Gerd Leonhard Speaker, Speeches, Booking Agent | MFL Global
Gerd Leonhard 6

Gerd Leonhard

Futurist and Author

Gerd Leonhard is a well-known futurist, author of five books, a highly influential keynote speaker, think-tank leader & advisor, and the founder of Gerd also serves as Visiting Professor at the Fundação Dom Cabral (São Paulo, Brazil).

Gerd Leonard’s background is in music and the music business; in 1985 he won Berklee College’s ‘Quincy Jones Award’ and subsequently spent 10 years working as a professional guitar player, composer and producer.

He then caught the Internet bug and became a digital media entrepreneur and start-up Internet CEO, based in San Francisco, for 7 years. In 2002, Gerd returned to Europe and started his career as a Futurist, Keynote Speaker and Strategic Advisor. He now travels around the globe and speaks at major conferences and events on the Future of Business, Sustainability, Environmental Policy and Climate Change, Media, Content and Entertainment, Technology, Marketing, Advertising & Branding and Telecommunications.

A musician by origin, Gerd connects left and right brains for a 360-degree coverage of the multiple futures that present themselves at any one time. Delivering the ‘Realopia’ that one can work on immediately, Gerd Leonhard coaches consults and influences around the world. Turning futurism into a pragmatic science designed to reinforce strategic thinking, Gerd and his boutique The Futures Agency represent an additional mind for mastering the complex nodal points of change that dictate evolution or extinction in the Digital Age. ‘Technology vs. Humanity’, his newest work, reminds every one of us what is at stake as we enter a Faustian pact with the computing entities now serving us.

He is well-known as the co-author of the influential book ‘The Future of Music’ and as the author of ‘Technology vs Humanity, ‘The End of Control’, ‘Music 2.0’, ‘Friction is Fiction’, and ‘The Future of Content’.

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.

Gerd Leonard’s keynotes, speeches and presentations are renowned for his hard-hitting and provocative yet inspiring personal and intense motivational style.

To watch a short film about AI with Gerd click here

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Humanity

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a global buzzword, and investments in AI, machine/deep learning and many related fields are exploding. The excitement is clearly infectious yet many leading scientists and technologists have voiced grave concerns about controlling AI, or rather, AGI (artificial general intelligence), and an AI-arms-race between the U.S. and China seems almost inevitable. At the same time, the benefit of intelligent assistance (IA) and so-called narrow AI holds huge promise for all sectors of business and industry, such as in financial services and banking, healthcare and medical, logistics, smart cities and the Internet of Things, in general. In this talk, Gerd outlines his 7-year view of the opportunities and challenges of AI, with a particular focus on what the implications for our society and culture as well as for humanity overall might be. Technology is morally neutral until we apply it – and we apply it everywhere, now!

Human-Machine Relationships - Are you on Team Human?

Perhaps the most burning issue facing humanity is our ever-deepening relationship with the computers, bots, devices, robots and machines that increasingly surround our lives, everywhere and at all times. Humans and ‘intelligent machines’ are increasingly interconnecting and overlapping; and some Silicon Valley pundits may even argue that a full symbiosis of man and machines is near. The Internet of Things (IoT) is already here, and artificial intelligence has become a global buzzword. But how will we – as linear and utterly inefficient beings – cope with this increasing empowerment of software and machines, and this global tsunami of real-time information? What will happen to our values and ethics in a world of ultra-smart intelligent agents, artificial intelligence and the coming ‘singularity’? Most importantly, how will we define a good man-machine balance, going forward, and how will we keep humans-in-the-loop?

Technology vs Humanity?

In this groundbreaking new talk based on his new book, Gerd addresses the “future shocks” that lie in wait for humanity as it tumbles into a world of Big Data / Tech / AI dominance. This impactful presentation at the intersection of technology and ethics will engage your audience way beyond their daily concerns, and challenge the very core of being human – our shared values, believes and desire for happiness. This talk is an always-evolving continuation of Gerd’s best-selling new book, and explores the coming clash of machine and mankind in detail – one that will make all other ‘industrial revolutions’ seem like kindergarten. This is a classic keynote engagement for public events, large audiences spanning all corporate divisions and borders, as well as for executive client conferences.

The Megashifts - The Next 7 Years in Technology, Business & Society

The leading global technology brands and digital platforms are growing faster than ever before, while many incumbent enterprises and brands are forced to ‘pivot’ and dramatically reinvent themselves, or face sudden disintermediation and irrelevance – the car industry makes for the best possible example for this challenge, right now:) In this session, Gerd looks at how to go beyond this Darwinian phase of ‘Cybermorphosis’ and evolve into a future-ready organization (using a process that Gerd likes to call ‘futurizing‘). Exponential technological progress is fuelling a multitude of combinatorial developments such as The Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics, the re-definition of privacy and security, new human-machine interfaces (such as voice-control and intelligent bots), the total reboot of marketing and advertising and the rise of smart-cloud-everything-everywhere (i.e. content, money, education, health, transportation etc). Plus, in in this coming decade we may also need to examine the future meaning of ‘capitalism’ based on interdependence and eco-systematic thinking rather than on traditional profit & growth paradigms. In this riveting talk, Gerd depicts the key trends and reveals the likely minefields and identifies the key opportunities, dishing up a mixture of future-shock and awesomeness to stimulate some serious thinking.

Man and Machine: Is it Heaven or is it Hell?

In an era when machines are not only taking our jobs but are starting to run our lives, as well, how will we respond to the unprecedented economic, societal and ethical questions that this human-machine symbiosis will raise? Exponential technological change is impacting our lives at every turn, and intelligent digital agents (IDAs) and bots are about to become as normal as smartphones. What will it mean to be human in the near future? What will happen to work and jobs, to our social contracts and ethics, and to the way we do business? HellVen (Hell+Heaven) challenges and opportunities will abound: this could be heaven based on total abundance that may create a kind of ‘Startrek-Economy’, or it could just as easily be a dystopian hell – depending on how we prepare and lead with foresight, today. What do we need to do to make sure our future is mostly heaven, collectively? What are the political consequences, and what about regulation, treaties and agreements?

The Digital Transformation of Business & Society

Successful businesses always maintain a constant conversation about the future: what lessons need to be operationalized today in order to avoid future irrelevance or worse, extinction ? It is essential to understand that everything that can be digitized, automated or virtualised, will be. Cognification, automation, disintermediation and robotization are now taking place across all industries, not just in media, content and marketing. Digital transformation – going from an analog or semi-digital world to a digitally-native world – is certain to be the #1 challenge-opportunity in the next 5-7 years. How can people and companies become better at understanding, and move faster to implement the transformations that are required? How will a company or an organization prosper in a world that is quickly becoming inter-connected and interdependent? What skills and mindsets will we need, and what should remain human even if it is inefficient? Watch this excerpt from a recent keynote on digital transformation.

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Gerd was this year’s opening speaker at InnoTown – Next Technologies. From the first contact Gerd was a pleasure to work with, and his talk was an absolute thrill, with his high energy presentation style and great visuals. He received top-notch ratings from the InnoTown-crowd


We’ve hired Gerd a number of times over the years to keynote our events. Gerd is super professional, collaborative, efficient, absolute pleasure to work with. Perhaps more importantly he is also an inspirational speaker who not only gets tech/marketing but also the bigger picture around society, behaviour and business. And he used to be a professional guitarist – what more could you want?


Gerd came in remotely and lit up our Huawei Cloud Conference, everyone was talking about his thought provoking insights throughout the rest of the day!


“Gerd provided amazing collaboration and partnership during our recent futurist-focused client event in Southern, California….our client was thrilled and the attendees took away a great wealth of information that will surely help them increase revenues and surpass their competitors using the technology-focused information provided during his presentation.”



Gerd Leonhard 6

Technology vs. Humanity

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Gerd Leonhard 6

The Future of Music

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Gerd Leonhard 6

Music 2.0

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Gerd Leonhard 6

Friction is Fiction

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Gerd Leonhard 6

The Future of Content

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Fees & Details

Fees From*

  • UK:

    £15k to £30k

  • Europe:

    £15k to £30k

  • US:

    £15k to £30k

  • Africa/Asia/ME:

    £15k to £30k

Travels From

  • Switzerland


English, German

* 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.

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