Insights · February 5th, 2024

Nikolas Badminton is a futurist speaker that loves working with clients to develop custom keynotes that help their attendees get a Futurist’s Mindset and see the megatrends and industry trends that highlight how their world will change.

At the beginning of the process, even before they reach out to him, we see a real challenge – what is a futurist and what do they do? It seems that so many people call themselves futurists and it seems that hyperbole-driven keynotes and wild claims may be the order of the day. We’re not sure if that is useful, entertaining or even needed at our events.

The truth is – you want value and a return on investment (ROI).

This is what drives Nikolas and he holds these ideas as central when it comes to serving the needs of clients and the attendees of their events. There are some principles behind this to ensure we can share how to empower attendees with a futurist mindset, a mode of thinking and mantra for undertaking foresight in a practical way in the workplace.

Working together collaboratively

My process is collaborative so that we create the best experience for the attendees of your event by customizing the theme, areas of interest and how we can make the Q&A exciting and engaging.

We work together to ensure that we create something compelling for your audience, and the keynotes I produce use stories, images, videos and statistics to show how our world is changing to uncover new opportunities to drive innovation. I research and chat with your members to prime my thinking and the keynote should hit the target with attendees.

Here’s one example – my keynote at the FUTURE TENSE Conference in Zagreb, Croatia in 2023.

Key questions to ask when selecting a futurist speaker

There are two sides to this. Questions to ask yourself and your organization, and questions for the potential futurist speaker.

You must start by asking yourselves these 3 questions:

  • Do we get the sense that competition is rising and that we see external and industry trends emerging that we struggle to understand the potential effects of?
  • Do we want to imbue the attendees of our event with a fresh perspective and a set of tools for supercharging strategic thinking with foresight?
  • Are we ready to change?

This is not light work yet it is essential. If you want a futurist speaker to give you a long list of tech and hyped promises then I suggest you sit down and reconsider. You don’t need an experienced and practicing futurist. You need some trends person or software company evangelist. The excitement they deliver is generally short-lived.

If you want to do the work and face these questions then a futurist speaker like Nikolas Badminton is ideal.

Now, let’s flip it over to the other side – how do we qualify whether the futurist speaker will deliver value? This goes beyond fancy degrees and website marketing promises. It’s about connection. It’s about a shared journey.

Nikolas Badminton shares the 3 questions he hopes that every client asks when reaching out to him:

  • What change have you delivered to clients with your keynotes, workshops and work?
  • What are the seismic shifts do you think will shake our industry to its core – in the next 5 to 20 years, and beyond?
  • How will you make our audience feel, and how will you leave them with an ability to apply this in their daily work?

These all demand a depth of experience not only in the knowledge of foresight theory and changes across multiple industries, but an application of these in a practical way.

Delivering changes – Look for the ROI. It’s that simple. Hope has the work directly had an effect on the client’s business. Did they restructure and add processes to strategic planning to create rigor? Did they find a new business proposition? Did they connect with customers in new ways? Did they drive growth in terms of profit and market capitalization?

Seismic shifts – How did clients level up their base of knowledge? Do they now consider new and existing challenges in a new, enlightened way? Did they take that information and brief the entire company? Did motivation and commitment increase after engaging?

The application of foresight – Were the fundamentals delivered in a  way that was enlightening and useful? Can you apply them immediately to how you work? Is there an opportunity to develop these skills beyond the keynote? Do you feel motivated to hire people with foresight training, or send key executives to workshops and training to hone those skills?

Nikolas has focused the majority of his attention to this last one as its fundamental.

This is where the idea of empowering attendees with a futurist mindset, a mode of thinking and mantra for undertaking foresight in a practical way in the workplace comes in. 

The futurist mindset is one of active and applied imagination, the ability to anticipate changes by scanning for signals and identifying emerging trends and developing a deep sense of empathy for the world, their business and the people they serve.

The futurist mantra is one of experimentation with new ideas, a holistic view of how we redesign our business, and a focus on the value we bring to our customers.

And, the mode we have to determine is specific to the client’s objectives. In the example above we see a framework for a financial services client and their wealth advisors to apply artificial intelligence as a capability in their practice:

  • ​​Useful advice from AI needs investment and preparation
  • AI’s insights need wisdom-driven consideration by an advisor
  • Goal-driven investigation drives better advice when using AI

The depth behind each is discussed and presented in the futurist keynote.

Event organizers, speaker bureaus and internal training leaders can use this as a reference and demand more from the futurist speakers they hire.

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is 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 850+ billion dollar investment funds. His clients are generous with their praise:

“Nik is not just an incredible presenter. He grabs the audience’s attention and doesn’t let go. So many of our partners told us they had never examined the future of their business in such a thought provoking way – to expose our partners to something new is the highest value we can provide to our partners. Nik brought that value.”


“Nik came in and wowed us. Not only did he tailor his presentation to our industry he also made it very specific to our function within the industry! He surprised many of us with his foresight and predictions and gave our audience information on subjects they didn’t even realize they should be considering. The group he presented is in the business of making predictions, so for him to surprise us was inspiring.”

TD Bank

“Your keynote session was really on point with what is happening with our company and how to look ahead and “engineer hope”. Your messages conveyed the mindset we wanted our employees to have and left our team with concrete questions to keep in mind.”

Ian L. Edwards, President and CEO, AtkinsRéalis

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. 

Reach out to Nikolas to discuss having him come and speak at your event or board retreat – click here. Remember to ask him the tough questions.

Nikolas Badminton’s new keynotes for 2024

Nikolas is offering three exciting new keynotes for the 2024 events season. Each one builds off of his extensive experience and the needs he is seeing in the clients that he speaks to.

HOPE ENGINEERING – the power to change our world

Nikolas will deliver an energetic and inspiring keynote that shows you how hope is the energy that changes our world. He will ignite curiosity and shift your mindset from what is to what if. He will share stories of cultural shifts, insights into new disruptive technologies, and strengthen strategic planning in your organization by embracing futures thinking.

Nikolas will show you how to…

  • Shift your mindset from what is to what if… – see the signals of change, trends shaping our world, and stories of our futures that inspire new thinking and strengthen strategic planning, increase revenues, and drive explosive growth.
  • Understand global megatrends – see what is shaping geopolitical dynamics – economic power, population growth, water-energy-food, waste, climate change and energy. 
  • Explore the trends that will transform your industry – Data Science, Digitization, Artificial Intelligence and automation, smart cities and urban planning, privacy and security, sustainable agriculture and food supply, space and aerospace, progressive engineering and manufacturing, transportation and logistics, fintech, and more.

Once you see the potential for building hope and change, you can’t not do the work.

SUPERCHARGING INNOVATION – unlocking opportunities with futures work.

Every organization wants to be seen as innovative, solving real world problems and leading their industry. The majority fall at the first hurdle – taking a chance and empowering their people to explore possibilities. Leading executives are now finding that the process of innovation can be revolutionized by leading with futures work to speculation on the futures ahead of us and their place in those incredible worlds.

Nikolas will show you how to…

  • Build resilience and innovation into your organization – how to build innovation mindsets and capabilities across your organization, and in the heart of every employee.
  • De-risk innovation through futures work – by looking at the signals, trends and scenarios that show us the dynamics of solutions we imagine will change the world. It also allows us to feel how we are in those places using design fiction and world building. 
  • Think like a futurist – how to question your own history and perspectives, be wildly creative & collaborate, look for pockets of the future in the present, and build hope as an energy to change the world.

Nikolas will take you through his world-leading process of futures work and show you how that supercharges innovation and strategy to deliver increased revenues and explosive growth.

EXPONENTIAL HUMANITY – embrace new frontiers in A.I.

The exploitation of data has long been the lifeblood of industrial progress since the 1980s and now we’re transcending that ability through Artificial Intelligence, augmentation, and automation. In harnessing its ability, we hope to positively affect the world and create incredible futures to drive productivity and solve some of the greatest challenges of our times.

Nikolas will show you…

  • A.I.’s transformation – and how it’s shifted from academic exploration into a real-world powerhouse of change across all industries.
  • How our world is being revolutionized – thought industry automation, education being redefined, and exponential industries changed through the foundations of data science, the implementation of new A.I. tools, and the application of machine learning in the wider world and in your industry.
  • How to implement A.I. in your organization – the practical abilities and skill sets needed, the structural considerations for strategic planning, and the mindset needed for continual development and growth in A.I. capabilities.

Today, everything changes. Let Nikolas guide you on your first steps forward into a bigger world and share his experience building these systems since the 1990s. 

Reach out to Nikolas to discuss having him come and speak at your event or board retreat – click here.

Futurist Keynote Futurist Speaker
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…

Contact Nikolas