WIRED Editor-at-large, Sunday Times (UK) Tech Columnist, Tech Company Adviser
Advising companies about how to innovate so they can protect themselves from tech-led disruption
David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to knowthe founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv toShenzhen. He has since invested in more than 60 early-stage tech companies, including two that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and is an adviser to Lakestar, one of Europe’s largest venture-capital funds.
David’s Amazon #1 business bestseller Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds (Penguin, 2019) has been published in Japan, Korea, Russia, Ukraine and beyond. The book, a 20- country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out sixteen proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — helping leaders build resilience in a post-COVID- 19 world.
David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times, and hosts a new podcast series about tech founders called Walks With Founders. He has been asked to give more than 600 keynotes in recent years, and has received repeat requests to present for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel and Unilever.
David has moderated events for the World Economic Forum and the UK and French governments, and is increasingly in demand to host webinars and virtual conferences.
David deconstructs tech trends in real time, unpacking how major innovations like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, and more, are changing businesses and consumers. He focuses on how technology-led innovation can build prosperity even in economic downturns and amid the COVID-19 crisis. He delivers fascinating and knowledgeable presentations full of insight into the future of technology together with lively examples and engaging video clips which reveal that, in some cases, the future is already here. He’s typically asked to speak about how innovation and technology are likely to impact a particular sector (from manufacturing to motoring), and what incumbent companies can do to protect themselves. He customises every talk, and in recent months has addressed audiences in finance, fashion, utilities, television, insurance, shipping, travel, real estate and business software. He also speaks a lot about changing business models, and how companies can develop a culture of innovation.
And he is still searching for the future.
You may want to go deeper into a topic for your audience. The keynote topics can be tailored and developed to suit your audience needs, be it a 90-minute Masterclass, a half-day or full-day workshop or a full online or face-to-face programme. Please contact one of our expert team to discuss.
He travels frequently, and has a home studio at his London base for online presentations and moderating. His current keynote topics include:
- FINDING OPPORTUNITY AMID THE CRISIS
- WHY BUSINESS INNOVATION HAS NEVER MATTERED
- TEN LESSONS FROM THE NON-BULLSHIT INNOVATORS
- WHAT TECHNOLOGY MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF YOUR
- THE FUTURE OF THE WORKPLACE
- WHY IT’S TIME TO CHALLENGE THE TECH MONOPOLIES
- THE TEN NEW RULES OF BUSINESS
- HOW TO OPTIMISE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
- WHY PURPOSE PLUS PROFIT IS THE NEW MANTRA
EVENT MODERATING: David has moderated events for the UK and French governments; World Economic Forum; Pictet; Royal Academy of Engineering. He has hosted numerous awards ceremonies, frequently interviews CEOs on stage, and is often asked to host multi-day events.
“I wanted to thank you for your time to moderate the G8 Innovation Conference. You set the tone for the day perfectly, engaging the audience and steering the presenters through a very full agenda. The feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive, which is largely due to your dynamism, good humour and professionalism.” David Cameron, Former Prime Minister, G8 Innovation Conference
“You were a star and a dream to work with and the perfect speaker for this event. We could not have asked for more.” Audi, Ingolstadt
“You were a stellar moderator – insightful and challenging to the speakers, witty and engaging for the audience, and very positive to work with.” World Economic Forum
“Your contribution at the event was terrific. The content was highly relevant & extremely interesting. We also appreciated that you took on board the detail discussed on the briefing call ahead of the event. Your talk received the highest audience review on thefeedback application. The level of your professionalism is unrivalled.” Mercer, Hong Kong
“David gave a unique and fascinating presentation on the future tech trends which are shaping our industry. He was a very engaging speaker – I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to expand the minds of their audience.” Broadband World Forum
“Your opening talk was just fabulous and perfectly set the stage for the next few days. I am forever in your debt for playing such an important role and being so giving of your time throughout the week. The feedback on your talk has been extremely positive.”
“We were blown away by David. A great choice.”
“A HUUUUGE thank you as always for being the one we trust to make any conversation bright, enlightening, energetic, thoughtful and insightful- always so, so grateful. Many people said how much they enjoyed the fireside chat.” Founders Forum NY
“I just wanted to send you a short note to thank you for engaging with us at short notice, wholeheartedly and to such fantastic ends. The team was blown away and they are a hard group to impress.”
“I can’t thank you enough for your truly inspirational talk. We’ve had wonderful feedback and it set the day up perfectly.” Warner Bros
“We received nothing less than fantastic feedback on your session and the insightful contribution you made to the panel.” BrainScape, Dubai
“David was fantastic. The content was perfect. David stuck to the brief we gave him and had clearly prepared materials that were bespoke to Sky. The talk was fast paced, interesting, relevant and accessible. It set up the innovation session of our agenda really well and I was delighted with the result.” Sky
“You nailed the brief perfectly – the perfect blend of inspiration, explanation with a dash of fear” HereEast
“Your presentation went down a storm (I knew it would) and I was able to refer back to it repeatedly over the two days as a stimulus to help drive the need for change.” Unilever CMO
“You were a superstar! So many people told me how much they enjoyed your lively & interesting presentation, humour and deep & personalised Q&A with the panelists.” Beco Capital, Dubai
“David Rowan was awesome, lots of amazing feedback.” Salesforce
“A big hit with the team, some really great feedback…content, delivery and messaging was spot on.” Eversheds
“Very good facilitator, understood the brief, researched thoroughly and it showed.” Lloyds of London
“Thank you so much for your excellent presentation at our Annual Conference. Feedback has been extremely positive and there is no doubt that you added real value to our event.” Richard Lewis, CEO, Interchange & Consort Hotels; Best Western Hotels Great Britain; Beacon Purchasing.
“[The audience] was very pleased with how it went and the insights David provided. He raised some interesting points of discussion that the execs would like to think about some more internally.” – Meryl Hanlon, Accenture
“David Rowan did an excellent job as opening keynote at Øredev, the premier conference for software developers in northern Europe, by addressing our theme and audience very distinctly. I highly recommend Mr Rowan as a public speaker and hope to work with him again.” – Mattias Georgson Petrén, Øredev
“As part of my role as a senior scientific advisor for the UK government, I attended an event at Cap Gemini in London where David was speaking. It was a very impressive performance and I am keen to expose David’s thinking on the subject of innovation culture to a select audience of senior government scientists and engineers.” – Ben Addley
“Speaker lunch went great, had some really great feedback and clients enjoyed the topics that David covered.” – Berenberg Bank
“Thank you [David] for being such an amazing moderator during the recent Bizspark European Summit. It was an amazing event – best ever summit in my view – and your contribution was a tremendous factor in this. Thank you.” – Bindi Karia, Bizspark
“Brilliant with fantastic feedback! I would also like to personally thank you for your very engaging presentation – the initial feedback we have received is very positive! You generated a lot of interest in your presentation.” – Kay Weatherley, CapGemini.
“Thank you so much for your brilliant presentation at our Futures Forum event today. I have a quite a few attendees come up to me already to say how brilliant they thought you were and how you have altered their perception of Big Data. You captured the exact tone we were hoping for from this event.” – Sally Hunter, CapGemini
“We just wanted to say an enormous thank you for providing such an interesting and inspirational session on future technical trends for our Digital Power Week. We’ve had terrific feedback from staff across the business who said they learnt so much, found you fascinating to listen to and came away really excited by the future possibilities with digital.”- Tracey McEvoy, BBC Worldwide.
“Thank you for the great presentation in Båstad, we have received very positive feedback.” – Johanne Staugaard Johansen, Egmont International
“Thanks for a great and inspirational speech.” – Elise von Maltzahn, Mediadagene, Copenhagen
“Just wanted to say thank you for speaking at our event last night. It was great to meet you and the feedback on the evening and your talk has been excellent.” – Siobhan Madaras, University of Hertfordshire
“David Rowan – editor of Wired, stunning presentation, the man is brilliant!!!” – Ruth Pavion, B&Q
“Thanks David to you for such a great performance – feedback has been really positive.” – Belinda Raynes, Forgather
“Thank you for your hard work yesterday. I think everybody felt that you did a great job steering us through the day and bringing out the best in our speakers, and also setting the tone at the start. You made my day a great deal less stressful too!” – George Mills, Arts Alliance Advisors
“Thank you so much for your excellent performance on stage at Nordic eCommerce Knowledge. It was very much appreciated! I hope we can get the opportunity to engage you again.”- Gun Molin Jansson, Nordic eCommerce Knowledge
“We have had great feedback on the event so thanks a lot of for the inspiring talk.” – Stephanie Carr, Marin software
“Thank you for your great contribution to the Budapest Plenary. You certainly opened some eyes in the audience and your material was a topic of conversation for the next three days. Also hope that we can work together again.” – Tim Gardom MBE, for KPMG
“Your session caused quite a stir so we are including the interview in the material we are circulating to all of our delegates. Thanks for your insights and attendance – I really enjoyed it and hope we cross paths again in the future.” – Niall Campbell, KPMG
“Thanks for speaking at our conference last week. We have received lots of great feedback from the hostel owners and managers that attended. You covered a lot of new things that some of them weren’t familiar with so I think they got a lot out of it.” – Erica Murphy, Hostelworld.com Ltd.
“Thanks David! It was a fascinating presentation and we have all enjoyed it.” – Patricia Shiu, Goldman Sachs
“Your keynote presented in Munich was well received! Thank you for your contribution.” – Michael Schulte, CapGemini
“I know that everyone was really inspired by the examples and your own insights and ideas – it all fitted beautifully into the theme of the day, so thank you for all of that. A privilege to have you along at our day.” – Tracey Follows, O2 innovations day
“Thank you so much for coming to give your presentation earlier. I have had some really great feedback already and as we discussed I think it was fairly new and informative for many countries, so particularly interesting.” – Georgina Robertson, International PR Manager, Schroders
“I just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you once again for speaking at the Excalibur Technology Showcase last Thursday. The feedback from all the stakeholders and the attending customers has been excellent. Everyone loved your presentation – particularly the Facebook video! I very much hope we have the opportunity to work with you again.” – Charlotte Cresswell, AddingValue
“Thank you so much for joining us at our European Capital Markets Conference last week in Amsterdam. We have received extremely positive feedback from our clients and CBRE staff alike and I think your presentation hit the spot in challenging our guests to think about the impact of new media and technology. I am sure the sale of iPhones will have increased since last week as our clients begin to understand their true power!” – Jonathan Hull, CB Richard Ellis
“Thank you for your inspiring keynote at this year’s Medienwoche. Your engaging part and your intense knowledge of the market in question made our discussion look far across german borders.Thank you for patiently following our discussion in german and supporting Your arguments. You did help me a lot moderating the panel.” – Peter Heinlein, Medienzentrum
“Thank you so much for your time today, it went down a storm. Many people told me it was one of the most inspirational speeches they have ever heard.” – Andrew Harrison, Bestbuy
“Thanks so much for coming along yesterday. You set the day up perfectly and we really appreciated you staying longer to answer questions. Your presentation inspired a client at a time when they are looking to transform their business – so perfect timing.” – Justin Cooke, CEO Fortune Cookie (For American Express)
“It was fascinating and mind boggling and massively motivating and I remember feeling an overwhelming need to learn more about everything that’s going on because this is going to change the world in a multitude of ways. At Comic Relief, we love people with this kind of vision and knowledge” – Amanda Horton-Mastin, Innovation Director, Comic Relief
“We had really positive feedback from all attendees with many saying the event was ‘insightful’, ‘inspirational’, ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘an eye opener into the opportunities and possibilties available through technology’.” – Amy Lavington, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
“Many thanks for your excellent contribution to the conference. The feedback I received on your session was universally positive and I think the tone was absolutely right for the audience.” – Mat Oakley, British Council Offices, Geneva
“Thank you so much for such an engaging and insightful presentation. We have had such incredible feedback from our guests and your talk really added to our launch.” – Brona McCafferty, Shiseido
“Thanks for speaking at our Octopus event on Wednesday – great feedback from the audience. Hopefully we will be able to do something similar again.” – Jon Lonsdale, Octopus Communications
“Just a short note to thank you again for your contribution to our recent seminar. The feedback that we have received has been especially complimentary about your presentation. As a result of the seminar we have had quite a number of requests for meetings and some really interesting briefs so I hope you will allow us to take you out to lunch.” – Liz Landy, Ipsos MORI
“I don’t think I thanked you for participating at IHIF this year. I thought your session was fascinating and I know the delegates appreciated your contribution as well.” – Jonathan Worsley, International Hotel Investment Forum, Berlin
“Thank you for presenting at Engage – the feedback we received about your plenary was amazing. Everybody is raving to me about your plenary. It was fantastic!” – Cherry Giles, WebTrends
“Thank you for such an inspiring keynote speech. It was forward thinking (using the time machine both ways), refreshing and inspiring.” – Frederic-Charles Petit, CEO Toluna
“If you want to get a steer on the future you can do worse than look to Wired UK editor David Rowan. He’s a man who’s taken William Gibson’s quote – “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet” – to heart, and thus spends his time hunting for glimpses of tomorrow today. Toluna brought him along to their 10th birthday celebration/conference, held yesterday on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, to chart a possible future for the research industry. The view from both the speaker and the venue was dizzying.” – Brian Tarran, Research-live.com
“Thank you very much for your outstanding presentation during the TradeDoubler Summit. The audience was just amazed and we received a huge amount of positive feedbacks. We hope to deal with you again in the near future.” – Josephine Correa, TradeDoubler
“Your presentation was superb. We might need you for other speaking opportunities in the near future. I really want to share your presentation internally within my team.” – Gaston Taratuta, CEO IMS
“Glad to have you join us. Feedback on your session was excellent. So thanks for that!” – John Watton, Shipserv
“We wanted to thank you for doing such a great job for Unisys on Monday evening. All the feedback so far has been excellent.” –
Steve Eakins, Unisys
“Please accept our enormous gratitude and fascination with your brilliant speech delivered at the Conde Nast Digital Day in Russia on April 15th. You were the absolute star of the event (as planned :)), and clients – whose feedback on the event was very positive – request your presentation for their archives. I hope you would not mind.” – Anita Gigovskaya, Conde Nast Digital Russia
“Thanks for a great presentation yesterday – certainly provoked a good discussion, and the feedback from the Board was positive. Let’s keep in touch.” – Caroline Connellan, Standard Life
“Thank you very much for your talk. It was very well received and judging by the questions that followed, it really got people thinking, which is what I wanted. I also liked the presentation style and judging from comments so did many others.” – Hilary Gallo, CapGemini
“Thank you for doing such a fantastic job moderating the opening roundtable session ‘Air War’. Your session was lively and quick-paced and set the stage for the sessions which followed. You set the bar high for a great Forum.” – Shari Rosen, Monaco Media Forum
“Thanks for the presentation. It was really well received and kicked off the conference exactly as I hoped it would. It was a pleasure working with you.” – Nick Johnson, Useful Social Media
“I just wanted to again say ‘thank you’ for speaking at our Creativity Day. You perhaps couldn’t see the numbers of people frantically scribbling notes during your presentation and the feedback we have had has been terrific. I think quite a few people will be looking at getting a WIRED subscription now.” – Maureen Corish, The Random House Group
“Thank you so much for talking to us today. You were a big hit and have inspired the creative teams and scared the hell out of the marketing heads!” – Andrea Newman, HSBC