Insights · June 30th, 2023

In Q2 2023, economic uncertainty remained the most discussed theme in boardrooms globally, as per IOT Analytics report.

There was a notable decline in the number of CEOs discussing inflation, with only 50% mentioning the keyword (a 21% decrease from the previous quarter). Similarly, other related topics also experienced a decrease in prominence, with interest rates being discussed by only 33% (-13%) of CEOs and the term “recession” being mentioned in just 18% (-15%) of all earnings calls in Q2/2023. Despite these slight variations in the focus on economic topics among CEOs, it is important to note that overall, economic uncertainty remains a prevailing concern in boardrooms.

“We expect macro headwinds will continue with the potential for a recessionary environment across both the U.S. and Europe.”

Ian Broaden – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, McDonald’s, May 2, 2023

Key upcoming themes

(Generative) AI

Generative AI discussions, specifically around use cases and applications, continue to increase.

The mention of Generative AI experienced a significant increase of +129% in the last quarter, with 6% of discussions specifically referencing it. Additionally, the broader topic of AI was discussed in 21% of earnings calls (+21%), while the more technical term, “large language model” (LLM), saw a 229% increase in mentions, and was present in 1% of all earnings calls.


CEOs discussed banks more frequently in Q2 2023 (+36%). Following the banking turmoil involving several institutions including Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Credit Suisse in Q1 2023 companies discussed about a potential fallout as well as stricter lending regulations from some (regional) banks.

“We have seen a number of banks pulling back from auto lending, which is kind of a hallmark of banks through difficult markets, and that’s created a bit of a pricing opportunity for us, as well as improvement in share – financing share for us.”Marion Harris – CEO, Ford Motor Company Credit Company, 02 May 2023


Discussions around reshoring increased by +30% in Q2 2023. 1.3% of all companies and 5% of industrial companies talked about the topic. Given the ongoing tensions between China and the USA, many US-based companies appear to prioritize enhancing the resilience of their supply chains, and some have concluded that bringing production closer to home is the solution.

Reshoring continues to be a prevalent topic among our customers, and we expect near and longer-term benefits from this trend.”Frank Dellaquila – CFO, Emerson Electric Co., 03 May 2023

Declining themes

Sustainability and climate change

Despite record temperatures around the world (e.g., temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean increased to records highs), discussions on climate (-16%), emissions (-25%) and sustainability (-17%) experienced a decline in Q2/2023.

Supply chain disruptions

With supply chains slowly improving and supply shortages easing, discussions regarding supply chains in general (-19%), and supply chain disruptions (-54%) in particular, decreased strongly in Q2/2023.

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About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist at He’s a world-renowned futurist speaker, consultant, author, media producer, and executive advisor that has spoken to, and worked with, over 300 of the world’s most impactful organizations and governments.

He helps shape the visions that shape impactful organizations, trillion-dollar companies, progressive governments, and 200+ billion dollar investment funds.

Nikolas Badminton’s book Facing Our Futures: How Foresight, Futures Design and Strategy Creates Prosperity and Growth has been selected for 2023 J.P. Morgan Summer Reading List, and featured as the ‘Next Gen Pick’ to inform the next generation of thinkers that lead us into our futures.Please contact futurist speaker and consultant Nikolas Badminton to discuss your engagement.

Facing Our Futures
Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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