A central thrust of Andrew’s work has been on how to harness the power of networks for collaborative discovery, innovation, and change. Andrew will explore what organizations can do, concretely, today to thrive in the disruptive decades to come. He will provide a big-picture view of critical trends and forces of change shaping the decades to come.

Andrew Zolli works at the intersection of global innovation, foresight, social change and resilience.

A central thrust of Andrew’s work has been on how to harness the power of networks for collaborative discovery, innovation and change.

Andrew also spends much of his time advancing a global dialogue on resilience – how to help people and systems persist, recover and thrive amid disruption. For several years, he traveled from the coral reefs of Palau to the back streets of Palestine exploring these issues – the results are encapsulated in his book, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, published by Simon and Schuster in the U.S., and in many other languages and territories around the world. His work since has focused on bringing together coalitions of interested practitioners and leaders from many resilience-related fields.

Andrew is currently Chief Impact Officer at Planet where he is working on using space to help life on Earth and overseeing their sustainability, social impact, ESG, humanitarian and human rights efforts.

From 2003-2014, Andrew was the primary creative and curatorial force behind PopTech, a renowned innovation and social change network. The organization brings together a community of innovators from many different fields to share ideas and to work on new approaches to some of the world’s toughest problems. PopTech identifies and trains some of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet, doing things you cannot believe humanity is up to. PopTech helps them share breakthrough ideas and to work together on truly world-changing projects, doing stuff nobody had ever tried before, in areas like financial innovation and inclusion, data science and community resilience, mobile health, climate adaptation, urban resilience and violence cessation. Once a year the organization convenes much-beloved gatherings of these innovators on the coast of Maine.

In addition to the above, Andrew has served as a Fellow of the National Geographic Society. He strategically advises, and speaks regularly to a wide array of leading companies, governmental organization, NGOs, startups and cultural and civil society groups. Andrew also serves on the Boards of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (a vanguard contemporary performing arts center) and Blurb (a breakthrough personal publishing platform). He helped incubate the I2 Institute (which is working to advance the innovation ecosystem in the Middle East) and serves as an advisor to PlanetLabs (a revolutionary Earth-imaging company) DataKind, which is bringing data science to the social sector, and the Garrison Institute, a remarkable not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization exploring the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world. 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_zolli

Speech topics

The Road Ahead: Thriving in an Age of Volatility

While no one can see the future perfectly, we can see the forces shaping it. Between now and 2040, technological, demographic, and geopolitical forces will reshape the global economy. New forces will reshape customer’s retail needs, expectations and experiences. And new, insurgent companies will disrupt and compete in industries long known for their stability. In this walking tour of the forces of future change, Andrew Zolli will explore these issues, what they mean for leaders and leadership, and what companies can do, concretely, today to thrive in the disruptive decades to come.


Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back 

Provocative, optimistic, and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on why some systems, people, and communities fall apart in the face of disruption and, ultimately, how they can learn to bounce back.

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