Walter Isaacson speaker

Walter Isaacson

Former Time magazine editor, think tank CEO and author on innovation.

Walter Isaacson's storied career has included being the chairman and CEO of CNN, editor of Time magazine, CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of numerous books on innovators. He brings a wealth of experience in running successful organisations, along with a deep knowledge of how to achieve the change on which success depends.

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About Walter Isaacson

Isaacson is a committed philanthropist with a clear desire to help build a better world. His philanthropic work includes being a patron of charitable organisations like Bloomberg Philanthropies and the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, and a Vice-Chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. For events where inspirational speakers are required to promote discussion on achieving lasting humanitarian change, Walter Isaacson can deliver a unique insight.

Among the specific topics where Walter Isaacson can make a telling contribution are the impact of disruptive technologies, the digital revolution, innovation and organisational transformation.

Walter Isaacson has a track record of providing inspirational leadership to some of America's most prestigious organisations. His business is communication and his passion is for innovation. As such, there are few speakers who can deliver a more useful keynote address to a convention or summit.  


A graduate of Harvard and Oxford, Walter Isaacson started his career at the Sunday Times before joining Time in 1978. He subsequently rose to one of the peaks of the journalistic world by becoming Time's 14th editor in 1996. This was followed by a move to CNN, where he served as the media group's CEO and Chairman from 2001.

Isaacson has been the CEO of the Aspen Institute since 2003 and was also the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors between 2009 and 2012. This latter organisation oversees international broadcasts of the United States including Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.

He also serves on various boards including the Overseers of Harvard University and the Carnegie Institution for Science. Isaacson is Chair Emeritus of Teach America, which recruits recent graduates to work as teachers in deprived communities.

Current/Past Roles and Positions

Isaacson is currently the CEO of the Aspen Institute, a non-partisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington DC. As such, he is involved with innovative thinking on a day to day basis. This complements his activities as an author, which have included writing biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs. His latest book is entitled The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.

Speaking Style

Walter Isaacson is an authoritative voice on how individuals and organisations can drive change in the modern world. He brings his own huge experience of providing leadership at the very top of his profession to give insight into practical methods for driving organisations forward.

Speaking Topics

  • Steve Jobs:  A Life
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Timeless Leadership
  • The Media and American Culture
  • The Work of the CEO


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