Economic & Business Innovation Thought Leader, Publisher and Columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur & Author

  • A respected forecaster of how events and upcoming trends—tech, financial markets and especially the impact of Washington politics—will affect business and the economy
  • As a journalist, private investor, TV commentator and board director, he offers firsthand perspective on what’s driving the global marketplace
  • An expert on successful corporate culture, he reveals how organizations can attain a sustainable competitive advantage in a fast-changing world


2016 – A Year of Tumult and Opportunity

Stocks in the U.S. and global markets suffered the worst opening two weeks in history.  Some say it reminds them of the 2008 crisis. Even Apple, the world’s most valuable (and admired) company, began the year trading at nearly 30% below its 2015 highs.

Geopolitically, Saudi Arabia and Iran have moved closer to armed conflict. North Korea claimed it exploded a hydrogen bomb. Europe is struggling to absorb millions of Syrian refugees. Oil continues its volatile slide. Two-thirds of Americans believe ISIS is a threat to the U.S.

The U.S. presidential campaign in 2016 has no precedent, and is sure to grow even more heated as election day draws closer. Last year’s predictions from even the most-informed Washington pundits have proven largely useless.

Against this wall of uncertainty and gloom, Forbes magazine publisher and columnist, Rich Karlgaard, predicts 2016 will be surprisingly robust. Forward-looking investors, business leaders, entrepreneurs and government officials will be rewarded. In this timely, and universally relevant presentation, Karlgaard explores with audiences some of these pressing issues, and why he sees opportunity – in spite of some of the dire headlines. Here are just a few things Karlgaard can discuss as they may be relevant to your organization:

  • China’s demise is greatly exaggerated. What’s happening in China is the transition from low-cost manufacturing economy to a value-added software, services and consumer economy. Startup China is alive and well.
  • America’s manufacturing demise is also exaggerated. 2016 will be remembered as the year the “Internet of Things” went mainstream and began to transform the physical (not just the digital) economy.
  • The strong U.S. dollar, which initially hurt the U.S. export economy in 2015, has planted the seeds of a robust revival, driven by low dollar-denominated energy prices. Fed chair Janet Yellen was right to raise interest rates.
  • How neither the political right nor left, but America’s “radical middle” will determine the U.S. presidential, Senate and House races.
  • Why U.S. stocks will have a strong second half in 2016.
  • Three best practices to steer your organization through turbulent times.

Four Megatrends 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 two years), but badly underestimate it the long run (five years or more).

Forbes publisher and author of the magazine’s featured Innovation Rules column, Rich Karlgaard, cuts through the clutter. He forecasts the business and technology world as it is likely to unfold over the next two, five, and ten years. Karlgaard is uniquely positioned at the intersection of business, economic, innovation, and technological trends, and as such, he is able to see, weigh, and articulate the variables that will shape the future.

Karlgaard 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 Megatrends 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 and Teams Are Tomorrow’s Killer Apps

Virtual reality, the Internet of things, drones and driverless cars, bitcoins and hyperloops, social commerce and the sharing economy – the storm of technological change never stops. It only 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 smart phones 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 of Forbes magazine and author of its Innovation Rules column, has identified culture and teamwork as pillars 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. Culture is the DNA of an organization, and teams are the brains, nerves, muscles, bones and blood. Organizations that employ these principles tend to be consistent winners, with robust immune systems, says Karlgaard.

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 and teamwork has never been a more timely topic.  So much so, that after having read Karlgaard’s work, Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft, recently invited him 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.