About Andreas Ekström
Futurist and Commentator on the Digital Revolution
"I want to see a world where we share the
wealth of knowledge and influence."
Andreas Ekström is one of our most requested futurists and commentators on the digital revolution. His passion is to educate for digital equality and he aims to understand the companies and behaviours that have become culturally, technologically and commercially drivers of change at all levels of society. He wants to see a world in which we share the wealth – not only financially, but also in terms of knowledge and influence.
Andreas uses a wide scope to understand the companies and behaviours that have become culturally, technologically and commercially drivers of change at all levels of society. He focuses his journalistic instincts on the good and the bad of the biggest power players in the digital world and considers what organisations can learn from them. He looks into new user demands, gathering of data, design and technology strategies.
Andreas has worked at numerous newspapers, written blogs, made podcasts and written seven books; “On Finding” being the latest. He has worked in close to 30 countries, was awarded ’Speaker of the Year’ in 2019, and his TedX talk was distributed through TED.com with over 1.5 million views to date.
The past hundred years have been the best humanity have seen, despite the hardships we have fought. A key reason is that we were able to combine the efforts of technology and innovation with clear political goals for society as a whole. Teachers, lawyers, artists, engineers and leaders at all levels pulled together in an unprecedented way. What has happened now is that technology has picked up the pace, for obvious reasons, and sometimes left other skill sets and insights behind. That leaves us with great innovation – but less reflection. I simply think we can build society better for most, through always adding more perspectives to our public life.
It’s really not so much about the amount of data as it is about the capacity to understand it. I would love to see Google open up more, and share data with the scientific community. It would be a wonderful way for Google to give back to society.
I am concerned about net neutrality – a somewhat boring term for the perhaps most important digital political issue we have to sort out. Without a truly open internet, where access is equal for everyone, we are not going to remain democratic – and we will see a lot less innovation from the new and independent start-up scenes of the world.
Yet, there is so much money to be made, short term, for internet service providers through selling access at different levels. Major battles will have to be fought to protect the internet as it was meant to be.
The seven ways idea is a way for me to try to frame the key future issues that we need to understand, to be positioned right, no matter what business we are in. Net neutrality as I mentioned is one of them. Another is digital identity. Who we are, legally, formally, online, is going to define us. Who will get that job, to be the issuer of our global passport? I also think that huge changes await in the financial sector, but I need some more time to explain how…
There is so much we need to do better, not to mention all the business models we urgently need to invent. But at this point, we also must dare to trust some of the basic tools: finding out what is true, and then explaining and presenting the relevant facts for the general public, to make them informed citizens. I think we also may have reached a point when the media needs fewer columns and opinions, and more basic journalistic groundwork. But that will demand leadership: the clicks tend to go to the strongly opinionated. If there is one journalistic tool I am obsessed about, it is to always focus more on the right question than on the definitive answer. In my experience, any group that I meet that agrees with me to take that approach will leave the room with more momentum than those who have just been told exactly what to expect and what to do.
Andreas’ keynotes have been enjoyed at conferences all over Europe and he often serves as a digital thought partner for boards of directors and groups of leaders. His material reaches across issues of digitalization, media, politics and culture and his analysis focuses on the sociology of tech, rather than tech itself.
Andreas can also act as a moderator or facilitator – with a solid background in stage and tv production of different kinds, he can craft a full day of high quality content with the client, and take the role of overseeing the entire process.
— Worldwide IT Research Group
— Global Software Manufacturer
— Andreas Ekström