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Richard Yonck

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Richard Yonck is an international keynote speaker and best-selling author who guides audiences on a journey into the future in order to explore the potential impacts of emerging trends and technologies on business, industry and society.

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Richard Yonck is a internationally-known futurist, keynote speaker and best-selling author who explores strategic futures for audiences, readers and clients. Focusing on emerging trends and technologies, Richard explores how these are likely to impact business and society as well as how this knowledge can be used to help develop our preferred futures. With a master’s degree in media theory and a background in computer science, Richard has spoken to and worked with a breadth of industry sectors ranging from agriculture, education and manufacturing to government, marketing, publishing, and mobility. His clients include Amazon, Samsung, Xerox, Atotech, American Marketing Association, Geekwire, Naturipe Berry Growers, the U.S. State Department, and many others.


Why book speaker Richard Yonck?

  • Audiences are always wowed and inspired by Richard’s presentations.
  • Richard explores many complex concepts in a way that’s approachable for any audience.
  • With a deep understanding of futures principles, Richard offers knowledgeable guidance.
  • Richard routinely offers Q&A sessions following his keynotes, at the organizer’s request.
  • The author of two books on the future of AI, Richard is a clear-headed guide on artificial intelligence.

Richard is the author of FUTURE MINDS, about the future of artificial intelligence in the 21st century and beyond. His previous book, HEART OF THE MACHINE explores the future of emotion AI, systems that can read, interpret, and interact with our emotions.

Now in its second edition, it is required reading at universities in the U.S. and around the world. Formerly the computing/AI contributing editor for The Futurist Magazine, Richard has written for and been quoted in Scientific American, Wired, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC News, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, World Future Review, Fast Company, GeekWire, Salon, and many more. He’s a member of the U.S. National Association of Science Writers, a TED speaker and a former executive board member of the Association of Professional Futurists.

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Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

Artificial Intelligence: Our Most Transformational Technology

ChatGPT, LLMs, Generative-AI, Machine Commonsense – Future advances in artificial intelligence are altering nearly every aspect of our lives. How will we adapt as so much of our world becomes more and differently intelligent?

It seems like nearly every day we hear about some new hurdle that artificial intelligence has overcome. Yet, we know it is still far from capable of performing a multitude of human tasks. At the same time, the news is filled with reports of massive job losses due to these advances in AI and automation. How rapidly is this technology advancing and just how smart could it eventually become?

This program explores the advances that are being made in a range of AI-related technologies, advances that could one day make artificial intelligence nearly equivalent to our own. However, there are major reasons why it can never exactly duplicate human intelligence and for this reason we will face many challenges in our interactions with it.

Audience Takeaways:

  • What are the new and emerging AI technologies that will transform tomorrow’s world?
  • What can AI do today and what can we expect it to do in the future?
  • How has AI already surpassed us and in what ways will it probably always fall short?
  • How will society and the workplace have to change in order to deal with these inevitable advances?
Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

Building the Innovation Ecosystems of Tomorrow

Innovation has always been critical to progress and how we build the future. As we look ahead, what new kinds of creativity, discovery, team building, financing, and infrastructure will support the startup communities of tomorrow?

We live at one of the most exciting times in history, a time when innovation is constantly taking place all around us. Many factors make this possible, encouraging and perpetuating new ideas that are already rapidly transforming our world. And nowhere is this more evident than in the world of startups.

Just imagine how the future of the startup ecosystem might look in ten or twenty years as we incorporate AI, advanced telecommunications, automated logistics and self-driving vehicles. Attendees will learn about the new kinds of creativity, discovery, team building, financing, and infrastructure that will support the startup community of tomorrow. Most importantly we’ll explore how this future could develop in order to answer the question: “How will we innovate innovation itself?”

Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

Automation, Employment & the Future of the Workforce

Augmented Reality Docent. AI Wrangler. Data Set Auditor. Genetics Interpreter. Digital Reputation Scrubber. VR Addiction Counselor. These are just a few of the new jobs we’re likely to see in the near future. At the same time, many of today’s jobs are disappearing as new forms of automation become more capable.

According to recent research, as many as 47% of all jobs will be eliminated by artificial intelligence and other forms of automation during the next two decades. While two-thirds of Americans believe robots will soon perform most of the work done by humans, fully 80% believe their own jobs are not the ones at risk. It seems there’s a serious disconnect somewhere.

As we move through the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s increasingly evident that we aren’t prepared for the changes that await us. What can we do to prepare our workforce for such a disruptive era? How might business and government adapt in a world that no longer needs people for so many of its tasks? Perhaps most importantly, how will we prepare for jobs that don’t even exist yet?

Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

Healthcare 2045: The Amazing Era of Hyper-Personalized Medicine

Next-generation gene therapies. Microinterventions. mRNA-based cancer vaccines. Radically extended healthspans and lifespans. The world of medicine continues to advance by leaps and bounds. But are we prepared the changes yet to come?

With disruption comes opportunity. Many different stakeholders are seeking ways to transform the healthcare system. With the advent of new platforms, approaches to patient data, and prescription delivery, the system could become vastly more efficient or it could become a morass of bureaucracy. How will these new technologies alter our relationship with our doctors, nurses and other wellness professionals? What can we do to ensure new life-saving advances are equitably distributed?

Learn how the future of medicine will change our very definitions of health, wellness, and perhaps even mortality itself.

Audience Takeaways:

  • What new technologies are poised to transform healthcare?
  • As new digital health platforms are rolled out, how can we be assured that our personal data stays safe?
  • How will our health be tracked and how will this allow us to detect serious health issues as early as possible.
  • How could innovations like localized health hubs deliver care in the most efficient and cost-effective manner?
Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

The New Era of Emotion AI: When Machines Understand Our Feelings

Our devices are becoming increasingly able to read, interpret and influence our emotions. Learn about the amazing future of Emotion AI from the author of the best-selling book, HEART OF THE MACHINE, now in its second edition.

Because emotion is such a core aspect of the human condition, these technologies are increasingly being used in everything from education, health care, the military, social robotics, law enforcement, autism detection and therapies, political campaigns, advertising, marketing and much more. What will be the repercussions of such technology? How could it alter our society and personal relationships? Ultimately, what can – and can’t – we expect of it and what do we do to prepare ourselves?

Author of the definitive best-selling book about the future of artificial emotional intelligence, Richard’s deep understanding of the developing emotion economy has made him a global thought leader on this subject.

Audience Takeaways:

  • Discover the origins and potential of this fascinating technology.
  • Understand why Emotion AI is a continuation of a century-long trend.
  • Explore the potentials and limits of Emotion AI.
  • Learn about the future benefits and dangers of having systems that interact with us through emotion detection.
Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

The Future is Human: Finding Our Way in an Everchanging World

How can we ensure the future remains conducive to human life, values and experience? Explore the challenges and strategies that will help us become good stewards of the future.

Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

Propelling Mobility: Where is the Future of Transportation Taking Us?

New transportation technologies will rapidly transform our cities, commerce and society. With everything from autonomous vehicles and micromobility to delivery drones and urban air mobility, what are the implications for infrastructure, vehicle ownership models, regulation and more?

Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

Building Your Organization’s Future Resilience

The 2020 pandemic broke the global supply chain and experts say it will be five years before it’s fully functional again. How can we improve our future resilience to better weather the next worldwide crisis?

Keynote by speaker Richard Yonck

Cultivating AgriTech: The Future of a Growth Industry

One of civilization’s oldest activities is being transformed by 21st century technology. From vertical farms to artificial pollinators to Impossible proteins, how will AgriTech help us save the planet?


Watch speaker Richard Yonck in action!

Fly Asia 2022 Keynote

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Richard Yonck - Showreel

Watch speaker Richard Yonck in action!

The Future of the Global Marketplace

Watch speaker Richard Yonck in action!

Richard Yonck: Future Minds—The Rise of Intelligence

Watch speaker Richard Yonck in action!

Richard Yonck – Parsons School of Design guest lecture – July 2021

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Recently we organized the first-ever Emotion AI Summit: featuring 28+ speakers and 300+ attendees at the MIT Media Lab. Richard joined tech leaders in the day-long event as a panelist on our “Future of AI: Ethics, Morality and the Workforce” panel. Richard helped make the Ethics of AI session one of my favorite of the event.”

Ashley McManus

Director of Marketing, Affectiva

I thought you were so professional and with such a command of your topic. It was a joy working with you.”

Prof. William E. Halal, PhD

George Washington University President, TechCast Global

Richard Yonck is a futurist, researcher, writer, and communicator of exceptional talent and high professional standards.”

Cynthia G. Wagner

Editor, The Futurist Magazine

Richard shared with us perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring, intriguing presentations on new technologies – so much so that we invited him back for a follow-up presentation. One of the things that differentiates Richard is he’s truly passionate and knowledgeable about technology past, present and future.”

Tolga U. Ural, MBA

CEO, Imagine Media Partners President, Rotary Club of Seattle Metropolitan
July 22, 2019

Interview with Richard Yonck

Getting in touch with Speaker Richard Yonck:

What is the one piece of advice you would share with a company planning for the future of their industry?

It’s been observed that we tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate its effect in the long run. Therefore, company leaders need to look less at their competitors and more to the startups in their industries, who are nimble and able to spot and quickly solve problems. In this era of rapid change, larger companies can be at a disadvantage, becoming too bloated and set in their ways to quickly address and adapt to new trends. Instead, we should look more to the innovators: the startups; the artists who have their pulse on societal changes; the younger generation and the trends they initiate. This is where you’ll find your future opportunities, as well as your future customers.

How did you begin your speaking career?

I have been reading about science and technology since I was a young boy and began writing professionally three decades ago. As I’ve engaged in conversations with readers in person and online, I found I really enjoyed those dialogues. This became the foundation for wanting to share what my research and writing have taught me through new channels. In the course of my speaking, I’ve found I especially enjoy the Q&A sessions, as I always learn something new from the exchange.

A lot of people formulate fear around the thought of AI, how do you help audiences overcome the fear of AI?

For the foreseeable future, AI remains a tool, or rather a broad set of tools that we use to engage our increasingly complex world. Obviously, AI has grown considerably more capable over the recent decades, which can be unnerving. But most of the risks this brings are not Terminator scenarios or the Singularity, but in how we choose to use and operate these powerful new tools. As we integrate AI into more of our systems and our world, we’re gaining immense benefits, but we’re also learning lessons about the challenges it can bring, most recently in terms of bias and privacy. As a result, we are now having conversations about the ethics of these systems and what we want to do about this. In light of this, it seems evident we all need to take a more active role in determining how AI is used and what controls are established in order to protect ourselves.

What inspires you most about this field?

I take inspiration from futures work because I believe in the potential of tomorrow. How we plan and prepare for it will affect the rest of our lives, as well as the lives of those who come after us. I see my writing, speaking and consulting as an opportunity to be in service to others and help them prepare and feel more optimistic about our collective future.

How do you stay up to date with the latest and greatest technology trends?

Keeping up to date with new developments is a multifaceted, multimodal process. It includes attending lectures, listening to other futurists and talking with peers, interviewing researchers and visiting labs, exposing myself to the arts, following current events, meeting with students, and listening to podcasts. And of course, reading journals, books, websites and more. There is a lot of reading.

What is your favorite science fiction movie? And why?

Though it’s difficult to choose a single sci-fi movie, I’d say my all-time favorite is probably the original 1982 Blade Runner. Besides being based on a story by the amazing Philip K. Dick, it’s a great study about what makes us human. Of course, as we saw with that movie’s replicants, it may not be so easy to know who is and isn’t human in the future.

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Keynote topics with Richard Yonck