Jonathan MacDonald – Keynote Speaker

Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of SELF, a hyper-personal, AI-powered assistant

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Specialist Subjects

  • Managing transformation
  • What does the future hold?
  • The change mindset


  • English


Jonathan MacDonald is the Founder & CEO of SELF, a hyper-personal, AI-powered assistant that learns your personal preferences and simplifies your life, whilst you retain ownership and control of your data.

Jonathan has worked in over 100 cities globally and is internationally renowned as a business, technology and social expert. He is an award-winning, bestselling author and one of the most in-demand keynote speakers in the world on the topics of change, digital transformation, mindset, innovation, strategy and the future.

With a background in retail, entertainment and strategy, Jonathan MacDonald has been creating and advising businesses for over three decades. He was the youngest ever Chairman of the British Music Industries Association. Later, as Commercial Director for Ministry of Sound, Jonathan turned an analogue company into a digital powerhouse, helping to expand the global franchise around the world. He also launched the first-ever Sky TV station specifically for musicians, “The Musicians Channel”, generating higher viewing figures than MTV.

An entrepreneur and investor, Jonathan has over ten start-ups to his credit, most recently assisting Minima come to market. He has also advised well-known, blue-chip companies including Google, Microsoft, Apple, P&G, Unilever, Nestle, Lego, Heineken, Sony and IKEA, and is trusted by senior executives around the world to convert his insights on perpetual change into profitable business strategies and personal success. As a thought-leader, he contributes to numerous publications including Forbes, Google’s Think Insights, and The British Airways Business Life magazine.

Jonathan’s book “Powered By Change“ became a Sunday Times Bestseller and won the 2019 Business Book Awards. The book introduces ‘The Windmill Theory’, demonstrating how businesses can be designed for perpetual success. His latest book, The Rise Of Advanced Thought, also available on Spotify, is about how to train your thinking to achieve almost anything. To complement this volume of work, Jonathan MacDonald founded The Academy of Advanced Thought, a training system for the brain that focuses on developing your thought muscle to enable it to be in the best condition it can be. The Academy is full of insightful content and a wide range of cutting-edge resources.

Jonathan MacDonald is mostly asked to speak and advise about change, digital transformation, innovation, the future and how to accelerate and unlock opportunities for success. In terms of keynotes, every single talk he gives is unique and tailored to specific client requirements. With a world-class and exceptionally deep knowledge of trends, market shifts and competitive landscapes in all territories and industries, Jonathan has hands-on experience with companies all over the world, enabling him to speak in detail about what practical steps can be taken to be powered by change.

Jonathan’s most recent book is The Rise Of Advanced Thought, the sequel to his bestseller, Powered By Change. The Rise Of Advanced Thought also available on Spotify, is about how to train your thinking to achieve almost anything. It is an accompaniment to The Academy Of Advanced Thought.

The prequel to The Rise Of Advanced Thought is Powered By Change (2018), a Sunday Times Bestseller & Winner of the Embracing Change Category in the 2019 Business Book Awards. The foreword was written by IKEA’s CEO who said. “Just as he did for us, within these pages Jonathan has provided the necessary solutions, remedies and tools for future freedom and success.”

To fuel his quest for new insights into the human mind, and to create the foundation for The Rise Of Advanced Thought, Jonathan recently received a diploma from the National Research University High School of Economics in Neuroeconomics, an emerging interdisciplinary field looking at how economic decision-making actually happens inside the brain and how it determines a course of action. In 2019, Jonathan took the bronze medal in the Sports Jiu-Jitsu World Championships, after winning the British Sports Jiu-Jitsu Heavyweight Championship in 2018. He has been a blackbelt martial artist for many years, specialising in full-contact kickboxing.

Popular Talks by Jonathan MacDonald

Managing transformation

Is your organisation in need of a major makeover to cope with the disruptions that are sweeping through your sector? Where to start? Is there a fail-safe model? What are the key success factors? And what are the common pitfalls or roadblocks ? What to do when things are not going to plan? In this speech, Jonathan translates his extensive business transformation and development experience into a tried and tested framework that helps you tackle organisational transformation with growth and success in mind, with a side order of trouble-shooting. Peppered with humorous war-stories and astonishing insights, this speech equips your audience with practical advice as well as an infectious readiness to make things happen.

What does the future hold?

Would you like to be able to gaze into the crystal ball and see what the future holds for you and your company? Are we really going to be visiting the moon during our annual leaves soon? Are robots going to run our lives in due course? An early adopter of blockchain, an entrepreneur and an investor, Jonathan moonlights as an advisor, and is on first-name terms with senior executives at Google, Apple, Nestle and IKEA, to name but a few. Drawing on the intelligence he has gathered from the business trenches, he provides an up-to-the-minute report on the key trends and thinking that will help shape the world we live in in the not-to-distant future, how they impact your organisation, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

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