Robert Safian is one of the most sought after speakers, moderators and interviewers in modern business by chronicling thousands of odds-defying organizations and leaders, getting inside access to their secrets of success. He synthesizes their lessons into insightful and thoroughly entertaining presentations filled with compelling storytelling.
Robert Safian is the founder of the Flux Group and the former editor-in-chief and managing director of the influential, award-winning business magazine, Fast Company, the world's leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation, technology, and leadership. Written for, by, and about the most creative business leaders, Fast Company and its affiliates inspire people to think beyond traditional boundaries and embrace a future that is evolving more rapidly than ever. Under Safian's leadership, Fast Company has received numerous accolades, including the highly coveted National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year in 2014. Named Editor of the Year by Adweek in 2009, Safian has also served as an executive editor for Time and Fortune and headed Money as its chief editor for six years.
Safian has emerged as a leading voice in the innovation economy, propelled by a reputation for near-clairvoyant prediction. He was the first editor to put Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg on a magazine cover and covered Airbnb, Netflix, and Uber long before they were household names. Whether assessing a startup in Detroit or the tech scene in Palo Alto, an innovator in Shanghai or an iconoclast in Cape Town, Safian is constantly translating what is cutting-edge to the mainstream. By presenting stories of the people behind innovative business thinking, he provides hope to millions of talented professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders that meaningful change is possible.
Robert Safian stewards several of the most groundbreaking business gatherings, including The Innovation Festival in New York City and the Creativity-Counter Conference in Los Angeles. He has conducted onstage interviews with many of the world's most intriguing leaders including Serena Williams, Chelsea Clinton, Princess Reema Bint Bandour of Saudi Arabia, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sarah Jessica Parker and the CEOs of Pepsico, Chobani, Pixar, Nike, Under Armour, J Crew, Warby Parker and more. He has been a keynote presenter at events ranging from SxSW Interactive to the United Nation's Global Accelerators Council, the National Retail Federation's "Big Show" to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. He is a frequent guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and other TV networks.
In addition to all of Safian's wide experiences, pool of knowledge, and deft storytelling skills, he is also warm, approachable, and an expert at working with event organizers to personalize his presentations for each audience.
Leading in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Recently, Netflix quietly deleted all the remaining user reviews on its service. And just like that, CEO Reed Hastings completed the latest shift in his company’s ever-evolving strategy: away from the wisdom of crowds in its content recommendations, in favor of the wisdom of the machine. The algorithm is now firmly in charge at Netflix—as it increasingly is across the economy.
The implications of artificial intelligence and the rise of the algorithm have never been more relevant, more important, or more complex. Discussion and consternation about AI have reached culture-wide status, and an essential, worthwhile dialogue. Yet in the big picture, the bottom-line is irrefutable: Tech’s newest wave is upon up, and there’s no going back.
Whether you run a big public company or a nascent startup, whether you are inside academia or in the nonprofit world, whether you oversee a team or contribute to the operations of an enterprise, understanding AI’s emergence is central for all of us. In this presentation, Robert Safian explores five lessons that underscore how AI and the algorithm are redefining business and organizational leadership—including the biggest lesson every leader and businessperson needs to grapple with to thrive in this era.
The Secrets of Generation Flux
Modern business is pure chaos. To succeed in this climate requires a whole new approach. Organizations need to cultivate people who can thrive in an environment of constant change. They are the members of Generation Flux. Less a demographic designation than a psychographic one. Generation Flux describes a mindset that embraces instability and finds opportunity in disruption, recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions.
Anyone can learn to be more GenFlux but the adjustments required are not simple. The vast bulk of our institutions -- educational, corporate, political -- are not built for flux. While many leaders talk about emphasizing agility, there is still an incomplete understanding of how to make that work.
Robert Safian, who coined the phrase Generation Flux, has delved deep inside cultures from Nike to Starbucks to Taco Bell, interviewing scores of GenFluxers, from established CEOs and leaders like General Stanley McChrystal to upstarts with diverse backgrounds and perspectives at places like Buzzfeed, FX Networks, Airbnb, Soulcycle and more. Safian offers a framework for understanding this rapidly changing playing field and compelling insights on how to recruit and empower GenFluxers to drive your future success.
Is Your Company a "Fast" Company?
With the rising pace of competition and ever-changing consumer demands, it can be very hard for business leaders to look toward the future. Robert Safian, editor of the award-winning innovative business magazine Fast Company, defines the important distinction of being "fast", and provides three distinct guidelines to help companies and business people determine how to ensure future success by incorporating elements of agility and adaptation. Audiences walk away with the tools necessary to assess and implement a "fast" approach to business.
How Breakthrough Leaders Thrive Amid Chaos
This may be one of the most intriguing leadership speeches you will ever experience. Safian shares the inside stories of amazing leaders who have transformed their organizations and their industries in the face of constant change in culture and business.
He explores how and why these leaders view rapid changes as a vast pool of opportunities, and how they develop and coordinate a talented workforce to creatively capture these opportunities. Both inspiring and educating, Safian shares the tools and knowledge necessary to become breakthrough leaders.
Lessons of the World's Most Innovative Companies
In this informative and enlightening presentation, Fast Company magazine's award-winning editor Robert Safian shares his firsthand experience with the likes of Apple, Starbucks, and Under Armour, offering insights on today's most innovative companies. He shows how companies can thrive, even in tough times, by embracing the power of innovative ideas and creative execution.
Getting to the heart of the story and digging to find insights that will resonate long after your event is over is Robert Safian's specialty. One of the best interviewers of our generation, he deploys a warm, disarming style, able to weave hard-hitting topics and emotional reflections into a compelling narrative. He also has an innate ability to tie varying speeches and panels together into one central message, creating more effective and entertaining general sessions. Take the time to learn more.
International economic analyst and President of the Institute for Trend Research (ITR)
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