Will Higham

Will Higham Behavioural Futurist, Author, Speaker, Founder of Next Big Thing


Speaker Solutions

Keynote Speaker

Will Higham 2024 Speech Titles Will Higham 2024 Speech Titles

  • What Your Customers Will Want, Need and Expect From You Tomorrow
  • How to Anticipate and Appeal to Tomorrow’s Customer
  • Why Consumer Trends Matter to Your Business
  • What are The Consumer Trends Impacting The XXXX Industry
  • Your Customers and Tomorrow’s Technology
  • How to Win The Loyalty of Tomorrow’s Customer
  • How Better Understanding Your Consumer Can Help You Beat The Competition
  • Managing Uncertainty: the future of Leadership
  • Hype-free Guide to AI and Beyond: the future of Technology
  • The Flexible Organisation: the future of Work
  • Customers as Family: the future of Loyalty
  • Gen Z as customers and employees
  • Future of the Financial Services sector
  • The Future of Work
  • Leading Through Uncertainty
  • How Geopolitics could impact your business


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.

 Full Biography

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.

He is also one of our futurism speakers, with experience in delivering futurism speech.

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.



 1. The Future of Work 

  • The workplace is an increasingly volatile environment and its future uncertain
  • Hybrid working, AI, the big resignation / quiet quitting and Gen Z are all making companies look again at their working practices
  • I offer HR and leadership audiences an insight into: 
  • what their employees, consumers, business and technology needs will be over the next 5 years
  • how they’ll need to adapt their workplace, working practices, rewards, training and hierarchical structures to accommodate them
  • why agility, collaboration, dynamic planning, bite-size training and diversification will be key 

2. Leading Through Uncertainty

  • It’s getting harder to predict what will happen in business in the future
  • So rather than betting on a single outcome, more and more companies understand they need to be ready for whateverhappens
  • In this talk I explain how leaders can do just that, by:
  • Creating a more agile company
  • Evolving their leadership style
  • Building a more communal, change-friendly employee culture
  • Customer-centricity, collaboration, and scenario planning
  • Uncertainty is not just a threat to be overcome, but a huge opportunity to gain market share if you take the right approach
  • As triple F1 champion Ayrton Senna once said: “You can’t overtake 15 cars in sunny weather, but you can if it’s raining …”

3. How Geopolitics could impact your business

  • According to EY, geopolitical trends are having a more direct impact on commerce today than they have in a generation.
  • As a result, companies increasingly need to know:
  • how these trends will develop 
  • eg, Ukraine to Middle East, ocean trade to environmental change, data privacy to export curbs
  • what impact they will have on their:
  • budgets, supply chains, workers
  • customers’ behaviours 
  • business strategies
  • investment opportunities
  • My talks on this topic offer all of the above, enabling audiences to not only understand the big picture, but also what it will mean for their sector / company / role.

Will Higham is ready to inspire your teams!
To invite this speaker:

microphone background

Will Higham testimonials

Mike Hulse

Sales Director - Philips

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.

Matt Houston

Director of Strategy, Primark

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.

Michaela Ridgeway,

Senior Content Editor, Financial Times Global Conferences

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.

Laura Kozasvili

Head of Events, British Property Federation

William got the brief exactly, and delivered just the kind of speech we wanted.

Kev Richardson

CEO, Ch. Inst. Logistics & Transport

Superb session, especially in the tough environs of Zoom. The delegates found it really valuable.

Charlie Gower

Head of Insight, Hiscox

He delivered great food for thought: inspiring ideas and practical stimulus for discussions and workshops.

Frequently Asked Questions About
Will Higham

Will Higham's areas of expertise lie in consumer trends and future thinking. He is a global authority on the Future of Business, with a focus on understanding and predicting trends that impact consumer behavior and business strategies.

Will Higham helps businesses anticipate and adapt to changing consumer behaviors by providing practical, data-led insights into what customers will want and expect from companies in the future. His talks offer strategic inspiration and tangible advice that businesses can apply immediately to address evolving consumer needs.

Given his extensive experience working with diverse clients, it's likely that he tailors his insights to various industries, including but not limited to technology, finance, and entertainment.

As a practical and experienced speaker, he may provide engaging talks that leave audiences with innovative ways to handle future challenges. For specific details on workshops or interactive sessions, checking his official channels or contacting him directly would be advisable.

Send Plane Contact us
Contact us
Your form has been successfully submitted.