The 16 Best Innovation Speakers of 2023


August 1, 2023

Ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut and getting nowhere fast? Everyone’s been there. 

But in a world that’s spinning faster than a DJ at the disco, innovation isn’t just “nice to have”. It’s a must. And leading the way towards original thinking are innovation speakers. 

Innovation speakers are the trailblazers and trendsetters. They’re the ones who look at the world and say, “How can I make this better?” Through powerful talks and inspiring stories, they shine a light on new ideas that can reshape industries. 

Get ready to be inspired by these top 16 thought leaders and embrace the power of original thinking. 

Who are the best innovation speakers?

I love speaking about innovation!

Having spoken to numerous companies in a variety of industries, sizes, and geographies, I can vouch for every one of the speakers on this list. They are my favorite ones and people I look forward to hearing speak time and again. 

Below you will find details of the very best innovation influencers, keynote speakers, and thought leaders in the world today, each providing inspiration and advice in equal measure. 

So if you’re an event planner or responsible for internal training and development, please consider all the men and women on this list. Many of the people are close, personal friends. 

Top 16 innovation speakers

Here are the top 16 innovation speakers in the world today (in no particular order.) There are some amazing innovation speakers who I am sure I have missed. Tell me, who else should be on this list?

1. Lisa Bodell

photo of innovation speaker Lisa Bodell

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Lisa is the CEO of Futurethink and the best-selling author of Kill the Company

She’s a globally known futurist and expert in the field of innovation. With her killer strategies and techniques, she helps organizations ditch red tape and ignite their innovative spark. 

2. Chris Barton

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As the co-founder of Shazam, Chris Barton has changed how we interact with music.

When he came up with the idea to identify music out of thin air, everyone said it was impossible. He then embarked on a journey to make it possible through not just one, but many innovations. Chris has continued to invent new things and learn from amazing innovators during 8 years at Google, 4 years at Dropbox and as founder of his new company, Guard. Chris delivers inspiring and actionable keynotes that transform organizations by changing the way they think.

3. Scott Anthony

Scott isn’t just an innovation strategist, he’s a mastermind. 

As a senior partner at Innosight, he’s been at the forefront of some of the most groundbreaking innovations of our time. Scott has also written several books on innovation, including The Little Black Book of Innovation and Dual Transformation. Not to mention, he’s a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review.

4. Duncan Wardle

photo of former Disney executive Duncan Wardle 

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Duncan Wardle’s not just any speaker– he’s the world’s most booked innovation and creativity speaker. And he has the chops to back it up.

He was the head of innovation and creativity at Disney for over 25 years, where he helped the company push the boundaries of what’s possible. 

Now, he’s on a mission to ignite a culture of innovation and creativity in organizations around the world. 

5. Jim Carroll

Jim is a leading futurist, trends, and innovation expert who’s trusted by CEOs around the globe. 

With more than 30 years of experience as a speaker, he’s shared his insights with over 2 million people worldwide, leading some of the world’s largest organizations, like NASA, Disney, the World Bank, and Mercedes Benz. 

6. Tiffani Bova

photo of innovation and growth evangelist Tiffani Bova

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As the Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, Tiffani is a trailblazer in the world of business growth and innovation. 

She has a knack for spotting opportunities for growth, sparking change, and driving innovation. Tiffani is the kind of speaker who doesn’t just challenge the status quo, she shatters it.

7. Nancy Giordano

Nancy is a strategic futurist, a bestselling author, and one of the world’s top female futurists.

Her talks are a blend of future thinking, energetic delivery, and a treasure trove of insights about the future of business.

8. Sterling Hawkins

Sterling Hawkins is a master of innovation and transformation. With a track record of growing over 50 start-up companies, he’s a keynote speaker who knows how to push past comfort zones to create growth and transformation.

9. Natalie Nixon

Natalie Nixon takes design thinking and business strategy to the next level. 

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She’s more than just an author, speaker, and consultant who’s rocked stages and boardrooms around the globe. Natalie harnesses the power of raw creativity and uses it as a turbo-charged engine for innovation and growth. 

10. Josh Linkner

Josh Linkner is a creative tech entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author who’s on a mission to help the world unleash its creative genius.

With a background in jazz music, Josh brings a unique flavor to business and innovation. He’s one of the world’s foremost experts on innovation

11. Erica Dhawan

photo shows innovation speaker Erica Dhawan

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Erica Dhawan is a powerhouse of innovation and collaboration. She’s a best-selling author and award-winning keynote speaker who’s on a mission to unlock 21st century teamwork.

She oozes innovation, authentic engagement, and a culture of respect and inclusion. She’s the spark that can ignite the flame of innovation in any team.

12. Erik Qualman

Erik is a top digital transformation and motivational speaker, a #1 bestselling author, and futurist. 

As the founder and owner of Equalman Studios, Erik brings a unique video-storyteller style to his audiences, churning out award-winning films and animations for leading brands. 

His talks aren’t just informative, they’re transformative. He inspires audiences to become leaders in the digital world.

13. Jeremy Gutsche

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Jeremy Gutsche is a force of nature in the world of innovation. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and futurist. And he’s the CEO of Trend Hunter AI, the world’s leading trend and innovation consultancy.

His infectious energy, enthusiasm, and humor make him a crowd favorite. Jeremy’s keynotes are packed with actionable strategies and insights.

14. Amy Webb

Visionary, quantitative futurist, and leader of the Future Today Institute, Amy Webb leads CEOs from some of the world’s most admired companies. 

Amy’s talks are like a triple-shot espresso of insight, pragmatism, and foresight. They help audiences spot the next big disruption and take action before it’s even a blip on the radar.

15. Shivani Vora

photo shows innovation speaker Shivani Vora

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Shivani Vora is an exceptional leader in helping businesses grow and adapt to the digital world. She is well known for her strong determination and innovative thinking. 

As the Managing Director and Head of Innovation at Accenture, Shivani fuses technology and smart strategies to help companies achieve incredible growth. She has a talent for finding untapped opportunities and brings teams together to work towards a shared vision. 

16. Carla Johnson

Yes, I’m including myself on the list. I know it’s a little tacky, but speaking is a passion of mine and I would be honored to speak at your event or to your team. I’ve covered many topics on innovation and creativity, and my goal is to teach one million people how to become innovative thinkers. 

As the author of 10 books, including the best selling RE:Think Innovation, I’m proud to have worked with teams at brands such as Intel, Amazon, Pfizer, Citi, and Adobe. As the world’s leading Innovation Architect, I help leaders catapult to inspired thinking and leapfrog to bigger outcomes. Click here to book me to speak!

The impact of innovation speakers

Great innovation speakers don’t just talk about innovation, they live it. 

They push boundaries, challenging the status quo, and paving the way for a higher-performing future. 

Imagine a world where every organization is a well-oiled machine. Constantly churning out fresh ideas and groundbreaking solutions. 

That’s the world these speakers help create.

Innovation speakers inspire people to think differently, and to embrace change rather than fear it. 

They prove that innovation isn’t just about technology or products. It’s about mindset, culture, and the courage to take risks.

Take Scott Anthony, for example. His insights have helped countless organizations navigate the complex world of innovation. Or Lisa Bodell, who empowers companies to ditch the bureaucratic red tape and create a culture of innovation.

But the impact of these speakers goes beyond inspiration. 

They help people foster innovation in their own lives by sharing some of their very own:

In a world that’s changing faster than ever, the impact that innovation speakers can bring to your organization is powerful.

How to choose the right innovation speaker

Here’s how to find the speaker who will fit the needs of your organization:

  1. Expertise and experience. You need a speaker who has rolled up their sleeves and actually done the work. Look for someone who has a track record in the field of innovation. This could be someone who has led innovative projects, worked in innovative companies, or written about innovation.
  2. Relevance. The best speakers understand how innovation applies to your industry, challenges, and goals. They’ll personalize their message to your specific needs.
  3. Inspirational value. Great ideas all start with inspiration, and influential speakers should inspire your team to think differently, take risks, and embrace change. Look for a speaker who’s not only an expert, but also engaging, charismatic, and inspiring.
  4. Practical takeaways. Innovation is as much about practical application as it is about being proactive. The best innovation speakers share strategies and tools that your team can start using right away. 
  5. Reviews and recommendations. Don’t forget to check out reviews, testimonials, and recommendations. What do past clients say about the speaker? Were they engaging? Did they provide valuable insights? Did they inspire the audience to take action?

Be inspired to innovate today

Innovation speakers are more than voices on a stage. They’re trailblazers, change-makers, and catalysts for transformation. 

Choosing the right speaker is about finding someone who resonates with your team and understands your challenges. It’s about finding someone who can ignite that spark of creativity and courage within you.

Still looking for one of the best innovation speakers? As the world’s leading Innovation Architect, I can help. Read more on my blog page now, or email me today to learn how you can find inspiration in the unexpected.

About Carla

Carla Johnson Innovation Creativity Speaker Author

Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

As the world’s leading innovation architect, Carla’s spent 20 years helping leaders shatter limits and discover undiscovered possibilities. Through years of research, she’s developed a simple, scalable 5-step process that teaches people how to consistently produce inspired ideas that lead to uncommon outcomes.