Contact Jonathan For Booking

Jonathan Brill

You can future-proof your business to survive and profit from radical change.

Futurist | Author of Rogue Waves: Future-Proof Your Business to Survive and Profit from Radical Change

Contact Jonathan For Booking
Jonathan Brill | Futurist | Author of Rogue Waves: Future-Proof Your Business to Survive and Profit from Radical Change
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Why do some companies handle radical systemic changes better than others? They have a strategy in place for making sense of the future, says Jonathan Brill. During his time as the Global Futurist at HP, Brill helped the iconic company prepare for the possibility of a pandemic, a takeover attempt, and a sudden market decline. The result was an excellent 2020 in the face of all three, while their competitors suffered huge blows to their earnings. In his new book Rogue Waves, Brill draws from his experience, using an evidence-based framework to help you capitalize on the economic, technological, and social undercurrents most likely to collide and reshape the business world.

“An actionable framework for driving change instead of being blindsided by it.”

— Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

Every company, at one point or another, will be hit with a “rogue wave”, whether it be a financial crisis and a pandemic, or social chaos, trade wars, and the next frontier of AI. These rogue waves aren’t predictable, says innovation expert and business futurist Jonathan Brill. But they are forecastable. Brill spent years advising leadership at Hewlett-Packard on the company’s 10-year portfolio of opportunities and threats, and today, consults globally for organizations like Samsung, Microsoft, Verizon, PepsiCo, and the US government. In his must-read survival guide Rogue Waves, he draws from his experience to lay out an actionable plan for riding out the fiercest of storms, teaching you how to effectively future-proof your business. Timely, important, and essential, Rogue Waves equips you with the predictive tools you need to take advantage of uncertainty, turn chaos into profit, and control your future, so that your company thrives―while your competitors are washed away. Phil Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, declares it “a profound contribution to the science of decision making and the psychology of leadership.”


Prior to his role at HP, Brill has spent the last two decades building product innovation teams and developing growth pipelines for government, prestigious research institute MIT Media Lab, and top-tier brands. He founded the Special Projects Agency, a diverse group of designers, creators, engineers, and scientists, that have created unique experiences ranging from world’s fair pavilions to AI software to IoT devices. Brill is an imaginative thinker who helps companies delight customers at scale. To date, his companies have developed more than 325 products that have generated an astonishing $27 billion dollars in revenue for customers.


Brill is a board advisor at Frost & Sullivan, a market intelligence firm operating in 46 countries. He holds several patents for his inventions in display technology, augmented reality, and HVAC. National Geographic and Business Week have both featured his work, and he has contributed to work displayed in New York’s landmark Museum of Modern Art. He is an in-demand thought leader, speaker, and contributor to TED, Singularity University, Korn Ferry, JPMorgan, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review. Brill graduated from Pratt Institute, a leader in higher education for creative professionals, and has completed extensive executive training at Stanford.


Speech Topics

Change Management
Rogue Waves Future-Proof Your Business to Survive and Profit from Radical Change
According to Harvard Business Review, Hewlett-Packard had a great year in 2020, despite economic fall-out from the pandemic. Meanwhile, their competitor Xerox declined over 60 percent that year. Why? Like eight of the ten largest publicly held companies, Xerox didn’t even consider the possibility of a pandemic, according to its SEC Risk Factors filing.

But Jonathan Brill did. The former resident futurist at HP, Brill is more than a speaker. He’s a practitioner of change who knows that today’s businesses are sailing in stormy waters. In this industry-changing talk, based on his new book Rogue Waves, Brill shows how we can ride out even the fiercest of storms to come out stronger on the other side. Drawing from years of experience as a Fortune 500 executive, advisor, and entrepreneur, Brill gives business leaders a practical action plan to:


  • Capitalize on the 10 economic, technological, and social trends, or waves, most likely to collide and reshape the business world
  • Implement techniques that all managers at any level can use to turn sudden risks into outsized opportunities
  • Create a culture of entrepreneurship and experimentation
  • Learn and scale the leadership skills and processes that will help transform their companies into resilient and adaptable organizations
Change Management
Life After COVID-19 Thriving in a Radically Transformed World
Globalization has undoubtedly improved the quality of life for billions of people around the world. Yet, for all its speed and efficiency, globalization also increases the impact of synchronous economic shocks, says futurist Jonathan Brill.
The novel coronavirus, more specifically titled COVID-19, is showing us not only how interconnected our technological and economic systems are, but how woefully underprepared they are to withstand a global crisis. Critical systems, from healthcare and transportation, to supply chains, corporations, and governments, will be pushed to their limits, and perhaps beyond.
However challenging this time is, it does provide us with an opportunity to build better systemsones that are more resilient and provide us with early warnings. In this talk, Brill walks us through how these systems will affect our data rights, social safety net, and wealth distribution. He'll also speak at length about how consumer-facing companies can innovate during such intense stress, and successfully dig themselves out of a potential recession, without compromising on their values. This talk is essential, not only in mitigating the current catastrophe, but in offering vision and guidance for how to thrive in a world that will soon be radically transformed.
The Unexpected Effects of Exponential Innovation How to Create Sustainable Value
Around the world, innovation is accelerating by nearly every metric: Patents, data production, education level. At the same time, the per capita revenue growth from innovation is slowing. Why? Because the time-value of innovation is decreasing, says leading futurist Jonathan Brill. Free, software-driven products are emerging quicker than companies can monetize their inventory, leading to higher rates of devaluation. Technology is changing everything about how companies organize, operate, and capture value.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the average lifespan of a company is getting shorter each year. Brill shows us that in addition to innovating product, we must also innovate process. In this hybridized innovation talk, Brill shares the characteristics of companies that have successfully reinvented themselves—allowing investors to take the leap into long-term growth plans—as well the sustainable value-capture techniques he’s learned as a Chief Executive of companies that have invented over 325 products.
Change Management
The World of Tomorrow Exploring the 5 Tensions Shaping the Future
Over the next few decades, five factors will shape every country in the world: digital trust, smart machines, resources, the new social contract, and the rise of Asia. One by one, Global Futurist Jonathan Brill walks audiences through these tensions, explaining how they will influence entire industries and whole nations.

Firstly, the explosion of personal data in the 21st century has led to a trust deficit that our aging institutions are ill-equipped to handle. In this talk, Brill considers how data will be used in the years to come, both to benefit—and manipulate—its creators. Similarly, as machines become more and more intelligent, Brill cogently breaks down who will gain and who will be threatened by advancements in machine learning. In terms of resources, Brill explores how a growing middle class demanding their fair share will create competition and impact global relations. And as the current world order continues to break down, he considers the new social contract that will have to be drawn for people, governments, and corporations to effectively share power. More specifically, he examines how the U.S., China, and India will manage an increasingly competitive relationship, and what the impact will be for smaller economies.

From geopolitical tension to exponential technology, Brill’s talk offers a roadmap of the future, identifying the opportunities and risks that lie ahead.
Workshops & Interactive
The Future Lab Making Sense of Where Your Industry Is Headed
A conference can provide many valuable insights—yet more often than not, attendees return to work without synthesizing or applying what they’ve learned. In the Future Lab workshop, HP’s former futurist Jonathan Brill offers an experiential, hands-on learning experience that audiences won’t soon forget. From real-time product innovation, to visuals, videos, interviews, and other media content, Brill provides the tangible tools that your team needs to actualize high-level concepts, build a shared vision, make meaningful connections about where your industry is headed, and finally, stay engaged all year long. Brill believes we must do more than just talk about the future—we must visualize it, engage with it, and create it, each and every day. This workshop provides an opportunity to do just that.