As much as we'd like to, nobody knows exactly what the future holds. However, several individuals have put their minds, time, and effort toward figuring out what the future of marketplaces, industry, and work will look like to the greatest possible degree of accuracy. For those who are looking to figure out which industries are most ripe for disruption, which are dinosaurs, and how the future of work applies in your own life, these forward-looking influencers are must-follows. But don't just stop at their Twitter pages, as these influencers have personal websites, TED Talks, and more that are well worth checking out.
This influencer has racked up several job titles on his way to becoming one of the most popular voicers in the future of work sphere. Having previously served the role of CEO, he now imparts knowledge gained in the business world on students as a professor at Lorenzo Walker Technical College in Naples, Florida. In addition, his 491,000 Twitter followers are privy to a de facto, free lecture series through which Coine provides lessons and advice on life as an entrepreneur and a forward-looking view on business.
Dr. James Canton
CEO for the Institute of Global Futures, which provides keynote lectures, forecasts, and strategic advice on technology trends, Dr. James Canton has lent his expertise on the future of work to several clients and employers, including Apple. He is also the author of Future Smart: Managing the Game-Changing Trends that Will Transform Your World. With an eye for stories that are genuinely impactful to the business climate of tomorrow, Canton's 152,000 followers have a unique view into the mind of a well-traveled former executive who curates news stories and imparts original advice.
Forbes analyst, brand strategist, podcaster, and CEO. Did we mention that Meghan Biro's list of professional titles includes must-follow Twitter influencer? We have now!
Biro's podcast/Twitter chat #WorkTrends can be found on most major podcast platforms, and like most content associated with TalentCulture, it's very much worthwhile. 140,000 Twitter followers have Meghan Biro on their ‘Following' queue because she has plenty of value to say about the future of work.
As CEO of renowned design firm V3 Broadsuite, Shelly Kramer has her finger on the pulse of the industry. But Kramer has not limited the scope of her expertise to design, a fact which her Twitter timeline makes abundantly clear. Her advice on how to advance oneself personally, and how businesses can prepare themselves for the future trajectory of their respective fields is invaluable, and it doesn't cost her 106,000 followers a dime to soak it all up.
As a sales leader for Udacity, a virtual course platform which offers several different skills through their lessons, Tina Lai is a self-proclaimed ‘tech nerd', learning and passing along all that she can to her 73,000-plus followers. You'd be ill-advised to pass up her unique blend of humor, interesting industry trends, and personal, experience-based nuggets that will serve anybody well to absorb.
Roger Panetta is the brains and founder behind Nimble at Work, a consulting company that specializes in providing advice to those needing work and career counseling. He also provides insights as an author for TalentCulture, a content platform that has proven to be a breeding ground for industry influencers. Panetta's founding of Nimble at Work is a stirring endorsement as to why you should follow him to get a gauge of future trends in the workplace, as if nearly 71,000 followers weren't reason enough to know that Panetta is for real.
HR Future markets itself as South Africa's top print, digital, and online magazine specializing in human resources. But, more pertinently, they have a keen interest in the future of work, and Executive Editor Alan Hosking is the man when it comes to tracking down and curating content that illuminates what the future of work will look like. With 58,600 followers, a foreign perspective on the professional and labor markets, and experience training real people to equip themselves for the future workplace, Alan Hosking is a must-follow.
Don't let Rob Biederman's fresh face fool you. Far from a young know-it-all, Rob has put in his dues as the co-founder and CEO of Catalant, a platform which provides business experts on demand. Because Catalant's goal is to connect businesses with experts who will fit their needs, whichever field they occupy, Biederman has far more knowledge than most when it comes to the demand of the workplace, across industry lines. Whether the advice is gleaned from his interactions with said experts, his own professional experience, or the interweb, Biederman's timeline is chock-full of value. You better believe that 57,000 followers aren't following Biederman for in-season updates of his beloved New York Mets.
Google Nilofer Merchant, please. You see that bio box on the right? That's just one indicator that she's a big deal, and that's before you get into her entire bio, which makes the Google bio box pale in comparison. Merchant has established a sterling reputation as a thinker, tastemaker, author, and speaker, attaining the title of “Jane Bond of Innovation” through 25 years as a fast-rising executive, board member, and consultant for Fortune 500 companies. And, having been named the #1 person most likely to influence the future of management by Thinkers50, she is a no-brainer for this list. Honestly, 57,000 followers is far too low for this brilliant mind with a work ethic to match.
A full-time professional speaker and business advisor, Jennifer McClure is the President of Unbridled Talent and CEO of DisruptHR. She describes herself on the Unbridled web page as such: “I help leaders embrace the future of work and leverage their influence to create positive, lasting change.” What more could we ask for, considering the nature of this list? Even better, she brings her professional expertise to her over-55,000 Twitter followers, free of charge.
Luke Robert Mason
Luke Robert Mason is a researcher in technology and cyber-culture and director of the Virtual Futures conference, as well as a correspondent for Futurism. He has definitely established a niche in tech, which – while not quite as niche as many of our future of workers – definitely has great bearing on what the future of most workplaces will look like. A young voice with a keen eye for the trends and stories that matter, not to mention 54,000 engaged followers, LRM is definitely worth a spot on your Following list.
Claire Cain Miller
Claire Cain Miller is one of those interesting combo-pros who specializes in the future of work, yet also has carved out a specialty covering gender issues as a New York Times staff writer. For our purposes, we are interested in the former category when it comes to Miller's expertise, as her association with the Times makes her a trustworthy authority in the future of work space. Expect a healthy dose of social and political commentary should you choose to follow, but even if you don't agree with everything Miller has to say, it's well worth getting this reporter and writer's nuggets on the future of the workplace.
A native son of Bonn, Germany, Gerd Leonhard tabs himself as a full-blown futurist, and that title encompasses the future of work. An author, designer, and keynote speaker by trade, Leonhard has mastered the craft of communication in both the written and spoken form, including when his writing comes with a character limit. Over 43,000 followers don't have to attend his speeches – though they should – to get invaluable, truthful Gerd-isms such as this: “Humanity will change more in the next 20 years than in the past 300 years.”
One of Martin Ford's most prominent TED Talks is marked by a title that sums up perfectly why he earned a spot on this countdown: ‘How we'll earn money in a future without jobs'. C'mon, tell me you aren't intrigued enough to check that video out!
As a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, software developer, and general jack-of-all-trades, Ford has graced many a Top Influencer list across a number of industries and niches for good reason. 41.7 thousand followers plug into Ford's Twitter brain to get their taste of what the world of work will look like, robot-infested as it may be (in Ford's view).
Barney Loehnis is the Chief Digital Officer for Mercer, one of the largest B2B consulting companies in the world. They provide research and advice on how companies can better manage their “human capital”, and this research is undoubtedly an invaluable tool when predicting the future of the workplace. With a specialty in the impact that digital evolution will have on the future of business, Loehnis is another one of those influencers whose job makes him inherently valuable as a future of work authority. Two words: Must. Follow.
Joan Carbonell is what one typically think of when they consider a ‘one-man brand'. As a management consultant who urges those who tap into his wealth of expertise to innovate, innovate, innovate, Carbonell is all about the future. More specifically, Carbonell specializes in preparing businesses and individuals for the future of the workplace. You can learn all about him, his mission, and his accomplishments at joancarbonell.com, or you can take our word for it that this man is worth your time and attention. Or both.
Rebecca Lynn is a partner in venture capital firms Canvas and Morganthaler, and as is typically the case, Lynn knows plenty about the companies that she and her firms invest in. Appropriately, most of those investments will have an impact on the future, whether it's finance (Future Advisor), the incorporation of AI and machine learning in our world (CrowdFlower), or other applications. Know this: Rebecca Lynn provides enough valuable insight and referential Tweets that pertain to the future of work for you to join the ranks of her 34.5 thousand followers.
Meister is founding partner of Future Workplace, a research firm which provides advice and insight on the future of work and learning for HR applications. Future of work and learning? Hmmm….seems like she might be an ideal fit for this list!
The recipient of the Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award from the Association for Talent Development, given to a single executive annually to recognize their contributions in the field of workplace learning, Meister is more than qualified to be among her fellow Top Influencers, even if her 34,000 followers aren't nearly as many as her resume warrants.
Sonal Bisht, aka Sun Bisht, is a corporate communications professional with a special interest in technology and financial services. She lists Future of Work as her first passion in her Twitter bio, and as someone whose job responsibility is in part to design social strategy, she must always be forward-looking. You will find her posting about all kinds of trends and tech that will shape the future of our collective workplace, and she is undoubtedly worth a follow.
Scott Berkun is arguably a bit different from everyone else on this list, and that's not a bad thing, with absolutely no disrespect to our other Influencers. Unlike most of our Future of Work influencers, who tend to post about stories and trends shaping the future of work, basing many of their opinions off of their professional and personal experiences, Berkun is unique in the kind of view he takes. As somebody with a philosophical view of tech and how it will mold the future, you'll find yourself questioning yourself, the world, and how tech fits in both. Prepare for your mind to be blown by Berkun.
Khipple is the CEO of 2toLead, a digital consulting firm that is helping brands adapt to the future of the digital workplace. He is also a Microsoft MVP, and offers plenty of Microsoft-centric information and tutorials to his followers. That said, Khipple's background as a digital marketplace consultant makes him a ripe fit for this list, and certainly a future of work influencer to take note of.
Jacob Morgan, like so many youthful influencers who have attracted a large following, can be found on most platforms, from Twitter to YouTube, and several written outlets including Forbes. He has also written three books which pertain to the future of work, and his Twitter timeline is a strong mix of earnest promotion, shout-outs to industry peers whom he respects, and value-packed information that his followers can take for what it is: future-of-work knowledge for future-of-work knowledge's sake.
Andrew Keen's latest book has a title that is not only completely topical, but also intriguing to those both interested in the future of work and not: How to Fix the Future. He has also written three other books, including The Internet is Not the Answer. Obviously, Keen is a man with a plan and some very strong opinions on where the workplace is headed, where it should be headed, and how to get humankind on an ideal trajectory, both in terms of WorkTech and Tech in general.
Gownder is a vice president and principal analyst for Forrester, a customer-led company that specializes in giving insight into the future of work. Gownder's timeline makes it clear that he is well-versed in several areas of tech, especially those which will have an effect on the future of the many workplaces humans occupy. With 23,000 followers, we believe that he is one of the more underrated follows when it comes to Future of Work Twitter.
Neil Patrick, whose handle is the NewCareerGuru, is likely one of the lesser-known personalities on this list, which makes it arguably more impressive that his steady stream of future work-related content has attracted over 23,000 followers. His blend of content which spans jobs, careers, tech, marketing, and the future of work make him a perfect fit for this list, and his content will not let you down.