Greg Lindsay

Greg Lindsay

Expert on Cities, Mobility, Travel, Trade, and the Future of Work

Greg Lindsay is literally a man on the street, reporting from the intersection of global trends and local wisdom. Widely cited as an expert on the future of travel, technology, and transportation, on the design and resiliency of cities, and on how to create more innovative workspaces, he’s been described as “very energetic,” “sweeping and inspiring,” and “sharp, incisive, and provocative.” He offers fascinating hints and visions of our richly connected future, the challenges it poses, and the opportunities for those prepared to meet it.

Greg is a senior fellow at the New Cities Foundation — where he leads the Connected Mobility Initiative — exploring the future of smart cities and networked transportation together with the Toyota Mobility Foundation. He’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative, where he analyzes the risks and opportunities posed by cities and technology to national security. Greg is also a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and a visiting scholar at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management.

The co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, he is also a contributing writer for Fast Company, and his insights have appeared in Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, McKinsey Quarterly, on NPR and the BBC, and in the 2015 PBS documentary feature Mankind from Space. His work exploring the future of suburbia with the MacArthur Foundation “genius” architect Jeanne Gang was displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2012.

As a consultant, he has advised clients such as Google, Intel, Toyota, Chrysler, Samsung, Ericsson, and Expo 2020, among many others.

Greg is a two-time Jeopardy! champion, and the only human to go undefeated against IBM’s “Watson.”

Autonomous Everything: AI, the Future, and What We Can Do About It

The robots are coming to steal your job…or are they? Advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation all point toward an autonomous world – one in which perception, prediction, and action are embedded in machines. Autonomy will not only transform how we work, but also we how move, think, discover, decide, and deceive. In this wide-ranging talk on the promise and perils of AI, the author and futurist Greg Lindsay explores how autonomy is already upending society — and how we can use it to build a better world.

Disrupting Mobility

Six years ago, Uber was an obscure app and autonomous cars were science fiction leftover from The Jetsons. Today, Uber is a $62 billion behemoth, Google and Tesla are leading a breakneck autonomous arms race, and their respective competitors Lyft and General Motors have promised to transform urban mobility by combining the two. How are these technologies already transforming the way we see, understand, and get around cities? What effects will they have on where we live, work and play, and what are the opportunities and threats for automakers, technology firms, public transit, employers, and developers? Drawing upon his work with both New York University and the New Cities Foundation, Greg Lindsay offers four futures of connected mobility and how they promise to transform American cities in the coming decades.


Cities-as-a-Service: What Does the On-Demand Economy Mean for Real Estate?

Less than a decade ago, Uber, AirBnB, and WeWork didn’t exist. Today, one is worth more on paper than Ford Motor, another more than Hyatt, and the third more than Boston Properties. Why? The short answer is that there’s an app for all that, but the truth is more complicated — how and where we live, how we move, and how we work are all being disrupted. The rise of coworking, co-living, ride-hailing, and placemaking all point to new possibilities for networking, re-purposing, and more intensively utilizing what was previously just a house, a car, an office, or a street. How we perceive cities, how we use them, and how we find each other within them has been transformed by our ability to connect, to summon services on demand, and to analyze and harness our increasingly sophisticated “data exhaust” (e.g. location data, likes, check-ins, taxi and Uber trips, and more).

In his talk, NewCities’ Greg Lindsay describes how cities‐as‐a‐service are changing how we live, work, move, and more — and the new real estate, services, and business model opportunities this creates.

Engineering Serendipity: How to Discover New Ideas

Innovation can’t be scheduled but it can be designed.  Greg Lindsay tells how innovative organizations such as Google, Facebook, Zappos, and MIT are engineering serendipity, harnessing social networks and new ways of working to cultivate the discovery of new ideas, inspire collaboration and creativity, and to spur employee engagement, learning and innovation. How, where, and who we work with will never be the same.

The Future of the Future

The future isn’t what it used to be. As the pace of social, technological, and environmental change accelerates, organizations are struggling just to make sense of the present, let alone spot threats and opportunities looming just over the horizon. The ability to anticipate, understand, plan for, and innovate around uncertainty has become a critical skill for designers, innovators, and strategists everywhere. As the computing pioneer Alan Kay once said, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Futurist, journalist, author and scholar Greg Lindsay will teach a crash course in exactly that. The practice of creating futures, or “foresight,” offers a toolkit and framework for detecting signals of change, organizing insights, synthesizing possible futures, identifying potential barriers and opportunities, and designing innovative products, services or ideas that satisfy emerging needs. In addition to lecturing on possible futures, Greg is available to lead participants through a fun, fast-paced workshop in which they create futures of their own.

Inoculating the Planet: Life After COVID-19

While the world awaits a vaccine, how will we inoculate our cities, workplaces, homes, and families against another pandemic?

Greg Lindsay draws on his research and foresight to tackle the questions fresh on everyone’s mind right now. For example, how will fluid organizations balance the mental and physical health of employees with new remote/office work hybrids? Will social distancing kill mass transit and ride-hailing in favour of driving alone — or will cities turn streets over to cyclists, scooters, and pedestrians? How will deliveries, “dark kitchens,” and automation threaten to turn retailing and restaurants inside-out and threaten main streets, mom-and-pop shops, and real estate as we know it? And where will millennials — now the victims of a second financial crash — choose to raise their children, “Generation C?”

Lindsay delivers a sweeping view of how the pandemic and resulting economic crash will alter the trajectory of our lives for decades to come.

This virtual presentation, via Zoom, includes a 45-minute keynote, plus Q&A. Length can be customized to meet your needs.