Robert Safian

Robert Safian is editor-in-chief and managing director of the influential, award-winning business magazine Fast Company, the world's leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation, technology and leadership.


Topics

Business, Innovation, Leadership, Technology


Full Bio


What does it mean to "lead the pack" in a world that is changing so quickly? How do we steer innovation in the right spots and avoid the pitfalls? What does it take to unlock today's creative talent and uncover solutions to our increasingly complex challenges? Robert Safian has chronicled thousands of odds-defying organizations and leaders, getting inside access to their secrets of success. His ability to synthesize their lessons into insightful, compelling storytelling has made him one of the most sought-after speakers, moderators and interviewers in modern business.

Robert Safian is editor-in-chief and managing director of the influential, award-winning business magazine Fast Company, the world's leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation, technology and leadership. Written for, by, and about the most creative business leaders, Fast Company and its affiliates inspire people to think beyond traditional boundaries and embrace a future that is evolving more rapidly than ever. Under Safian's leadership, Fast Company has 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.

Safian has emerged as a leading voice in the Innovation Economy, propelled by a reputation for near-clairvoyant prediction. He was the first editor to put Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg on a magazine cover and covered Airbnb, Netflix and Uber long before they were household names. Whether assessing a startup in Detroit or the tech scene in Palo Alto, an innovator in Shanghai or an iconoclast in Cape Town, Safian is constantly translating what is cutting-edge to the mainstream. By presenting stories of the people behind innovative business thinking, he provides hope to millions of talented professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders that meaningful change is possible.

Safian stewards several of the most ground-breaking business gatherings, including The Innovation Festival in New York City and the Creativity-Counter Conference in Los Angeles. He has conducted onstage interviews with many of the world's most intriguing leaders including Serena Williams, Chelsea Clinton, Princess Reema Bint Bandour of Saudi Arabia, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sarah Jessica Parker and the CEOs of Pepsico, Chobani, Pixar, Nike, UnderArmour, J Crew, Warby Parker and more. He has been a keynote presenter at events ranging from SxSW Interactive to the United Nation's Global Accelerators Council, the National Retail Federation's "Big Show" to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. He is a frequent guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and other TV networks.

In addition to all of Safian's wide experiences, pool of knowledge, and deft story-telling skills, he is also warm and approachable—expert at working with event organizers to personalize his presentations for each audience.

QUICK LIST RESUME:

  • Editor-in-chief & managing director, Fast Company
  • Former Managing Editor of Money
  • Former Executive Editor, Fortune
  • Former Executive Editor, Time
  • 2014 National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year
  • Editor of the Year by Adweek
  • Innovator of the Year by B-2-B Media
  • Appeared on CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and other TV networks, and featured presenter at events ranging from SXSW Interactive to the United Nations Global Accelerator Council to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival
  • Speaking & Moderating for Intel, Fidelity Investments, Abbott, Comcast, Astellas, University of Michigan Business School, Adweek, MillerCoors, Professionals in Human Resources Association, Televisa, Gartner, Johnson Controls, Mentor Graphics, Google, Genentech, August Jackson, Indeed, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, and many others

CLIENT COMMENTS

"Robert Safian was the perfect speaker for our Leadership and High Performance Conference. The audience loved him."
HSM
"Yesterday's appearance was fantastic! Bob was a pleasure to meet and see in action. An interesting presentation and audience participation was exactly what VMware was looking for and they got it. He stayed and additional hour listening to the following panel discussion before departing."
Event Planner, VMware
"Bob Safian was an excellent speaker at our annual meeting. His keynote really resonated with our audience because of his intimate knowledge of events and the challenges that our attendees face on a day-to-day basis. His thought-provoking session provided valuable insight, allowing our audience to immediately connect with him. It was the perfect kickoff to start our annual event."
President & CEO, International Association of Exhibitions & Events
"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for delivering such a thought-provoking experience at our Leadership Forum this week. In talking to my team, it was clear that they heard your message. A "Fast Company" must relentlessly question, collaborate and challenge assumptions. Thank you again for reminding us to use a wide lens on our work."
President, Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
"Great Job Again! And he was so wonderful to work with. It no secret why we keep coming back to him."
Senior Event Producer, August Jackson
"Thank you Bob for making our Sales Kickoff Meeting a huge success."
Event Marketing Director, Abbott

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 cultivate people who can thrive in an environment of constant change. They are the members of Generation Flux. Less a demographic designation than a psychographic one. Generation Flux describes a mind-set that embraces instability and finds opportunity in disruption—recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions. Anyone can learn to be more "GenFlux," but the adjustments required are not simple. The vast bulk of our institutions—educational, corporate, political—are not built for flux. While many leaders talk about emphasizing agility, there is still an incomplete understanding on how to make that work. Robert Safian, who coined the phrase Generation Flux, has delved deep inside cultures from Nike to Starbucks to Taco Bell, interviewing scores of GenFluxers, from established CEOs and leaders like General Stanley McChrystal to upstarts with diverse backgrounds and perspectives at places like Buzzfeed, FX Networks, Airbnb, Soulcycle and more. Safian offers a framework for understanding this rapidly changing playing field and compelling insights on how to recruit and empower GenFluxers to drive your future success.

Is Your Company a "Fast" Company?

With the rising pace of competition and ever-changing consumer demands, 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, defines the important distinction of being "fast", and provides three distinct guidelines to help companies and business people determine how to ensure future success by incorporating elements of agility and adaptation. Audiences walk away with the tools necessary to assess and implement a "fast" approach to business.

How Breakthrough Leaders Thrive Amid Chaos

This may be one of the most intriguing leadership speeches you will ever experience. Safian shares the inside stories of amazing leaders who have transformed their organizations and their industries in the face of constant change in culture and business. He explores how and why these leaders view rapid changes as a vast pool of opportunities, and how they develop and coordinate a talented workforce to creatively capture these opportunities. Both inspiring and educating, Safian shares the tools and knowledge necessary to become breakthrough leader.

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, Starbucks, and UnderArmour, 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.

World-class Moderator

Getting to the heart of the story and digging to find insights that will resonate long after your event is over is Robert Safian's specialty. One of the best interviewers of our generation, he deploys a warm, disarming style, able to weave hard-hitting topics and emotional reflections into a compelling narrative. He also has an innate ability to tie varying speeches and panels together into one central message, creating more effective and entertaining general sessions. Take the time to learn more.

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