Ruben Nelson
Innovation and Future Expert
Ratings:
Travels From:
Calgary, Alberta
Language Spoken :
Ruben Nelson is an Executive Director for Foresight Canada and a teacher of strategic foresight who develops the next generation of strategists and decision-makers. Ruben Nelson has advised Cabinet Ministers, Board Members, and senior executives in every sector of Canadian society on strategic policy through his visionary big picture strategic thinking.

Expertise in

  • Change Management
  • Employee Management
  • Leadership
  • Personal Development & Growth
  • Resilience & Adversity
  • Business Growth & Strategy
  • Business Management

Speaker Types

  • Conference Keynote
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Funny & Comedy
  • Guest Panelist & Guided Q&A
  • Inspirational
  • Politics & Government
  • Remote Workers & Virtual Team Building

RUBEN NELSON BIOGRAPHY

“Inspirational”, “Brilliant”, “Prophetic”, “Mind stretching”, “Hopeful”, “One of the best addresses I have ever heard.” These are common responses to Ruben Nelson – author, speaker, workshop facilitator, visionary thought-leader, public commentator, consultant, international advisor, and Canada’s foremost practitioner and teacher of strategic foresight 2.0.

Ruben Nelson is a remarkable big picture visionary and strategic thinker. His strategic insights transform and make sense of the confusion and turmoil of our perilous times. He understands the unique personal-to-civilizational scale transformation we are in. What is more, he has the courage, capacity, and character to challenge widely-accepted truths and engage those with whom he works in difficult conversations. In short, Ruben is a reliable guide to our most deeply desirable futures. His unique mental models integrate economics, politics, technology, governance, religion, psychology, the environment, commerce, recreation, history, and science into a coherent whole. He has earned a global reputation as a leader in the fields of futures research and strategic foresight. Just Google his name.

As your Keynote speaker, workshop facilitator/trainer. or C Suite briefer, Ruben Nelson will engage you and your people in an intelligent, passionate, and often humorous manner. He will inspire you to make strategic decisions that are wiser, more context-aware, and future-focused. Ruben has delivered over 750 keynote speeches, workshops, and Board Briefings in Canada, the USA, and Europe. He works in every sector and setting – from major conference centres and board rooms to church basements.

Ruben Nelson was raised in Calgary. He has studied at Queen’s University, Queen’s Theological College, United Theological College (Bangalore, India), and the University of Calgary. He taught at Queen’s, QTC, and U of C. Ruben has been honoured by Queen’s University, The Calgary Alumni of Queen’s, the Association of Professional Futurists, the Calgary Rotary Club, and the Chinook Region of Scouts Canada. He is the 2018 recipient of the Don Michael Award.

Ruben Nelson is the only Canadian who is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, the World Business Academy, and the Meridian International Institute for Leadership, Governance, Change and the Future. Ruben is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists and the World Futures Studies Federation. He has been President of the Canadian Association for Futures Studies and the International Association of Humanistic Psychology, and Vice-Chair of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. Ruben is currently Executive Director of Foresight Canada and a member of the community of faith that is Ralph Connor Memorial United Church. He lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta with Heather, his wife of 58 years, and their cats.

Ruben Nelson tailors each presentation to the specific group to which he is speaking. He will want to talk with you before your event to ensure he understands your situation, aspirations, concerns, and participants. If desired, at no extra cost, Ruben will do a follow-up small group Q and A break-out session after a Keynote Address. Ruben also conducts Christian worship services and speaks to service clubs and community groups.

Five Futures - Which are You Invested In and Hoping For?

  • Which future are you ready for?

    Most of the time we take the wider context of our lives for granted. We accept and live within the “official” future of our culture without giving it much thought. After all, it promises us more prosperity, goods and services, and a better life. “Official” promises dominate our culture. They are echoed in our media and by every Chamber of Commerce, government, and political party. But bit by bit our “official” future is going out of focus. Other possible futures are crowding onto the stage. Even the elites who govern us no longer agree on which future they should be pursuing. Alternative futures are emerging. In this presentation, Ruben will explore and weigh the five possible futures that now live among us and beckon us. He will point out that each of these has personal and organizational champions who are making real investments in their chosen future.

    Ruben will ask, “Which of these five futures do you see to be most probable?” “Which most deeply desirable?” He will also ask, “What are you willing to do to make your preferred future our probable future?”

  • Keynote Presentation

Our Black Swans - Civilizational Overshoot and Civilizational Re-birth

  • “What if we are profoundly wrong?” “What if our Modern/Industrial world cannot be made to be sustainable?”

    A “Black Swan” is an event or phenomenon that we are blind to until it has fundamentally damaged or even destroyed our future. Think WWI. Think 9/11. Think of the 2007-’08 global credit crisis. (Add your favorite example here…) There is no reason to think that Black Swans have been abolished; that there will be no more Black Swans in our future. Best we learn to notice and see them before they have done their worst. What Black Swans that live in Modern/Industrial cultures might we be blind to? Ruben will identify and explore the Black Swans we do not yet see.

    Ruben’s final thought is that whether the future is a tragedy or a comedy is up to us. To live in a comedy that has a happy ending, all we need to do is have enough courage, capacity, and character to, as Northrop Frye put it “survive to the end of the story.”

  • Keynote Presentation

Post-Despair Hope - How Worried Should We Be About the Future?

  • Is the future beginning to haunt you, your organization, and your society?

    In our private thoughts and conversations in both backyards and boardrooms, we are no longer confident that our children and grandchildren will be alright. We worry about the future we are creating for them. Yes, in public our official cultural optimism steers us away from such dark thoughts. Officially, we whistle past this graveyard. Yet, this fact is worrying: those who are most knowledgeable about the systemic challenges of the 21st Century are also the most worried about the world we are leaving our grandchildren.

    Since 1960, Ruben Nelson has been a participant in the now-global research-based conversation about the reality of cultural and even civilizational crises and the need for fundamental personal and societal transformations. (See his The Illusions of Urban Man, 1976.) Ruben has more experience in this field than any other Canadian. This experience enables him to draw a long bow on the complex messes we face today and our uncertain prospects for tomorrow.

    Ruben will review the evidence that supports the conclusion that our future is indeed perilous. The evidence even supports the growing cynicism that is moving many beyond a cheerful and superficial optimism towards despair. He will argue that while cynicism is warranted, it is not enough. Ruben will explore the insight that in order to cope we need to be grounded in a post-despair hope – the hope that lies on the other side of despair and cynicism. He will also explore the grounds for such hope and the challenges of living by it.

  • Keynote Presentation

Re-Imaging Multiculturalism - The Whys, Whats and Hows of It

  • Is it time to re-conceive Multiculturalism and re-think Immigration and Refugees?

    Ruben will begin by explaining the official understanding of multiculturalism as it was developed in the early 1970s. He will then consider the signs that today’s Multiculturalism is showing its age and may no longer serve us well in the 21st Century. Ruben will conclude that it follows that we in Canada need a clear and updated rationale for our decisions about who we allow into Canada, what we expect of them and ourselves once they are here, and what all of this will require of us. Ruben will then lay out an updated understanding of Multiculturalism and the policy changes it will require in the areas of multiculturalism, immigration, and refugees. Ruben Nelson is well-positioned to explore the significant issues of multiculturalism in Canada. He was raised on the Western prairies where it first arose. He is widely travelled in and beyond Canada. Most important, in 1971, he was among only a handful of people who crafted Canada’s first Multicultural policy. He has paid close attention to the issues since then. His expertise has been recognized as he has advised European senior public servants on multiculturalism.

  • Keynote Presentation

Strategic Foresight 2.0 - What it Is, Isn’t, How to Buy and Use it

  • Is Strategic Foresight 2.0 the new cognitive work of leaders who are responsible for governance?

    Ruben will explore the most current generation of strategic foresight – Strategic Foresight 2.0. He will show how this new work will enable you to make reliable sense of a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) – the new normal of the 21st Century. Exploring and understanding the adjacent futures that lie beyond our now normal understandings is the key to avoiding the surprise and tragedy of overshoot – being run over by the trends and events which we have not yet learned to see, much less to pay attention to. In economic terms alone, Strategic Foresight 2.0 makes sense. Typically, strategic foresight errors cost billions, while strategic planning errors cost only hundreds of millions and operational planning errors cost only millions. Yet we tend to invest our attention and money in the reverse order of these costs. For example, both 9/11 and the Global Credit Crisis cost several trillion. The aftershocks are still being felt. Although we watched over two years as BSE developed into a crisis in the UK, we learned nothing. It caught us unprepared. Our inattentive blindness cost us well over $2b. Over the last decade, TransCanada missed virtually all of the potential opposition to its XL pipeline. They are claiming costs of over $8b. Until it was forced to pay attention, Trans Alta missed the abandonment of coal. Costs are yet to be determined. Today, we are blind to the threats of chronic wasting disease and the declining levels of trust in our major institutions. (Add your own favorite examples here…)

    In every case, leaders said that they were blindsided; that no one could have imagined the way the world would change. While this claim is comforting for the executives involved, it is nonsense. In each of these cases and hundreds of others, there were people who foresaw what was coming but such persons were neither seen nor listened to in the C suites of those in charge. Put simply, Strategic Foresight 2.0 can help us avoid being blindsided and run over by history.

    Ruben will explain what strategic foresight is, what it isn’t, why it is now necessary, how to buy it and not to buy it, how to use and practice it. He will explore what it will cost if you commit to strategic foresight 2.0 and what it may well cost you if you don’t.

  • Keynote Presentation

More than Slightly Ahead of My Time - Adventures and Lessons of My Life

  • Advice you need to both heed and learn to ignore: “Don’t get too far ahead of the market!”. Panasonic used to say that it was, “Just slightly ahead of our time.” Yes, we cheer innovation and creativity. But the results have to make sense to the market. The unspoken message is: Don’t get too far ahead of your culture. In stable times this is all well and good: a better version of yesterday will still serve as a model for us tomorrow. But it is increasingly obvious that ours are not stable times. UVCA rules – uncertainty, volatility, complexity, and ambiguity. Today, paradigm-bursting insights, thoughts and actions are required. And, yet, to have any traction we must be accepted enough to be seen as a trusted member of our society. Walking this thin line is like walking on a knife edge.

    As a ground-breaking organizational designer/leader, future-oriented Social Policy wonk, boy bureaucrat and social activist Ruben knows this challenge all too well. As a pioneer of serious futures work in Canada he has often been more than slightly ahead of his time. Think about this: he organized what may well have been Canada’s first formal futures conference in 1960 when General Dwight Eisenhower was still President of the USA. He was the first Canadian to write an article on paradigm change. In 1975, he was the first to apply the concept of paradigm change to whole cultures. In 1976, Ruben was also one of the founders of the Canadian Association for Futures Studies. Accordingly, he is well-suited to share stories of his life – both successes and failures – that illuminate the tension between being one of the gang and being an authentic future-creating leader.

  • Keynote Presentation

My Journey Towards a Faith Fit for the 21st Century

  • “Behold, I make all things new.”

    One does not have to be a “none” or an atheist to feel dissatisfied with much that is offered to us in the name of the Hebrew/Christian tradition. (Or any other religious tradition for that matter.) Much established religion feels like a call to live in the past, rather than a proclamation of the challenge to consciously co-create a deeply humane future as citizens of the newly recognized geological epoch – the Anthropocene. In this presentation, Ruben will offer stories, insights, and personal reflections on his own journey from his formation as a Modern mid-20th Century prairie Protestant towards a faith that is fit for the 21st Century. Ruben will also note that this is not merely “a personal” matter. Ruben has come to the view that as things get tougher the superficial optimism of our Modern cultures will collapse even further. The profound challenges of the 21st Century will require the resilience of a 21st Century faith – one that is deep, heartfelt, mindful, and embodied daily. Ruben’s hope is that his experiences may be of some use to those who are struggling to become faithful 21st Century persons and institutions in the midst of the confusion that marks our time.

  • Keynote Presentation

A Strategic Perspective on…

  • Ruben is willing to focus on a subject of your choice. Strategic Foresight 2.0 is a powerful perspective that can be used to see and explore afresh virtually any question, topic, sector, or organization. If you wish Ruben to turn his mind and heart onto your chosen topic, organization, or sector, just ask him to do so. He will tell you whether or not the scope of his competence includes your chosen topic.

  • Keynote Presentation

Ruben Nelson delivered his presentation brilliantly. He kept me on the edge of my seat all evening. He is a great speaker. He definitely has a real vision that must be passed on and adopted by others. Thought-provoking – finally someone is saying it as it is.

New Brunswick Families into the 21st Century

Excellent. Very applicable. Sense of humour. Depth. Can translate ideas into understood concepts. Does topic justice by expressing necessary self-questioning! Outstanding! Thanks!

International Strategic Leadership Conference

Inspirational and thought-provoking… guests continue to express their excitement over your oration.

Banff School District No. 102

Thought-provoking and stimulating, and much discussion followed and in fact continues.

Centre for National Security Studies

IN THE MEDIA

PODCASTS

[podcast-repeater-accordion]

 

MEDIA INTERVIEWS

[media-repeater-accordion]

Ruben Nelson CAN DELIVER CUSTOMIZED PRESENTATIONS WITHIN THE FOLLOWING AREAS OF EXPERTISE & TOPIC THEMES

Expertise in

  • Change Management
  • Employee Management
  • Leadership
  • Personal Development & Growth
  • Resilience & Adversity
  • Business Growth & Strategy
  • Business Management
  • Future Trends

Speaker Types

  • Conference Keynote
  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Funny & Comedy
  • Guest Panelist & Guided Q&A
  • Inspirational
  • Politics & Government
  • Remote Workers & Virtual Team Building
  • Social Justice & Human Rights
  • Sustainable Development
  • TED & TEDx
FAQs ON BOOKING Ruben Nelson

Ruben Nelson keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Ruben Nelson delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Ruben Nelson from Calgary, Alberta for your event to inspire the audience to take action and make change in their work and their lives. Your workplace will benefit from our keynote speaker and their keynote talks and speeches will shift the mindsets or behaviours for the audience members in Canada. 

Interested in Booking Ruben Nelson for an event?

Are you looking to hire Ruben Nelson for your event? Ruben Nelson Calgary, Alberta is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Ruben Nelson is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Ruben Nelson is an expert keynote presenter and speaks on wide variety of topics. Hiring a great speaker for your event is important and working with a thought leader like Ruben Nelson from Speakers Canada’s roster will engage audiences into the content of the presentation to bring awareness and a fresh perspective for their approach to their work and their lives. Book Ruben Nelson to educate, motivate and activate the audience through an interactive and entertaining presentation at corporate meetings and gatherings.

Known as a popular key note speaker in Canada, Ruben Nelson creates life changing experiences for the participants with practical insights and strategic advice they can implement right after the session. Working with a one our leading expert speaker like Ruben Nelson from Calgary, Alberta offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Ruben Nelson is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Ruben Nelson focuses on changing individuals to make better decisions at work and their lives. No matter if you are holding an in person or virtual event, having an influential speaker such as Ruben Nelson will engage, motivate, and activate the audience to make a change in their lives and inspire action for results to meet organizational goals. Your workforce will benefit from Ruben Nelson’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Ruben Nelson speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Ruben Nelson FOR A VIRTUAL OR KEYNOTE PRESENTATION?

Ruben Nelson is an expert professional key note speaker with a lot of experience speaking and delivering engaging talks to organizations and audiences in Canada. Each of Speaker Bureau Canada’s talent have different ways to assess their fees, and Ruben Nelson speaker fee ranges depending on the size of the audience, event format (in person or virtual), event location, and if the organization booking them is a non profit, association, government department/government agency or business/corporation. The speakers we work with are flexible with their fees, and it is important for us to learn more about your event before we approach them, as it is our role to work for you, and to help you find a speaker within budget. 

Please contact Speakers Bureau of Canada and provide us with your event details so that we can contact Ruben Nelson to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Ruben Nelson for your event. As Ruben Nelson's agent and as a Canadian top speaker bureau and talent agency for speakers, we are able to propose each event opportunity from each host organization’s behalf to try to help you get in touch with Ruben Nelson and confirm them for your in person or online meeting/event. We can also provide and advise on the booking process and potentially negotiate their fee. Speakers Canada is a client focused speaker agency, and we work for you in finding good speakers for your team meetings and booking processes.

DISCLAIMER:

Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Ruben Nelson for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Ruben Nelson, however they are represented by Speakers Canada, and we work with them closely for their Canadian speaking opportunities and bookings. As Canada’s top speaker bureau, we represent Canadian motivational keynote speakers and professional guest speakers that will be available on your upcoming events date and location that are withing the budget. Our talented bureau speaker booking agency can help find business speakers or celebrity speakers that aligns with each organization, audience, event theme and the topic themes you hope for the speaker to address in their presentation. 

When SBC receives a request to book Ruben Nelson we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization’s event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Ruben Nelson about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker’s fees. If you are looking to hire Ruben Nelson, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.

Check Availability

Contact SPEAKERS BUREAU OF CANADA

 P: 1.866.420.3338