I am Gerd Leonhard, and welcome to Green Futurist.
I have worked in digital music, media and in the Internet business since 1995. Since 2001 I have worked as an independent Futurist with a focus on media, content, entertainment and publishing, technology, telecom as well as marketing, branding and communications.
I am now (October 2011) expanding my activities into a new direction which I like to call ”Green Futures”, encompassing issues such as sustainability, carbon reduction, alternative and renewable energies, the future of transportation, a new type of capitalism that is not (just) based on profit and growth (as I call it, shifting from EGO to ECO), environmental action, eco-tourism and the future of the tourism, the ‘greening’ of business and in general, the radical changes that a post-growth society will certainly demand of us, very soon.
Venture capitalist John Doerr said in his seminal and deeply moving 2007 Ted talk on green technologies, quoting KPCP Founder Eugene Kleiner: "there are times when the appropriate response is panic". Without wanting to push the panic button even more frequently than other futurists before me, I must admit that I also feel that we urgently must consider sweeping changes in how we live, work and do business.
I therefore want to use my somewhat tried-and-tested speaking and presentation skills to address perhaps the most important issue there is: how we can we change the way we live, how we operate our businesses, define our policies and direct our governments; and how we will use and replenish our planet’s resources, going forward.
I believe that if we don’t stop borrowing from our own future, and if we don’t start paying the real price for what our ever-increasing consumption actually costs, we have a very good chance at losing everything we value, today, in the next 20-50 years. We may lose our oceans, our forests, our glaciers, our rivers, our wild-life, our breathable air and our clean water - and this is not a world that I want my children, or grand-children, to live in.
Maybe we can no longer be content with ‘tinkering around the edges’, making only minor dents into this rapidly widening path to destruction. Maybe we need large, sweeping actions that will require significant sacrifices from us.
It is these conversations and actions I want to further with my work as Green Futurist.
Thanks for stopping by.
Basel / Switzerland
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Gerd Leonhard (50) is a well-known Futurist and Author of 5 books, a highly influential Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader & Advisor, and the Founder of GreenFuturists.com. Gerd also serves as Visiting Professor at the Fundação Dom Cabral (São Paulo, Brazil). He is well-known as the Co-author of the influential book ‘The Future of Music’ (Berklee Press, 2005), and as the author of ‘The End of Control’ (2007), ‘Music 2.0’ (2008), ‘Friction is Fiction’ (2009, Lulu Publishing), and ‘The Future of Content’ (Kindle-only, 2011). His new book “From Ego to Eco” will be released in 2012.
Gerd’s background is in music and the music business; in 1985 he won Berklee College’s ‘Quincy Jones Award’ and subsequently spend 10 years working as a professional guitar player, composer and producer. He then caught the Internet bug and became a digital media entrepreneur, serving as CEO with several Internet startups, based in San Francisco, for 7 years. In 2002, Gerd returned to Europe and started his career as Futurist, Keynote Speaker and Strategic Advisor. He now travels around the globe and speaks at many major conferences and events, company retreats, seminars and in-house trainings on the Future of Business, Sustainability, Environmental Policy and Climate Change, Media, Content and Entertainment, Technology, Marketing, Advertising & Branding, Telecommunications etc. Since late 2011, Gerd has been widening the scope of his work to include some of the most pressing ‘green’ issues such as sustainability and sustainable capitalism, renewable energy, climate change and global warming (see GreenFuturist.com)
Gerd is considered a leading expert on topics such as digital business models, the networked society, a sustainable business ecology, social media and social communications, TV & Radio 2.0, mobile content, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, consumer trends, UGC and peer production, copyright and IPR issues, next-generation advertising, marketing and branding, and recently the development of ‘green futures‘ scenarios. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal called Gerd ‘one of the leading Media Futurists in the World’.
Gerd’s keynotes, speeches and presentations are renowned for his hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring, personal and intense motivational style. With over 1’300 engagements in 43 countries since 2003, Gerd has addressed over 200.000 executives and professionals, and is often considered a key influencer. His diverse client list includes Consumers International, Youtube, Nokia, The Guardian, Google, Sony-BMG, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, the BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB / TribalDDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, the European Commission and many others.
Gerd is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (London), a member of the World Future Society, and a visiting professor at the Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil. A native German, he now resides in Basel, Switzerland.
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