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Ben Hammersley

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International Strategic Forecaster, Contributing Editor to WIRED magazine, Host of Netflix and BBC television series Inventor of the word "Podcast"

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1 Video(s) By This Presenter

Keynote Demo

6 Programs By This Presenter

Futurists are full of it. Most of their predictions are based on buzzwords, misunderstood technologies, and bandwagons they never fail to leap aboard, all dressed up with concept art, movie references, and a fear of missing out. These can be entertaining, but are they useful? Helpful? No.

In this, the other kind of future talk, Ben Hammersley will discuss the latest fads and fashions, and examine the technologies for what they actually are and what they can do. He’ll show what is real and what is simply hope, hype, or downright fraud. By reminding us that the heart of strategy is what we choose not to do, will guide the audience to a deeper, more knowledgeable, and more powerful understanding of the world to come.

For something that holds the key to prosperity and success in the 21st Century, it is upsetting to realize that we’ve been doing it wrong. We think about innovation in the wrong way. We’ve been using the wrong words, paying attention to the wrong things, and retelling the same, old, wrong, and misleading stories. True innovation does not mean embracing the latest technological buzzword and trying to leap five years into the future with the help of an AI or a blockchain. It’s not dependent on a small and expensive class of technowizards, or magazine-cover masters of the universe. Instead, innovation is a skill and a mindset that can be learned by anyone. It’s a continual process that truly cutting-edge organizations – from multinational e-commerce conglomerates to that great new dumpling place down the street – can develop within every single member of staff. These talks show the true historical and cultural complexities of innovation and teach the audiences how to apply those lessons to their daily practices. For any organization, industry, or individual who wants to be better tomorrow than they are today, and who suspects that the answer isn’t necessarily in the new shiny and disruptive tech, this topic will be inspirational, practical, and calmly life-changing.

For all the technological advances of the past 20 years, and the promises of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the other super-power-giving technologies of the 2020s, the way we work today hasn’t changed for a hundred years. The average knowledge worker’s desk is a little different from a Victorian clerk’s. Their office would be a familiar place for their grandparents. But as we become more aware of the challenges of the coming decade – with its commercial and cultural upheavals already apparent – we’re realizing that now is the time to reassess not only the very way we work but also the place in which we do it. From the realization that our company’s email culture is making us stupid and that open-plan offices actually reduce collaboration, to the skills we need to work with non-human colleagues, and the concept of cognitive architecture, this talk helps organizations and individuals who want to work smarter, and more successfully, in the 2020s understand what is happening to the workplace, and how they can make changes today that will future-proof them for tomorrow.

We all know the world is changing. And many can give examples of the technologies or trends that are contributing to that change. But that is not the whole picture. In this topic, we teach audiences about the skills, techniques, and cognitive tools that leaders need to both understand those changes and shape their own future. Ideal for executive learning and development programs, or thought-leader positioning customer events, these keynotes are consistently rated as life-changing, with plenty of actionable takeaways for the audience. This topic also extends well into subsequent break-outs and workshop sessions, which can be provided.

With so much change, so many disruptions and innovations, transforming the culture, systems, and politics of the world we grew up in, into the world of the 2020s, we have found that most of our clients have a mental model of the world that is, if not entirely out of date, then dangerously incomplete. In this topic, we show the workings and the shape of the interconnected, interdependent, networked, co-arisen modern world, and how it affects the audience’s business and lives. From youth culture in Brazil to high-speed rail in China, Russian postmodern foreign policy to non-human corporations, weaponized memetic infections to European nationalism, solar punk to climate mitigation to shadow economies, we provide a true grounding in today, without which you cannot possibly plan for tomorrow. This is especially appreciated by c-suite audiences and has been a repeated hit at evening events with partners and spouses.

We are all bringing yesterday’s war to today’s battlefield. In the modernity of today’s world, we have a profound misunderstanding of the nature of geopolitical, commercial, and personal threats. It isn’t kinetics that will get us, but confusion. The post-modern asymmetric reaction to the extreme commercial and military hegemony of the West, or the quasi-monopoly power of the large corporation is no longer one of physical violence, but of memetic infection, and purposeful, weaponized, confusion. For these audiences, leadership, and strategy, is the art of making the best decisions with the knowledge available. But making those decisions requires accurate data, clear analysis, and accurate thinking, without interference. In this talk, we detail how the final line of risk is the individual executive’s ability to think clearly, how this is under a specific targeted attack, and how to defend against that. This topic is of deep interest to multinational top-tier executives, or those being shaped into becoming so. It can also include follow-up reading and online sessions.

Reviews

Ben was a great personality to work with and an excellent speaker. His speech gave a lot of new insights and refreshing opinions. He was our highest ranked speaker of the day.

— Robeco

Ben was fantastic and excellent to work with. His subject matter knowledge was brilliant and the client really took a shine to him.

— ICANN

“I’m thrilled to report that our event was a huge success! Ben was terrific and he really brought the energy and right message. Thank you for supporting us through this process and making the right recommendations. We’ll be happy to provide a positive reference for Ben and your team and hope to work together again.”

— Cybersecurity Communications

Thank you so much for today’s presentation! A very thought-provoking point of view that I know will be shared and reviewed by our teams around the world! Again, great job.

— PSNI

Ben is an amazing speaker and a true gentleman. He has been amazing, interacting with people onsite and his presentation is going extremely well.

— Rise Conference

“As expected – your talk was PERFECT! The room is buzzing with excitement and forward-thinking based on your remarks. Thank you!”

— Destination Cleveland

The London’s Calling team were very excited to have Ben as our Keynote speaker for our 2021 conference. Ben was very engaged with our event, wanting to learn more about the Salesforce industry and the roles our attendees play in it. He felt an affinity with our audience which oozed out during his Keynote presentation, on the theme of The Great Reassessment. Ben was also gracious with his time, offering to do a separate interview, talking about his career background, his pandemic lifestyle, and general interest points which added to the overall content to the day. Our attendees were super engaged throughout the Keynote presentation, commenting on specific points raised by Ben. Their feedback at the end said that it was an inspirational and motivating talk and how they also wished for a huggy future. Thank you Ben. The London’s Calling Organizers

— London's Calling Ltd
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