Richard Worzel - Futurist - Speaker - Consultant
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Keynote & Workshop Topics
Keynote & Workshop Topics
Energy, Oil, & Electricity

Our Shocking Future: What’s Ahead for Electric Power Utilities

Electricity is the often-overlooked central pivot on which the economy turns. And because electricity is at the center of our economy, electric utilities are buffeted by changes and prone to systemic and political shocks from many different directions. Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and today’s leading futurist. In this presentation, he focuses on the trends that will affect the industry, and the forces that drive them, including:

• The climate change debate – It’s clear that climate is changing, and whether it’s humanity’s fault or not is of less importance than the public’s expectations that corporations – especially utilities – will do something about it. Moreover, weird weather presents its own challenges. including more violent storms and shifting patterns of peak demand. Where is this leading, and how do you get in front of the issue?

Capital market mayhem – The series of crises in Europe are really one big, related crisis that has major implications for the economy, consumption patterns, borrowing costs, and stock values. How might this play out, and how do you prepare for the uncertainties ahead?

Technology: the predictable wildcard – The technological changes of the next 10 years will exceed the changes of the past 25 years in importance, and will present enormous challenges to the basic business model of electric power utilities. Both within the industry, and within society as a whole, the next 10 years in technology will be earth-shaking.

Planning for uncertainty – The only thing that is certain is that the future will catch us by surprise. No matter how smart we are, no matter how hard we work, we will be caught flat-footed over and over again by the unexpected. Fukushima’s experience following the March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami proved that. But since the future is inherently unpredictable, the companies that will prosper are those that can recover fastest from surprise, and respond most constructively when it hits, and there are serious tools that can dramatically boost your ability to make the future work for you.

You’ll leave with both a better understanding of what’s ahead, and a toolset that will help you improve your ability to prepare for tomorrow.



The Future Breaks Wide Open: What’s Ahead for Energy & Energy Companies

Conventional wisdom has been saying that the incremental demand from the Rapidly Developing Countries (RDCs) like China and India, added to the steady, but slower growth in demand from the developed countries, must inevitably push the price of oil substantially higher, even to $200/bbl. This, in turn, would help push renewable energy and more efficient uses of energy for heating, production, transport, and cars.

But there are several issues on the horizon that may shatter this conventionally accepted complacency. First is the potential that shale oil could do to the oil industry what shale gas did to the natural gas industry. The United States is already expected to become first self-sufficient, then a net exporter of oil, and has shale oil reserves in excess of 1.5 trillion barrels.

Next, consumer behavior is changing because of demographics, technology, and peer pressure. The boomer generation is approaching retirement – gradually – with the result that they won’t be commuting to work, and will be driving less, potentially much less. Young people are demonstrably less likely to own a car and drive that their parents. This is partly due to a switch in social perception from one where owning a car was cool, to one where owning smartphones and iPads is cool, and owning a car is damaging to the environment. Shared ownership, through companies like Zipcars, makes is easy to have access to a car without the expenses of ownership, and given that young people are more likely to live in urban areas, and less likely to have well-established, and well-paying, jobs, the economics of owning a car are much reduced.

And, of course, as goes oil so goes the energy industry as a whole. Cheap oil changes the economics of sustainable and renewable energy, and makes the reduction of greenhouse gases

Richard Worzel is a business visionary, a Chartered Financial Analyst, and one of today’s leading futurists. In this overview of the seismic shifts coming to the energy industries, he lays out what’s possible, what’s probable, and how energy companies should prepare for what’s to come.



Innovation and Strategic Thinking: Winning the Race for the Future of Energy

The broad outlines of the future of energy are clear: demand from Rapidly Developing Countries (RDCs) has been and will continue to push up the price of energy, especially oil. Meanwhile, the price of finding and developing new oil reserves is rising as the inexpensive pools have largely been found. Yet, there are unprecedented elements of uncertainty ahead as well. Richard Worzel is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a strategic planner, and Canada’s leading futurist. In this overview of the future he discusses the future of energy in the context of the rising uncertainties ahead, including:

• Climate change, which is pushing consumers and, reluctantly, governments to change energy consuming and producing habits, as well as increasing the number of natural disasters.

• A chancier economic and financial environment threatens growth and stability, making it more difficult to gauge which investments offer the best risk-adjusted returns.

• Technology continues to change the rules of society, business, and even warfare. It opens up new potentials that have never existed before, and creates new threats as well.

In this environment, those who exploit the tools of foresight and creativity stand to reap the greatest rewards. This is not an environment for the faint of heart, but one that can offer great rewards to those prepared to plan carefully, and turn uncertainty into an advantage. Richard offers not only an assessment of where we are going, but a tool set that can be used to exploit the unsettled nature of events, and turn them to advantage.

Peak Oil & the Future of Energy

Was Hubbert right? Are we running out of oil? And if so, can we find energy alternatives fast enough to prevent an economic crash? According to Richard Worzel, a Chartered Financial Analyst, strategic planner, and one of today’s leading futurists, the subject of peak oil and the future of energy is a ‘yes, but…’ subject. Every time someone makes a relevant statement, the immediate comeback is ‘yes, but…’. To assess the future of energy, the energy industries, and our economic prospects, Richard looks at:

• Where will tomorrow’s oil come from, and what will it cost;

• What are the major energy alternatives, and how quickly are they likely to come online;

• How energy use will change, and the effects that will have on the balance between production and consumption; and

• Politics.

Together, these four topics outline our future based on energy’s role. Finally, Richard outlines how organizations can capture and harness the uncertainties in tomorrow’s energy equations, and turn them to competitive advantage.

Tomorrow's Power, Tomorrow's Promise

The energy industries don't exist in a vacuum. Indeed, because of their central position in our life and industries, the energy industries are affected by a wide range of factors. In this fast-paced and intriguing 'big picture' look at tomorrow, futurist Richard Worzel will explore some of the major factors surrounding electricity generation, petroleum, renewable energy sources, and the highly-hyped hydrogen economy of tomorrow to examine how they will affect the industry and its major players, including the future of environmental issues, demographics, and government behaviour. This is a provocative and lively keynote, exploring both the opportunities and pitfalls ahead for the industry.

These Fuelish Things: The Future of Energy and Society

Are we running out of oil? Is the price headed to the moon and beyond? Will our economy be crippled by skyrocketing energy prices on the one hand, and government-imposed emission controls on the other? In this wide-angled look at the pivotal energy industry, you will learn about the future of petroleum reserves, consumer usage of energy, how corporations will shift their behaviors, and what is likely to happen in both the immediate future, and further out. If you're a producer, a consumer, or an investor, this provocative and unconventional look at the energy sources of tomorrow, and petroleum's place in it, will provide you fuel for thought, and tools to prepare for the future of energy.

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