Futurist, author, presenter and expert on how the technology-enabled future will change our lives
K D Adamson Biography
K D Adamson is a futurist who is on a mission to identify and contextualise how the technology-enabled future will impact the lives and expectations of human beings.
A dynamic keynote speaker who engages with her audience presenting insights and information that will generate an appetite for the future, KD is helping to equip people to fully participate in its creation.
Futurist K D Adamson identifies how the combinatorial effects of a range of exponentially growing technologies, global megatrends and new generational mindsets will transform our lives radically in the coming decades.
More than a new industrial or machine age, she argues that we are entering the ‘e-naissance’ – the second Renaissance and the dawn of the exponential age, and offers a visionary perspective on its impact at both a global and individual level.
From the future of work, intelligent transportation, business, healthcare, education, government and regulation, to resource scarcity, privacy, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, hyper-connectivity and radical transparency, she creates a frame of reference for how the e-naissance will change the lives and expectations of human beings, whilst equipping them with the information, insight and appetite to fully participate in its development.
An inspirational keynote speaker she has an extraordinary breadth of understanding of the strategic global economic, business and emerging technology context for the rapid changes every industry is experiencing and coaches leaders towards new digital visions and transformations. She also works with start-ups and investors shaping the exponential organisations and ecosystems of the future.
About K D Adamson
K D Adamson began her career in advertising on the Coca-Cola account at London agency McCann Erickson before moving into strategic global branding and marketing. Working with high-tech and new technology accounts, including the emerging e-reader market in the mid-2000s led her to focus on foresight and future trends.
She has advised a diverse range of major companies and organisations from FMCG, pharma, and high-tech manufacturing, to consumer electronics, feature film, publishing, advertising, big brands, TV and media companies and the EU, and is the world’s foremost ‘blue’ futurist in shipping & maritime.
The CEO of Futurenautics and a member of The Futures Agency, K D Adamson has appeared worldwide on stages and in print, online, on radio and television. She is also the author of fraud thriller Payload, and the non-fiction book Shipping and the 800-lb Gorilla.
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K D Adamson‘s Topics
Breakfast of Champions
Creating a Digital Culture
Every business is trying to implement strategies to deal with the transition to a digital future, but culture really does eat strategy for breakfast. Changing organisational culture is tough, but there are ways to harness diversity—both gender, racial and cognitive—and empower individuals to move companies from siloed hierarchy to collaborative innovation. In the battle for talent in the future adaptive, fair, transparent and nimble multi-generational organisations will be the winners – and leveraging the right technology will be critical.
We're All Tuna Now
Leadership in the Exponential Age
Thanks to their biology tuna can never stop swimming, and thanks to the exponential age we’re moving into neither can organisations—as a result leading them has never been more challenging. With traditional management approaches and archetypes no longer fit for purpose leaders must learn the importance of T-shaped people, develop an enterprise perspective and adopt orthogonal thinking. From the 5 new organisational pillars to the 200 minutes that matter learn how you can master engagement, openness and humility to thrive in a world of leadership beyond control.
Least Worst Option
The Future of Politics & Government
Winston Churchill famously described democracy as the least worst option for government, but new technologies, megatrends and generational mindsets may be forging a new paradigm. Could the Collaborative Commons, underpinned by blockchain technologies prompt a new ‘collaboratism’, combining both capitalist and socialist thinking but relying on neither the free market, nor a centralised state? Will we move beyond ideology to allow management of increased automation via a Universal Basic Income, devolving responsibility to the individual and prioritising sustainability over profit? What is the future for government, political ideologies and the nation state—particularly as hyperconnectivity and transportation erode digital and physical barriers and cultures?
Hope and Prey
Future of Cyber Resilience & Security
It is said that there are only two types of pilot—those who have had an accident and those who are going to. Today the same can be said about companies and cyber attacks, which are no longer likely, but inevitable. The essence of the threat is our growing dependence upon technology, but hoping and praying won’t stop you being a victim and with regulatory tightening underway, such as the GDPR, ignorance is no longer a defence.
Businesses are understandably concerned, but complying with the GDPR and other regulations is an opportunity to develop digital competence which will be key to competitive advantage in the future. Organisations must understand the data they store, who owns it, what business value it represents and acquire the tools to actively identify, quantify and recover from a breach as effectively as possible. A business which can do those things has laid the groundwork not only for GDPR compliance, but successful digital transformation too.
The Future for Education
Education has always been a lottery, but now hyperconnectivity and access to information on an unprecedented scale is opening up the opportunity for truly personalised learning and training environments. With the acceleration of automation and powerful artificial intelligence it’s now critical that we teach our children not what to think, but how to think, de-emphasising static qualifications in favour of growing curious, creative problem solvers with an aptitude for collaborative working and high EQ. Doing so successfully will mean challenging assumptions and orthodoxies and entrenched beliefs, but failure to do so in the face of accelerating technologies could constitute not just social and political but existential risk.
Film, TV, Books, Games & Beyond
As the growth of automation and AI accelerates the ability to create stories and worlds which humans can connect to will become increasingly valuable. Storytellers of the future must understand the profound changes on the horizon, how technological developments from immersive mixed reality to brain computer interfaces will change consumers into prosumers who will participate in multi-sensory experiences, and how to collaboratively create them across disciplines.
Value, blockchain, and the collapse of the attention economy
The attention economy has warped the concept of value, but blockchain, increasing cyber threats, the new economy of things and the rise of the collaborative commons are heralding a societal and economic restructuring. What threats and opportunities exist in the new ‘4th Sector’ where ‘for-benefit’ companies and decentralised ecosystems push the reset button on our perception of value?
Letting Go The Lantern
Successful Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is painful and difficult so success requires more than a technology roadmap or a fear of legacy operations and revenue streams disappearing. What’s needed is a wholesale reimagination of how and where your organisation can create value in the new DX Economy, an infonomic mindset and a culture that connects and empowers people. Predicting the future isn’t enough, companies must create a digital vision.
Better to Travel? - The Future of Travel & Tourism
Transportation, Hotels, Experiences
Already amongst the poster-boys for digital disruption the travel and tourism industry has been forced to adjust fast to the new realities of business in the DX (digital) Economy. But the disruption and the opportunity, is barely starting. Mixed and augmented reality and holograms will enable consumers to try-before-they-buy, whilst hotels and transportation modes can leverage the Intelligent Digital Mesh to manage increasing fragmentation of markets and develop true ‘segment of one’ propositions built around customers not products. From personalised food and beverages to curated ‘experiences’ businesses can use digital technologies to provide previously unimaginable levels of service. And with autonomous technology advancing it’s key to be scanning the horizon for completely new markets and business opportunities where autonomy, business and tourism intersect.
The Bureaucratic Singularity
The Future of Law & Regulation
Technology is moving exponentially whilst the bureaucracy and laws which regulate it remain on a linear path. Globally across industries we are approaching the point at which technology and its impacts outpace the ability of regulators and current frameworks to cope. But an unprecedented opportunity exists to use the technologies disrupting regulators in new ways. Digital products and services are different, requiring secure interoperable ecosystems of multiple stakeholders. Hyperconnected in real-time, radically transparent and hyper-rational these ecosystems can utilise data, AI and the blockchain to reinvent regulation. Leveraging contagious accountability to create a race to the top they will collaboratively regulate themselves and their evidence base could reshape the practice of law.
The Future of Health and Wellness
Healthcare is at the beginning of a wholesale transformation driven by a range of breakthrough technologies, but it requires a cultural as much as an operational shift. As digital technologies widen participation, data is enabling personalised solutions on a massive scale. Access to that data and the insight gained from advanced analytics, together with the falling cost of technologies, therapies and treatments promises to democratise health, transitioning healthcare systems from hierarchies based on scarcity and illness, to collaborative ecosystems based around abundance and wellness.
Harnessing the exponentially growing breakthrough technologies including synthetic biology, genomics, portable diagnostics, 3D printing, wearables and smart materials is just one part of the opportunity though. The focus for healthcare needs to be far wider, taking into account the combinatorial effects of the tectonic shifts of the coming ‘e-naissance’. Encompassing trends like autonomy and unmanned transportation modes, blockchain, AI, robotics, gamification and the Maker Culture and exploring the potential new economic paradigm of the collaborative commons, the opportunity exists to completely reshape models of care, and deliver new kinds of value to societies via platforms for individuals to manage their own holistic wellness.
Building Smart Mobility Ecosystems
Intelligent mobility and the smart networks which will enable it is the future of transportation. From autonomous and unmanned vehicles to intelligent routing, decision-support, prediction, optimisation, cyber-security, sustainability and interoperability, the transportation networks of tomorrow will need new approaches and partnerships which can encompass new modes, from drones to airborne personal transportation and hyperloops. As off-planet industry gears up, and leisure travellers leave earth for the first time, new space-based transportation will also join the network.
Building and assuring the integrated digital and physical infrastructure, creating the cargo and personal transportation vehicles, gathering, analysing and utilising the massive data sets to create efficient, productive, safe, sustainable and intelligent networks that will enable personal independence and mobility and hyper-connected logistics chains will require entirely new partnerships. New legal and insurance challenges will need to be identified and solved, as will the impact of automation, robotics and AI on the current transportation workforce and the skillsets the industries require in future whilst new business models may see value created in different ways, via tokens and networks, impacting traditional investment strategies.
With sustainability a critical issue for all transportation, new energy sources, capture and storage technologies and the infrastructure to deliver security of operation will also be a core part of the intelligent mobility ecosystems.
Our Artificially Intelligent Future
When Google’s AlphaGo AI played ‘Move 37’ in its match against Lee Sedol expert commentators were stunned—it wasn’t a move any human player had ever made. We’ve entered an era of data chaos which means we need increasingly powerful artificial intelligence in order to manage and extract value from it, but what will this new era of intelligence, radical transparency and hyper-rationality mean for the businesses, jobs, consumers and lifestyles of the future?
Birth of the Exponential Age
The world is standing at an existential triple junction as the tectonic plates of global megatrends, breakthrough technologies and new generational mindsets reshape the world. What we’re entering is an ‘E-naissance’ – a second renaissance at the dawn of the exponential age. As vertical markets give way to complex digital ecosystems and our lives and expectations alter radically how will the E-naissance impact your industry, business and people, and how can you navigate both the threats and opportunities in an era of exponential change?
Future of Finance & Insurance
Decentralised, Democratised, Disrupted
New technologies, megatrends and generational mindsets are combining to permanently disrupt the economic and financial paradigm which has held sway for half a millennium. As the rise of digital sees the marginal cost of production drop to zero, hyperconnectivity enables new collaborative, ‘for-benefit’ companies and blockchain begins to underpin a radically transparent, hyper rational ‘fourth sector’ driven by decentralised autonomous organisations we will see a permanent shift in our understanding of both value and risk. Decentralised, democratic and devolved, money looks set to become a distributed network of automated trust. But if, as many believe, money has always been a collective act of imagination, what future can legacy finance, investment and insurance companies start building today that will convince the consumers of tomorrow?
Future for Brands, Marketing & Media
The ‘fake news’ phenomenon has concentrated consumers on the relationship between marketing, advertising and social media and the ‘Techlash’ appears to be gathering momentum. From malvertising to bots individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the link between advertising and cyber attacks and the consequences for them of the data companies assiduously collect about them seeping into the wild.
With the giants of online advertising Facebook and Google both exposed as making money from content and data which isn’t theirs and consumers impacted by online fraud could new blockchain based networks owned by users be the next logical paradigm. By enabling the development of permission based data sharing in real time are we moving into an era of ‘Vendor Relationship Management’? Will radical transparency permanently reshape the relationship between brands and consumers, separate the ‘social’ from the ‘media’, via radically different business models and herald the death of advertising as we know it?
Shipping, Maritime & the Blue Domain
Hyperconnectivity is bringing unprecedented transparency to the maritime domain allowing people, assets, vessels, cargoes and devices to communicate in real time. The opportunity of new technologies—from artificial inteligence and blockchain to new forms of propulsion and autonomous and unmanned vessels—is enormous, but with it comes acute scrunity. Efficiency and cost reduction cannot be at the expense of sustainable operations and the protection of the marine environment so maritime leaders must find new business models and collaborative propositions to bring value in the new DX Economy.
The Future of Energy
The Enernet – an energy internet with clean energy generation, storage and delivery at its core is a paradigm shift which will transform much of what we know today. Dynamic, decentralised, distributed and democratic and driven by overlapping revolutions in materials science and nanotechnology the Enernet will propel massive commercial and social change and offers huge opportunity.