Advisory Board

Gerd Leonhard

Gerd Leonhard is CEO of The Futures Agency, a Futurist, Humanist, Keynote Speaker, and Author who specializes in the debate between humanity and technology.

Over the past two decades, Gerd has risen to be one of the top 10 futurist keynote speakers worldwide. With over 2,000 engagements in 60+ countries since 2004, and a combined audience of over 2.5 million people, Gerd has been listed by Wired magazine as one of the Top 100 Most-Influential People in Europe, and as “one of the leading media futurists in the World” by The Wall Street Journal.

As the CEO and founder of The Futures Agency, he has been a highly sought-after keynoter and change guru since 2010. Gerd travels the globe year after year, refining his cross-sector awareness and transferring the secrets of successful evolution from one arena to the next. The Futures Agency is a newly reformed unit that supplies the ideas, the events, and the content to realize a client’s most promising future.

Since 2018, Gerd is also the Special Advisor at IoT Talent Consortium in Switzerland. He works towards addressing the exponential change driven by IoT-enabled digital transformation while assisting the IoT Talent Consortium’s members in recognizing and creating awareness surrounding the complexity and importance of the human element in bringing about change.

For years, Gerd has been creating and hosting The Future Show with Gerd Leonhard, launched on April 28th, 2014. This is a web-TV show that explains the fast-paced world of technology to a general audience in an irreverent and critical yet engaging and exciting way. TFS’s approach is to uniquely show how technology’s exponential advancements will radically alter and redesign the way in which we experience the world and interact with each other, in the immediate future.

He was born in Bonn and currently lives in Zurich. Gerd studied theology at the University of Bonn before migrating to the United States in 1982, where he studied at the Berklee College of Music. In 1985 he won the Berklee College “Quincy Jones Award” and subsequently spent 12 years working as a professional musician, guitarist, arranger, composer, and producer. He then caught the internet-bug and became a digital music & media entrepreneur.

He set up an early internet business in music, and in 1997 founded of which he was the CEO and President until 2002. The company is now owned by a UK music licensing company. Gerd continued to become the Vice President of European Development at Musicrypt in 2004, and in the same year became the Founder and President of The Digital Marketing Organization.

Between 2004 and 2006 he was the Chairman and Executive Producer of Popkomm Innovation in Music and Entertainment Awards (IMEA) in Berlin, Germany. Popkomm was one of Europe’s leading Music, Media, and Entertainment — Industry tradeshows and conferences. IMEA was a wholly-owned brand of Popkomm, and created, chaired, and produced by ThinkAndLink.

ThinkAndLink was founded by Gerd in March 2003, as a vehicle for his work with new ventures that seek financing and strategic partnership deals. connected people, companies, and ideas.

All Gerd’s endeavors have provided him with first-hand insights into technology disruption and inspired his first book, coauthored with Dave Kusek, The Future of Music in 2005, and followed by The End of Control Book in 2007 as a free download, later renamed to Open is King — The Future of Media Beyond Control, and Music 2.0 in 2008.

Among other roles, Gerd has also been the CEO of Sonific between 2005 and 2008, with the mission of making large catalogs of music available for the many types of audio-visual usages on the Internet.

Gerd evolved his futurist practice, applying these insights to multiple other industries and social environments. In April 2003, he became the CEO of Media Futurist, and so his work focused from Music on to the Future of Media, Content, Technology, Business, Marketing, Advertising, Branding, Communications, and Culture. Influenced by classic futurists such as Alvin Toffler, Gerd’s work also shows the influence of science fiction authors such as Arthur C. Clarke and William Gibson.

In October 2011, Gerd founded and became the CEO at Green Futurist. He expanded his work to look at the crucial question of how we can change the way we live so that we may actually have a future. The topics include sustainability and the design of a post-growth society / culture, “green business” and what this may actually mean in the near future, future environmental policies and the dramatic impact they may have on our behavior as “consumers” / users, renewable energy, eco-tourism, capitalism 2.0, and more.

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. Gerd has expressed views critical of transhumanism and technology centralization. Emphasizing a European tradition of humanist values and philosophy, Gerd 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.

Watch his video about how Offline is the new luxury! Listen to his keynote at the iProspect 2018 Client Summit in Colorado. Watch Gerd’s film We need to talk about A.I.: thoughts on artificial intelligence.

Read an article from The Guardian, featuring Gerd about the digital age. Read the interview with Gerd at Forbes, commenting on his book Technology vs. Humanity. Read the review of his book Technology vs Humanity at Sprint Business. In The Malta Independent, Gerd says “Machines will have the power of a human brain by 2025.” Read his contributions at Medium.

Visit his Homepage, Wikipedia profile, and his LinkedIn profile. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. View his Speaker profile at The Futures Agency.