Risk Management and Scenario Planning that Richard developed for his consulting clients, is a take-away toolbox that can help you put yourself in your customers’ future mindspace in order to be there, waiting, when she arrives.

Facing the Future of Investing

The future hasn’t happened yet, but many people act as if it has, and is predictable. The truth is that the future will catch us by surprise – but that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for it. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this presentation he maps out some of the issues facing investors in the future, including:

  • What is we’re wrong? We all expect that the economy is approaching bottom, and will steadily improve. But what if something else happens, something less predictable? What might it be, and how should we prepare?
  • The past 20 years have been a period of relative demographic calm, but the next 20 will be anything but. Three key cohorts are moving into new stages of their lifecycles, which will precipitate dramatic changes for individuals, society, governments, and the markets, and two others will have dramatic long-term implications.
  • Technology is the predictable wild card. Not only is the rate of change accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. Accordingly, we only think we know what to expect, but the reality will be much more startling.
  • We are seeing a shift in power in the global economy. America will remain the largest and most influential player, but its influence will be diluted by other players growing in importance, lead by China, India, Brazil and Mexico.

The future ahead of us is going to be vastly different than the present. Those who are prepared will prosper; the rest will be left behind.

Sunrise or Sunset Industry? The Future of Farms and Farmers

It’s been a long, long time since the American farmer experienced so many changes in so many areas, with the result that agriculture, and the industries that support and work with it, are about to experience the most dramatic revolution since the end of World War II. Richard Worzel is a strategic planner and one of today’s leading futurists. In this keynote presentation he talks about:

  • Climate change – what is actually happening, and its possible impact on agriculture;
  • New revenue streams that will become available to agricultural producers, and the effects that will have on those industries that depend on agricultural products;
  • The emergence of new markets and new competitors at home and abroad for food, and what it implies for producers;
  • The Green Economy – has it vanished with the recession, or will it re-emerge? And how could it affect producers’ use of fertilizers, water, and genetically-modified crops and animals?
  • Technology; what next? Why the IT revolution is just beginning, and how it will affect agriculture;
  • The coming economic recovery, and why there’s bad news mixed with the good.

Beyond describing how these trends will affect agriculture and related industries and communities, Richard will also provide tools to help participants prepare for the uncertainties ahead. “The future will catch us by surprise,” Richard comments, “and those people who profit most from the changes ahead will be those who can recover fastest, and respond most constructively to change.”

Dark Clouds & Silver Linings: Tomorrow's Prospects and the Future of Accounting

It’s as if the skies are starting to clear following a major storm; the economy is beginning to look better, and people are once again more hopeful about the future. So, do we return to “business as usual”, or will tomorrow’s economy and tomorrow’s world be different? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this presentation he assesses the future of business with an eye towards the future of accounting, covering: the outlook for the economy, plus wild cards for which you should prepare; technology, and how it will continue to reshape business; why we are leaving a period of demographic calm, and what we are headed towards; and how globalization and governments are going to change the economic landscape ahead of us.

Green Without Guilt: Social Responsibility that Pays

At the end of the 20th Century, public interest in environmental issues was on the wane. Today, public opinion is well past the tipping point, and despite the economic chaos, organizations are scrambling to catch up. What this means is that leading the field in green issues can be both a strategic and a tactical competitive advantage in tomorrow’s business world. Consider that:

  • Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, is not only talking about being green, but putting their money where its mouth is to the tune of half a billion dollars to cut down on waste, increase energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • General Electric, a role-model for hard-driving corporate growth and profitability, is now aggressively pursuing green technologies, products, and services through their ‘Ecoimagination’ campaign.
  • Citibank has announced that it is investing $50 billion to reduce its carbon footprint 10% by 2011. At this level of commitment, you know it’s not a public relations guesture, but a hard-nosed business investment.

Richard Worzel is Canada’s leading futurist, a strategic planner, and a Chartered Financial Analyst. In this broad-ranging view of the rapidly emerging Green Economy, he talks about what’s to come, and how you can do well by doing good, including:

  • The issues surrounding climate change, real and perceived;
  • The potential costs of climate change, both in the marketplace, and in the environment;
  • The issues of “peak oil”, energy alternatives, and whether energy actually will be in short supply, or if we are facing another oil glut;
  • The question of whether “going green” is more than just a PR issue; and
  • What are the bottom line benefits of going green?

Finally, Richard will introduce conferees to a methodology for inventing improvements in the efficiency of their operation, including how to use an Opportunity Matrix to enhance your ability to innovate and enhance profits. You will walk away with ideas and tools you can use immediately in your operations to reduce your environmental footprint – and simultaneously enhance your bottom line!

Risk Management and Strategic Foresight: Avoiding Problems and Spotting Opportunities

The events of the last several years, up to and including the financial panic of 2008, have demonstrated the consequences of not preparing for potential risks. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he:

  • Surveys some of the potential risks ahead, including additional potential shocks to the financial system;
  • Outlines the essentials of strategic foresight as they relate to risk management;
  • Describes how to break the future into discrete pieces in order to deal with future possibilities in a more focused, more effective manner;
  • Shows how to “reverse engineer” the future to uncover potential unexpected risks; and
  • Identifies how to walk through a contingency plan in order to spot potential weaknesses.

You’ll walk away with a set of tools that will help you prepare for risks, both good and bad, and a much better appreciation of how to cope with the uncertainties that are ahead.

Dark Clouds & Silver Linings: The Prospects for the Financial Funds Industry

The next 10 years will be significantly different from the 10 years just past. First, the potential remains for nasty surprises that could re-ignite a financial panic, and dump the global economy back into recession. Chief among these is the potential that the U.S. government could become insolvent, with all that this implies. Assuming that this doesn’t happen, then what will happen with the U.S., Canadian, and world economies, and what are the risks and opportunities ahead of us.

Beyond this, the technological advances of the next 10 years will make the changes of the past pale in comparison, with massive implications for productivity, automation, employment, and the global marketplace that go far beyond most investors’ expectations of “more of the same.” As well, many investors are concerned the the looming retirement of the boomers will drain cash from the markets, leading to another stock market crash – but that’s not going to happen. And finally, investor psychology has undergone a once-in-a-generation shift that threatens to push funds, and fund managers, back to where they were in the 1970s, which GICs were the investment of choice.

Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he lays out a road map of the future for the funds industry, and challenges participants to seize the opportunities ahead. The future we are facing will be wild, exciting, and scary; the costs of not preparing for it will be enormous.

The Future of Risk Management in an Uncertain World

The events of the past 24 months have tested the abilities of risk managers to exercise strategic foresight, and adequately prepare for a world where greater uncertainties will be the norm. How, then, can risk managers prepare for what’s to come? Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this half-day workshop, he will explore some of the critical challenges ahead, and offer suggestions on how to cope. In particular, he will deal with:

  • What’s ahead for the Canadian, American, and world economies? What are the outlooks for inflation and renewed recession? And what nasty surprises could yet be lurking, buried in the urgent, but less important details of the recent panic?
  • How is demographics changing society, the functioning of organizations, and the ability of governments to perform adequately? And what are the gradually developing risks that are largely being overlooked?
  • Technology offers risks both positive and negative, yet risk managers often overlook the importance of positive risks. And technology will wreak twice as many changes on organizations and society over the next 10 years than over the past 10.
  • Governance will have to change, in response to the shifting economic, demographic, technological, and social changes ahead.

In the second half of this presentation, Richard will offer a hands-on approach to the future of risk management, including techniques for expecting the unexpected, and tools to channel the future in the direction you want it to go.

Opportunity Pounds: The Future of IT in Health Care

Opportunity is not knocking in applications of IT to health care; it is pounding down the door. Ever since the Human Genome Project showed the value of using computers in medical research, new research techniques and new IT applications are starting to cause health care management and new breakthroughs to move at in silico speeds instead of in vitro speeds. Richard Worzel, best-selling author and Canada’s leading futurist, surveys the landscape of tomorrow, and highlights:

  • How health care will change over the next 25 years, and why it absolutely must;
  • How a global medical warning system will gather instant-by-instant reports on the health status of close to 4 billions people, and what the implications for future research and data mining;
  • The basic building block of such a system will be invisible in 25 years’ time, but is already in evidence today;
  • The new kinds of research tools that must be used to deal with data overload that is rising by orders of magnitude every five years or so;
  • And the emergence of help from surprising, even unexpected sources.

Richard compares the advances of the next 25 years with the advances in medicine made between 1860 and today. “We will look back on the way we practice health management today, and compare it to the use of leeches and blood-letting of earlier eras,” he says, “And this has major implications for all the players, including governments, patients, pharma companies, and health care practitioners.”

Innovation & Technology: 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.

What Future Should We Want? What Future Should We Aim For?

That our future will be different from our past is obvious. The bigger question is: What do we do about it?

To help your company create a solution to this question, business visionary and futurist Richard Worzel, c.f.a., will first survey the major forces driving change in the business realm, including:

  • How the global economy is changing, why tomorrow’s growth will be slower, and where the greatest opportunities lie:
  • How technology will continue to surprise and disrupt our lives, our social patterns, our ways of communication, and, most especially, our jobs and the industries that survive. This assessment will range from intelligent computers, robots, and automation, to Fog computing, 3D printing, and distributed manufacturing. Indeed, the biggest disruptions are not behind, but ahead of us.
  • How the demographics of America, the developed world, and the developing economies are going to shape tomorrow’s world in very different ways, including pressures on government finances, shifts in geopolitics, increases in government regulation, greater instability among voters, and how consumers and voters will see and respond to business; and
  • How the natural world, and our physical environment, are going to force us to change our behavior, from the kinds of infrastructure we must invest in, to the way we use water, to the kinds of food we grow and eat, to how much disposable income we have.

Once Richard has provided this survey of the forces shaping tomorrow, he will lead an exercise in guided foresight, focusing on the factors that will affect the business world within which your company will operate.

This guided foresight will employ elements of scenario planning, but also, depending on discussions with the conference planners, Wild Card analysis and Backcasting. The purpose will be to help your company partners to clarify their focus on the future your company should want, and some preliminary thoughts on how to start the journey in that direction.

The Opportunity Matrix: Low-Risk, High-Reward Innovation

Duration: Half Day, Full Day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Organizational Planners, Managers, Sales & Marketing Managers & Professionals, Line Employees


Everyone talks about innovation, but most organizations would prefer to leave it there: as talk. And the truth is that innovation is uncomfortable, and many organizations shy away from it. This is contrary to what most people and most organizations believe. Indeed, many organizations believe they are innovation tigers, eager and active in inventing a new future on a continuous basis. And innovation is such a consistent hot topic that it’s almost a corporate religion, a motherhood issue with which nobody disagrees.
But innovation is risky, both for an organization, and for the careers of the people within it, for it necessarily embraces the possibility of failure. And failure, as we all know, is an invitation to being laid off. Yet there are ways of minimizing the risks of innovation, and encouraging people within your organization to embrace it by introducing a means of systematic, incremental innovations which, collectively, add up to major improvements. This is the way of the Opportunity Matrix.

The Matrix breaks your industry and operations into bite-sized chunks, and then focuses down to the minute level. It then suggests specific questions that will enable your people to come up with long lists of possible innovations. From these lists, you then winnow them down to the ideas you like best, play best to your strengths, or that you think have the greatest potential for further exploration and consideration. And the process is repeatable, so that rather than a one-time thing, you can create a continuing font of ideas for change and improvement – without the high risks of major changes, but with a high level of results and increased satisfaction on all parts.

Unboxed Thinking: Concepts for Innovation

Duration: Half day, Full day
Target Audiences: Senior Executives, Organizational Planners, Managers, Sales & Marketing Executives and Professionals


Changes are happening so fast, and the consequences of being left behind are so extreme, that companies believe – correctly – that thinking outside the box is the only way to thrive. Yet most people believe that creativity is only open to the creative few, an artistic elite. The reality is that everyone is creative to a greater or lesser extent, but few ever learn how to exercise their creativity, and fewer practice it on a regular basis, so that they get flabby results when they try.
There are specific techniques, just as there are in art, that can help those who are not practiced in innovating, and can help the already creative individual become even more so. In this workshop, futurist and strategic planner Richard Worzel will introduce you to creative techniques tailored to the needs of organizations and businesses today, and show you how you can create new ideas, new products, and new results. These techniques will include scenario planning focused on product development, and developing an opportunity matrix to identify new needs and ideas. You will leave this workshop not only with new ideas you can use immediately in your business, but with a toolbox of techniques that you can use over and over again. Included in the takeaways for both the full-day and the half-day sessions will be electronic versions of two handbooks on two completely different sets of innovation techniques for each participant.