James Canton Profile

Founder, CEO and chairman of the Institute for Global Futures, Dr. James Canton has been recognized by Successful Meetings Magazine as “one of the top presenters in the 21st century.” His reputation as a leading global futurist and social scientist has garnered him a massive global audience with an ever-increasing demand for his keynote speeches.

Dr. Canton advises many of the Global Fortune 1000 on future trends in all of the most vital areas for business, including energy, security, climate change and globalization. He holds a position as Senior Fellow at the Centre for Research in Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management. Amongst those to have benefited from his advice are three White House Administrations, the National Science Foundation and MIT’s Media Lab, Europe.

Much in demand for media appearances, Dr. Canton is a CNN commentator (the network have named him “the Digital Guru,” an accolade which sits alongside Yahoo’s naming him “Dr. Future”). He has featured in or on CNBC, Fox, PBS, ABC, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Bloomberg Report, The New York Times, US News and World Report, CEO, CIO and CFO magazines, and his blog, Global Futurist, has a multitude of followers around the world.

Dr. Canton also holds a position as co-chairman of the Futures and Forecasting Track at Singularity University, an institution whose mission is to provide the leaders of the future with the right skill sets and philosophies to enable them to employ advanced technology for the good of the future of the planet.

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    A renown global futurist, author and global advisor to the Fortune 100, Dr. Canton has been forecasting the leading innovations and trends that have shaped our world for 25 years.

    Dr. Canton is the CEO and Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures a San Francisco based Think Tank. He has advised three White Houses, over ten nations, and over 100 companies worldwide. He was on the founding advisory board of Singularity University, was a Apple Computer executive and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox and NBC. He is the author of Future Smart, Technofutures and The Extreme Future.

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James Canton's Speech Descriptions

Dr. Canton brings the research from his acclaimed new book, The Extreme Future, to inform his audience of new trends in every area which could possibly affect their business, including climate, energy, technology and security.

Business is being transformed by new technologies, particularly the expansion of Cloud Computing and new mobile devices; Dr. Canton shows us how we can exploit existing technology and prepare for the technology that is to come.

All of Dr. Canton’s keynotes are carefully tailored towards his audience; whether you would like him to speak about consumer trends, the future of globalization, the future of megacities, the new types of consumer, or the future of healthcare; he brings his visionary ideas, underpinned by decades of experience and research, to every facet of the modern world.

Future Smart: The Top Trends That Will Shape the Marketplace, Business and Society

Are you Future Ready? This is a sweeping overview of the top trends that will shape the future marketplace and society over the next 5-20 years. From energy, space, climate, tech to health, education, and geopolitics this is the most popular keynote based on Dr. Canton's new book Future Smart.

Exponential Innovations: Managing Future Disruption

What's next for technology and how will new technologies shape the economy, business, and society? This keynote is a tour into Exponential Innovations from the future of robotics, digital, big data, mobile, AI, biotech to the blockchain to security that will shape our world. From nanoscience, biotech, neuroscience to digital find out what's coming and how to prepare.

Machines That Think: The Good, Bad and Scary of AI

Are you ready for AI economy? Artificial intelligence is fast reshaping business and culture. Machine learning, machine intelligence, neural networks--The rise of thinking machines, from robots to virtual bots is creating new jobs and changing how companies compete. We are fast embracing a world where AI may become smarter then humans sooner then we think. Or not?

The Future of the Blockchain Economy and Cryptocurrency

Digital money is an emerging new asset class that has already surpassed $100 Billion in value. The blockchain, the program that underlies crypto currency is fast becoming a large and important innovation in finance and global business. Find out where the trends are and how to prepare for this shift.

The Innovator's Mindset

How do leading innovators think? Is there an Innovator's Mindset that you can learn from Based on a 20 year study on innovation leaders in start ups and enterprises, from Apple, Tesla, Virgin and Google to name a few there is a design science that is at the heart of innovators. Find out how you can harness innovation faster, smarter and more effectively.

The Extreme Future of Healthcare

Dramatic innovations in medicine are reshaping our world. Find out what the leading and future innovations such as Crispr, big data, health apps and bots, health robos, synthetic biology, to predictive medical models to augmentation and human health enhancement that are reshaping healthcare.

AgTech and the Future of Food

Digital disruption is coming to the agriculture and food industry. Vertical farms, the blockchain, robotics, genetics, plant science, agri-genomics, wellness and functional foods represent a new era to feed a hungry world of 9 billion.

The Future of Energy

What is next for energy innovations that may transform our world? From fusion to the Hyperloop to methane mining on the moon, electric Post Tesla cars to sustainable solar energy harvesting and micro-grids. Come discover what's next for post-oil and clean-tech innovations.

James Canton on Speaking

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?

CANTON: I want people to learn about trends that will enable their lives and their business, both the risks and the opportunities.

SPEAKING.COM: What kind of special prep work do you do prior to an event? How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?

CANTON: I research the industry and the organization. I look at what they want and how I can be of service to transform my talk, to enable them to realize new opportunities.

SPEAKING.COM: Have you had any particularly memorable speaking engagements / unusual situations arise while on the road?

CANTON: I gave a talk at NASA on innovation and was surrounded by fascinating inventors of the future.

I recently was in Greece for a global Middle Eastern client where I learned about cultures, tech and changes in that part of the world. That was fascinating to dive into.

I did a program in Bangkok and enjoyed the Asian culture and the challenges of dealing with embracing innovation so far from American ways of doing things. It was a great learning opportunity.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

CANTON: All types can benefit, both private sector, government and associations. Everyone needs to know about innovation and the key trends that are shaping our world.

SPEAKING.COM: Which of your keynote speaking topics are your favorites and why?

CANTON: My favorites are “Future Smart”, which covers the big sweeping trends that will transform our world, and “Technofutures,” all about future technology and innovation.

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements?

CANTON: Wanting to help my clients understand how to better manage change and lead for the future inspired me to give talks. Too many clients were – and currently are – having a difficult time managing the future.

SPEAKING.COM: How much do case studies, personal stories and/or humor factor into your keynote speech content?

CANTON: These are all important parts of making a talk successful. Personal stories can be most powerful. I look back as an Apple Computer executive and there are so many stories that I am reminded of working there and at my other startup companies; I have plenty to choose from and to share.

SPEAKING.COM:What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients make?

CANTON: I have helped many clients get “Future Ready;” where I opened up new paths to growth and awareness. I’ve worked with many businesses, including GE, UPS, IBM and General Mills. This led to new divisions such as GE’s Ecoimagination, UPS’s Diversity & Inclusion division, and Apple’s artificial intelligence, and health care research. Exclusive Interview with James Canton
Future Technology Trends with Dr. James Canton
In this interview, Dr. Canton discusses:
  • How can leaders help foster a culture of innovation.
  • Top trends that are influencing our world now, and will continue shaping the 21st century.
  • Some of the ways cloud computing and big data are affecting information technology.
  • What "clickstream" consumers are and how are they redefining markets. Read the Full Interview
  • "Throw out the rule book. If you are not reinventing yourself and challenging your assumptions about rules, market ideas, what customers really want, and how digital tech is transforming every industry, then you are missing something that will doom your company’s future."
    - James Canton

    What People are Saying about Seeing James Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Your skillful weaving of societal, business, technological and payments industry trends gave my team much to think about. The breakout groups we held following your presentation were highly energized and productive as a result of the material you presented.”
        Robert W. Selander, President and CEO, MasterCard International

    “Your Technofutures presentation was a smashing success, and we are really looking forward to another successful briefing in Seattle”
        Rich Dietz, President Sales Global Markets, SBC

    “Your insights on the key trends and strategies that will shpae the future of mobile business, on what consumers want, and on the wireless business models and technologies that will create opportunity for straategic advantage in the future were enlightening.”
        Gina Lombardi, Senior Vice President, Qualcomm

    “Your vision of future customer and market demands, especially as they relate to the wireless and transportation industries, was thought provoking for our execs, technical managers and inventors”
        Harry J. Pearce, Vice Chairman, General Motors

    “All of our guests, and our MetLife team, at the recent Customer Advisory board meeting thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. It was both timely and on point. You obviously understand the broad trends affecting the country, and what possible outcomes may result. We also appreciated just the right mix of wit and wisdom.”
        Craig J. Guiffre, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, MetLife

    “Your provocative presentation along with your remarks, observations, examples and insights clearly motivated and illuminated the day′s discussions”
        D.B. Schoenfeld, Senior Vice President, Federal Express

    “Your presentation was dynamic, while the use of video was particularly powerful”
        Carl V. Zangardi, Vice President, Prudential Investments

    “I would highly recommend you to other corporations and events that might occur in the future. I feel that your presentation style and personality were fresh and very interesting to me and all attendees.”
        Paul J. Latchford, Senior Director of Strategic Businesss, Hughes Network Systems

    “We especially appreciate the way you customized your presentation to our specific businesses and markets. Your cutting edge multimedia presentation, expertise and obvious passion for the topic translated to an informative, entertaining and actionable presentation.”
        Peter Blatman, Senior Vice President and Managing Partner, Computer Sciences Corporation

    “Your presentation was excellent and enlightening. Your knowledge of the subject combined with your enthusiastic delivery style certainly resulted in an outstanding session.”
        Linda C. Murphy, Director of Corporate Communications, PPG Industries

    “Your presentation was insightful, thoughtful and clear. Your ideas were fresh and gave the audience, all of whom have years of health care experience a new lens with which to see the challenges that face our industry. It was the real highlight of our conference.”
        Debra Shepard, VP Marketing, Consortium Health Plans, Blue Cross

    “Your Technofutures presentation made quite an impact on our agents, brokers and St. Paul staff”
        Leslie Merritt, Manager of Events, St. Paul Health Care

    Partial Client List:

      • ABB Business Processes
      • AC Nielsen
      • Advanstar
      • Alaska Credit Union League
      • Bank of Montreal
      • Bank Securities Journal
      • Barclays Bank
      • Battery Council International
      • GTE
      • GTE-TSI
      • Harte Hanks
      • The Hartford
      • Insurance Services Office
      • Internal Revenue Service
      • International Association for Education Management
      • Sony
      • Southwestern Bell Telecom
      • Sprint Corporation
      • Steel Services Center Institute
      • Visa
      • Voluntary Hospitals of America
      • Washington Mutual
      • Wescorp
      • Xerox
      • XL Capital

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    Books by James Canton:


    Future Smart: Managing the Game-Changing Trends that Will Transform Your World
    A forecast of the most important game-changing trends—and how to manage and profit from them to improve your life.

    We live in a time of complex and radical change. Those that are ill-prepared for the seismic shifts set to occur over the next thirty years will be in for a rough ride.

    From leading global futurist and advisor James Canton, the acclaimed author of The Extreme Future and Technofutures, comes Future Smart: the essential blueprint on what’s coming next. It details the key changes—in health and medicine, technology and communication, the global economy, the earth’s climate, energy, and business—that every person, company, and government must understand in order to not only adapt accordingly but thrive in the coming decades. Going beyond prediction, Canton shows readers how to get “future-smart” with strategic steps they can take today to navigate tomorrow.

    The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Shape the World for the Next 5, 10, and 20 Years
    Get ready for fast, radical, and complex change. Get ready for The Extreme Future. Our world is constantly buffeted by new and dramatic changes that we can’t fully grasp. No one is fully prepared for the challenges, crises, and risks that lie ahead. The Extreme Future is a blueprint for what’s next and how to navigate these changes.

    An advisor to three White House’s spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Canton challenges us that with the right information about future trends it is possible to identify probable outcomes. It is possible, with the right information to navigate the Extreme Future.

    Technofutures: How Leading-Edge Innovations Will Transform Business in the 21st Century
    Technofutures provides a visionary and bold forecast of how leading-edge innovations will transform business and society in the 21st century. This book is a blueprint for carving out competitive advantage. If you want an informative, entertaining and easy-to-access briefing of what innovations will shape the future then Technofutures is for you. Find out what the future holds for customers, lifestyles, and markets. Discover what the future of health care, financial services, entertainment, computers, nanotechnology and education will be. Hold on to your seat as Dr. Canton, who CNN calls the Future Guru, forecasts the top trends you must know about now to thrive in the 21st Century.

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