The pandemic completely upended who, what, where, why, and how we work. Future-of-work strategist Heather E. McGowan helps leaders prepare their people and organizations for this new world of work. She is a sense maker, dot connector, big thinker, and pattern matcher whose ground-breaking approach leaves employees more fulfilled and innovative, leaders more potent and empathetic, and businesses more effective in a rapidly evolving market.
Ranked as LinkedIn’s #1 global voice for education and as one of Forbes’ Top 50 Female Futurists, McGowan has been described as “the oasis” when it comes to insights into the future of work by the New York Times. She is an in-demand keynote speaker whose audiences have ranged from startups to government organizations, universities to publicly traded Fortune 100 companies. Past clients have included AMP Financial, SAP, Biogen, Fidelity, Mastercard, AT&T, Financial Times, Siemens, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, JPMorgan Chase, MassMutual, MetLife, the US Army, Accor Hotels, Paramount, and the World Bank, among many others.
Often quoted in the media, McGowan is the bestselling author of The Adaptation Advantage: Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work, which reached number three in business management books on Amazon and was named one of the best business books of 2021 by Soundview. Her latest book, The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce, is a finalist for the Next Big Idea Book Club and has been identified as a top ten business book to read in 2023 by Business Chief.
McGowan earned an MBA from Babson College and a BFA in industrial design from Rhode Island School of Design. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. Her academic work has included roles at Rhode Island School of Design and Jefferson University, where she was the strategic architect of the first undergraduate college focused exclusively on innovation. In 2019, she was appointed as a faculty member of the Swinburne University Centre for the New Workforce and currently serves on the advisory board for Sparks & Honey, a New York-based culture-focused agency.