Futurist, author, Future Strategist and CEO of The Future Agency
Embrace technology but don't become it!
Gerd Leonhard is a European futurist, speaker, and author who specializes in the debate between humanity and technology. He was Born in Bonn, Leonhard studied theology at the University of Bonn before migrating to the United States in 1982 where he studied at the Berklee College of Music and later established a career as a professional musician, arranger, and composer. He also set up an early internet business in music, which provided first-hand insights into technology disruption and inspired his first book, co-authored with Dave Kusek, The Future of Music in 2005.
Gerd focusses on near-future, ‘nowist’ observations and actionable foresight in the sectors of humanity, society, business and commerce, media, technology, and communications. Gerd is also an influential author, a sought-after executive ‘future trainer’ and a trusted strategic advisor.
Gerd is also the host of the web-TV series TheFutureShow and the CEO of TheFuturesAgency, a global network of over 30 leading futurists. Gerd is considered a leading voice on a wide range of topics including digital transformation and the opportunity-challenges of the coming exponential society, a sustainable business and cultural ecology, social media and communications, TV / film, radio and broadcasting futures, mobile content and commerce, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, ‘hard-future’ consumer trends, human-machine futures and AI, cognitive computing, the IoT, big data and automation, next-generation advertising, marketing and branding, as well as sustainability and related ‘green future’ topics. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal called Gerd ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’
In 2015, Wired Magazine listed Gerd as #88 of the top 100 influencers in Europe. He’s #21 on the global list of futurists. Gerd's keynotes, speeches, and presentations are renowned for their hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, often humorous and always personal motivational style. Gerd is highly regarded as a global influencer and has advised many business leaders and government officials around the globe.
In 2016, he published Technology vs. Humanity, a manifesto for digital rights and an investigation into the many areas of life currently impacted by technology disruption without regulation or policy. Leonhard has expressed views critical of transhumanism and technology centralization. Emphasizing a European tradition of humanist values and philosophy, Leonhard pursues a path of technological balance as evidenced in earlier eras such as the Italian Renaissance. His Open Letter to the Partnership on AI was published in the British magazine Wired in October 2016, calling on technology leaders at IBM, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon to embrace digital ethics in the emerging era of cognitive automation.
Director of Design at Airbnb. Former Director of Product Design at Uber.
Forbes Contributor, Tech Evangelist, Moderator & Keynote Speaker
Founder and CEO for all LATAM of the international consultancy GrupoSet
Supermodel, entrepreneur and philanthropist