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Informative and though-provoking views on the impact of technology

Robert Overweg

travels from Netherlands

Creative Director and expert on technology and innovation guiding some of the world's leading companies

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About Robert

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Renowned expert on all things technology and innovation, our international speaker Robert Overweg is an artist and expert in Virtual Worlds. He is passionate about embracing technology while remaining critical.

Your keynote speaker on Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Reality

  • Speaker Robert Overweg shows audiences the boundless possibilities of how to use design and technology to improve lives! 
  • Robert shows his audience the powerfull impact of Virtual Reality and the possibilities to improve treatments, reduce pain or desensitize traumatic experiences with VR.
  • His custom made keynotes are based on the newest technologies and  include elements which are directly applicable to you or your business.

Robert Overweg guides some of the most leading international companies like Vodafone, Liberty Global and Ebay in making the digital transformation and becoming more customer focused. He guides them through the latest (tech) developments, reflects on these critically and helps with implementation.

He has built his own innovative teams and has helped his clients in doing the same. Besides, Robert has built two companies: Beyond Sports and Beyond Care. The first has a focus on making athletes better and creating new forms of entertainment. The second company is focused on making people’s life’s better. Through Virtual Reality for an example it’s possible to improve treatments, reduce pain or desensitize traumatic experiences. The beautiful things we can do with good design and technology.

As a keynote speaker on technology he has spoken at SXSW, MIT, Next Conference and companies like Heineken Global. As a creative director Robert worked on design + strategy for Vodafone, Liberty Global and Ebay. In his role as an artist, his digital explorations ended up in Centre Pompidou and the media biennial in Seoul. His writing ended up on The Next Web.

See keynotes with Robert Overweg

    Keynote by Speaker Robert Overweg 

    How to develop an adaptable mindset and survive the future

    An adaptable mindset helps you expand your horizon, teaches you to see things from multiple perspectives, and can even show you a bit of the future. Creating such a mindset for yourself can make it much easier to embrace disruption and adapt to it, both in your personal and professional life. A lot of people talk about the necessity of having an adaptable mindset but how to actually build one?


    Keynote by Speaker Robert Overweg

    Build teams for ‘radical innovation’ to save your company’s creativity

    For most companies that have been around for a while, rigidity and corporate processes eventually creep into the system. They slowly start to see innovation as simply the next iteration of an existing product or service. Resulting in just iterative ‘innovation’ which isn’t a sustainable way for a business to stay ahead.
    If someone is working on something that could potentially disrupt your business, it better be you. In order to achieve this, you’ll need teams that have a radical mindset and are hungry for disruption. A team that works according to the principles of radical innovation.

    Having worked in the trenches of innovation, Robert has learned a lot from building his own teams towards a company of 160 people and building teams at Vodafone, Liberty Global, Ebay and many others.

    In this presentation speaker Robert Overweg will show you what type of people you should have in your teams, how to streamline innovation by setting goals that give direction, in addition to discussing Amazon’s and Google’s surprising approach to the use of data in innovation. And finally he will provide you with the principles you need to make radical innovation thrive — all the while making sure you have some fun along the way.


    Keynote by Speaker Robert Overweg

    AR / VR / XR how to add value

    How to find added value of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Robert has developed several branches in VR. With Beyond Sports he creates VR solutions for professional sports teams. Pioneering together with the Dutch National team, Ajax and others. With Beyond Care the focus is on makings people’s lives better through Virtual Reality. By improving treatments, reducing pain, or desensitizing traumatic experiences through VR. Enjoy a complete market overview of the pitfalls and possibilities of AR and VR.


    Keynote by Speaker Robert Overweg

    How esports is disrupting the sports industry

    Even if you’re not into gaming, it’s hard to deny the popularity of esports. Viewership is increasing year over year, there’s constant experimentation with new revenue models and it’s redefining the way we engage with online content. It’s a fresh, digitally native take on watching competitive sports, and it’s here to stay. Get a overview of what is happening in the market and what you can learn from this.


    Keynote by Speaker Robert Overweg

    What blockchain will disrupt and what new companies will arise

    Starting of with a basic 101 on how blockchain works, what it can bring for the world but also what it can’t do. After a brief introduction we dive into possible outcomes and why you should care. One possibility is a new wave of companies which share revenue with their users by default. This vision is fixed in code, written down in smart contracts on a blockchain protocol. These contracts automatically secure and execute the vision, and the operation of the company. Robert believes that in due time, these companies could sprout new economic models, empowered by its tech and a vision for a more fairer world.

Robert Overweg - video

Digital is taking over at TEDxUtrecht by speaker Robert Overweg

Watch speaker Robert Overweg in action

See keynotes with Robert Overweg

Interview with Robert Overweg

What got you interested in virtual reality?

I was at a museum in New York back in 2008 where I saw an application which could distract children with burn wounds from pain during their treatment. The combination of Virtual Reality, distraction of the brain, and the element of play gave impactful results. A decrease of 70-80% of pain while using VR. From that moment on I said to myself I want to create tools like this as well.

What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?

I have been around the block of innovating and digitizing companies a few times now. However, in five years, creating a positive impact over the axis of large corporates is still really important to me. The reach and size alone of these companies can make such a large positive impact. Using design and tech to facilitate this.

I am also interested in supporting new eco-systems and building new models. Whatever moves us forward. Currently I support several projects, to name a few: a fact checking platform which is empowered by blockchain technology. Another project my team and I are working on is a health project to treat people’s PTSD through a virtual therapist. One could say that these are all projects that give tools for people to improve their lives. In the next five years, if the timing is right, several of these directions should have succeeded.

What is the biggest misconception people have about digitalizing their business?

  • There are a few pitfalls. That data in itself holds no insights on what you should create. AmazonGoogle, and the MIT School of Management all say that data is important in the innovation process, but mostly as a means of validation.
  • Other misconceptions include: That every new tech you read about on Tech Crunch or The Verge is essential for your digital strategy.
  • That once you set up your innovation department you’re done. In reality innovation is incredibly difficult to do and even more so to do it successfully.

Could you tell us 3 tips for embracing an adaptable mindset?

1. Stretch your brain

The most important thing to remember is that you’re looking to build a flexible mind that’s comfortable with being exposed to different kinds of thinking. Don’t be afraid to make your brain stretch in ways it hasn’t done before! It’s important to always stay curious so try to explore areas like visual arts, philosophy, science, cartoons, games, and design.


Listen to artist and philosophers for an example to stay ahead of the zeitgeist. If you would’ve listened to Keith Haring in ’78 or David Bowie in ’99 you would’ve been ahead in the computer and internet development. To understand how people interact with the technology you could’ve listened and read the late philosopher Zygmunt Bauman “In a liquid modern life there are no permanent bonds, and any that we take up for a time must be tied loosely so that they can be untied again, as quickly as effortlessly as possible, when circumstances change — as they surely will in our liquid modern society, over and over again.” You can imagine how these new relations open up new business models for companies and can shatter old models.

2. Accept multiple truths

An adaptable mindset has taught me to work with multiple truths simultaneously — which can be difficult to experience — but can be mastered. It has made my mind more open and has shown me market insights way ahead of other people.

3. Result

Since my mind has visited many strange and opposing theories which made me totally at ease with everything new, strange, and different that life throws my way. Embracing new technologies like AI or blockchain has become something fun and normal. I’m looking forward to working together with AI to create my designs and have been active with blockchain for years because I support the thinking behind it. This adaptable mindset has given me a constant advantage in technology. Simply because I adopt and adapt sooner than other people.

Read more here on The Next Web how music and art can help you in developing an adaptable mindset. Or read the full story here

How do audiences gain from your keynote presentations?

I always try to deliver an information dense independent presentation. To inspire people, show new possibilities but always with a critical view. It’s always a custom made story specifically for the client, with elements which are directly applicable to you or your business.

Who or what inspires you most?

  • A lot of things and people inspire me.
  • I get my inspiration from working with great people.
  • Art and artists.
  • I try to seek out people who think differently than me.
  • Traveling, speaking to people who want to create change.
  • Gathering the crazy and talented ones around me. Give me a call if you’re one of them
See keynotes with Robert Overweg
Non-binding request for Robert Overweg

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Keynote topics with Robert Overweg