Speech Topics

All topics are available as Keynotes (20 minutes to 45 minutes, with optional Q&A addition) and/or Interactive Workshop versions (90 minutes to full-day versions depending on your organization’s needs).

GRAY RHINO-PROOFING YOUR FUTURE
Gray Rhino events are highly probable, give clear warnings and have high impact. Yet all too often, leaders fail to plan for, recognize, or respond to obvious dangers, from the personal to the organizational to the political to the global level: financial crisis, industry disruptions, failing infrastructure, the aging of the workforce, climate change and more. The most successful organizations are the ones that identify and confront Gray Rhino threats instead of letting themselves be trampled. Michele’s provocative talk lays out a framework for recognizing Gray Rhinos and the pitfalls and opportunities at each of their five stages, from denial to action –not just to avoid highly obvious dangers, but to see opportunities where others do not. She customizes each talk to your industry or organization’s needs. In the workshop version of this talk, she leads participants through the five-stage analytical framework and facilitates reflections and conversations that lead to actionable steps to help your team and organization rise up to stubborn challenges and turn obstacles into opportunities.

GRAY RHINOS AND GREEN SWANS: THE NEW ESG IMPERATIVE
Environment and climate are global, obvious, challenges with huge impact on supply chains, agriculture, property values, and finance. Yet progress in dealing with them has been painfully slow despite being widely recognized and discussed. But amid increasingly extreme weather and recognition that global supply chains depend on addressing climate change, calls are rising for action, with huge implications on capital flows and investment strategies. Companies are waking up on environment, social, and governance (ESG) issues — not for political reasons, but because it’s a business imperative. Learn what the ESG rallying cry means for your business –both what’s at stake to lose and to gain. Take away insights into how to get your company and partners on board.  Learn how to apply financial impact metrics to your ESG strategy.

FACING A GRAY RHINO: STRATEGIES TO MANAGE THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND THE FUTURE OF WORK
The age of automation and artificial intelligence is here, with profound implications that companies, economies, and the labor force ignore at their peril. Businesses must adapt to disruption or perish; workers must prepare for dramatic change; and policy makers must provide an ecosystem to ease a difficult transition. What are the most dangerous pitfalls —and hidden opportunities- for decision makers in this obvious but poorly understood “gray rhino” threat? This talk provides a framework for developing strategies that can turn dangers into catalysts for innovation in a time of uncertainty.

DEMOGRAPHIC GRAY RHINOS: ROBOTS MEET AGING AND MIGRATION
Tectonic shifts are coming in labor markets and consumer demographics, intensified by recent technological advances in additive manufacturing and machine learning. Together, they are a crash of obvious, highly probable yet neglected “gray rhino” challenges.
* By 2050, there will be just one worker for every retiree, less than a third of the current level.
* Japan’s Ministry of Finance has warned that demographic change is a gray rhino risk.
* Pension shortfalls in the U.S. alone are roughly $20 trillion.
* By 2044, the United States will be a majority minority country.
* Close to half of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation of everything from scheduling to driving to legal and financial analysis.
In this provocative talk, learn about the opportunities and pitfalls that your organization faces amid shifting demographics colliding with increasing automation — and come away with new strategies for getting ahead of the game.