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Biography: David Rowan - Read interview

David Rowan


Others say

"David was probably the best speaker we’ve ever had."

"Thank you so much for your time today, it has gone down a storm. Most people telling me it was one of the most inspirational speeches they have ever heard."
Best Buy CEO

"Many thanks for your excellent contribution to the conference. The feedback I received on your session was universally positive and I think the tone was absolutely right for the audience."
British Council of Offices, Geneva

"Thank you so much for such an engaging and insightful presentation. We have had such incredible feedback from our guests and your talk really added to our launch."

David Rowan is editor of WIRED, the UK edition, which won 2009 Launch of the Year at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards. His knowledge and understanding of trends in the world of consumer behavior, the digital era, social commerce and media has allowed him to become one of the most sought after corporate speakers on the circuit. 

He writes the monthly Digital Life column in GQ magazine; the Tech Traveller column in Condé Nast Traveller, and tech and trend-watching columns for The Times.

Trained at The Times, David edited The Guardian's op-ed, education, analysis and Saturday features sections. In 2006 he was brought in as editor to modernise The Jewish Chronicle.

David has edited The Guardian's websites, made TV films for Channel 4 News, and written features for The Telegraph Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine and The Observer. 

In 2009 David curated an exhibition of British creative talent for the UK Government’s Cabinet Forum conference as a speaker.

"Accomplished speaker, delivered to the brief."

As a keynote and corporate speaker David has travelled to Amsterdam, Dubai, Geneva, Moscow and Shanghai, to motivate and educate on topics ranging from the future of luxury brands to the new rules of business in a mobile-internet age. Recent media appearances include BBC Newsnight, BBC Breakfast News, Radio 4's Today Programme and Channel 4 News.

In 2010 David was a judge in the Brit Insurance Design Awards and the 2010 Conde Nast Traveller design awards, and in 2014 he moderated David Cameron's G8 Innovation Summit.

Speaking Topics

•    New business models for a digital age

•    Ten technology megatrends that will transform your business (and how to benefit)

•    The new power of the crowd: from crowdfunding to collaborative consumption

•    Robotics, automation, and the future of the workplace

•    Ten lessons you can learn from the world's greatest tech entrepreneurs

•    What Big Data means for your business

•    What Silicon Valley can teach you about "growth-hacking" your business

•    Wearable technology, the Internet of Things, and the future interface of computing

•    Exponential technologies and today's untapped billion-dollar opportunities

•    How to win in e-commerce

•    Disrupt yourself: How to generate effective innovation inside an organisation

•    The imminent hardware revolution: from 3D printing to the new "maker" culture

•    Technology megatrends that will transform the hospitality industry/ finance industry/ insurance industry/ travel industry / TV industry etc

For further information or to book David Rowan, call us at Speakers Corner on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk

Interview with David Rowan


How did you get into corporate speaking?


I've always been a journalist and broadcaster, so the stage is just a more interesting platform for storytelling. Through my job editing WIRED magazine, I get to meet so many of the people changing the world - from startup founders to scientists and inventors - that I come away with compelling stories that I just like to share. And so much of what I learn from the front lines of innovation is so important for the corporate audiences to understand. So the corporate stage proved an inevitable attraction.


What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?


Being taken seriously by the geeks of Silicon Valley when secretly I can't adjust my thermostat, let alone code a web page.


Why do you enjoy being a speaker?


First, it's real-time feedback. That's precious to an editor of a monthly publication. Second, I learn as much from the people I meet at events as they do from me. And third - what's more fun than telling stories?


If you could speak at any event, past or future, what would it be?


It would have been fun speaking in Versailles when they were signing that rather troublesome treaty after the first world war. I'd like to think I'd have warned the victorious powers that maybe the severity of the terms being dictated could possible have caused a later aftershock. Though I imagine I'd have got too excited about some new battlefield technology that I'd have forgotten to warn about a second world war.


What do you see as the future for the press?


We'll continue to need trusted journalists to probe, ask questions, investigate, report and entertain. But we probably won't read their journalism on printed paper for very long - and they may have to find new funding models as advertising drops off, from events to philanthropy.


Who would you most like to share a platform with?


It was fun interviewing Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak on stage - sadly I never got to interview Steve Jobs. Today's iconic entrepreneur is Elon Musk, who has a spaceship company as well as an electric-car company. He's not that comfortable at public speaking, but I figure I could get a story or two out of him.


What can a corporate audience learn from your experiences?


How to keep their businesses from becoming irrelevant this year or next year. And how to use technology-led disruption to their advantage.


What tech can you personally not leave the house without?


My life is in my MacBook Air. It contains slides from my last 150 presentations, details of every plane I need to catch, a thousand notes packed with trends and insights. I'd be naked without it.


What personal ambition must you fulfill before you die?


The inventor Ray Kurzweil thinks we'll all become immortal some time around the year 2045 - which wouldn't be a bad ambition to fulfil. More realistically, I'd like to give a talk in space. At least if I left my audience feeling queasy, I'd have an excuse.


What’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday?


A run and swim on Hampstead Heath with friends, a cycle outing with kids, and then being the last person on the airplane to go and give a talk in some unexplored far-flung place. Well, journalists need to rush up against deadlines, don't we?

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