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Rebecca  Costa

Rebecca Costa

Technology & Science Futurist, World Acclaimed Sociobiologist and Author

Rebecca Costa

Technology & Science Futurist, World Acclaimed Sociobiologist and Author


What will the next disruption look like? Are we ready? What is the difference between organizations that thrive when sudden change occurs, and those that succumb?

For over four decades Rebecca Costa has worked with the world’s largest organizations to get the jump on disruptive technologies, emerging scientific discoveries, and foreseeable trends. From the impact 5G, social robots, AI, genomics, and nanotechnology will have on how we work and live, to how facial recognition, cryptocurrency, space flight, personalized nutrition and innovative methods for storing energy will usher in a demand for new products and services, Costa has her hand firmly on the pulse of what’s around the next corner. According to Costa “foresight” is the only proven antidote to uncertainty. Organizations which get out in front of change arm themselves with a priceless advantage: the opportunity to act before-the-fact.

Rebecca Costa is one of few science and technology futurists in the world. Her work has been heralded by visionaries such as Richard Branson, Alvin Toffler, Dr. James Watson, Elon Musk, and other others, and featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and Guardian. She is a frequent subject-expert commentator on television and radio.

Costa founded and managed one of the largest technology marketing firms in Silicon Valley where she worked side-by-side with the founders and executives of Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Tandem, Ungermann-Bass, launching history-making innovations. Following the sale of her company, she spent six years writing The Watchman’s Rattle which became an international bestseller garnering her the prestigious Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Award. Her second book, On the Verge, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, shooting to the top of Amazon’s business and technology books.

Audiences describe Costa’s keynote presentations as “jaw-dropping,” “entertaining,” “inspiring,” “energizing” and “highly informative.” She brings a futurist’s perspective, a business executive’s savvy, and an author’s story-telling skills to the stage, leaving audiences enlivened and wanting more. Costa is consistently ranked as one of the most in-demand speakers in the industry today.

Speaker Videos

On Preadaptation

Virtual Presentation: Fast Adaptation in the Era of COVID-19

How Complexity is Killing Wall Street

Complexity in a High Failure Rate Environment

The Greatest Discovery You've Never Heard

Are We Headed for Collapse

Complexity is the Real Issue

Mission Critical Organizations

Drive Towards Singularity is Drive Towards Extinction

Quantifying the Future

We've Broken Down the Human Genome

Speech Topics

The Foreseeable Future

The world is changing much faster. You’re either a chaser, maker, or adapter. Which?

What’s the foreseeable future for your industry? For Governments? Non-profits? Humankind? What changes are inevitable? And which will disrupt?

Rebecca Costa, author of international bestsellers, The Watchman’s Rattle and On the Verge, is recognized as one of the top futurists in the world today.  According to Costa the most important asset every individual and organization needs is foresight.  The second is the ability to “pre-dapt: to adapt to change before-the-fact.” Predaptation is the key to preempting future failure as well as spotting and capitalizing on opportunity ahead of others. 

Costa offers audiences a front row seat to what is headed our way five, ten, fifty and one hundred years out.  She demonstrates how technologies and scientific breakthroughs ranging from quantum computing, nanobots, AI, NFTs, and genetic engineering, robotics, neuro-implants and space-based solar, are destined to change the way we work and live, then offers practical actions leaders can take to get in front of change.

According to Costa, “We now know the probability of a person tripping and falling in the next week, the likelihood it will rain in the next 3 minutes, the approximate height a newborn will grow to as an adult.  We know what diseases a person is genetically predisposed to, how quickly every oil well in the world will drain its field, when and why a bridge, building or product will fail, and whether an employee is prone to lying, exaggerating, concealing or deflecting.  We know what provisional technology and science patents have been filed, where investment capital is flowing, and where universities are allocating research funding.  We know what new laws and regulations are under consideration in our own country and elsewhere.  We know what consumers are buying today, likely to buy tomorrow, and want to buy in the future.  With so much knowledge available, is there any reason to wait until change is kicking down the door?”

Using humor, real world examples, and story-telling, Rebecca Costa customizes every presentation to reflect the interests of the audience, always leaving them excited and wanting more. Want to know the future of the future?  Ask one of the most informed and compelling futurists to take the stage.

Complexity, Gridlock & Collapse: The Cautionary Side of Big Data

Over 90 percent of the world’s data has been produced within the last 24 months. Not only are we generating much more data than we can use, important decisions being made, based on information that is changing as fast as fast as a person can Tweet. As quantum computing, 5G and lightning-fast technologies proliferate, there’s no slowing down the deluge.

Is there a limit to how much information, complexity and change humans can manage? A point at which complexity impedes progress and individuals and organizations become gridlocked?

According to Rebecca Costa, there is. Throughout human history when the complexity of data and processes exceed the cognitive capabilities we have thus far evolved, 3 telltale signs begin to appear: 1) there is mass confusion between empirical facts and unproven beliefs (because facts are difficult to access or comprehend), 2) the confusion between unproven beliefs, opinion, dogma and empirical facts infects leadership, producing gridlock (a dangerous inability to resolve urgent problems), 3) over time an organization or society falls victim to irrational policy based on unproven beliefs which causes it to become vulnerable to a fast-moving, triggering event. The final result is collapse. Costa demonstrates how these 3 precursors to unilateral failure not only apply to all great civilizations, but also to once indominable industries, institutions and organizations.

HOWEVER - according to Costa, there is an antidote to growing complexity. We are making a transition from the Information Age - when faster data production and accessibility was the objective - to the Technolithic Era - when new technologies are paving the way for “computer-assisted decision making” in all areas of business, governance and daily life. She shows how AI, Quantum computing, machine-to-machine communications and learning, predictive analytics, 5G, bioengineering, nano and other technologies hold the key to triumphing in today’s complex, “high failure-rate environment,” and offers practical measures leaders can take to avoid the dangerous effects of information overload and gridlock.

A Healthcare Revolution

Healthcare is on the move. And technologies aimed at delivering exponentially better outcomes at lower costs are leading the way.

According to globally acclaimed technology and science futurist, Rebecca Costa, innovative hospitals are now deploying facial recognition software to accurately assess patient pain and improve dosing. Rather than ask patients to subjectively rate their pain on a one-to-ten scale and rely on generic dosing schedules, these healthcare facilities are leveraging real data, in real time. What is more, they’re also using facial recognition to interview new hires - quickly identifying deflection, deception, nervousness, exaggeration, etc. – as well as analyze the fatigue and mental state of their staff, verify identities and employee movements, identify security threats, and more.

Costa claims the need to leverage technology to improve patient care has never been more urgent. And with price points dropping daily, never more practical. To this end, her presentations focus on what’s possible today, and probable tomorrow.

Costa shows how some U.S. healthcare and assisted living facilities have adopted sensor-based disposable diapers to head off downstream problems related to dehydration, UTI’s and vitamin and mineral deficiencies; how, in Asia, low-cost AI-powered social robots regularly visit patients, help them dress, lift them, keep track of their medications, and disinfect rooms; how single-passenger drones are replacing ambulances and helicopters; how 3-D printers are manufacturing replacement body parts to exact specifications inside surgery rooms; how headsets which vocalize the word a patient is thinking are giving incapacitated individuals a voice; how AI systems, such as IBM’s Watson, which bring the all published medical knowledge to bear on a patient’s diagnosis and treatment within nanoseconds, are becoming an indispensable tool in emergency rooms. These are just a few of the advances changing the face of healthcare today. More are on their way.

In the near future, mRNA technology will give rise to immunizations against cancers, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Nanobots, smaller than a single human cell, will be used to fight disease and perform surgical procedures inside the body. At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia mammals have been removed from the mother’s uterus during the first trimester and brought to full term using “bio containers,” paving the way for human fetuses to be removed, matured, and birthed outside of at-risk women (welcomed news for females undergoing complications, have a history of miscarriages, face an unwanted pregnancy, or suffer from addiction).

These and other innovations are changing healthcare in exciting, more efficacious ways. Which institutions will be on the forefront of disruption? Build a bridge to a future of better care? No futurist is better equipped to show audiences real life examples of how technology is ushering in a new era of personalized medicine than Rebecca Costa.

Education on the Verge

Imagine a classroom where an educator could, in real time, determine how many, and which students understood the lesson they were presenting? Imagine educators from K through college being able to say to their class, “I see we’re having a little trouble with this part of the lesson, so let’s try another way.” Talk about no student left behind. In select schools today, educators are no longer waiting weeks to test and measure what students learned. They’re deploying inexpensive facial recognition software, arming teachers with a priceless, immediate feedback tool. According to technology and futurist, Rebecca Costa, the 2020 global pandemic kicked open the door for educational institutions to adopt new technologies, like facial recognition, faster than ever before. And with price points quickly falling, tools aimed at improving teacher efficacy and student learning have never been more affordable or easy to implement.

From AI programs which “learn” the specific weaknesses of a student and automatically alter coursework to strengthen those areas, to tools for “warming up” student’s brains at the start of the school day to make learning easier, to social robots which bond with and encourage students to make smart choices (“Hey Sally, instead of playing another video game, let’s go outside.” “Let’s do our homework so we can play a game.” “mmmm, I’m hungry for healthy snack like a banana, let’s go get one.”), education is on the move.

By showing what is possible, Costa not only inspires educators, but lays out a step-by-step process by which they can get started. Costa’s optimistic, powerful portrait of the future of education has audiences on their feet applauding and wanting more.

The Metaverse: How Will It Play Out?

Similar to any new technology, many organizations are unclear about the role the Metaverse will play in everything from sales and customer service, to future service and product offerings How will human digital surrogates operating in computer-generated environments affect commerce? The way we work? How we socially interact? Where we get information from and how we decide? Is the Metaverse just the logical extension of the gamification movement, or something much more? Find out how leading edge companies are finding unexpected, competitive uses for the next big disruptor.