Erica is Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. She analyzes emerging sociocultural, technological, economic, geopolitical and environmental trends – and identifies the strategic implications (the “So what?”) of those trends for several of the most influential Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and public sector clients. Erica’s ability to spot patterns, think critically, and translate that into actionable strategies is what has made her an asset to clients for over 15 years.
Erica frequently speaks to a wide range of global audiences about the macro trends that are shaping and impacting today’s landscape. She has spoken at TEDx and keynoted several dozen conferences around the world, including across Europe, Latin America and Asia. She has authored numerous articles and industry white papers on a variety of future-focused topics, and has been featured in news outlets including Forbes, NPR, Time, Inc, Yahoo Singapore, WWD, Bloomberg, and CBS This Morning.
- Challenge core thinking, and get people to see the world (and their industries) in completely new ways;
- Identify trends that have a direct impact on your organization; and
- Put change in context so that you can better deal with it – and create new future-proofed opportunities.
Our COVID-19 Reality
The world seems almost dystopian in nature, and understandably so. Specific predictions are almost always difficult (if not impossible) to get right. Even in a world of big data, unforeseen and disruptive events have the potential to change the trajectory of everything – the systems, careers, and lives – we have collectively grown accustomed to. Such is the case right now. Thus, for any enterprise operating in today’s complex environment, the need for foresight becomes not just a strategic priority, but one of strategic urgency.
As we look to the future of work, some key questions to consider include:
- How will COVID-19 speed up the use of robots to replace human workers?
- How will companies expand how they use robots to increase social distancing?
- How will COVID-19 change perceptions of trust?
- How will the fast-tracking of digital transformations impact the future of work? What might some of the biggest lessons and takeaways be when the dust settles?
- What are some of the “silver linings”/opportunities that may emerge from the first truly acute worldwide crisis in generations?
- How do we begin to re-imagine our businesses, products, services and systems?
Leaders across the board, but particularly those in innovation, face an important inflection point today. The urgency of COVID has unlocked human ingenuity…and institutional ingenuity as an extension of that. What once may have taken years of R&D, strategizing, planning, etc. is now being done in months. What once took months is now taking weeks. Long-delayed initiatives have suddenly been rolled out at scale overnight. Today, more than ever, we all face the pressing need to question all we do, how we do it, and how we survive, compete, and thrive individually and organizationally.
AI, Work & the Evolution of Human Labor:
One particular area of focus has been the evolving role of humans in an age of artificial intelligence (AI). In the last couple of decades, the expectations, risks, challenges – all of these have greatly escalated. Almost overnight, global circumstances have changed to bring about an era that will usher in massive changes to human labor. The accelerated disintermediation of human labor across a wide range of sectors will be one of the most fundamentally important outcomes from the current pandemic. From this, one fundamental question emerges: How will humans be economically relevant in a world that is rapidly being disintermediated by advanced technology?
The Competency Tree:
COVID, in particular, is changing what it is that we value in the workplace – and the skills and competencies that are required to future-proof your organization. As such, competitiveness will rely on the creation of an entirely new framework. To ensure that we have the thinking required to solve the big issues that will arise in the future, we need to start viewing and training for these skills and competencies as interconnected. Our proprietary Competency Tree is meant to serve as a modeling outline to help visualize potential arenas for future jobs – even ones we have yet to be able to imagine. How might we future-proof the human workforce to make them more innovative than ever? How can a business begin to rethink workforce strategy to effectively leverage The Competency Tree?
Generational Compression: Understanding Cybrids
Another area of focus is on generational trends – particularly from a values and attitudes perspective. Generations have long been grouped in birth year cohorts of 15-20 years. But generations are now seemingly refreshing every two-to-three years. Technology is changing so rapidly that kids only a few years apart struggle to have the same cultural and technological frames of reference. Today’s youth are not just “digital natives” – they are Cybrids – cyber hybrids, who have a fully symbiotic relationship with the digital world from the moment they were born. Understanding what makes this generation tick is critical for understanding retention & recruitment, advertising/marketing, education/learning, etc.
Keynotes, Speeches & Presentations:
Mulch + Soil Council Annual Meeting
(Memphis, TN – September 2021)
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
Legal Marketing Association
(Hollywood Beach, FL – October 2021)
Secured Finance Network Conference
(Phoenix, AZ – November 2021)
(Hartford, CT – November 2021)
American Gear Manufacturers Conference
(Palm Beach, FL – March 2022)
Keynotes Include (Among Others):
- Media City Bergen (Bergen, Norway)
- Retail & Grocery Summit (Istanbul, Turkey)
- UNOi Conference (Mexico City)
- The International Social Security Conference (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
- AFSA Vehicle Finance Conference & Exposition
- The Women’s Entrepreneur Festival (2 Consecutive Years)
- Women’s Foodservice Forum’s Annual Conference
- Vistage Executive Summit
- Media Insights & Engagement Conference
- FUSE Design Conference
- The Foresight & Trends Conference
- E2Open Leadership Forum
- Central Coast Economic Forum
- Ascendant Compliance Management Conference
- Pacific Oil Conference
- Calero Conference
- EY Strategic Growth Forum (Mexico City)
- Bahamas Economic Outlook
- Cayman Economic Outlook
- INADEM Conference (Mexico City)
- Clorox iConnect
- Association of Executive Search (AESC) Conference
- Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA Canada)
- D2L Executive Forum
- InterSystems Global Summit
- Asian Investor Conference (Seoul, South Korea)
- Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance
- Navigant Annual Leadership Conference
- Alvarez & Marsal’s Leadership Development Conference
- Turkey Future Day (Istanbul, Turkey)
- Innovation Day Conference (Warsaw, Poland)
- The Retail Law Conference
- Food Shippers of America: Transportation & Logistics Conference
- CTAM Think Conference
- The Internet Conference (Gold Coast, Australia)
- Human x Design Conference
- Bemis Associates, Inc.
- Bank of Montreal
- LocWorld Conference
- United Data Technologies
- Produce for Better Health Foundation Conference
- MHCA Conference
- SOCAP (Association for Customer Care Professionals)
- Bermuda Healthcare Group
- National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) Conference
- New York Life Insurance Annuity Forum
- University of Wisconsin-Madison E-Business Consortium
- Razor Technologies
- Moore North America
- Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference
- Airport Experience Conference
Speeches & Presentations Include (Among Others):
- World Future Society Conference (9 Consecutive Years)
- The Foresight & Trends Conference
- The Global Wellness Summit (2 Consecutive Years)
- Luxury Marketing Council
- Fashion Group International
- The Retail Marketing Society
- INPACT Americas
- Ball Brothers Foundation
- South Carolina Society of CPAs
- CDK Global
- Insights Association
- Women Leading Travel & Hospitality
- North Carolina City & County Managers Association
- The Association for Talent Development
- GE Aviation
- BNP Paribas
- Ketchum Inc.
- The 4A’s
- The Netherlands Consulate General
- Columbia University School of Professional Studies
- Women Who Lead Summit
In addition to this are Erica’s numerous client engagements and panel discussions, as well as moderation and facilitation at industry events and conferences.
Director, Corporate Communications & Integrated Marketing, Navigant
[Erica’s] talk was a hit. It really had our attendees thinking about the many possibilities ahead, and the talk sent them off to their professional development sessions with “eyes wide open”. [She] had a great command of the content and the research-based information earned our audience’s respect and attention right from the start. It worked out splendidly!
President, Manning & Associates
Erica came beautifully prepared and discussed the importance of examining topics from a fresh and innovative perspective. She was creative, articulate, astute and was able to give the students examples that they could readily relate to. I would definitely use Erica again.
Coordinator of Member Services, INPACT Americas (Int’l Alliance of Professional Accountants)
[Erica’s] lively, engaging delivery was a great way to energize our first session.
Areas of Focus:
The Metaspace Economy: Emerging Trends
This builds upon the idea that we are currently undergoing a fundamental transformation and restructuring of the global economy. The emergence of a new economic model (which we refer to as The Metaspace Economy) is being catapulted by the confluence of disruptive technologies. By understanding the past, only then can we truly understand WHY the future is unfolding in the way that it is and ushering in a world characterized by greater boundarylessness.
Technological advancements are leading to a world of “templosion” – The Future Hunters’ term to describe the idea that very large things are now happening in shorter periods of time. While change is a constant, the story today is about the pace of change, which is rapidly speeding up and causing major disruptions to happen faster than ever before. This is influencing everything from generational compression to the truncation of strategic and financial planning cycles. It is also leading to the creation of greater business efficiencies through the rapid rise of automation and artificial intelligence (AI).
The techniques that help you think about the future differently. This instructs audiences to challenge (and ultimately change) their way of thinking about future trends and how best to develop actionable strategies to capitalize on those trends. This includes real-world, practical examples of each of the thinking technologies.
SPEAKING & MEDIA CLIPS
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