For two decades, Craig has 500+ keynotes to 5,000 global leaders and executives to understand, create and design their ideal futures through imagineering and futures thinking. His expertise include emergent futures thinking, scenario planning, disruptive technologies, emergent business models, company culture and new world of work. He’s spoken at length on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Africa’s preparedness to drive this. He converted his car to electric: creating the future, versus merely talking about it! He rejected the chance to head one of Branson’s companies to focus on enhancing South Africa (ZA) and volunteers time mentoring the next generation of leaders.
Craig consulted to the United Nations to create 2050 scenarios for the Nigerian government, moderated the 10th BRICs summit on 4IR with H.E. President’s Xi, Putin and Ramaphosa & PM Modi and delivered a keynote on “the role of disruptive technology to meet the SDG’s.” He’s hosted sessions at the African Innovation Symposium, head of Innovation for B4SA as ZA recovered Covid-19, adjunct professor at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Duke Corporate Education and others. Clients include UNAIDS, Deloitte, Audi, Tata, Shell, MTN, Airbus, Danone, Nestle, Anglo American, Microsoft, Fidelity, Accenture, Barclays, Investec, Discovery, Standard Bank, BMW, Huawei, Mubadala fund, Indonesian Central Bank, and Indian government. He was a former radio insert future specialist on Hot1027FM (ZA Radio), created a YouTube mini-series on science and futures and asked to be a TV host for the national broadcaster.
His PhD was described as avant-garde, ingenious and adds significantly to the area in futures thinking where he developed new frameworks leveraging Rumsfeld’s Unknown Unknowns and Joharis Window. This research allows for leaders to design their ideal future company strategy and create a single metric for their future preparedness: The Future Fitness score. His research is the foundation for his AI company using human analytics to optimize operations and develop future resilience and his third book called “Four Future Seasons” to quantify the future and draws upon Japanese philosophy, philosophy, and military strategy. He has a BSc (Eng), MSc (Usability) and MBA from Babson College (USA) as a recipient of the prestigious Frederic C Hamilton scholarship for significant entrepreneurial achievement. During his MBA he was the first “non-American” class president.
He started 5 companies: software venture for partially sighted children, commercialization consultant and silicon valley, cleantech startup launched at 8 U.S and international Universities, profiled at the Clinton Global Initiative and TEDx speaker. As Google head of small business marketing, he launched South African Business Woza online where SME’s created 50,000 websites in its first year: 1 every 10 minutes. He grew revenue YoY by 82% YoY, was African “Googliest Googler” and first GoogleX African. He is an angel investor in disruptive, technology driven startups.
Accolades include: Leadership Forum member, AFLI Desmond Tutu Fellow, AshokaU Changemaker, WEF Global Shaper, Mail and Guardian Top 200 under 35, Destiny Man & African Independent Top 40 under 40, disruptive Innovation speaker at TEDx and Clinton Global Initiative awardee. He is the youngest graduation speaker at University of Johannesburg and WomEng board member (non-profit inspiring woman into STEM), former chairperson of Moving into Dance (educating disenfranchised youth and the disabled through dance), non-executive and advisor for government entities.
He’s travelled to 52 countries: swam in the Amazon, trekked gorilla in Uganda and Tigers in India, swam with whales in Mozambique, skydived in California, hiked Machu Pichu (and the Great Wall), shark dived (twice!) wept at the Wailing Wall, watched the sun rise over the Taj Mahal and been tear-gassed in Turkey! When not travelling he learnt to play the guitar and considers himself a decent aspiring chef.
In a world that is moving quicker and quicker, the key dependency for success is your ability to lead. How do you navigate the exponential changes isn’t just a matter of your intellect, abilities or leadership but often how others view you and your ability to at in times of crises. In Alice in Wonderland, she enters the mirror to see how others view her and through her journey emerges more informed about the world around her.
In Through the Looking Glass, we examine three key ways to understand how your team (and yourself) believe you lead:
1. Imagine how your team views you
2. Imagine how others judge your motives, performance, and values
3. Imagine how they view you based off your past decisions.
To examine parallels between your leadership we will examine such leaders as Steve Jobs, Jacinda Ardern, Donald Trump and Elon Musk: How are they perceived by their people, what do they stand for and, most importantly, why being vulnerable is the new success metric for leadership success. We will examine your potential blindspots, biases and how living to the expectations of others and your own past will lead you down a path of failure.
This keynote is especially important with a changing workforce (Millennials, Gen Z and different cultures, diversity and life lenses) with different value sets, priorities and levers. As we move into a more distributed, decentralized workforce your ability to be challenged, naked and vulnerable will determine if you are successful.
We all know that Google is one of the most successful and admired companies in the world, with an iconic culture that attracts 10,000 job applications a day from the brightest minds on the planet – and delivers excellent profits! But what makes it unique? Is it because they create great products, or because they have a great culture?
But we know that building a powerful culture is really difficult – a culture that attracts and keeps the best people; that drives the bottom line and that differentiates you in the most competitive market we have ever seen.
So – what did Google do from the time they started in a garage in Silicon Valley to now, as a 55,000-employee global company, with a market cap in excess of One Trillian dollars – yes, 1,000 billion!!! …and one of the most admired brands on the planet that attracts over 10,000 job applications a day? In this keynote, I’ll share secrets from within the Googleplex that Craig experienced first hand the head of small business marketing at Google South Africa and advised GoogleX as the first African Googler.
How can you understand the future before it happens? What are the biases that hold us back and leave us trying to predict the future based off what happened in the past? How do you reconcile and use various tools like scenario planning, economic models, trends and design thinking.
Using a process of “thinking back from the future” (subject of Craig’s PhD research) to determine the various areas of the unknown, you can create the future you prefer and unlock the potential in exploring the unknown unknown. This process of creating “memories from the future” is incredibly powerful and used by companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple where they have used it to determine latent customer needs before the rest of the market.
This keynote draws highlights on my PhD research to deliver cutting edge insights unavailable anywhere else to give you an incredible edge and insight into how to create disruptive new businesses away from the traditional approach of strategic extrapolations for planning.
The world is rapidly changing: AI, Robotics, Drones, Blockchain, 3D printers, Self-Driving Cars, Unlimited energy, the list goes on and on. If on an almost daily basis, there is a sense that the world is moving faster, it’s because we are! Entire industries will be rocked to the core and some will be destroyed overnight, while others will be created. But what about you – as an individual? Are you ready to change the way you lead, to drive the accelerating change in this Exponential World?
“Homo Disruptis” takes you on an inspiring journey into this uncertain future, to help you:
– Rewire your brain to unlearn and relearn that whatever has made you successful won’t keep you successful
– Reignite your heart where you put purpose before profit, to align your personal “why” and values to be more energized and inspired on a daily basis, as you bring your magic to the world
– Redirect your hands to work in a more entrepreneurial, lean manner where you are doing multiple experiments to pivot and put the needs of your customer in the centre of all you do
– Refocus your voice to be nakedly transparent and find a way to ‘Win With’ in this collaborative world
With the world changing, you can craft the most incredible strategies, build the best product and service, or hire the most talented staff, but in the end, what matters most is your ability to lead your company as an executive, in a bold new world where you need to change, to thrive and find opportunity in the midst of crisis!
What is a Flash Forward and how do you create it? Perhaps the most popular example Charles Dickens’, a Christmas Carol where Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and shows Scrooge the inevitable path his future will be unless he changes. Scrooge learns to change his ways to alter the trajectory of his present.
These Flash Forward event can be created by understanding how the future may look and then adjusting our business strategy and process to be successful in this future. Leaders need to understand the fundamental forces shaping their trajectory to correct by “backcasting” (my PhD research area) back to today and create Flash Forward Insights.
What would you have done with your business if 10 years ago you were able to see the oncoming game changes like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain or, even just, digitization? How would you have orientated your business to with insights from Flash Forward Insights? What would your business model be if could have anticipated (and acted upon) the decentralized economy, exponential business? The advantage to capitalize on those moments in time may have passed, but how will you capitalize on Flash Forward Insights from the next 10 years?
Some themes we explore include:
– The technology at your Fingertips: What is coming that will disrupt and set you up for failure or success?
– What are the Business Models to scale: How has digitization made speed and experience the expectation, not the premium and how do you create from the customer perspective
– Your customer of the future: What will your customer of tomorrow demand? What technology do you need to invest in today, to prepare for the next-generation marketplace?
– Emerging workforce of the future: How do you toggle to a quazi-work from home business? What are the values driving this shift?
– Human in the Machine: What does it mean to be “human” as we rely more on technology? Will it replace us wholesale, or can we reframe by analyzing tasks to focus on what makes human?
Inherent in the above is how will you, as a leader, traverse the current future by being nimble, responsive and learn from Flash Forward Insights?
In astronomy, the event horizon is a point where light can no longer escape the pull of a black hole. In mainstream parlance it’s the point of no return; the Rubicon moment where things will never be the same. In March 2020, the world experienced this Event Horizon with the global spread of COVID-19. Since then, the world has fundamentally shifted where every aspect of our business, personal and value system must be re-evaluated and recalibrated.
For leaders, this created a pause and reflect moment, where the key was survival and those that were able to pivot the quickest were the most successful. In this thought provoking and insightful keynote, we examine how COVID-19 has been both the great accelerant forcing leaders to adapt (e.g. digital) and the great revealer showing what we truly value (e.g. lives or livelihoods).
We will unpack key insights such as:
– The impact of COVID-19 such as remote work, value shifts and how technology may bring amount new changes
– Asynchronous communication, synchronous value chains and orchestrating value
– How do you anticipate Black Swans like COVID-19
– Why flexibility is better than prediction and how to create anti-fragility into your business
No doubt COVID-19 will be first of many wildcards that change our business trajectory and present even more Event Horizons. The leaders that succeed will be those that can not only anticipate these moments, but yearn for them to create further competitive positions.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)… the next big thing right? There is so much discussion on what it is and how it will be the next driver for business, society and government. How if you’re a “developing” country you can capitalise on this to “leapfrog” and if you’re a “developed” country you need to carry on lest you be left behind in the global race of dominance. It’s become an over used term, describing anything about technology (the what) – but it’s much more. There are the business models (the how) that use these technologies like platform economics and the experience economy. Why is this happening now? Could it me be a move to a world beyond capitalism, one that loves more and is more human?
In Africa and other developing countries, is this even a reality where two of the key technology dependencies: electricity and connectivity are neither widespread or affordable? Where the majority are still doing agriculture by hand (2nd industrial age) and even more advanced economies only now adopting digitisation- that means you haven’t even transitioned into the 3rd Industrial age!
What is 4IR really about? How can you think beyond these paradigms to consider what comes after the 4IR – an Age of Humanness. This keynote explores these very important ideas and will explain much of the new operating system in business and society today.
Almost everything about technology now seems to mention Artificial Intelligence (AI) whether it’s the new fridge that predicts when you’re out of milk, AI beating humans in games, or the oncoming onslaught from AI and how they will make us irrelevant! But how much of this is hype? What are AI’s real applications?
In this Keynote, I’ll cover the basics of AI in simple to understand language to understand the “so what” implications using engineering insights to provide real understanding. Whether you run a manufacturing plant, financial services company, or legal firm (and anything in between) AI has the potential to be a profound game changer – either making you irrelevant or providing you with the tools to leverage it’s strengths while you focus on your core capabilities of being human.
It’s a fun, interesting and challenging keynote that will cause you to pause and think about the profound implications of AI, and how or why not to use AI in your business, life and everywhere!
From fire to the wheel to the printing press and the Internet: there is no way to stop technology – it’s always been around. The luddites were fearful of technology and tried to destroy any that would impact on their lives – sound familiar? It should. Today this thinking is apparent in almost every job, union and even government. Is there anything technology can’t do – beating humans in games, diagnosing cancer better than the best surgeons, building houses in 24 hours or even cooking better?
We tend to think that technology can only replace blue collar labour, but that’s already more than that. Jack Ma believes the best CEO of tomorrow could be a machine; and in Hong Kong there is already an AI board member afforded the same voting rights as it’s human peers. Then there is Sophia the “robot” blurring the line between human and robot rights.
What does this mean for humans? How do we ensure relevance when almost anything can be automated and our jobs replaced? We need to rethink in terms of micro-tasks versus whole jobs – and then how we can work with not against technology. This is what this keynote is about: understanding this difference is crucial for the success of the 22nd generation business, leaders and as people. We will examine the things that machines find hard to do and where you will succeed by being human: humanness, ethics, compassion creativity and imagination.
Technology will usher in a golden age where we will enjoy the fruits of our collective effort! That’s the utopian vision and dream advocated by Silicon Valley CEO’s. Diamandis believes that technology has the ability to ensure there is more than enough for all and technology could be that silver bullet. He certainly makes some convincing claims and there are statistics to support this claim: longer lifespans, lowered child mortality, increased education and less people living in poverty.
But why does the world feels so scary in today’s age? Is it the lack of leadership where technology is used to “spy” on it’s citizens through implementing surveillance capitalism? Or do we have a natural fear of anything different and images of running robots conjour up visions of us being hunted down? More realistically, in certain countries, individual rights are infringed upon and freedom of speech and movement is revoked. Perhaps, the influence of filter bubbles and #fakenews have already influenced your life and worldviews.
This keynote explores these questions where technology can be good or evil, depending on the intention. Understand how leaders must use technology to make us more human and not as a tool for ill intent.
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