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Robert  Safian

Robert Safian

Former Editor & Managing Director, Fast Company


Robert Safian was editor-in-chief and managing director of the influential, award-winning business magazine Fast Company and its digital and live-event affiliates for over 110 issues of the publication. He oversaw all editorial operations and played a key role in guiding the enterprise's advertising, marketing and consumer-engagement efforts. Under Safian's leadership, Fast Company received numerous accolades, including the highly coveted National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year in 2014. Named Editor of the Year by Adweek in 2009, Safian has also served as an executive editor for Time and Fortune and headed Money as its chief editor for six years. Read More >

Under Safian's direction, Fast Company garnered a reputation for highlighting the "new" in business while keeping reverence to "tried and true." Whether exploring a startup in Detroit or the tech scene in Palo Alto, an innovator in Shanghai or an iconoclast in Rio, Fast Company consistently adopted a fresh and honest take on business. By presenting stories of the people behind innovative business thinking, it gave hope to millions of workers, entrepreneurs and leaders that meaningful change is possible.

Safian has appeared on CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and other TV networks and has been a featured speaker at events ranging from SxSW Interactive to the Cisco Systems CIO Summit, the United Nation’s Global Accelerators Council to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.

Safian began his career with a seven-year tenure at The American Lawyer, where he rose from summer intern to executive editor. He joined SmartMoney in 1994 and moved to Fortune in 1997. Money was a National Magazine Finalist four times under Safian's leadership and he played key roles in securing National Magazine Awards for The American Lawyer, SmartMoney and Time. He joined Fast Company in 2007.


RESUME: Read Less ^

  • Editor-in-chief & Managing Director, Fast Company
  • Appeared on CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and other TV networks and featured speaker at events ranging from SXSW Interactive to the Cisco Systems CIO Summit, the United Nations Global Accelerator Council to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival
  • Previously served as Executive Editor, Fortune, Time; Managing Editor, Money
  • Recognition: Editor of the Year by Adweek, Innovator of the Year by B-2-B Media
  • Awarded: 2014 National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year

Speaker Videos

7 Predictions for the Next 20 Years

The Secrets of Generation Flux

How Great Leaders Thrive

What It Takes to Be a Fast Company

Succeeding in an Age of Flux

Commerce 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.