Understanding the impacts of emerging technologies on business and society isn’t just about becoming familiar with the latest gadgets or AI like generative programs ChatGPT and DALL-E 2. In the 21st Century, says Azeem Azhar, futurist, prize-winning technology analyst and founder of the popular Exponential View newsletter and podcast, it’s critical leaders anticipate how technology on the fringes will change the world in the not-too-distant future.
A former corporate executive and a top advisor to business, government and societal leaders and current Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, Azhar possesses unmatched expertise on exponential technologies – including AI, computing, climate tech and synthetic biology – that are leading the transformation of the world economy, business and society over the next 20 to 30 years. Having been involved in emerging technologies as a researcher, investor and regulator since the early 1990s, his instant bestseller, “The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology is Transforming Business, Politics and Society” (Diversion Books, 2021), lays out a framework for thinking about a future that business and government leaders have no choice but to embrace as they plan forward. Highly praised by executives at Spotify, LinkedIn and Accenture, as well as by economists and academics alike, “The Exponential Age” was named to best-of lists for 2021 by the Financial Times, London Times, MIT Technology Review and Harvard Business Review. A venture capitalist whose tech expertise is highly sought-after by governments, consultancies and financial firms around the world, Azeem has been a senior advisor to Hong Kong’s mass transit authority, MTR, consulted on AI and advanced technologies at Accenture and McKinsey & Co., and he’s advised PwC on climate technologies. “We’re in the midst of a rapid and radical societal shift that’s being driven by a series of exponential technologies transforming how we live and interact with each other and the world around us,” explains Azhar, who was named to the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2022. “They are taking off at the same time, launching us into a whole new world that will challenge the economic and social fabric of business and society in chaotic ways, including how we work and learn.”
A Framework for the future
Azeem Azhar guides global leaders through a sea of rapid technological change. Helping them adapt their business models, benefit from new trends and gain the mental and otganisational agility required to pivot with change!
Azeem is hugely respected as a C Suite advisor, working closely with top management teams often over a stretch of time Azhar excels as an executive’s key advisor by providing a methodology for understanding complex technologies, how those technologies will impact an industry or organization, and how leaders can act now to futureproof their companies.
“Decision makers need to understand the muscle they’ll need to exercise as they journey toward the future. There’s no magic pill,” Azhar cautions. “Artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, renewable energy and other innovations in technology and science are maturing rapidly. My work is focused on helping companies, governments and individuals understand and prepare for the future, leverage the best of what’s coming, and maintain their footing along the way.”
Breakthrough Technologies Will Transform the World Economy
As the world goes through a time of uncertainty regarding energy prices, manufacturing and supply chain efficiency, Azhar foresees a coming abundance of energy, products and computation thanks to investments in deep technology. Through emerging technologies like communications networks, sensors, renewable electricity and vertical farming, Azhar sees a bright future for humanity. “We are on a path, if we choose, to a future of an excess of energy,” Azhar explains. “Which means lower energy prices, which means we can afford to do the carbon transition, which means we can afford to invest in public good.” A high energy, engaging presenter, Azhar uses personal anecdotes and humor to empathetically connect with diverse audiences, from C-suite executives to frontline developers and users of emerging technologies. Audiences are left with memorable frameworks to see the world and where it’s going in an optimistic light. “I want to help people think like ‘exponentialists’,” he says. “The old rule books and business books don’t necessarily apply anymore. The key principles for navigating the future are experimentation, learning, forgiveness and self-restraint.” During the last 20 years, Azeem Azhar has supported more than 30 companies in areas as diverse as artificial intelligence, remote work, blockchain, climate change and sustainability and agricultural technologies. Prior to launching Exponential View, he founded the venture-backed startup PeerIndex, which was acquired by Cision in 2014. In 2020 and 2021, he co-authored a major study on climate tech startups and venture capital in association with PwC. He has been a senior advisor to a number of blue-chip firms including McKinsey & Co, Accenture, Microsoft and Hong Kong’s mass transit authority, MTR, and he has also run corporate innovation programs at large multinationals.
Azhar is co-chair of the Global Futures Council on Complex Risks at the World Economic Forum, and a contributor to major business and technology publications including the Financial Times and Wired. He served as the Economist’s first-ever internet correspondent and is regularly quoted in the international media. He sat on the board of the AI Ethics Research Group, the Ada Lovelace Foundation, and has spoken, inter alia, at Oxford University, Harvard Business School, London Business School and University College London. He was a recipient of the Crunchies, Europe’s top startup award, and has been recognized as one of the Top Voices on LinkedIn, where he has more than 400,000 followers.
Azhar has a degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University. Azeem Azhar is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group
The Exponential Age is Leading to a Burst of Abundance
The world is going through uncertain times right now with fluctuating energy prices, manufacturing costs and supply chain efficiency challenges. But, according to award-winning technology analyst, author and entrepreneur Azeem Azhar, there’s a coming abundance. In this eye-opening presentation, he draws on his international bestseller, “The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology is Transforming Business, Politics and Society,” to illustrate how exponential improvements in technology like artificial intelligence, communications networks, sensors, renewable electricity and more will lead to great business opportunities and a bright future for humanity. Attendees will learn the ways that investments in deep technology are already setting businesses up to benefit from more plentiful energy, computation power, and products, and how their organizations can invest now to take advantage of these great opportunities in the near future.
Generative AI & The Future of Work
There’s no doubt that generative artificial intelligence systems will impact the future of work. According to award-winning technology analyst, author and entrepreneur Azeem Azhar, generative AI program ChatGPT could become the fastest $100 million revenue product ever. In this informative session, he explains how embracing AI as the way forward will help teams across an organization do their jobs even better. Audiences will gain expert insight into how AI systems, especially generative AI, can impact workers’ speed, quality and innovation. Leaders will be able to see generative AI as a massive human-machine business opportunity instead of as a replacement for human employees.
The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology is Transforming Business, Politics and Society
High-tech innovations are created at dazzling speeds; technological forces we barely understand remake our homes and workplaces; centuries-old tenets of politics and economics are upturned by new technologies. It all points to a world that is getting faster at a dizzying pace. In this talk, drawn from his award-winning 2021 book, “The Exponential Age,” renowned technology writer, investor and corporate advisor Azeem Azhar explains how and why new technologies are fundamentally altering the world, what we can expect in the future, and how we can navigate. He delves into how the exponential gap created by these changes has inevitably resulted in the rise of AI, automation, and other technologies – such as renewable energy, 3D printing and synthetic biology – and offers a whole new way to think about technology, one that will transform our understanding of the economy, politics and the future.
Uncovering the Potential of New Technologies to Reshape the Future of Your Organization
New technologies – from generative AI to decarbonization technologies – continue to emerge each day, impacting how businesses and society live, learn, socialize and innovate. Many of these changes are causing disruption and unexpected pivots in organizational and consumer behavior. How can companies determine which technologies will be relevant to their business and customers in the next five to 10 years, and which ones can be ignored? In this talk, renowned technology writer, investor and corporate advisor Azeem Azhar provides practical frameworks for examining how emerging technologies will positively or negatively impact your company’s innovation, operations, leadership, employees and customers. Leaders will be able to use these frameworks to evaluate which new technologies will be most relevant and beneficial as their organizations lay out strategic blueprints for the future.
Investing in Decarbonization Technology: A Vital Step on the Path to Creating a Sustainable Future
The climate crisis has presented humanity with its greatest challenge yet. The good news is, emerging technologies are offering us a powerful path to reaching net zero by 2050, and investment in climate tech is ramping up. In this talk, renowned technology writer, investor and corporate advisor Azeem Azhar, award-winning author of “The Exponential Age,” gives audiences an inside look at the promising technologies that are our best hope for addressing the climate crisis. He also highlights related research he conducted with PwC, discusses investment opportunities, and shares insights from experts at the forefront of climate tech, many of whom he has personally interviewed. Audiences will gain a valuable window into proven decarbonization strategies that can be implemented across industries to begin counteracting the growing climate crisis.
Preparing Leaders and Teams for the Future Impacts of Technology
Exponential changes driven by a rapid onslaught of new technologies are transforming how we live, do business and interact with each other. “These changes are not just happening, they are taking off at the same time, launching us into a whole new world,” explains renowned technology writer, investor and corporate advisor Azeem Azhar. “As AI, synthetic biology, renewable energy and other innovations in technology and science mature, they will challenge the economic and social fabric of business and society in chaotic ways, including how we work and learn.” In one-on-one or small group advisory sessions, which can be customized to address specific industries or challenges, Azhar helps leaders in any sector – from advertising, banking, engineering and professional services to insurance, transportation, health care and consumer goods – understand the lifecycle of technologies that are driving or will drive their business. By guiding participants through a series of scenarios, he helps them better understand and prepare for the future so they can leverage the best of what’s coming, focus only on technologies that will be relevant to their business, and maintain their footing as they journey toward the future.
Think Like An Exponentialist
Award-winning corporate innovator, serial entrepreneur, investor and former regulator Azeem Azhar helps organizations understand and prepare for emerging technologies that will massively impact business, government and society in the next 20 to 30 years. Bestselling, award-winning author of “The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology is Transforming Business, Politics and Society,” and a tech insider since the early 1990s, Azhar leads conversational and highly interactive workshops in which he applies his unique knowledge and experience to lay out a framework that can be applied by leaders at all levels to “think like an exponentialist.” By anticipating how technology currently on the fringes will change the world in the years ahead, Azhar empowers leaders to cut through the noise and future-proof their organization by focusing on which technologies they’ll need to directly contend with. Each half and full day workshop can be customized to meet the needs and goals of your organization with the added option of meeting virtually or in person.
The world is in the midst of [an exponential] transformation, argues Azeem Azhar….With his experience as a startup entrepreneur, tech investor, innovation executive at big companies and journalist, Mr. Azhar is well-placed to decrypt these digital trends. He has a knack for interrogating and inverting conventional thinking, for example in making the case that the adoption of exponential technology leads to job increases, not cuts—witness the rising headcounts of expanding businesses such as Amazon or Ocado, a British online grocer. The unemployment that results, he says, is down to the firms that fail to adapt, not those that do.
Azeem Azhar is one of the best-regarded thought leaders in the industry. But more importantly, he has a broad understanding of the exponential ways technology can be used to solve our biggest problems, shape our society, and bridge cultural divides
As high-tech innovation accelerates in ways that deliver huge benefits to society but also create unique challenges, Azeem delivers a comprehensive but lively take on the key issues informing what he calls the Exponential Age. It’s an essential addition to the ongoing discourse about where these remarkable new technologies can take us, and where we should be aiming to go. Highly recommended!
While many talk about the rate of innovation, too few talk about its direction. Azeem’s new book helps bring that directionality to the surface through a dynamic understanding of the connections between economic, social and technological forces. Read this book if you are interested in how we can design a more inclusive and sustainable system with a redirection of technological change at its center.
Every generation fears technology is changing frighteningly fast. Usually, it is hyperbole, the fear of the unknown, but today technological shifts are posing challenges to our security, our democracies, our way of life, and our sanity. Azeem Azhar’s brilliant book demystifies these exponentially fast changes and — importantly — shows how the chronic volatility can be harnessed for good. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how to reclaim a good society from the snapping jaws of looming chaos.
Azeem is a master at interpreting a dazzling array of trends and illuminating the future. ‘Exponential’ is a must-read to understand the problems, promises and paths forward on the exponential journey ahead for us as individuals, businesses, and society.
Most businesses and business leaders measure and think in linear terms. Azeem Azhar understands and writes about how the truly important breakthroughs take the form of exponential functions. In ‘The Exponential Age,’ Azeem builds the case for exponential thinking through insightful examples of technologies that have made possible discontinuous leaps forward.
Azeem Azhar’s ‘The Exponential Age’ presents an audacious spectrum of interconnecting trends, which already profoundly impact our lives. In the book, the risks and challenges arising out of the exponentially leaping technologies are masterfully balanced with opportunities and proposed policy actions. The book is an essential read for leaders and enthusiasts who care about the better future for all.
Using countless stories and insightful analysis, Azeem Azhar guides us from the industrial assumptions we grew up with to the exponential realities that define our future.” Tom Wheeler, Brookings Institution, author of “From Gutenberg to Google” “Azeem Azhar is that rare thing: a thought-leader who has also been a tech founder. The combination of big-picture vision and real tech experience shines through in this unmissable book
Azeem’s new book charts a clear path through an uncertain and complex future, one shaped by technology and one which accelerates at an exponential rate. He takes us on a journey into our collective future, asks the hard questions and provides a compelling possible future for all of us. A must-read for anyone who wants to actively shape the decades ahead.
Azeem Azhar is a globally recognized voice on technology and its impact. He has written a fascinating and important book. It’s required reading for anyone seeking to understand the new economy and the massive global corporations that seek to dominate that economy.
Azeem’s kinetic mind is uniquely able to connect social, political, economic and technological trends in ways that inspire and challenge. ‘The Exponential Age’ is a natural extension and expansion of Azeem’s unique ability, on display in his podcast and newsletter, of isolating, unpicking and retying the threads which make up the fabric of our technosociety.” Carly Kind, Director, Ada Lovelace Institute
You will be exponentially smarter after having read Azeem Azhar’s book.
A much-needed manual for unlocking opportunities and overcoming vertigo in a world that seems to be spinning out of control. Azeem Azhar, a genius networker, proves to be a brilliant guide to our intensely networked age.