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Robert  Safian

Robert Safian

Former Editor & Managing Director, Fast Company


Robert Safian is the editor and managing director of The Flux Group. From 2007 through 2017, Safian oversaw Fast Company’s print, digital and live-events content, as well as its brand management and business operations. Under his leadership, Fast Company won the coveted National Magazine Award for Magazine of The Year in 2014, beating out competing titles including The New Yorker, Time, Fortune, The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine. Safian created prestigious annual features like The World’s Most Innovative Companies and The Most Creative People in Business. He personally wrote more than 100 thought-leadership articles. Read More >

Safian has appeared numerous times on TV outlets including CBS This Morning, MSNBC’s Morning Joe and CNBC’s Squawk Box. He has shared insights at industry-leading forums all around the world, from SxSW Interactive to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, HSM Brazil to The World Congress on Intelligent Transport, The National Retail Federation to the Gartner Symposium ITxpo. He has interviewed numerous CEOs on stage, including the heads of Ford, Starbucks, Nike, Pepsico, Target, AOL, YouTube, Buzzfeed, Casper, LinkedIn, KPMG, UnderArmour, WME-IMG Endeavor, as well as celebrities including Alicia Keys, Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson, Serena Williams, Jared Leto, Kate Hudson, Jordan Spieth, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chelsea Clinton and Saudi Princess Reema Bint Bandar.

Before joining Fast Company, Safian served as an executive editor at Fortune and at Time. He was the youngest-ever chief editor at Time Inc, when at 33 he was named head of Money Magazine, a position he held for six years. An honors graduate of Brown University, Safian is married and has three sons. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

7 Predictions for the Next 20 Years

The Secrets of Generation Flux

Fast Adaptation and Flux Leadership

How Great Leaders Thrive

What It Takes to Be a Fast Company

Succeeding in an Age of Flux

Speech Topics

The Secrets of Generation Flux

Modern business is pure chaos. To succeed in this climate requires a whole new approach. Organizations need to invest in people who thrive in this environment. They are the members of Generation Flux. This is less a demographic designation than a psychographic one. What defines GenFlux is a mind-set that embraces instability, and thrives in disruption—recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions. Not everyone will join Generation Flux, but to be successful, businesses and individuals will have to work at it. This is no simple task. The vast bulk of our institutions—educational, corporate, political—are not built for flux. With so many leaders now emphasizing agility, there is still an incomplete understanding on how to make that work. Robert Safian has researched and interviewed scores of GenFluxers, from General Stanley McChrystal and GE’s Beth Comstock, to Mashable’s Peter Cashmore and Atom Factory’s Troy Carter, to provide you with a look at the changing playing field and how to recruit and empower GenFluxers to drive your future success.

How Great Leaders Thrive Amid Chaos

The pace of change in culture and business has never been more intense — from healthcare to technology, media to transportation — and it can be paralyzing. However, it also signals dramatic opportunity for those who are able to take advantage. A cohort of leaders is pointing the way, defined not by chronological age but by a mindset. These are the members of Generation Flux, whose perspectives and strategies offer insights and solutions for all of us. Chaos is increasingly the norm, but chaotic change should not slow us down. If we have the right tools and can surf the wave of change, great things are possible. Safian mixes the most effective case studies with his business acumen and natural curiosity to tailor his presentation to the specific needs of your organizations and audience. Both inspiring and educating, he offers the knowledge necessary to successfully navigate the journey of change.

Lessons of the World's Most Innovative Companies

In this informative and enlightening presentation, Fast Company magazine's award-winning editor Robert Safian shares his firsthand experience with the likes of Apple, Nike, and Twitter, 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.

Is Your Company a "Fast" Company?

In stressful economic conditions, it can be very hard for business leaders to look toward the future. Robert Safian, editor of the award-winning innovative business magazine Fast Company, provides three distinct guidelines to help companies and businesspeople determine if they are "fast" and how to ensure future success – incorporating elements of agility and adaptation. Audiences walk away with the tools necessary to assess and implement a "fast" approach to business.

Find Your Mission

With the pace of change at historic highs, leaders and organizations struggle to juggle the barrage of new information, tools, ideas and options. All the stimulation can lead to paralysis – or it can lead to great success. Robert Safian, editor of the award-winning innovative business magazine Fast Company, explains how identifying a “mission” and infusing it through your organization can unleash dramatic results. To engage Millennials – as customers and as employees—requires a new understanding of what a brand and a business stand for and how to intertwine profit and purpose.

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. Read More >

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. Read Less ^