Welcome and Introduction
Reverse Engineering the Future
This presentation is about leadership. It doesn’t focus on a particular industry, technology, application or service. Instead, it examines an ability, a quality, that too many companies – and agencies – appear to be bereft of today: the ability to move in a highly focused manner toward a desired goal during times of enormous, disruptive change.
No one can deny the importance of managing change in companies today – there is more to running a successful company than simply managing the progression of change. Management visionary Tom Peters observed repeatedly that we must “learn to love change as much as we hated it in the past” if we are to meet the demands of the increasingly competitive marketplace. Even Charles Darwin understood this construct. Contrary to belief, he never said or wrote anything about ‘survival of the fittest.’ What he did say was that those that survive are not the smartest or strongest, but rather those that are most adaptable to change.
Steven Shepard, Ph.D.
Dr. Steven Shepard is the founder of the Shepard Communications Group in Williston, Vermont, co-founder of the Executive Crash Course Company, and founder of Shepard Images. A professional author, photographer, audio producer, and educator with more than 35 years of experience in the technology industry, he has written books and articles on a wide variety of topics, including technology, business, biographies, history, photography, children’s stories, storytelling, wildlife recording and fiction. His published books number 84 and counting.
Steve is the creator and host of the Natural Curiosity Podcast, which is devoted to the discovery of the joy and wonder of the natural world and based on the idea that curiosity leads to discovery, discovery leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to insight, and insight leads to understanding. It’s available on iTunes, or on SoundCloud.
Dr. Shepard received his undergraduate degree in Spanish and Romance Philology from the University of California at Berkeley (1976), his Master’s Degree in International Business from St. Mary's College (1985), and his PhD at the Da Vinci Institute in Rivonia, South Africa (2009). He spent eleven years with Pacific Bell in San Francisco in a variety of capacities followed by ten years with Hill Associates in Colchester, Vermont before forming the Shepard Communications Group in early 2000.
In addition to his work with a wide range of industries, Steve works extensively in the education sector. He is a Senior Fellow of the Da Vinci Institute of South Africa; Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business; a Founding Director of the African Telecoms Institute; and an Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of Champlain College. He was the Resident Director of the University of Southern California’s Executive Leadership and Advanced Management Programs for more than 25 years, and is adjunct professor at Emory University, the University of Vermont, and the Ivey School in London, Ontario, among others.
Dr. Shepard specializes in international issues in technology strategy, with an emphasis on the social, geopolitical, economic, and competitive implications of technological change. He has written and directed more than 40 videos and films, and written and produced technical presentations, white papers, Podcasts, speeches, and articles on a broad range of topics for companies and organizations worldwide. He has written, recorded, and photographed in more than 90 countries, serving clients across many different industries including telecommunications, IT, media, advertising, healthcare, transportation, government, software development, education, professional services, NGOs, venture capital, and regulatory.
Thanks to a childhood spent in Spain, Steve is native fluent in Spanish and routinely publishes and delivers presentations in that language. He lives in Vermont with his wife Sabine, who has put up with him for more than 40 years.