The greatest value in understanding the future comes from spotting the major cultural, demographic, societal, and economic shifts early and translating them into viable business strategies," says Tom. As the Executive Director and Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute, he works closely with his Board of Visionaries to develop original research studies, which enables him to speak on unusual topics, translating trends into unique opportunities.
As part of the celebrity speaking circuit, Tom continually pushes the envelope of understanding, creating fascinating images of the world to come. His keynote talks on futurist topics have captivated people ranging from high level government officials to executives in Fortune 500 companies including NASA, IBM, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies, First Data, Boeing, Capital One, Bell Canada, Visa, Ford Motor Company, Qwest, Allied Signal, Hunter Douglas, Direct TV, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Times of India, and many more.
Because of his work inspiring inventors and other revolutionary thinkers, the Boulder Daily Camera has referred to him as the "Father of Invention". The Denver Post and Seattle Post Intelligencer have referred to him as the "Dean of Futurists".
Before launching the DaVinci Institute, Tom spent 15 years at IBM as an engineer and designer where he received over 270 awards, more than any other IBM engineer. He is also a past member of the Triple Nine Society (High I.Q. society over 99.9 percentile).
Tom has been a columnist for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and Boulder County Business Report, and is the author of the 1998 book "Inventions of Impact". He currently writes a newsletter entitled "News from the Future" and has written numerous articles on a wide range of futurist topics. He has also been a contributing writer for The Futurist Magazine and is the Editor of the Impact Lab, an online emerging technology blog which was recently rated by Popular Science Magazine as one of the "top five science blogs in the known universe".
Popular Keynote Topics
1.) Eight Future Technologies that will Define the World in the Coming Decade - We are being defined by the technologies that surround us. Recent innovations are dramatically altering the way we experience products, engage in ideas, and interact with the people who come and go in our lives. Speed and accessibility are only part of the equation. Future technologies will extend the reach of all human senses, extend the grasp of human understanding, stabilize global economies, and create global systems that continually optimize the human condition.
What are the eight technologies that will seriously impact our lives and rewrite the rules of business? Thomas Frey has a unique way of taking you on an unforgettable technology journey into the future, stopping only briefly to say “hi” to your great, great grandchildren along the way. Fractal Transactions - The Future of the Avatar - The Future of Gaming - Keynote
2.) The Future of Education - Radical Shifts are About Begin – Over 18 months ago I focused the resources of the DaVinci Institute on a relentless mission to uncover the future of education. Breaking the mold of traditional research, we employed unusual study techniques involving several thousand man-hours of research, expert interviews, focus groups, research teams, “brain tumor sessions”, and lonely walks on the midnight sidewalks thinking about this topic. As a result, I have identified 12 critical dimensions of the future learning system. However, only the first two need to be in place for the revolution to begin.
This future learning system will start outside our existing education systems sometime within the next two years, and cause a revolution to begin. It will be greeted by some with open arms, welcomed by most inside our existing education system, but will eventually force new systems to develop, and schools as we know them today will cease to exist within ten years. Their replacement will be far better.
This new system will be able to unlock the hidden potential within us, creating a new grade of human beings - human beings 2.0. It has the potential to increase the speed of learning ten-fold, and many will be able to complete the entire K-12 curriculum within one year. People graduating from the equivalent of high school or college in the future will be a factor of ten times smarter than graduates today. - Future of Education - Keynote
3.) The Future of Libraries - The Great Transformation - Their existence is being threatened by information instantly accessible from every computer in every home. But libraries won't go away. Rather, information is soon to become far more complicated as technology expands our understanding of what information is and our ability to access it. Public Libraries will be transitioning from a center of information into a center of culture, evolving into an entity with function and purpose that is currently unrecognizable in today's world. This talk can be tailored to either community or academic libraries and is designed to help develop systems to expand their influence among their constituency. The perfect compliment to long range planning, strategic visioning, library development, facility modeling, and architectural design efforts. - Future Libraries: Nerve Center of the Community - Creating the Ultimate Information Experience: Planning Our Next Generation Libararies - The Future of Libraries - Keynote
4.) The Future of Nanotechnology - The Problem with Nanotechnology is Remembering Where You Left Your Work - Nanotechnology will prove to be one of mankind’s epic challenges. It can on one hand be the solver of our greatest problems, or on the other hand, the creator of our greatest disasters. Every technology has a downside, and invariable, someone will figure out ways, either knowingly or unwittingly, to use it in ways that will harm us.
Like a single pixel on a trillion pixel image, we lose our ability to find significance in a single pixel. But it is exactly that, the single pixel, single atom, or single molecule on the masterpiece of life that will determine whether we as a techno-society will become known more for the net gains or net losses that we hand off, tucked carefully inside the relay baton, to those running after us.
As the author of the soon-to-be-released book Nanotechnolgy: The Future, Thomas Frey has figured out how to push people's thinking about nanotechnology to extreme levels and beyond. - Why Do We Fear the Future? - Reinventing Property Rights on the Nano Scale - Keynote
5.) The Future of Innovation - Global Trends and the New Innovation Landscape - We are approaching the age of 100 million products, and patent filings have reached an all time high. Yet at the same time we are becoming a hyper-individualized society transitioning from a product based economy to an experience based economy. Baby-Boomers are beginning to shed many of their physical possessions as they prepare for their retirement, and a new generation with different values will be assuming power. So where will the creative minds of tomorrow take us? What are the forecasts for future sciences, talent trends, intellectual property breakthroughs, and societal shifts that will change the way business works in the future? This talk helps listeners climb aboard a fascinating journey into what’s hot in tomorrow’s world of innovation. - Lessons from the Ancient World - Approaching Maximum Freud - Keynote, Seminar
6.) The City of the Future - Eight Dimensions of Human Connectedness that will Define Tomorrow’s Great Cities - Great communities are founded on great ideas. At the same time, our most admired communities become a magnet, attracting the brightest minds. The relational effect is clear: Bright minds make a community great, and great communities attract bright minds. With this in mind, the city of the future will be designed around eight dimensions of human connectedness, connecting great people with great ideas. A connected community is a vibrant community, Ideas are exchanged, energies are exchanged, and people become extremely loyal to the networks that connect them to the rest of the world. While it is now easy to communicate with people all over the world, we can only physically interact with people and places locally. Human connectedness involves much more than just communication. And its not just about business life, family life, or what we do for entertainment. It is all of that and much more. - The Future of Retail - The Empire of One - The Future of Automobile Transportation - Keynote, Seminar
7.) The Future of Transportation - Will We Ever have an Efficient Commute? – Transportation technology is progressing at a much slower pace than some of the other sciences like information technology, biotech, and nanotechnology. As an example, the world's human speed record was set in 1969, a full 37 years ago. In the near future, automotive companies will focus on fully automated vehicles where people can "punch in" or “speak” the place they want to go to and the vehicle will automatically take them there. This "control feature" will open up huge additional markets for automotive companies to sell to the elderly and other physically impaired groups. New power systems, social transitions, demographic shifting, and consumer trends have positioned the auto industry for radical change. The Future of Automobile Transportation - 2050 and the Future of Transportation - Keynote
8.) The Future of Business, One Brilliantly Inspired Innovation at a Time - What will be the most important thing that happens in the next ten years? Will it be the brilliantly inspired innovations shaping tomorrow? Space hotels? Flying cars? Or will it be a fix for one our major problems such as a cure for cancer or diabetes? Why do we even care about the future? While most people believe there is no way to predict the future, there are in fact eight aspects of the future that can be predicted with high degrees of probability. This talk is designed to help people understand these eight dimensions of the future and give them the keys to unlock the power of knowing the world to come. The perfect compliment to long range planning, strategic visioning, business development, trend modeling, and new product design efforts. - Death to the Gatekeepers - Driving Forces - The Empire of One - Keynote, Seminar
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