Futurist Trond Arne Undheim, PhD, has one goal: wherever he operates, his life is dedicated to making orders of magnitude of difference for business, society and planet. Trond is a 7x author and is a major global thought leader on the role of technology in society in the next decade and beyond. He is often brought in when clients or media want to hear from a ‘Renaissance man’ with broad insights derived from a plethora of fields.

A Research scholar in Global Systemic Risk, Innovation, and Policy at Stanford University, a Venture Partner at Antler, the global early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the defining technology companies of tomorrow, hee is the CEO and co-founder of Yegii, an insight network with experts and knowledge assets on disruption. A podcaster (Futurized), and former Director of MIT Startup Exchange, based beteween Wellesley, MA, and Palo Alto, CA, he holds a PhD on the future of work and artificial intelligence.

Trond is a regular podcast guest, keynote speaker, panel moderator and conference chair across the world. Whilst he often has strong and controversial opinions based on fact-based insight, and can entertain an audience too boot, his main objective in these events is to listen and bring out the best in other people’s thinking.

To have Trond on as a podcast guest or webinar speaker, please contact Trond Undheim directly or work with his publicist. Trond accepts jobs globally, traveling out of either the East of West coast of the United States. He speaks in English, Italian, French or Norwegian.

What your audience could learn

Trond’s key messages could be summarized under nine broad topics: 1) Augmented Lean, 2) The Futurist’s view, 3) The Future of Technology, 4) Commercializing Innovation, 5) Our Health Tech Future, 6) The Future of Work, Leadership and Reskilling, 7) Global e-Governance, 8) Inclusive Capitalism and the Future of Finance, and 9) Mastering our Physical World.

Outcomes of Trond’s speeches and interviews include increased awareness of the forces of disruption surrounding your business, clarity about where society is headed, and a real push to develop 21st century skills that matter in the workplace whether you are a C-level executive or just starting out.

TOPIC 1: The Augmented Lean Workforce and the Factory of the Future: the counterintuitive next wave of industrial tech is all about scaling humans innovation

Executives need a management framework that prioritizes humans over machines. When you empower your frontline workers, you are investing in their growth, productivity, and loyalty. Increased efficiency of your machines is just a side effect. Hear Trond present highlights from his latest book, Augmented Lean: A Human-Centric Framework for Managing Frontline Operations (Wiley 2022), co-authored with serial entrepreneur, and MIT Media Lab alum, Natan Linder. The book was pre-launched both at the World Economic Forum and at IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, the largest and longest-running industry trade show in the Western Hemisphere and has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, IndustryWeek, and the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Blog.

TOPIC 2: The Futurist’s view on the next decade

Futurism isn’t about predicting exactly, but about projecting long term potential outcomes and deciding what kind of future we want to optimize for. Trond’s current research at Stanford University (see his Stanford profile) is about Cascading Risk Scenarios for 2075 stemming from artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, climate change, nuclear technology, geopolitics, social movements, and a whole host of risks that are rising and combining in unforeseen ways, often under the radar.

Episode 100: The Futurist’s View with Trond Undheim

In addition, Trond is the host of the Futurized podcast which is soon rounding 100 episodes which are all about the ‘Future of’ various societal domains, technologies, and issues. See Futurized podcast.

His next major book will be on long term foresight towards 2050-2075 and includes modeling various scenarios for the next five hundred years of human existence–perhaps our last five hundred years if things (including exponential sci-tech advances) don’t pan out.

TOPIC 3: The Future of Technology (AI, Blockchain, Synthetic Biology, 3D printing, Nanotech, Quantum tech, Robotics)

His recent book, Future Tech: How to Capture Value from Disruptive Industry Trends was published by the highly regarded, independent publisher Kogan Page.

For a sample of his views, see The five technologies that matter: how the C-suite can deploy each for post-pandemic positioning (CEO Magazine).

Tom Cheesewright: Talk About Tomorrow: Shaping the future with Trond Undheim

TOPIC 4: Commercializing Innovation: Academia to Innovation AND How corporations should work with startups AND How to learn from–and even thrive on–failure

Trond was the inaugural director of MIT Startup Exchange, the world’s leading matchmaking program between startups and corporations, working with some of the leading startups of our time (including unicorns Formlabs, Desktop Metal, and Ginkgo Bioworks) and over 200 Fortune 1000 companies.

Trond wrote the book Disruption Games: How to Thrive on Serial Failure

He is now both an early stage (pre-seed) investor through Antler as well as a corporate venture capitalist at Hitachi Ventures and also works with growth startup Tulip, the frontline operations platform.

TOPIC 5: Pandemic Aftermath and our Health Tech Future

Trond wrote the first book on the COVID-19 pandemic, a futurist’s 450 page account of what might happen in the next decade which was published in early May 2020. As the pandemic enters different stages, seemingly catching governments, medical professionals, businesses and citizens by surprise, his five scenarios seem more and more relevant every month that passes. See his tome Pandemic Aftermath.

Trond’s upcoming book, Health Tech: Rebooting Society’s Software, Hardware and Mindset, will be published by Routledge in September 2021, and is available for pre-order. The book introduces anybody who wishes to understand how global healthcare will change in the next decade to key technologies, social dynamics, and systemic shifts that are shaping the future. 

Unleashed – How to Thrive as an Independent Professional |
Trond Undheim on the aftermath of the pandemic
BEYOND COVID S1 E12: Futurist Trond Undheim
HC360 #044 Pandemic Aftermath with Futurist & Author Trond Undheim
Pandemic aftermath and making better decisions for the future with Trond Arne Undheim | Thought Leader
Pandemic Aftermath: How COVID Changes Global Society with Trond Undheim

TOPIC 6: The Future of Work: a) Reskilling one billion workers in industry 4.0 technologies and mindsets, b) Leadership challenges in a changing world, c) Remote work, hybrid work, and the face-to-face advantage, and d) The Role of Knowledge and Insight

Why reskilling, not developing the technologies themselves, is about to become the 21st century’s greatest leadership challenge. Trond leads MFG.works, the reskilling platform launched in association with the World Economic Forum and aiming to provide learning journeys to future proof the world’s workers

Trond wrote his PhD on What the Net Can’t Do (2002) on AI/cognition whether and when nomadic knowledge production (e.g. remote work) will take over. The topic has, again, become hotly debated. Trond has tracked this debate now for over twenty years and is in a unique position to debate what will happen to cities, workplaces, and jobs — as well as power dynamics — and in what time frame.

Trond wrote the book Leadership From Below to explain how leadership without formal authority will become the only viable strategy going forward.

What is the future of work going to look like? Will it be robotically dystopian or humanly augmented? Who gets to decide, tech developers, big tech, big business, G7 governments, billionaires, startups, or ethicists?

What is the emerging role of knowledge and insight? How to stay up to date on an ever changing world of business and technology? Trond started Yegii, the insight network, to try to bring to market a product that combines the best of a search engine with the best human talent.

Will the future be Orwellian? Facebook knows what you like, Waze knows where you are, and Google knows what you’re looking for. In the name of convenience, we have willingly chained ourselves to digital archives, and allowed others, including companies and governments, to follow our every move. How much privacy are you willing to give up? How much have you given up already? Is our use of new technologies liberating us or imprisoning us? Or doing both simultaneously? We invite you to learn about the exciting and alarming technologies available to us and their societal implications.

TOPIC 7: The case for global e-Governance

How the world needs to co-regulate technology in a way where governments work alongside private sector and nonprofits to watch algorithms, safeguard interoperability, and build nocode services of public interest in health, privacy, and culture.

Digital Government Podcast: Futurist Trond Arne Undheim on the e-government of tomorrow

Here’s a shortlist of recent podcasts Trond has featured on that don’t explicitly fall into the above categories:

Leveraging Thought Leadership | Trond Arne Undheim | 265

TOPIC 8: Inclusive Capitalism and Financial Services of the Future

Trond is committed to a more inclusive form of capitalism, where Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) no longer needs to be a focus because each is valued in its own right.

For an op-ed on his thoughts, see Capital serfdom: why early-stage VCs must act as a co-founder for the businesses they invest in

Why blockchain is the future of financial transactions across a plethora of fields. What peer-to-peer finance means for C-level executives, leadership, and the future of society.

Topic 9: Mastering our Physical World: Outer Space as the Next Frontier, Will we ever achieve Sustainability through Energy Tech, and The Future of the Planet

The space race is suddenly becoming quite interesting due to a plethora of startups joining in as serious contenders for major space contracts and indeed sending out their own satellites and rockets. What are the societal consequences of the new space race and new space innovation?

Energy Tech is always fundamental to human progress, yet the abuse of fossil fuels has also brought us to the brink of extinction due to having exhausted the planet’s natural resources, with devastating consequences for habitat, biodiversity, and adding high and unnecessary risk to human settlements. Will we ever achieve sustainability or are we destined to live in excess of our given resources at any given moment?

What does the future of the planet look like short term (in the next 25 years), medium term (in the next few hundred years) and long term (in the next Millennia)? This is the focus of Trond’s upcoming book.

Trond’s podcasts – Futurized and Augmented

Trond runs two of the world’s top 1.5% podcasts, according to Listen Notes. Futurized podcast and Augmented podcast. As a result, he is an extremely easy podcast guest delivering impeccable sound and video quality both as a podcast host and as a podcast guest.

The Near Future of Quantum Computing Futurized – thought leadership on the future

In this episode of the Futurized podcast, host Trond Arne Undheim interviews Mark Jackson, Senior Quantum Evangelist at Quantinuum. They discuss the near future of quantum computing including its near term use cases in batteries, medicine, and cryptography, and its potential impact on computing and society in the future.  Futurized goes beneath the trends to track the underlying forces of disruption in tech, policy, business models, social dynamics and the environment. I’m your host, Trond Arne Undheim (@trondau), futurist, scholar, author, investor, and serial entrepreneur. I am a Research scholar in Global Systemic Risk, Innovation, and Policy at Stanford University. Join me as I discuss the societal impact of deep tech such as AI, blockchain, IoT, nanotech, quantum, robotics, and synthetic biology, and tackle topics such as entrepreneurship, trends, or the future of work. On the show, I interview smart people with a soul: founders, authors, executives, and other thought leaders, or even the occasional celebrity. Futurized is a bi-weekly show, preparing YOU to think about how to deal with the next decade's disruption, so you can succeed and thrive no matter what happens. If you're new to the show, seek particular topics, or you are looking for a great way to tell your friends about the show, which we always appreciate, we've got the episode categories. Those are at Futurized.org/episodes. They are collections of your favorite episodes organized by topic, such as Entrepreneurship, Trends, Emerging Tech, or The Future of Work. That'll help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here, starting with a topic they are familiar with, or want to go deeper in. I am the author of Eco Tech: Investing in Regenerative Futures, Health Tech: Rebooting Society's Software, Hardware and Mindset, Future Tech: How to Capture Value from Disruptive industry Trends, Pandemic Aftermath: how Coronavirus changes Global Society, Disruption Games: How to Thrive on Serial Failure, and of Leadership From Below: How the Internet Generation Redefines the Workplace, and the co-author of Augmented Lean: A human-centric framework for managing frontline operations. For an overview, go to Trond's Books at Trondundheim.com/books At this stage, Futurized is lucky enough to have several sponsors. To check them out, go to Sponsors | Futurized – thoughts on our emerging future. If you are interested in sponsoring the podcast, or to get an overview of other services provided by the host of this podcast, including how to book him for keynote speeches, please go to Futurized.org / store. We will consider all brands that have a demonstrably positive contribution to the future. Before you do anything else, make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter on Futurized.org, where you can find hundreds of episodes of conversations that matter to the future. I hope you can also leave a positive review on iTunes or in your favorite podcast player–it really matters to the future of this podcast.   Futurized—conversations that matter.
  1. The Near Future of Quantum Computing
  2. The Road to Regenerative Capitalism
  3. A Radically Different Future of Work
  4. End of The World 2075 Board Game
  5. Fictitious Capital in our Global System

Episode 127: Venture Capital's Role in Digital Transformation with Lior Susan Augmented Ops

This week’s guest is Lior Susan (https://www.linkedin.com/in/liorsusan/), founder of Eclipse Ventures. With the digital transformation of critical industries like manufacturing now at the forefront of many nations’ economic priorities, Lior discusses the role that venture capital can play in helping drive this change. He addresses the growing importance of integrating IT and OT in industrial settings, and how technology can be used to augment the global workforce. Plus, key insights on the future of system integration in a world of open, interoperable software ecosystems. Augmented Ops is a podcast for industrial leaders, shop floor operators, citizen developers, and anyone else that cares about what the future of frontline operations will look like across industries. This show is presented by Tulip (https://tulip.co/), the Frontline Operations Platform. You can find more from us at Tulip.co/podcast (https://tulip.co/podcast) or by following the show on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/augmentedpod/). Special Guest: Lior Susan.
  1. Episode 127: Venture Capital's Role in Digital Transformation with Lior Susan
  2. Episode 126: Transforming Manufacturers’ Organizational Strategy with Dr. Jörg Gnamm
  3. Episode 125: Rethinking Quality Control for Pharmaceuticals with Mark Buswell
  4. Episode 124: Industrial Data Interoperability with Erich Barnstedt
  5. Episode 123: Building a Manufacturing Software Marketplace with Diego Tamburini

Most Popular Presentations:

  • “LEARNING FROM FAILURE: How executives embrace the 21st century by developing a social biosphere of innovation”
  • “FUTURE OF WORK”: How to thrive in man/machine relationships”
  • “FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY”: How business can capture value from innovation in science, technology and startups”
  • “HOW THE CORPORATE WORLD CAN LEARN FROM STARTUP INNOVATION: Designing and managing innovation portfolios”
  • “LEADERSHIP FROM BELOW: “How to Manage The Leaders of the Internet Generation”
  • “WHAT THE NET CAN’T DO: Technology enhances efficiency but face-to-face prevails”
  • “THE FUTURE OF E-GOVERNMENT: What governments must do to excel”
  • “THE ROLE OF THINK TANKS IN SHAPING KNOWLEDGE AND INSIGHT: How background actors shape the political landscape”

Previous clients

Trond’s keynote addresses and speeches have impressed corporate executives, policy makers, MBA students, Members of Parliament, IT professionals, communication executives, bureaucrats as well as university staff in Europe, the United States and Asia: