Leah Hunter

Augmented reality is the next revolution in tech. How will it change business, media, and society?

Fast Company Tech Writer, Author of The Future Hunter

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Leah Hunter | Fast Company Tech Writer, Author of The Future Hunter
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What does the future hold? Journalist and innovation speaker Leah Hunter is investigating just that. In her Fast Company articles and forthcoming book series The Future Hunter, Hunter takes a look at technology’s place in business, media, medicine, education, and the world. Not only does she provide a comprehensive trend forecast, but she zeroes in on why—and how—your business needs to get ahead of the curve. 

Leah Hunter writes about the human side of tech for Fast Company. She is currently writing a book and multi-media video/audio series entitled The Future Hunter. Volume 1 will be released in 2017.

 

Hunter has spent 15 years exploring the intersection of business, technology, culture, and design. She writes for Business Punk magazine, is the co-creator of the Design of Wearables series for California College of the Arts, was the editor of MISC Magazine, and is the former AVP of Innovation at Idea Couture. She has developed products and brand strategies for PepsiCo, M&M/Mars, Hershey’s, Heinz, P&G, Electrolux, Sephora, and Apple, among others. She guest lectures at NYU’s ITP, The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and UC Berkeley, and today works at Chief Ethnographer for the NYC-based consultancy Unreasonable Women: a group that puts women’s needs at the center of product, service, and workplace policy design.    

Speech Topics

Technology
Augmented Reality Everything You Ever Wanted to Know—and Definitely Need to Know—Right Now

Augmented Reality has evolved light years in the past 24 months. Leah Hunter, who is writing a book on AR, has been tracking the changes—and casting forward, to see what’s next. Hunter offers the names and approaches you should know: the key players who are thinking, in very smart ways, about how AR will change business, communications, and even society. Industries from construction to children’s toys to film-making to journalism to many others are adopting it now. Which others may soon follow? What technologies and ideas are moving the field forward? Which AR players will last? How can AR fundamentally change storytelling, for both people and businesses? And, in your industry, what are the potential applications, the easy-to-avoid missteps, the big opportunities? Hunter is a Fast Companycontributor who works at the intersection of humans and technology. Perfect for any level of audience, this talk will enrich your understanding of Augmented Reality in order to make smarter decisions about it today.

Trends
Future Hunting Ethnographical Discovery and the Human Side of Innovation

For her book about the future of technology, science, and design, Leah Hunter has partnered with some of the biggest thinkers in the world. In this talk, she draws on her deep research and background as a corporate innovation consultant for companies from Apple to Pepsi to Cisco. She shares her method for hunting—how to connect people with ideas and intuitively sniff what’s important out of reams of data—so you can discover hard-to-see patterns. What you’ll ultimately discover: a way to see newly intersecting ideas and industries that will impact your business or practice, and new practices to transform you into a world explorer.

In a keynote laced with semiotics, stats, and personal stories, she teaches us how to explore the world in a way that serves strategy, but keeps you cool and curious. And she asks questions that help you discover your own POV and like an ethnographer by heightening your intuition and stimulating your curiosity. It’s one part innovation practice, one part scientific thinking—with a healthy dose of childlike wonder.

 
Technology
Fashion and Tech Exploring the Intersection of Technology and Tradition

Leah Hunter grew up playing with fashion plates and dreaming of being a designer at Barney’s. Today, fashion is still a major part of her professional career: she’s a mentor for the Decoded Fashion Mentorship Hub, and leads panels for the Fashion Incubator San Francisco, The Brooklyn Fashion Design accelerator, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and the California College of the Arts design MBA. She’s even modeled herself for three Mercedes Benz NYFW shows—one featuring “role models” as runway models. After studying batiks in Bali and silk weaving and embroidery in Vietnam, she now advises high-tech body-scanning swimwear company X Swimwear—and is about to launch her own haute couture line based on traditional Balinese batiks, beading, and kebya lace.

For this keynote presentation, she explores the intersections of technology, traditional craft, and modern fashion, offering a fascinating look at the future of style and couture. This is at once a worldwide survey of artisans and designers, and a call for fashion designers, marketers, and advertisers to rethink how tech (think wearables, smart sensors, and living fabrics!) can impact and transform their practice. Fashion in 2016—and beyond—is all about blending old and new, traditional and avant-garde. And Leah Hunter is the plugged-in guide to the awesome things that come from this magical combination.

 
Gender & Sexuality
Feminism 4.0 How We ALL Benefit from Embracing Both Genders
Leah Hunter often speaks to, and on behalf of, women—ambitious entrepreneurs and scientists, courageous innovators and designers, and rockstar CEOs alike. As a keynote speaker and MC, she’s hosted all-female panels, reflected on gender equality in Silicon Valley, talked to rooms of self-described ‘geek girls,’ and currently consults for the female-focused, NYC-based group Unreasonable Women. In this rousing talk on changing gender politics and the transforming face of tech, science, and business, Hunter offers a vision of a better, more equitable future—and one that relies on embracing both our masculine and feminine sides. She shows how a dual-spirit, dual-gender philosophy is already affecting the world in positive ways among younger, progressive thinkers, especially of the Millennial generation. She demonstrates how your company or organization can open itself to diverse sources of inspiration, shatter outmoded models, and gain valuable insights by committing to an inclusive and dual-focused work culture. And Hunter shows why attracting, retaining, and inspiring female professionals (and the males who support them) is the right move—always.