Ed Gillespie Speaker, Speeches, Booking Agent | MFL Global
Ed Gillespie 4

Ed Gillespie

Futurist, writer, communications specialist and serial entrepreneur

Ed Gillespie is a keynote speaker, writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. He is the author of ‘Only Planet – a flight-free adventure around the world’ a book about his circumnavigation of the globe without getting on a plane, which the Independent said “Allow[s] the world’s flaws and beauty to seep into your soul”. Ed’s core talent is to take the complex, interconnected, interdependent nature of the many urgent challenges the world faces, from climate change to disruptive competition, and make common sense of them for non-specialist audiences. He often works at C-suite level to help Boards understand big business’s role in ‘self-disruption’ of their own business models, and creating entrepreneurial ‘lifeboats’ of lean innovation.

Ed is a seriously credible and experienced voice on a range of key future-focused issues; from ‘Big Data’, through the future of work and the impact of AI, robots and technology, to how climate action can and must be reframed as seismic opportunity not just catastrophic threat.

Professionally Ed is known for his own unique brand of authentic ‘insultancy’ – being strategically and playfully cheeky to clients, with judicious wit and wisdom to inspire them to greater heights and aspirations. He is highly adaptable, constructively challenging and pushes audience assumptions of business as usual, opening hearts and minds and then mapping possible practical solutions and opportunities.

Ed is the co-founder of the Global Goals Accelerator, a business programme aimed at delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, the first two businesses supported were Panda Packaging (bamboo and coconut based plastic alternatives) and Agronomex (tackling food waste at the farm gate). He is actively involved in a number of other pioneering ethical businesses as a Director or Investor, from Growing Underground, a renewable energy powered, LED-lit, hydroponic farm in a disused underground tunnel in South London, to Demand Logic – a ‘fitbit’ for buildings. Others include Common Objective (ethical fashion), Engaged Tracking (carbon indices), Poplar (communication platform for frontline staff), Small Robot Company (farming as a service) and Bennaman (alternative fuels).

Ed is a facilitator with the Forward Institute for responsible leadership, a Director of Greenpeace UK, a Trustee of Energy Revolution and alongside fellow futurist Mark Stevenson is one half of the ‘Futurenauts’ doing live shows and podcasts on pragmatic optimism.

A regular media contributor from the BBC to the Guardian, Ed is a sought after speaker, event host, lively compere and trusted Chairperson, renowned for his entertaining presentations laced with thoughtful insights, trends and humour. Since 2001, he has presented all over the world, from Hong Kong to Bratislava, from Korea to Auckland. And he’s been heard by every kind of audience, from the UN and national governments, to multi-national corporations and global associations. He’s even dabbled with stand-up comedy to enhance his presentational and engagement skills.

Ed was the co-founder of Futerra, a change agency that specialises in business transformation and creative communications and campaigns. For almost eighteen years Futerra has become internationally renowned for its influential and award-winning work on some of the biggest corporate sustainability initiatives. Ed left the business in 2019 to pursue other opportunities.

His recent speaking engagements include giving the inaugural ‘Bonn Speech’ on Global Transformation for the German Government, a keynote on ‘The Future of Energy’ in Slovenia, ‘The Power of Business with Purpose’ in Finland, ‘Climate of Disruption’ on climate change and disruptive innovation for Schroders in Belgium, ‘Time to get on the bus’ on radically rethinking public mass transit in Germany and ‘It’s the climate, stupid’ on the strategic investment implications of climate risk in the UK.

Ed also designs and hosts bespoke workshops for clients on future-focused sustainability challenges, most recently for Sainsbury’s on carbon and climate change, Unilever on circular economy and a Norwegian business ‘cluster’ on rapidly prototyping new purpose-driven sustainable business models.

View Ed’s Masterclass here

Enquire Now

  • + 44 (0) 20 3384 3664
Enquire Now
  • Business Speaker
  • Masterclass Leader
  • Conference Host
  • Moderator


‘People make places: A regenerative grassroots carnival to reimagine cities?

Humanity not architecture & planning makes cities

What do empathic places look and feel like?

From urban food gardens to wild spaces, walkable/cyclable communities, shared renewables

Don’t think of a car! Feet, pedals and mass transit solutions for 21st century cities

Why electric cars will solve nothing but clean air

Transport as a service

The importance of people-powered transport

‘Last mile’ electric delivery, cycling & walking

Handicraft & Spacecraft: Why combining tech and timeless wisdom is key to the modern urban economy

‘Dumb’ versus ‘smart cities’

Deep lessons of history versus the best of the future

Waste nothing. Nature as radical urban recycler

Covid-19, Climate Change and Environment

Climate change hasn’t gone away (only 5.5% drop in CO2 emissions)

What science-based targets REALLY mean

How to fix the climate AND tackle covid-19 risk – at the same time

Disruptive Innovation

Sustainable Development

See More

The Unlocking Potential Team and delegates were thrilled within Ed’s contribution to the day; great energy, a positive force in the room, completely inspirational key-note balanced with a great practical approach. In the afternoon – Ed was fantastic in the lab. So down to earth, really got his sleeves up and was happy to scribe, contribute and interact with the group. He really aligned himself with our needs and the needs of the audience. This was probably one of our most successful events to date and we were thrilled with the outcome.

The Eden Project

Thank you for your great words last week at our event. You proved to be incredibly popular and I think hit exactly the note we wanted

Sedex Group

Thank you so much for speaking at the conference on Friday, there were so many compliments afterwards, and a huge amount of interest. The delegates were so inspired and I kept hearing quotes from your session throughout the rest of the day!

Business in the Community, Responsible Business Week

A short note to thank you for your input into Base London last Thursday. Your presentation lived up to the hype and unquestionably proved to be one of the talking points of the day!

BASE London


Ed Gillespie 4

Only Planet

Read More

Fees & Details

Fees From*

  • UK:

    £3k to £7k

  • Europe:

    £3k to £7k

  • US:

    £7k to £15k

  • Africa/Asia/ME:

    £7k to £15k

Travels From

  • United Kingdom



* This Speaker's fee falls within the ranges shown above. Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact us.

Other people have viewed

Dr Gabrielle Walker

International expert speaker, moderator and strategist - with a focus on sustainability, new energy and climate change

Mark Stevenson

Futurist and Author 

Tristram Stuart

Historian and Author of "Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal"