Ben Hammersley

Host of Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley, Author & Futurist

In-Person Fee Range
$10,001 to $20,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
California, United States

Renowned Futurist, Author, And Digital Thought Leader

Ben Hammersley is a journalist, futurist and technologist, specialising in the effects of the internet and the ubiquitous digital network on the world’s political, cultural and social spheres. He enjoys an international career as a trends and digital guru, explaining complex technological and sociological topics to lay audiences, and as a high-level advisor on these matters to governments and business.

Innovator in Residence

He is currently Innovator in Residence at the Centre for Creative and Social Technologies at Goldsmiths at the University of London; a faculty member of the School of Life; an Academic Fellow at the European Policy Centre, and a non-executive director of Digital Jersey Ltd. In 2014 he became the Principal of Onwards, Friend – a programme to develop science and launch platforms for high altitude and low-earth-orbit. He is Contributing editor at WIRED Magazine, a columnist for BA Business Life Magazine, and a Freelance reporter and presenter at the BBC.


Until recently, Hammersley was the UK Prime Minister’s Ambassador to Tech City in East London (2011-13). He was also the Robert Schuman fellow on the Global Governance programme at the European University Institute (2013); a member of the European Commission High Level Group on Media Freedom (2011-13); and a non-resident fellow of the 21st Century for Security and Intelligence at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C (2012-13).


He was also previously Head of Digital at SIX Creative, where he was responsible for creating, building and managing an international team dedicated to bringing cutting-edge internet strategy, design, and production to leading fashion and beauty brands worldwide (2010-11).


Amongst Hammersley’s most unusual achievements, is his invention of the word ‘Podcast’. He has spoken at festivals, universities, think tanks and corporations all over the world, including regularly at 10 Downing Street (UK Prime Minister), Deutsche Telekom, European Commission, Brookings Institute, and the Royal Institution.


Hammersley is a fellow of the British American project, a trustee of the London chapter of the Awesome Foundation, and a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, where he is a judge of the Lovie Awards. In August 2011 he was made a fellow of the UNAOC, and an Ambassador to the National Media Museum. In addition he is also currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Group at the Royal Institution, and a member of the External Advisory Board at Security Lancaster.


Hammersley is the author of the acclaimed book 64 Things You Need To Know Now For Then, which is a guide to the new concepts of the modern world. His book Now for then: How to face the Digital Future without Fear, is a guide to the latest ideas in technology, culture, business and politics. It demystifies the Internet, decodes cyberspace, and guides you through the innovations of the revolution we are all living through.

Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley

In 2014, BBC World News commissioned a major new six- part series, presented by Ben, exploring a global threat that could impact us all. Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley, produced in partnership with The Open University by Tern TV, delves into the dark world of hacking, now home to a new generation of highly organised cybercriminals running complex commercial enterprises, involving leaders, planners, engineers, infantry and hired money mules.

Virtual Keynotes and Other Options

In addition to the traditional, in person, keynote experience, all of Ben’s speeches are available virtually via live webinar or prerecorded keynote. For a live virtual keynote, a camera crew will be sent to tape the speaker giving their keynote speech, just as if they were live and in person.

Cut Through the Clutter: This is what you (actually) need to know (or ignore) about the future

Futurists are full of it. Most of their predictions are based on buzzwords, misunderstood technologies, and bandwagons they never fail to leap aboard, all dressed up with concept art, movie references, and a fear of missing out. These can be entertaining, but are they useful? Helpful? No. In this, the other kind of futures talk, Ben Hammersley will discuss the latest fads and fashions, and examine the technologies for what they actually are and what they can actually do. He'll show what is real and what is simply hope, or hype, or downright fraud. And by reminding us that the heart of strategy is what we choose not to do, will guide the audience to a deeper, more knowledgable, and more powerful understanding of the world to come.

Everything You Think About Innovation is Wrong

For something that holds the key to prosperity and success in the 21st Century, it is upsetting to realize that we’ve been doing it wrong. We think about innovation in the wrong way. We’ve been using the wrong words, paying attention to the wrong things, and retelling the same, old, wrong, and misleading stories. True innovation does not mean embracing the latest technological buzzword and trying to leap five years into the future with the help of an AI or a blockchain. It’s not dependent on a small and expensive class of technowizards, or magazine-cover masters of the universe. Instead, innovation is a skill and a mindset that can be learned by anyone. It’s a continual process that truly cutting-edge organizations - from multinational e-commerce conglomerates to that great new dumpling place down the street - can develop within every single member of staff. These talks show the true historical and cultural complexities of innovation and teach the audiences how to apply those lessons to their daily practices. For any organization, industry, or individual who wants to be better tomorrow than they are today, and who suspects that the answer isn’t necessarily in the new shiny and disruptive tech, this topic will be inspirational, practical, and calmly life-changing.

The Future of Work, the Workplace, and the Place of Work

For all the technological advances of the past 20 years, and the promises of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the other super-power giving technologies of the 2020s, the way we work today hasn’t changed for a hundred years. The average knowledge worker's desk is little different from a Victorian clerk’s. Their office would be a familiar place for their grandparents. But as we become more aware of the challenges of the coming decade - with its commercial and cultural upheavals already apparent - we’re realizing that now is the time to reassess not only the very way we work but also the place in which we do it. From the realizations that our company’s email culture is making us stupid, and that open-plan offices actually reduce collaboration, to the skills we need to work with non-human colleagues, and the concept of the cognitive architecture, this talk helps organizations and individuals who want to work smarter, and more successfully, in the 2020s understand what is happening to the workplace, and how they can make changes today that will future-proof them for tomorrow.

Skills for Future Leaders

We all know the world is changing. And many can give examples of the technologies or trends that are contributing to that change. But that is not the whole picture. In this topic, we teach audiences about the skills, techniques, and cognitive tools that leaders need to both understand those changes and shape their own future. Ideal for executive learning and development programs, or thought-leader positioning customer events, these keynotes are consistently rated as life-changing, with plenty of actionable take-aways for the audience. This topic also extends well into subsequent break-outs and workshop sessions, which can be provided.

The Shape of the Post-Digital World

With so much change, so many disruptions and innovations, transforming the culture, systems, and the politics of the world we grew up in, into the world of the 2020s, we have found that most of our clients have a mental model of the world that is, if not entirely out of date, then dangerously incomplete. In this topic, we show the workings and the shape of the interconnected, interdependent, networked, co-arisen modern world, and how it affects the audience’s business and lives. From youth culture in Brazil to high-speed rail in China, Russian postmodern foreign policy to non-human corporations, weaponized memetic infections to European nationalism, solarpunks to 山寨, climate mitigation to shadow economies, we provide a true grounding in today, without which you cannot possibly plan for tomorrow. This is especially appreciated by c-suite audiences and has been a repeated hit at evening events with partners and spouses.

Cognitive Risk and the Nature of Threat

We are all bringing yesterday’s war to today’s battlefield. In the modernity of today's world, we have a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the geopolitical, commercial, and personal threat. It isn’t kinetics that will get us, but confusion. The post-modern asymmetric reaction to the extreme commercial and military hegemony of the West, or the quasi-monopoly power of the large corporation is no longer one of physical violence, but of memetic infection, and purposeful, weaponized, confusion. For these audiences, leadership, and strategy, is the art of making the best decisions with the knowledge available. But making those decisions requires accurate data, clear analysis, accurate thinking, without interference. In this talk, we detail the ways that the final line of risk is the individual executive’s ability to think clearly, how this is under specific targeted attack, and how to defend against that. This topic is of deep interest to multinational top tier executives, or those being shaped into becoming so. It can also include follow-up reading and online sessions.

All Ben Hammersley Books

Now For Then: How to Face the Digital Future Without Fear
Purchase Book
Approaching the Future: 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then
Purchase Book

Ben was a great personality to work with and an excellent speaker. His speech gave a lot of new insights and refreshing opinions. He was our highest ranked speaker of the day

- | Robeco

Ben was fantastic, and excellent to work with. His subject-matter knowledge was brilliant and the client really took a shine to him.


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Recent Books

Now For Then: How to Face the Digital Future Without Fear
Purchase Book
Approaching the Future: 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then
Purchase Book

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