William Higham is a global authority on Future Business Strategy. He has run business trends consultancy Next Big Thing for 20 years, with clients from Amazon to Walt Disney, HSBC to MTV. William wrote one of the first handbooks for trend strategists: ‘The Next Big Thing’. He has spoken at events in Europe, USA and Asia for clients like Barclaycard, Colgate and Estée Lauder. He’s been interviewed across global media, including Netflix’s new ‘Future Of’ series; presented a show for CNBC; and written for The Economist and Ad Age. William began his career in Marketing at Sony, Virgin and Universal, for artists from Michael Jackson to the Rolling Stones.
William is a global authority on the Future of Business. An experienced Marketer, his practical approach to the future: mixes strategic inspiration with tangible advice audiences can apply the minute they return to their desks. His talks leave audiences excited to face the future: armed with innovative ways to handle tomorrow’s consumers and employees.
He reveals what customers, employees, clients will want and expect from companies tomorrow. And the strategies businesses must adopt to attract and retain them. His data-led approach means he's as comfortable speaking on the future of work as tomorrow's ethical consumer or how the Metaverse, Web3 and AI will actually impact business.
An engaging and inspiring speaker, his talks have inspired thousands globally to face the future without fear, from Texas to Korea. He's spoken at conferences for FT to Barclaycard, leadership events for Walt Disney, BT, Jaguar to Colgate.
William’s led popular consultancy Next Big Thing for 20 years. He’s worked with clients in multiple sectors: Amazon to Vodafone, HSBC to MTV. He can be seen in Netflix’s new ‘Future Of’ series. He warned the drinks industry of the New Sobriety; saw Wellbeing Consumers a mile off; and championed ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (‘Dancing With The Stars’) to BBC.
He wrote the first practical handbook for UK trend strategists: ‘The Next Big Thing: Forecasting Consumer Trends for Profit’ (Kogan Page, 2010), which has since been translated into five languages. He’s been interviewed across media: BBC to Bloomberg TV, Fast Company to The Times. He presented a TV show for CNBC, written for The Economist, Advertising Age, The Director. He’s helped Cambridge University Innovation Forum and judged WARC and IoD innovation awards.
William first made his name in the music industry. Working at Sony, Virgin and Universal, William ran marketing communications for artists from Michael Jackson to The Rolling Stones. His fascination with music consumers led him to the trends industry. He began as a trends consultant for brands from Levis to BT. He spent a year as MD of online research company OnePoll, attracting clients from Kelloggs to Findus. He set up Next Big Thing in 2003.
Great working with William. His presentation at our sales conference perfectly fitted the tone and context we were aiming for. His thought provoking, engaging style set an agenda for change.
William's talk was a great way to start our strategy conference. He brought new, provocative insights and inspired the audience to think of new ways they can serve tomorrow’s consumer.
William gave us great insights into how consumer attitudes are changing, and the ways the audience will need to adapt to anticipate and appeal to tomorrow’s new ‘smart’ shopper.
William got the brief exactly, and delivered just the kind of speech we wanted.
Superb session, especially in the tough environs of Zoom. The delegates found it really valuable.
He delivered great food for thought: inspiring ideas and practical stimulus for discussions and workshops.