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 2018 Speech Topics

Trump, Tech, Trade, Turbulence and the 2018 Mid-Terms

In May 2016, Forbes Publisher and Futurist Rich Karlgaard keynoted the Columbus, Ohio, 2020Conference and predicted Donald Trump would win the presidency. Now Karlgaard dons his political-economic lens once more and predicts the 2018 U.S. House and Senate races – as well as the 36 state governor’s races – and the likely impact on the U.S. economy and markets.

At this speech you will also learn:

  • Whether a 3%-plus growth economy is sustainable through 2018 and beyond.
  • What will trigger the next recession and when?
  • Is the stock market poised for a crash, and how will we know one is coming?
  • How far will President Trump take his trade war? How will China respond?
  • Why technology is speeding up and punishing businesses unable to keep up.
  • Will big tech’s disruptors (Amazon, Facebook, and Google) finally be regulated?
  • Which cities and states are best poised for future growth?

Four Superpowers and Three Best Practices That Will Shape Your Business Future

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 run (three years or more).

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, economic, 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 Ernst & Young “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 Four Superpowers and Three Best Practices speech shares with audiences thought-provoking, actionable, and lasting ideas that help leaders “future proof” their organizations and investments.

Why Culture, Teams, and People Are Tomorrow’s Killer Apps

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 smartphones and digital commerce have proven they can tunnel under the moats and fly over the barriers with ease – and often with astonishingly little-invested capital. What can smart companies do to “future proof” their businesses against such disruption?

Rich Karlgaard, publisher and futurist of Forbes magazine and author of two best-selling books on high-performance companies, has identified culture, teamwork and people as “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 and Team Genius – The New Science of High-Performing Organizations, to explain how great organizations put culture and teamwork at the core of their operating principles. Karlgaard also gives a sneak peek into his 2019 book on late bloomers and lifelong human development.

In a world where the workforce is becoming more transient, and ideas can come to market in record times, building and maintaining a strong organizational culture centered around trust, learning, teamwork, and people has never been a more timely topic.  So much so, that after having read Karlgaard’s work, Kevin Turner, former COO of Microsoft, recently invited Rich to come speak to the top 1,000 global executives at Microsoft. 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.

Bloom! The Power of Late Bloomers (in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement)

American society (and too many employers) have created a demographic conundrum with potentially disastrous consequences, says Forbes publisher and futurist, Rich Karlgaard.

One the one hand, more people are living healthy and productive lives into their 70s, 80s, and even 90s. Yet parents, schools, and employers have become obsessed with early achievement as never before.

“We push and pressure our children to get the best standardized test scores, gain admittance into the top schools, and spend tens of billions annually to accomplish these goals,” says Karlgaard. But the result is to put unsustainable pressure on the top scorers and demoralize everyone else. “Society pays a big price, and companies in all industries say they can’t find enough young talent to replace retiring baby boomers.

“Crazily, all of this is based on terribly wrong assumptions about how our wonderful brains have the potential to keep blooming multiple times throughout our productive lives.”

In this speech, Karlgaard shares facts, trends, and insights from his forthcoming book, Bloom! The Power of Late Bloomers (In a World Obsessed with Early Achievement.) The book will be published by Crown Business in the spring of next year.

America needs a late bloomer (and serial bloomer) revolution, and forward-thinking employers can lead it. Technologies such as cloud supercomputing, A.I. and IoT are sure to disrupt corporate and career pecking orders at an ever-accelerating rate. The skill of re-invention – for individuals, teams, and companies – will become the skill that matters, says Karlgaard.

Karlgaard shares his books’ findings and recommendations for workforce development – based on four years of research in neuroscience and performance psychology – with corporate audiences around the world.

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 a 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 (which Karlgaard has emceed since 2001)
  • Milken Institute Global Conference
  • Montgomery Summit
  • YPO Global Leadership Conference
  • Microsoft CEO Summit
  • G100
  • S. Chamber of Commerce C100
  • Commonwealth Club of San Francisco
  • Silicon Valley Churchill Club
  • Stewardship Asia
  • South Australia Open State Conference

Additional clients that have engaged Rich as a speaker/moderator/interviewer include:

  • Morgan Stanley
  • Dell Technologies
  • SAP
  • IBM
  • 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 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

side_worksside_speech_topicsside_clientsside_video4speech-topics side_available

“Rich gave a fabulous speech to our management team.”

– Ursula Burns, CEO, Xerox

Themes Covered

Digital Transformation
Artificial Intelligence
Innovation Culture
The Secrets of Great Teams
Dynamic Workforce
Global Technology Trends
Demographic Megatrends
Smart Cities and Nations
Digital and Mobile Commerce
U.S. and Global Economics
U.S. and Global Politics
Financial Market Forecasts

Ready to get started?

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