Forbes Publisher, Futurist, Speaker and Moderator

Entrepreneur-turned-publisher, columnist, television commentator, private investor and board director, Rich Karlgaard has a unique vantage point on the trends driving the business and investment climates. His insights help audiences see the global marketplace with new eyes.

Rich’s 2020 Speech Topics

Trump, Tech, Trade, Turbulence, and the 2020 Election

In May 2016, Forbes Publisher and Futurist Rich Karlgaard keynoted the Columbus, Ohio, 2020 Conference and predicted Donald Trump would win the presidency. Now Karlgaard dons his political-economic lens once more and predicts the 2020 Presidential and U.S. House and Senate races – the likely impact on the U.S. economy and markets.

At this speech you will also learn:

  • Whether a 2%-plus growth economy is sustainable through 2020 and beyond.
  • What will trigger the next recession and when?
  • Is the record stock market poised for a crash, and how will we know one is coming?
  • Who will win the Democratic nomination for president?
  • Will President Trump, if re-elected, resume his trade wars?
  • In an age of accelerating technology, how can businesses keep up?
  • What is “capital asymmetry” and why is it vastly underestimated?
  • What is the future for traditional energy sources in a green economy?
  • Which cities and states are best poised for future growth?

Thriving in The Age of Smart Machines

Predicting the future is easy … getting it right is the hard part. A common mistake among business, investment and government leaders is to overestimate change in the short run (less than a year), but badly underestimate it the long term (more than three years.)

Forbes publisher and futurist, and author of two acclaimed books on high-performance cultures, Rich Karlgaard cuts through the clutter. He forecasts the business and technology landscape as it is likely to unfold over the next two, three, and five years.

Karlgaard is uniquely positioned at the intersection of business, finance, economics, innovation and technological trends. As such, he is able to see, weigh, and articulate the variables that will shape the future. He is a leader of the world’s best-read business and financial publication. He operates in the heart of Silicon Valley and is close to its business and technology leaders, as well as the investors and venture capitalists that keep it a hotbed of growth. Himself an entrepreneur, investor, board member – and past regional winner of the coveted EY “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” –  Karlgaard travels frequently throughout Asia and India, and other spots around the world on behalf of Forbes, keeping his finger firmly on the global pulse.

Rich’s “Thriving in The Age of Smart Machines” speech shares with audiences the three megatrends and four best practices that will keep your organization in fighting trim.

Tomorrow’s Killer Apps – Culture, Teams and People

Artificial intelligence and the “Internet of Things,” drones and driverless cars, cloud supercomputing and blockchain, global smartphone ubiquity and social commerce – the storm of technological change never stops. It continues to accelerate and transform all it touches.

The old way of creating a sustainable competitive advantage in the market was to build moats and barriers to entry. But “digital natives” like Uber and Airbnb have proven they can tunnel under the moats and fly over the barriers with ease – and often with huge advantages in market valuations. What can legacy companies do to “future proof” their businesses against such disruption?

Rich Karlgaard, publisher and futurist of Forbes magazine and author of best-selling books on high-performance companies, has identified culture, teamwork and people as the “magic triangle” of sustainable competitive advantage in a fast-changing world.

In this presentation, Karlgaard draws upon his recent books – The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success; Team Genius: The New Science of High-Performing Organizations; and Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement – to explain how great organizations put culture, teamwork and people at the core of their operating principles.

In a world where the workforce is becoming less loyal and more transient, and ideas can come to market in record times, building and maintaining a strong organizational culture built around trust, learning, teamwork, and employee development has never been a more timely topic.  So much so, that after having read Karlgaard’s work, the COO of Microsoft, had Rich come to speak to the top 1,000 global executives at Microsoft soon after the elevation of new CEO, Satya Nadella. The session was enthusiastically received – and underscored how these topics transcend organizational size and sector. These are universally important – and imperative – ideas, and Rich delivers masterfully.

Forbes publisher and futurist Rich Karlgaard is a popular keynote speaker at industry conferences. He is also one of the world’s premier onstage interviewers and panel moderators.

“Rich Karlgaard is a thorough professional. His onstage interviews are always superb, in the eyes of both the audience and the interviewee.”

– Jamie Montgomery, creator of the annual Montgomery Summit, the top technology investment conference in Southern California.

Rich says the keys to successful onstage interviews and panels are fourfold:

  • Do your research. Spend hours getting to getting to know your interviewee or panelists.
  • Create an electric energy level throughout the interview or panel.
  • “Bring out the radiance” in your interviewees and panelists. Let the audience see them at their best – as thinkers, doers, and human beings
  • Manage the clock! Aim to cover the important topics with pacing that keeps the room highly engaged throughout. End on time.

Rich has moderated technology, business, and financial panels and conducted onstage interviews at the world’s largest venues:

  • Forbes Global CEO Conference
  • IBM Think Conference
  • Milken Institute Global Conference
  • Montgomery Summit
  • YPO Global Leadership Conference
  • Microsoft CEO Summit
  • G100
  • Chamber of Commerce C100
  • Commonwealth Club of San Francisco
  • Silicon Valley Churchill Club
  • Dell Technologies
  • SAP
  • Stewardship Asia
  • South Australia Open State Conference
  • Morgan Stanley Private Equity Conference
  • Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Credit Suisse
  • American Express

What Rich’s clients are saying

“Deeply insightful and tremendously impressive.”

– Temasek – Sovereign Wealth Fund of Singapore

“A fantastic keynote speaker!”

– National Petrochemical Refiners Association

“A major hit with the leadership team.”

– Lockheed Martin Corporation

“The best speaker we’ve ever had.”

– Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

“Loved your presentation style, the relevance of your topics, and your knowledge.”

– TriWest Capital Partners

“Always an outstanding moderator and speaker.”


“I liked Rich Karlgaard’s book, The Soft Edge, so much that I read it twice. I knew we wanted him to speak about it to our company’s top 1,000 executives. He was great.”

– Kevin Turner, COO Microsoft

“Best speaker we’ve ever had.”

– Greater New Orleans Inc.

“He knocked it out of the park.”

– Illinois Bankers Association

“Rich Karlgaard is a navigator for the rest of us.”

– Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma

Themes Covered

Disruptive Technology
Digital Transformation
Thriving in The Age of A.I.
Best Innovation Cultures
The Secrets of Great Teams
Late Bloomers in Society
Late Bloomer Workforce
Boom Cities of the Future
Politics and the Economy
U.S. and Global Forecasts

Ready to get started?

Contact Rich now to check on his availability for speaking at your next meeting,
event, retreat or conference.