He currently serves as an advisor to multinational companies, governments and international institutions and is Vice Chair of the Global Council on the Future of the Internet at the Swiss-based World Economic Forum. He is a frequent international media commentator and public speaker.
As a graduate student aided by two Nobel prize-winning economists, Rod created CAT•S Software, a public risk management company, in his Stanford, California, garage apartment. As CEO, he grew it into a global enterprise and took it public on the NASDAQ before successfully merging it into another global organization. He has participated in founding numerous high-tech ventures, including Mergent Systems, a database company that was sold for $200 million within a year of its creation. He co-founded or provided original backing for companies and organizations including Privada Inc. (backed by American Express and First Data), eMotion Inc. (acquired by Kodak), SV2, Kiva.org and American Legal Net.
Rod is a committed philanthropist and environmentalist, serving as an advisory trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund and Jamii Bora Trust, an African micro-finance institution.
He graduated from Stanford University with a BA with Honors and Distinction and an MBA, and was a Fulbright Scholar in economics at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
- Preparing for Cyber Armageddon: What are the Threats and How Can Your Company Protect Itself?
Cyber security is no longer a niche technical issue; it’s a core strategic concern for every business and government leader worldwide. Rod Beckstrom is at the forefront, leading the call to action to proactively protect the nerve center of every organization or business in the world. Rod will engage the audience in understanding the character and extent of the cyber threat and in considering solutions to one of the most serious challenges to your organization’s future. The presentation asks tough questions that every leader will have to face. If you are leading a business, government body or non-profit, you need to hear what Rod Beckstrom has to say.
- Starfish and Spiders, Conservatives and Terrorists: How Leaderless Organizations are Changing the World
What do the Tea Party, the Occupy movement and Al Qaida have in common? They all depend on The Starfish and the Spider: the Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations as a primary source of thought leadership ideas. How do these concepts affect your success as an organization? Cut off the leg of a spider and you have a seven-legged creature; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new one, because unlike spiders, starfish are decentralized. While spider organizations rely on a rigid hierarchy, starfish organizations tend to organize around a shared ideology or a simple platform for communication. Rod Beckstrom draws on a rich collection of lessons and anecdotes from today’s news to illustrate his groundbreaking model of organizational structure and leadership, and applies it to influential social movements, such as the Arab spring, that are producing historic shifts in modern politics and culture. Starfish organizations are changing the rules of competitive strategy and leaders should take note. How can your business benefit from understanding this new dynamic? Can these principles be applied to traditional organizations? What can they teach that could affect your profitability? What is your organization: starfish or spider? And what are you going to do about it?
- From Hummingbird Drones to Smartphone Cars: How Will New Ineternet Technologies Affect Your Bottom Line?
Internet innovation is rushing forward. Incredible new technologies like smart dust microsystems, [ambient intelligence], hummingbird-sized drones, cars driven via smartphone, and wireless implants that speak to your doctor from within your body are profoundly reshaping our future. The Internet of Things – the Internet of Everything – is turning everyday life into the ultimate online experience as more and more aspects of daily existence are coming online. An exciting – perhaps unsettling – new world is coming. As Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on the Future of the Internet, former CEO of ICANN and a successful entrepreneur, Rod Beckstrom is at the intersection of innovation, technology and business, with a deep and unique understanding of the coming tech trends that will define tomorrow’s Internet. In a lively and interactive presentation, he challenges the audience’s thinking with provocative questions that today’s rapidly evolving technology presents to the business world. How will it drive change in your organization? And what should you be doing now to prepare for the change, protect yourself from its risks and leverage its benefits?
- Quantifying the Risk of Loss From Cyber Attacks
As cyber attacks and their severity increase, organizations need a way to quantify and manage their exposure. Beckstrom offers new concepts and approaches for predicting losses from data breaches, hacked networks and system corruption. He presents a risk estimation method, called cybersecurity Value at Risk (CyberVaR™), that provides top management with a single risk number and a statistical probability to understand the overall cyber security risk of an enterprise. This data can then be fed into an organization’s existing enterprise risk management framework. Beckstrom’s method helps answer important questions for any organization facing a world of increasingly sophisticated criminals: how much are we likely to lose to cyber attacks over a given period of time? And if we invest more in security, how much could we reduce our risk? CyberVaR™ provides a powerful framework for the risk estimation process and discussion. This presentation is invaluable for all C-Suite executives responsible for protecting the security of corporate assets against cyber attacks.
- A Short Course in Cyber Security
Rod speaks to attendees at the Digital Life Conference on the topic of Cyber Security. Please click here to access the speech. It’s a mad mad mad cyber world we live in today. It’s pretty simple. There are three points:
1.) Anything networked can be hacked
2.) Everything is being networked
3.) Everything is vulnerable.