Ed Gillespie is a writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. He is the author of Only Planet – a flight-free adventure around the world a book about his circumnavigation of the globe without getting on a plane, which the Independent said “Allow[s] the world’s flaws and beauty to seep into your soul”.
Ed’s core talent is to take the complex, interconnected, interdependent nature of the many challenges the world faces, from climate change to disruptive innovation, and make common sense of them for non-specialist audiences.
Professionally Ed is known for his own unique brand of authentic ‘insultancy’ – being strategically rude to clients, with judicious wit and wisdom to inspire them to greater heights and aspirations. He is highly adaptable, constructively challenging and pushes audience assumptions of business as usual, opening minds then mapping possible practical solutions and opportunities.
Ed is the co-founder of the Global Goals Accelerator, a business programme aimed at delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, the first two businesses supported were Panda Packaging (bamboo and coconut based plastic alternatives) and Agronomex (tackling food waste at the farm gate). He is actively involved in a number of other pioneering ethical businesses as a Director or Investor including; Growing Underground (hydroponic farm in an underground tunnel), Common Objective (ethical fashion), Engaged Tracking (carbon indices), Poplar (communication platform for frontline staff), Small Robot Company (farming as a service) and Bennaman (alternative fuels). Ed is a facilitator with the Forward Institute for responsible leadership, a Director of Greenpeace UK, a Trustee of Energy Revolution and alongside fellow futurist Mark Stevenson is one half of the ‘Futurenauts’ doing live shows and podcasts on pragmatic optimism.
A regular media contributor from the BBC to The Guardian, Ed is a sought-after speaker, event host, lively compere and trusted Chairperson, renowned for his entertaining presentations laced with thoughtful insights, trends and humour. Ed was the co-founder of Futerra, a change agency that specialises in business transformation and creative communications and campaigns and worked with them for 18 years.
His recent speaking engagements include giving the inaugural ‘Bonn Speech’ on Global Transformation for the German Government, a keynote on ‘The Future of Energy’ in Slovenia, ‘The Power of Business with Purpose’ in Finland and ‘Climate of Disruption’ on climate change and disruptive innovation for Schroders in Belgium.