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Richard Worzel

Richard Worzel

North America’s Leading Futurist
Fee Range
Exact fee falls within this range
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Ontario, Canada

Program Descriptions

Recent Topics from Futurist Richard Worzel, C.F.A. Tomorrow’s Energy Equation: What’s Ahead for Petroleum, Power Generation, and Transport

Are oil’s days numbered? Are we going to give up fossil fuels in favor of green energy?

Yes, but not soon, says futurist, business visionary, and Chartered Financial Analyst Richard Worzel. Yet, renewables will not be denied, and will take an accelerating share of energy markets. Moreover, the market for petroleum products is shifting, with supply changes reshaping global markets, and demand mutating in often-unexpected ways. The result will be turmoil in the energy markets that will require players to be alert, prepared, and responsive to the unexpected.

Among the topics Richard will cover in this presentation are:

  • Why there’s a lid and a floor on oil prices – and what could shatter them.
  • Why renewables are here to stay, even if subsidies disappear, and what it means for the energy industries.
  • How technology is changing what people use, and how and where they use it, and why what we’ve experienced so far is barely even a warm-up for what’s to come.
  • How elements of Artificial Intelligence can radically reshape energy management, transmission, and supply.
  • And what are the Wild Cards that no one is currently considering?

    Richard will end by providing a futures research toolkit that can help attendees take advantage of the uncertainties ahead. “Someone always profits from change,” he says, “Make sure it’s you!”

    The Future Breaks Wide Open: What’s Ahead for Energy & Energy Companies

    Conventional wisdom has been saying that the incremental demand from the Rapidly Developing Countries (RDCs) like China and India, added to the steady, but slower growth in demand from the developed countries, must inevitably push the price of oil substantially higher, even to $200/bbl. This, in turn, would help push renewable energy and more efficient uses of energy for heating, production, transport, and cars.

    But there are several issues on the horizon that may shatter this conventionally accepted complacency. First is the potential that shale oil could do to the oil industry what shale gas did to the natural gas industry. The United States is already expected to become first self-sufficient, then a net exporter of oil, and has shale oil reserves in excess of 1.5 trillion barrels.

    Next, consumer behavior is changing because of demographics, technology, and peer pressure. The boomer generation is approaching retirement – gradually – with the result that they won’t be commuting to work, and will be driving less, potentially much less. Young people are demonstrably less likely to own a car and drive that their parents. This is partly due to a switch in social perception from one where owning a car was cool, to one where owning smartphones is cool, and owning a car is damaging to the environment. Shared ownership, through companies like Zipcars, makes is easy to have access to a car without the expenses of ownership, and given that young people are more likely to live in urban areas, and less likely to have well-established, and well-paying, jobs, the economics of owning a car are much reduced.

    And, of course, as goes oil so goes the energy industry as a whole. Cheap oil changes the economics of sustainable and renewable energy, and makes the reduction of greenhouse gases more difficult to achieve.

    Biofuels are caught in between political and economic pressures. As the biochemistry to produce them improves, the falling price of petroleum damages their market position. Meanwhile, the politics of ethanol from corn introduces non-market forces that may not be in the best interests of the future of biofuels.

    Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this overview of the seismic shifts coming to the energy industries, he lays out what’s possible, what’s probable, and how energy companies should prepare for what’s to come.

    Shock Therapy: How Power Producers Can Thrive in a Time of Renewables

    Electric power producers are facing market forces unlike anything they’ve ever seen as renewables continue to drop in price and threaten the utilities base business. Worse, once renewable sources have been built, the incremental cost of operation is negligible, making it even harder for traditional providers to compete, especially if renewable subsidies are in the mix.

    Business visionary Richard Worzel is a futurist with a Chartered Financial Analyst’s diploma, and well understands the business and investment financial pressures power producers are under. In this presentation, he surveys the changes still to come in power production, then turns his attention to ways that producers can roll with the punches, and come up counter-punching.

    “Remember,” Richard says, “Turbulent times are times when market share is up for grabs. There’s no doubt the world is changing – and that means producers must change in unprecedented, even unexpected, ways if they are to thrive and survive.”

    Uneasy Lies the Stethoscope: The Rapidly Mutating Future of Health Care

    Health care constantly changes, yet the changes now are coming from so many directions that it’s hard to prepare. Richard Worzel is a futurist and a business visionary. In this presentation, he survey’s the landscape of the future in health care, and relates it to how [Company] will need to prepare.
    Among the topics Richard will discuss are:
  • The two, big questions that everyone wants answered about health care, but no one dares to ask that are shaping the entire political debate.
  • How demographics are going to complicate decision-making, and how [Company] can prepare for this shuffling of the deck.
  • How technology is changing, how it could be used to improve health care, and what impediments are likely to prevent the emergence of optimal results.
  • How Artificial Intelligence is likely to emerge as pertains to health care, and how it can best be used to improve patient outcomes, as well as corporate results.
  • Why the current roles of health care professionals are changing, how new roles are emerging, and how they will fit into the changing world of health care.

    Richard will end by surveying some of the futurist techniques that could help [Company] make more robust decisions, and take advantage of some of the uncertainties ahead.

    Sunrise or Sunset: What’s Next for Agriculture?

    There’s an enormous, largely unnoticed battle going on for the future of farms, farming, and farmers. On the one hand, global competition in agriculture, coupled with the continuing trade wars in which farmers wind up filling the front lines, means that the costs and supply of farm commodities continue to fluctuate widely. On the other hand, global population continues to grow, with the FAO projecting a 30% increase by 2050, and with consumption expanding even faster, by between 50% and 70%

    How can farmers plan when they are trapped between such cataclysmic forces?

    Futurist Richard Worzel has studied the story arc from farm-to-fork for more than a decade, and sees some outlines becoming clear, including:
    The demand for food and other agricultural products will, over time, outweigh competitive pressures for one major reason.

    At the same time, new answers, some of them completely sidestepping farming to produce food without farms, will enter the marketplace.

    Competition is not going to go away, but there are ways of avoiding its worst effects.

    The technological revolution will continue to explode, and new ways of boosting productivity will move into farm fields, with the potential to provide farmers with a brand new cash crop: data.

    Facing the Future: Managing the Future of Food

    Almost every aspect of food is changing, from where and how it’s grown, to how who consumes it and why, and even to what it is, is changing. Because of that, the food-related industries are being pushed to change in ways that many never expected. This creates both difficulties for those who are not prepared, and opportunities for those who are.

    Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary, as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst and an author. In this presentation, he outlines the factors forcing change on the food industries, then turns to how agile corporations should consider managing that change. Among the topics he explores are:

  • How the science of human genetics is changing what foods we eat, and why, and what it means to the food production, foodservice, and food retailing industries.
  • The FAO projects that global population will grow by 30% over the next 35 years, but that they demand for food will expand by between 50-70%. That will put enormous pressure on the demand for, and pricing of, food. As a result, how and where food will be produced will have to change.
  • The technology of food production may change radically as well. Foods are already being produced in laboratories using 3D printing, which will change the composition, nutrition, presentation, and even the origins of food. We may, for example, see a future that features steaks without steers.
  • Automation and Artificial Intelligence is about to disrupt all aspects of business, including foodservice, and in largely unexpected ways.
  • With such dramatic changes coming to the food industries, companies involved in food must move towards becoming innovation organizations in order to thrive and survive. Yet, there are natural roadblocks that impede innovation. What are they, and how can they be managed, even turned to advantage?

    At the end of his overview of food’s future, Richard will describe some of the change management tools that senior executives can employ to keep their organizations on top, and ahead of, the remarkable, and threatening, changes coming our way.

    The Future of Greed, Fear, and the Financial Services Industry

    J.P. Morgan was once asked what the stock market would do, and gave what is probably the best possible ever: “It will fluctuate.” People who serve clients in the financial services industry are used to market fluctuations, but more recently, the industry that serves the public finds itself in turmoil. Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary, as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst who has worked on both the buy and sell sides of the market, and in equities, bonds, foreign exchange, corporate finance, and venture capital.

    In this presentation, he looks at why and how financial services are changing, and what advisors can do to take advantage of the changes to come, including:
  • How the coming-of-age of the Millennials will shift the market for financial advice and service, and what GenX and the Boomers will want and need next.
  • Why robo-advisors are not a fad, and what you can do to co-opt them rather than being replaced by them.
  • What’s ahead for Artificial Intelligence, and what it will mean for the markets.
  • What are the likely consequences of the Trump presidency, and how to prepare for them.
  • What you should know about the crises that are over the horizon, and how they will affect your book and your clients.

    Richard will end by providing an overview of futurist tools that can be particularly interesting and valuable to financial advisors and their clients. You’ll wind up not only with a better idea of what’s ahead for you and those you serve, but also specific take-aways that will allow you to get the jump on your competitors.

    Megatrends for 2020 and Beyond: What’s Ahead for The Auto Industry and Society

    As we approach the third decade of the 21st Century, we will be confronted with qualitative changes as well as quantitative changes. In other words, not only will things change quickly, but the changes we will experience will be unlike any we’ve experienced before. Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a best-selling author. In this presentation, he will highlight the landscape of the future, identifying the megatrends that will have the greatest effect on society and industry, including:

  • How the acceleration of technology will lead to new things in our lives, from everyday robots to computer intelligences, that will have profound effects on the workplace, consumer behaviour and consumer markets, as well as corporate planning and strategy for those organizations that plan to survive and thrive.
  • How shifts in the global economy will force global companies to reset and rearrange their expectations, and the markets they are targeting. The environment of the past 40 years is a thing of the past; growth will come in different ways, and from different sources, in the future.
  • There’s an elephant in the room that all developed countries are studiously ignoring, but which is going to affect voting patterns, society, and will have significant knock-on effects for businesses.
  • Climate change is clearly happening, and whether humanity is to blame or not is of little importance. What is important is the real world implications, as well as what we should expect of voters and political leadership. As well, the growing conflict between renewable and conventional energy has major implications for everyone.

    Richard will end his discussion with an survey of the techniques used by futurists to anticipate, and prepare for, the uncertainties ahead. “No one can accurately and consistently predict the future. But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for it. The decade ahead will be pivotal to industry, society, and governments, and those who haven’t adequately prepared for it are going to pay a heavy price for their lack of foresight.”

    Shipping, Logistics, and the Day After Tomorrow: The Future of the Shipping Industry

    Looking over the horizon is something the shipping industry does all the time. Yet, with changes happening in so many different places, shippers may find that the view they expect beyond the horizon is not the one they get. Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and professional futurist. In this look forward, he assesses the many changes ahead for the world, the economy, logistics, and the shipping industry specifically, including:

  • How Artificial Intelligence (AI) is finally coming into its own, and the downstream effects this will have on virtually every industry;
  • How autonomous ships, completely without crews, are already being discussed, and why they may not happen exactly as advertised;
  • How the global energy equation is shifting, and what it means both for cargos, and for operating costs;
  • How the global economy is changing – and where it’s staying the same; and
  • How logistics will be helped by AI and smart computers, but why smart humans will remain necessary to business success.

    Richard will wrap up his glimpse into the future with an overview of futures research tools that can make your strategic planning both more innovative, and more bottom-line oriented.

    The Upside of Sustainability

    Many corporate executives think of sustainability like they think of going to the dentist: as a painful, but perhaps necessary evil. Yet sustainability offers two benefits to early adopters that can be of great value, including to the bottom line. The first is that the need for sustainability is growing as public awareness of climate change, and their expectations of corporate and governmental action, are gaining momentum. What corporate planners often miss is that this applies equally to their competitors as it does to them, which means that if they get out in front of the movement, they not only get to look good to the general public, but they gain first mover advantages with suppliers and customers. In other words, they can turn what looks like a cost into a competitive advantage.

    The second advantage gets to the heart of sustainability: resource use and emissions. Increasing sustainability means reducing the amount of resources used, and decreasing emissions. Or, to put it more simply, another word for reduced resource usage is increased efficiency, and another word for emissions is waste. Greater efficiency and decreased waste, if done properly, increase the bottom line. They increase profits. The key here is to think clearly and analytically in order to capture the greatest possible profit for the lowest possible investment. Once an organization starts to think that way, sustainability becomes a corporate goal worth pursuing with eagerness and vigor. That’s why major companies like Walmart and Citibank are investing millions into this area; it’s not because they want to be good guys, it’s because they want to increase profitability.

    So sustainability, done right, can become a self-enforcing, self-perpetuating corporate crusade – that just happens to have a nice side benefits of good PR.
  • Why Book Richard Worzel?

  • He works to identify the major forces that will affect companies as well as people's lives, then helps audiences identify the likely possibilities and the early-warning signals they need to watch for.

  • He helps corporations and industry associations plan intelligently for the future while addressing global issues and the economy.

  • Videos

    Biography Read more

    People are fascinated by the future because it affects their lives, their jobs, and their wealth and welfare. And the future is a topic that fits every conference, and involves everyone in your organization. That's why Richard Worzel, Chartered Financial Analyst, best-selling author, and one of today's leading futurists, trend analysts, and innovation specialists, is in such demand as a speaker, consultant, and writer.

    And although he's a top trend analyst, he has developed new tools to go beyond mere trend watching, including Pre-trending™, which identifies new trends as they emerge, andTrendVelocity™ analysis, which clarifies how and when things are likely to happen.

    He conducts structured innovation sessions that dovetail into your strategic planning and product design, including proprietary innovation techniques, and brings a keen understanding of why innovation can be so difficult, and how organizations can unknowingly undermine their own innovation efforts. Part of this is a process Richard calls Inventing the Future. The results help an organization remake their approach to innovation, the marketplace, and tomorrow.

    Richard makes compelling keynote speeches to set the table at the start of a conference, or can end it with a bang. He leads intriguing workshops that range from a couple of hours, to days or even months of strategic planning. And he can help you plan and prepare for our uncertain future.

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    "Thank you so much for your participation in our Physician Roundtable Meeting. Your commentary challenged the audience to consider both their individual and societal perspectives regarding change. I'm not sure that everyone fully enjoyed the intellectual challenges your discussion introduced, but their discomfort represents solid evidence as to the effectiveness of your presentation. PEOPLE WERE THINKING! The future will present grave challenges and fabulous opportunities. Those in attendance left the meeting with a sense of optimism that the latter will eclipse the former.

    I was impressed with the depth of the dialogue with the audience. The nature of their questions and comments was diverse. Your commentary clearly demonstrated a depth of knowledge and insight which enabled you to synthesize apparently disparate topics. 

    Richard, it was a distinct pleasure to include you in our meeting. I look forward to the opportunity for us to work together in the future."
    --DaVita Inc.

    "As a keynote speaker for our 'Preparing for Tomorrow' conference, Richard was a natural fit. His dynamic delivery and fact-based presentation made for an afternoon that was enlightening as well as engaging. Several of our delegates remarked on the valuable information they had gained through Richard's insight. 

    Richard's keenness to tailor his presentation to our delegates' needs was evident from the beginning of his involvement in our conference, and it was very much appreciated. Thank you, Richard, for your obvious dedication to your field and your excellent ability to communicate your insight and research on this important topic."
    --Compass Group