When Covid-19 struck, Safian was tapped to host Rapid Response, dedicated to covering the real-time adjustments required in this moment. Safian’s guests have included scores of CEOs and entrepreneurs in emerging tech, retail, healthcare, transportation, financial services, and more. Through his advisory firm The Flux Group, Safian also provides confidential strategic advice to key startups, Fortune 50 companies, and high-impact nonprofits.
Safian was the first editor to put Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg on a magazine cover and covered Airbnb, Netflix and Uber long before they were household names. By illuminating stories of the people behind innovative business thinking, he provides hope to talented entrepreneurs and leaders that meaningful change is possible. Prior to Fast Company, Safian was executive editor at Time and at Fortune.
- World-Class Moderator
Getting to the heart of the story and digging to find insights that will resonate long after your event is over is Robert Safian's specialty. One of the best interviewers of our generation, he deploys a warm, disarming style, able to weave hard-hitting topics and emotional reflections into a compelling narrative. He also has an innate ability to tie varying speeches and panels together into one central message, creating more effective and entertaining general sessions.
- Lessons of the World's Most Innovative Companies
In this informative and enlightening presentation, Robert Safian unlocks the key lessons of what makes breakthrough businesses stand apart in today’s hypercompetitive marketplace. He shares his firsthand experience with the likes of Apple, Starbucks, and Under Armour, offering insights on today's most innovative companies. He shows how companies can thrive, even in tough times, by embracing the power of innovative ideas and creative execution.
The word “innovation” has been co-opted and tarnished, spread through marketing campaigns and corporate titles so recklessly that its meaning has become diluted. But true innovation remains an extraordinary engine for success. By examining the inside workings of today's most innovative companies—including breakthrough startups like Snapchat, Spotify, and more—Safian shows how businesses and businesspeople in all industries can thrive, even in challenging times.
- Leading in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Recently, Netflix quietly deleted all the remaining user reviews on its service. And just like that, CEO Reed Hastings completed the latest shift in his company’s ever evolving strategy: away from the wisdom of crowds in its content recommendations, in favor of the wisdom of the machine. The algorithm is now firmly in charge at Netflix—as it increasingly is across the economy. The implications of artificial intelligence and the rise of the algorithm have never been more relevant, more important, or more complex. Discussion and consternation about AI has reached culture-wide status, and an essential, worthwhile dialogue. Yet in the big picture, the bottom-line is irrefutable: Tech’s newest wave is upon up, and there’s no going back. Whether you run a big public company or a nascent startup, whether you are inside academia or in the nonprofit world, whether you oversee a team or contribute to the operations of an enterprise, understanding AI’s emergence is central for all of us. In this presentation, Robert Safian explores five lessons that underscore how AI and the algorithm is redefining business and organizational leadership—including the biggest lesson every leader and businessperson needs to grapple with to thrive in this era.
- How to Succeed In The Age of Flux: Leadership That Matters
Modern business is pure chaos. To succeed in an environment of constant change requires a whole new approach. Only those organizations and individuals that embrace uncertainty and seek opportunity in disruption will be poised to thrive. How do we recalibrate our assumptions? Our business models? Our careers? The vast bulk of our institutions — educational, corporate, political— are not built for flux. While many leaders talk about emphasizing agility, there is still an incomplete understanding of what that really means.
In a talk that draws on the research for his highly-anticipated forthcoming book, Robert Safian—who coined the phrase Generation Flux—delves deep inside cultures from Nike to Starbucks, Airbnb to Warby Parker. He shares examples of Flux Leaders at all levels who are reinventing business, connecting the diverse perspectives of big-brand CEOs, upstart entrepreneurs, and the creative thinkers who power today’s innovation economy. In the process, Safian presents a compelling framework for re-imagining the status quo. He offers a narrative that is incredibly illuminating and entertaining, one that business audiences have fallen in love with again and again..