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Cecily Sommers        

Business Futurist, Global Trends Analyst & Author

There’s only one thing Cecily Sommers loves more than solving big, sticky innovation problems for some of the world’s great brands: getting others excited about doing it for themselves. A leading futurist and innovation expert, Sommers speaks, writes, and consults on emerging trends, markets, and technologies shaping business and society.

Big projects call for big talent and, for the projects she leads, Sommers composes an elite team of collaborators. The combination of expertise — graphic design, writing and editing, experience design, video — translates the strategy into beautiful communications, products, and learning experiences that bring traction to your forward action.

Cecily’s book, Think Like a Futurist, has been translated into several languages, was listed on the "Top 25: What Corporate America is Reading" by the Tribune Review, and nominated the “Most Significant Futures Work in Methods and Practice” by the Association of Professional Futurists.

Sommers has been named one of the “World’s Top Female Futurists,” a “Fast 50 Reader’s Favorite” by Fast Company, and a “Woman to Watch” by the Business Journal. She is also a frequent contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered" and other media outlets.

Speech Topics

“But…” Busters

The biggest barrier to change is a statement that begins “But…” No matter how they’re delivered, ‘buts’ undermine your commitments, keep you playing small and, worst, let you off the hook for doing so.

This talk offers fun, winning strategies for conquering six energy-robbing evils: blame, denial, fear, busyness, resignation, and whining. These powerful But-Busting practices will make you a resistance-resolving superhero in meetings, deal negotiations, and even around the dinner table.

The Future Is Where We Belong

As changes race ahead of our ability to make sense of them, strategy needs to focus on the deeply human things that don’t change: the need to be safe and be valued, and the wish to shine a light in the lives we touch. It is here, at the intersection of what changes and what doesn’t, that astute leaders find what’s next for their business.

Building Your Capacity For Transformation

While still operating in the hierarchical order of the Industrial Age, today’s leaders must also build bridges to an increasingly networked and autonomous economy. They’re charged with cultivating a tolerance for change and uncertainty in the organization on the one hand, and maintaining its stability on the other.

To create balance within these tensions, leaders must first do this for themselves. Cecily explores how individuals can expand their personal perspectives and replace best practices with wise practices.

Breaking Our Addiction To Certainty

The single most important competency for innovation is the ability to face uncertainty and keep moving anyway. In this talk, Cecily shares the mindset and practices to break our addiction to certainty and increase our capacity for the fundamental requirement of growth — risk-taking.

Think Like A Futurist

This keynote talk brings power to ageless questions: "What's shaping tomorrow's markets?" and "Where is our greatest advantage?" As Cecily shares her methods for strategic foresight and innovation, she treats the audience to a guided tour of the future, pointing out important opportunities along the way.

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