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 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 over 200 conferences around the world, including across Europe, Latin America and Asia. She has authored numerous industry white papers, and has been featured in news outlets including Forbes, NPR, Time, Inc, Wired, Bloomberg, and CBS This Morning. In 2020, she was named by Forbes as one of the world’s 50 Top Female Futurists.
- 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.
SPEAKING TOPICS: 2023
Below is a sampling of speaking topics/themes — none of which are mutually exclusive. All fit together to help provide a thought-provoking and holistic look at where the future is moving. This is also not a complete topic list.
FOUNDATION TO UNDERSTANDING THE FUTURE
Templosion + The Transformation of the Global Economy:
Since 2008, what we’ve experienced was (and still is) a fundamental global economic transformation. Economic transformations are brought about by the convergences of new technologies that create efficiencies in existing businesses, create whole new ones, replace work and workers and open entirely new vistas. This has lead to a world of templosion — the idea that the biggest of things/events are happening in shorter periods of time. Everything is becoming more abbreviated and compressed.
The Accelerator + Magnifier Effect:
The circumstances of the last 3 years accelerated many previously developing trends at an exponential pace (e.g., distributed + hybridized work; increased use of AI, etc.) It also magnified existing issues (e.g., the limits of short-term thinking; changes in trade, technology, finance – including the risks inherent in supply chains, etc.) What this underscores is the critical importance of long-term thinking and strategic foresight.
EXAMPLES OF TREND-SPECIFIC SPEAKING CONTENT
The Future of Work & The Workplace
Artificial intelligence (AI), smart systems, robotics, and the rise of deep learning and the neural net will be responsible for disintermediating an increasing number of global human workers in the future. But it will not always signal technology’s complete displacement of humans from the equation. More likely, at least in the near-term, is that automated labor will work alongside human labor and the two will reinforce one another to make the combination more productive. It is not just about automation, but augmentation. And not just about replacement, but enhancement.
Generational Compression: Redefining Gen Z
Generations have long been grouped in birth year cohorts of 15-20 years. But generations are now seemingly refreshing every 2-3 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 symbiotic relationship with the digital world from an early age. Understanding what makes this generation tick is critical for understanding retention & recruitment, talent management, advertising/marketing, and education/learning.
Influence as a Currency:
An economy built around capturing and maintaining consumer attention has long been building. Attention has been assigned monetary value, as has time. But what is beginning to shift is the way in which we assign financial value to people, and more specifically, to consumers. Going beyond attention, consumer influence is now being bought, traded, and sold much like stocks in the stock market. The growth of a Human Stock Exchange (HSE) is collapsing human traits, creations and personalities into a currency, exposing what we are willing to pay for, invest in and monetize.
The Metaverse, Enterprise Metaverse + Rise of Digital Twins
The metaverse is slowly becoming mainstream. For entrants in this new “wild west,” the metaverse is not about creating virtual interpretations of real-life products or services. Rather it’s about uncoupling these things from their physical environments and entirely reimagining the experience. It’s also important to note that the metaverse is cleaving in two. One is the consumer-centric version. Another focuses on organizational replication and is known as the “enterprise metaverse” – essentially, a digital copy of the physical economy. Unlike the metaverse, which is populated mostly by human avatars, the corporate version is largely a collection of objects. Digital twins – virtual 3D representation synchronized with physical things or processes – are driving much of this growth.
EXAMPLES OF PROPRIETARY FUTURE-FOCUSED VISUAL FRAMEWORKS
The Competency Tree:
Future competitiveness will rely on the creation of an entirely new skills and competencies 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 how might we future-proof the human workforce to make them more innovative than ever. It can also be used as a tool to help reconfigure retention and recruitment strategies.
The Workspace Culture CHAIN:
As leaders navigate an evolving new work landscape, the one critical piece ripe for redefinition is culture. How can forward-thinking organizations design and execute the conditions for truly effective culture in a hybridized environment? How can it be reimagined in a more human-centric way? Organizations that treat their people with greater fairness, empathy and consideration, while removing the obstacles that prevent them from doing their best work will emerge among the winners.
The Three Ts: Time, Trust + Truth:
Time has become our greatest asset; it is the new currency. Leveraging it in innovative ways is, and will continue to be, a distinct competitive advantage. But beyond time, two other critical luxuries are emerging: trust + truth.
Trust: There is a growing vacuum of trust. And that vacuum is giving new urgency not just to transparency but ho Honesty in everything from ESG principles to employment practices to corporate values and ethics. But trust is getting harder to define because trust is fluid. Building stakeholder trust will be an ongoing process. It must be something that becomes fully engrained into the ethos of the company. Consumers will pay a premium for things they can trust, and there will be new value in trusted human-to-human relationships.
Truth: The distortion of the truth is being exacerbated by a climate of rampant distrust and mis-, dis- and mal-information. We are operating in a world in which different versions of reality battle to see which gains our momentary attention. That reality might be based on established truths – or it might be based on falsities…and perhaps it doesn’t even matter because increasingly we are living in a world without proof. Fairness, integrity and authenticity will rise in importance.
Keynotes, Speeches & Presentations:
Cox Communications Conference
(Atlanta, GA – November 2022)
(Denver, CO – December 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
- Mulch + Soil Council
- Secured Finance Network Conference
- CBIA Annual Conference
- Coca Cola The McDonald’s Division Summit
- American Gear Manufacturers Association Conference
- Citi Innovation Cafe
- Pepsi Festival of Learning
- Salesforce Dreamforce Iberia Networking Tour
- TSC Digital Summit
- A/E/C Thrive 2022
- 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
- CBRE Global Workplace Solutions Conference
- Project Management Institute
- Meta (Brazil)
- EY Arizona CPE Conference
- Kubra Technology Conference
- Legal Marketing Association Southwest Conference
- Vivo (Brazil)
- Orange Hello Show Silicon Valley
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
- Legal Marketing Association
- 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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