APB is a Global Speaker, Celebrity & Entertainment Agency

Speaking to the World

Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta

Peter  Hinssen

Peter Hinssen

Serial Entrepreneur & Adviser


Peter is the author of five bestselling business books. The Phoenix and The Unicorn is a book about the Phoenix, about those companies that – just like the mythical bird – are able to rethink themselves in cycles: time and time again they rise from the ashes of the old, and come out stronger than ever before. The Day After Tomorrow (June 2017) is about surviving in times of radical innovation. The Network Always Wins (2014) explains how and why companies have no choice but to become a network when the outside world has evolved into one. In The New Normal (2010), Peter writes about how companies should explore the limits of the digital world, and what happens when technology just becomes ‘normal’. Business/IT Fusion (2008) is a guide about how to solve the conflict between business and IT. Peter is frequently asked to contribute to (international) publications and is a Forbes contributor as well as a LinkedIn Influencer. Read More >

Peter is a world-renowned thought leader on radical innovation who has given numerous keynote presentations around the world, for companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Accenture, Microsoft, … and has been the keynote headliner for many internal conferences for Fortune1000 companies. He lectures at renowned business schools like the London Business School, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine. He is also a multiple board advisor on subjects related to innovation and technology.

For more than fifteen years, Peter led a life of technology start-ups. His first company e-COM was acquired by Alcatel-Lucent, his second, Streamcase, by Belgacom, and Across Technology by Delaware Consulting. His third venture (Porthus) was quoted on the stock exchange in 2006 and acquired by Descartes. Between start-ups, he has been an Entrepreneur in Residence with McKinsey & Company, with a focus on digital and technology strategy. Peter’s current company nexxworks helps organisations become fluid, innovate and thrive in The Day After Tomorrow. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

The Phoenix & the Unicorn

Unicorn start-ups are brilliant. But, let’s be honest, very few of us will start one, become one, or work for one. Most of us are connected to large companies that often struggle to keep themselves relevant for the ever-changing customer. That’s why this keynote is about a creature that’s just as magical but perhaps offers a more realistic inspiration: the Phoenix. These are the companies that – just like this mythical bird – are able to rethink themselves in cycles: time and time again they rise from the ashes of the old, and come out stronger than ever before. They are the Walmarts, the Volvos, the Disneys, the Apples, the Microsofts, the Ping Ans, the Assa Abloys and AT&Ts of this world. Read More >

This keynote is about understanding what is happening in a world of constant change. It’s about observing and trying to learn from the Unicorns. But primarily, it tells the story of how companies can ACT on their Day After Tomorrow, and how they can apply innovation as an antidote to a radically changing environment. It doesn’t just zoom in on WHAT you need to do in order to innovate, but also on HOW you can make innovation a reality in your organization.

From the deceivingly simple Hourglass model, to the types of innovation, company culture, organizational disruption, platforms, customer experience, organizational structure and many inspiring innovation cases: if you are working in a traditional business or market, this keynote will help you reinvent yourself like a Phoenix. Read Less ^

The Never Normal

We’re at a crossroads. Certainly since the COVID-19 crisis but even before that, we have been evolving into a world with many new types of disruptions. There’s this potent cocktail of global platforms, information, intelligence, and automation that is accelerating the pace of change. But technology is no longer the biggest driver of disruption. What’s coming at us is ecological, biological, societal and geopolitical in nature and this is just the beginning. These many disruptions are going to evolve into seismic shocks that will completely overturn how we live and work. Think about the rising sea levels we might experience the next decades. Or pandemics like COVID-19. Or the cold (trade) war between the US and China. Read More >

What we have to do now is prepare our organizations for these seismic shocks and their ensuing systemic shifts. Prepare them for an unpredictable world. Continuously changing consumer behavior, for instance, triggered a new way of performing business on the edge, permanently adapting. And so we have to become agile in capacity and resources. And this also means that we need a different type of skillset, different types of people and different types of organizations. Financial performance, too, has shifted, to one that is much more fluid and suitable for uncertainty.

This is a world in permanent flux. One where ‘normal’ keeps getting redefined. Are you ready for that? Is your organization? In this keynote, Peter Hinssen uncovers how companies, leaders and employees will need to adapt to survive and thrive in the Never Normal. Read Less ^

A World without Order

As we're drawn further into the 21st century by the dawn of a new decade, the very concept of 'world order' seems more elusive than ever before. Literally, because we're now down to what Ian Bremmer calls a G-zero world: a post-G-20, post-G-8 and post-G-7 era with a geopolitical landscape that is more unstable than at the peak of the Cold War during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Figuratively because a series of seismic shocks, that are societal, ecological, technological and biological in nature, have taken away any global form of structure or predictability. While we have been busy managing our countries and companies locally, entropy has been devouring our overarching systems. Read More >

The pandemic of 2020 only accelerated this propensity towards a more unstable global order. We experienced a growing tension between the US and China, where a trade war escalated into a full blown technological cold-war deadlock. On top of that we have seen the rise of the technological digital giants, who grew even mightier as a result of COVID-19. This evolution clearly illustrated the further transition of power from nation states towards corporations, towards the global technological platforms.

In this keynote, Peter explains why geopolitics is back on the agenda. The post pandemic world will see a completely different future for the further globalization of the world economy. With that background of impending disruptions and seismic shocks, Peter shows how companies, countries and regions will have to dramatically accelerate their Day After Tomorrow vision in the light of this global instability. They will have to re-invent themselves with fresh thinking, novel ideas and skilful creativity if they want to stay relevant in this Never Normal. Read Less ^

The Two Faces of Innovation: Insights from Silicon Valley & China

Silicon Valley and China’s tech ecosystem cities (such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shanghai) are the fastest evolving innovation hubs in the world. But inspiration from pioneering startups, corporates and academics from these distant corners of the globe should not be an ‘either, or’ story. Each has its very own background, innovation DNA, culture, methods and strategies. Each has the potential to trigger you in ways you’d never thought possible. Read More >

And who better to inspire you in the matter than serial entrepreneur & Silicon Valley aficionado Peter Hinssen and China evangelist Pascal Coppens?

Kickstart your innovation with an interactive workshop!

Combine the eye-opening inspiration of “The two faces of innovation” keynote, with an interactive and triggering workshop by Pascal Coppens (inspiration) and Wim Rombaut (facilitation). It will help you:

  • become deeply aware WHY Silicon Valley and China’s transformation is so high paced and radical and WHAT that means for your positioning and business today
  • see the opportunities for your business to become more innovative and competitive
  • be able to integrate the know-how about China and Silicon Valley to your first steps tomorrow

Book Peter and Pascal for an eye-opening double keynote on the uniquely successful innovation approaches of Silicon Valley and China. They’ll bring you on a holistic journey into the heart of technological, societal, individual and business (model) change. If you want to really understand the depth and complexity of innovation, and the potential of disruption: this 3-hour twin journey will change your perspective forever! The optional workshop with Pascal Coppens and Wim Rombaut will only make those insights stick even better. Read Less ^