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Nada  Sanders

Nada Sanders

Business, Workplace, Technology & AI Futurist


Dr. Nada Sanders is an internationally recognized thought leader, futurist, and forecaster specializing in the integration of human decision-making with technology and AI. Her expertise includes technology innovation, digital transformation, predictive analytics, enterprise management, corporate technology strategy, risk management and sustainability. Speaking from the intersection of technology, operations, business and leadership, her talks cover some of the most urgent topics in the business world today: the rise of “humachines” (AI and humans working in partnership), the future of work, and developing the critical skill sets to lead in the digital age. Read More >

Dr. Sanders is currently Distinguished Professor at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. Throughout her career, she has successfully held a range of leadership roles in both academic and professional organizations and has served on numerous executive boards. Dr. Sanders has provided training and consulting to a range of Fortune 500 companies, including IDG, Nike, AT&T, CIBA Corning, Mattel, Schottenstein Corp., Cognitive TPG, MTC Corp., Dell, and many other. She has authored more than one hundred scholarly works and six books, including The Humachine: Humankind, Machines and the Future of Enterprise, Forecasting Fundamentals, Big Data Driven Supply Chain Management, and Foundations of Sustainable Business: Theory, Function, and Strategy.

Prior to her appointment to Northeastern, Dr. Sanders served as the Iacocca Chair at Lehigh University and as the West Chair and Professor of Supply Chain Management at the M.J. Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University, where she was also Research Director of the Supply and Value Chain Center.  Dr. Sanders is a lifelong Fellow of the Decision Sciences Institute and has served on the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Forecasters (IIF), Decision Sciences Institute (DSI), and the Production Operations Management Society (POMS). She was Co-Founder and Associate Editor of Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting. Dr. Sanders holds a Ph.D. in Operations Management and an MBA from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, as well as a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

Viewing the future of work and technology and AI from a holistic business, operations, leadership and career perspective, Dr. Sanders provides invaluable insights and practical applications to not only prepare for the future, but thrive in it. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Utilizing Big Data

Speech Topics

This is the Human Era

Forget your fears about the rise of AI, robotics, blockchains, IoT and other technologies “botsourcing” our jobs. Instead, get ready for a golden age when humans are empowered to flourish, emotional connections are paramount and authenticity is essential. According to futurist, AI expert and business professor Dr. Nada Sanders, we are at the dawn of the Human Era. In the Human Era, machines are just tools doing automated, repetitive, and standardized tasks. Uniquely human qualities such as creativity, innovation, adaptability, empathy, integrity, and imagination will not only rule the day, but be heightened by technology. Afterall, machines will never fix bad processes, poor management practices, or failing employee morale. Innovation, strategy and connections with co-workers and customers will never be taken over by machines. Dr Sanders. provides an illuminating look ahead at a people-focused future in which humans and uniquely human qualities continue to advance our enterprises, society and economy.

The Future of Work

Technology is changing every aspect of how we work. Robots are quickly becoming our new co-workers and many jobs are being ‘botsourced’ – with human jobs now being done by machines. However, the future is actually exciting for humans. There are so many human skills that machines will not be able to acquire. There are also many new jobs being created that we would never have imagined in the past. Read More >

In this cutting-edge presentation, Dr. Nada Sanders helps you get ready. She forecasts what the future of work will really look like, including: Read Less ^

  • Key trends that will shape work in the coming decade.
  • What everyone in the workforce needs to do to prepare
  • How to “robot-proof” their career--from lifelong learning to developing key human literacies
  • The human advantage in the technology era, such as creative problem solving, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, systems and entrepreneurial thinking, and developing their emotional intelligence

Humachines are the Future of Enterprise

The “Humachine” is the enterprise of the future. It combines the unique talents of humankind (such as creativity and innovation), with the mechanical efficiencies of machines (economies of scale, big data processing, and artificial intelligence). Here, machines and humans are coworkers – working side by side—leveraging their unique strengths. This new organizational form combines humans and machines in a symbiotic relationship. Read More >

The Humachine is not science fiction. It is already here. Many leading companies are already exhibiting Humachine traits and enterprises need to evolve or they will perish. Dr. Sanders’ research uncovers that Humachine traits actually focus less on technology and more on human talent.  In fact, the single differentiator of technological enterprise success lies in having the right human resource qualities at all levels – leaders, managers, doers. It also requires having the right organizational culture. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the best way to take advantage of emerging AI technology is for enterprises to invest more in their human resources – in reskilling, upskilling and lifelong learning.

With invaluable insights for business and industry, Dr. Sanders unveils what the future of enterprise will look like, key enterprise traits of a Humachine, and what everyone must do to prepare for this tectonic shift in the competitive landscape. Read Less ^

Leadership in the Digital Age

The digital era requires all enterprises to evolve or they will perish – and this rests on the shoulders of leadership. Leadership in the digital age requires a different set of skills than in the analog age. Dr. Nada Sanders’ research finds the key to enterprise success in the digital age rests on the right human qualities and the right organizational culture. It also finds that many executives are still taking either a “wait and see approach” to technology or seeing it as a “plug and play” solution. According to Dr. Sanders, neither are going to work. Leading an enterprise in the digital age requires understanding the seismic shift occurring in the competitive landscape. Read More >

Dr. Sanders examines: Read Less ^

  • The importance of a vision beyond profits that everyone can rally around
  • Selecting and nurturing the right talent—and its critical role
  • Championing a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and empowering others
  • Creating a fluid and flexible organizational structure