Richard Worzel


About Richard Worzel - Futurist and Innovation Speaker:

Richard Worzel is a leading forecaster and futurist, a Chartered Financial Analyst and best-selling author of Who Owns Tomorrow?. Richard is also a frequent media commentator on business, innovation, economic trends and technology.

Richard challenges organizations to examine the future and plan for the dizzying changes to come. In his compelling presentations, seminars and workshops - Richard equips groups with the ability to understand the changes they will face in the years ahead, and provides the tools to leverage those changes.

His highly customized presentations help groups to identify the major forces that will affect their business - as well as their personal lives. In order to help your group learn to leverage upcoming transformations, Richard identifies factors that will have dramatic implications for your industry in the near future - working through possible scenarios, contingencies, and the development of effective plans and strategies.

Richard Worzel is known for his professionalism and enthusiasm in preparing and presenting to widely diverse audiences. He works closely with conference planners to develop a customized presentation - that is useful, thought-provoking, and entertaining.

Recent clients include: IBM, Standard Life, Investors Group, MacLean Hunter Publishing, Xerox, Merrill Lynch, 3Com, Mackenzie Financial, AIM Funds, among many others.

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What Richard Worzel Talks About:

What Makes a City Smart? – The Future of “Smart City” Initiatives
Technology is often perceived as magic, and this misperception is often enhanced by the application of a catchy phrase. “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) is one such phrase, but so is “smart city”. Futurist Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst as well as a business visionary and best-selling author.

In this presentation, he identifies both the myths and the realities of smart cities, including:

  • Why any smart city initiative has to involve large quantities of clean, timely, and relevant data, and why this also creates problems, both in terms of the work, and in terms of public perception
  • Why creating a smart city is more about careful thought, innovation, and planning than it is about sensors, apps, Big Data, and analytics
  • What role technology can, and can’t play, including the use of AI and analytics
  • Why identifying the problems, including solid waste, intelligent infrastructure investing, and climate change, is perhaps the critical part of the process
  • What tools can municipalities use to move their cities towards being smart cities?

In addressing this last point, Richard will offer a futurist toolkit that includes techniques for innovation, structured brainstorming, and strategic planning that can help your people map out a structured approach to this sometimes amorphous and confusing topic. He’ll also give participants PDF handbooks describing how to make use of these tools that they can take back to their municipalities to initiate the strategic planning process.

Artificial Intelligence, Health Management, and the Future of Pharmacy
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hot topic in technologies these days, but even though there’s a healthy dose of hype involved, there are still very good reasons why those involved in health care, but especially pharmacists, need to pay attention to how it is changing health care, pharmacy, and society.

In this presentation, custom crafted for the Pharmaceutical industry, Richard Worzel provides an overview of how technology generally, and AI specifically is changing all the rules, including:

  • Drug discovery – Evolutionary algorithms have the potential to reduce the costs of drug discovery at every stage of research and clinical trials, and to rescue drugs that have potential, but might not otherwise make it through clinical trials
  • AI excels at multivariate analysis and pattern recognition, both of which are critical to developing new pharmaceuticals, as well as marketing them to the right people
  • AI will emerge that can support and assist pharmacists in checking that the proper prescription has been given, that it is appropriate to the consumer, and that it is the best economic choice for all concerned. It will never replace pharmacists as AI has no common sense, but it can become a powerful assistant
  • At the front of the store, AI can help with identify fraud, reduce shrinkage, improve accounting and make it both easier and more valuable as a strategic management tool, and improve physical security
  • The emergence of personal AIs for patients, today through smartphones, but eventually through virtual assistants, have the potential to revolutionize health assessments, medication management and monitoring, and crisis intervention
  • In combination with Cloud and Fog computing, virtual assistants could lead to the emergence of an integrated, global, health management system that would, among other things, revolutionize drug development, testing, and management.

As well as providing a road map of the future of health care, Richard will also provide insights about tools from the futurist toolkit to help you turn the uncertainty of the future into a competitive advantage.

Innovation in Finance: Great Opportunities, Terrifying Challenges
The entire financial industry is undergoing massive changes, with consolidation (to the extent permitted) among the major players, plus the prospects of assaults by fintech and insurtech new entrants.

Futurist Richard Worzel is both a business visionary, and a Chartered Financial Analyst. In this overview of the future of the financial industries, he discusses the challenges and prospects for new players including:

  • How technology is threatening traditional banking and investment players, including crowd-sourced disintermediation for loans, mortgages, and deposits; the application of Artificial Intelligence to investment research and portfolio management, as well as to insurance; as well as the prospects for what happens beyond online and mobile banking
  • The Big Five schedule 1 Canadian banks have seen off all comers, from American commercial banks to niche market domestic upstarts to credit unions. Yet, they are widely disliked by the Canadian banking public. Innovation remains the only way for any new player to seriously challenge them
  • Meanwhile, the same technologies that threaten the financial industry also make it possible for new entrants to move towards friction-free finance for clients, and, if done properly, to create a superior client experience

After exploring these issues, Richard circles back to talk about why organizations that claim to be devoted to innovation actually loathe it and seek to avoid it whenever possible, and what perceptive leaders can do to change that. Creating an innovation organization, where innovation is an every-day thing, rather than a once-in-a-while, when-we-have-time rarity is the crucial task for anyone seeking to overcome the enormous obstacles surrounding finance, and penetrate the lucrative heart of the financial industry.

Tomorrow’s Risks and Internal Audit: How the Future Will Shape, and Be Shaped by, Internal Auditors
Futurist Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst as well as a business visionary who has worked with accountants and internal auditors for many years. The Risk and Insurance Management Society raved that his presentations provided “A perfect balance of theoretical and practical”, and Johnson & Johnson said “The audience [was] absolutely captivated!”.

In this presentation, Richard zeroes in on how the future will affect Internal Audit, including:

  • Artificial Intelligence – why its influence is going to be pervasive, risky, and revolutionary
  • How technology more broadly, including automation, Evolutionary Algorithms, the Internet of Things, and Fog computing, is going to drastically change the operational future of all organizations
  • Why a futurist’s approach to risk and risk management is different from the conventional view, and what Internal Auditors can gain by adding it to their toolkit
  • Why Internal Audit must continue to shift towards forward-looking as well as backward checking for the welfare of their organizations
  • The trends that are affecting industry, global trade, government, not-for-profits, education, and society, and how you can prepare for the changes to come.

Richard will end with an overview of futurist tools, and provide PDF handbooks to help conferees learn more, and then apply them to their own organizations and operations.

Then, in a separate breakout session, Richard will first answer any additional questions, and then provide examples of how internal auditors can apply futures research tools to their own operations as a complement to traditional risk management tools.

You Say You Want an Evolution? – What’s Ahead for CPAs and Audit Committees
Change is coming, and the pace of change is not only accelerating, but the rate of acceleration is increasing. But it’s not just the pace of change that will challenge audit committees; it’s also the wide range of where rapid, even radical change is happening that will be a challenge.

Futurist Richard Worzel is a business visionary as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst who has worked with CAs, CGAs, and CPAs on both sides of the border.

In this presentation, he will provide a roadmap to the changes ahead in the future, including topics from technology, including:

  • Blockchain technology, and how it will change all exchanges, not just commercial transactions
  • Artificial Intelligence, which will produce changes at least as profound and far-reaching as the introduction of the Internet
  • The Internet of Things (IoT), and how it will surround us with intelligence and watchers

But technology isn’t the only thing that will change our world. Richard will provide a futurist’s view of risk and risk management, notably how to prepare for and even profit from uncertainty, and how to expect the unexpected.

He will also touch on the range of unconventional risks corporations will need to prepare for, including:

  • The power shifts in geopolitics
  • The potential for a full-out trade war, with Canada at the centre
  • Potential problems caused by government unfunded and implicit liabilities
  • Climate change
  • The decline in privacy, and the heightened risks involved in unethical behaviour
  • Automation and unemployment
  • The blurring lines of sexuality and sexual identity
  • The #MeToo movement, racism, identity politics, and political correctness

Richard will end with the introduction of a futurist’s toolkit, as well as handbooks on how to take advantage of them within a corporate setting.

Non-Profits in Tomorrow’s World: What’s Ahead for the Not-For-Profit Sector
The world around is changing around non-profit organizations, and the principles that worked in the past won’t work as well, or perhaps at all, in future.

In this presentation, Futurist & business visionary Richard Worzel outlines the forces that are changing the world that will affect non-profits, including:

  • The widening disparity between the small number of haves (“The 1%”) and have nots, which has major implications for charitable giving
  • The aging of the population, which implies more retirees with time on their hands, and inclinations to be involved in worthwhile causes – if those causes look like they can achieve their goals
  • The polarization of American politics, with implications for taxation, rules surrounding charitable giving, and regulation of non-profits
  • The rising number of people who are being left behind by globalization and, increasingly, automation
  • The spreading costs of climate change, leading to more extreme weather events that impoverish a steadily rising number of people

Meanwhile, the not-for-profit sector is changing as well, with new business – non-profit hybrid models, such as Union & Fifth, emerging that challenge old orthodoxies about how the sector should operate.

In this rapidly mutating environment, the need for innovation among non-profits becomes crucial, and may be the difference between survival and failure. To address this, Richard will cite examples of non-profits that have made the leap, and then turn to some of the tools that futurists use to help organizations invent a new future for themselves, and the people they serve.

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 Recent Publications

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For the first time in the history of our event - every single [prospective client] contacted us to make an appointment. Thank you Richard Worzel!

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