Jerry Michalski

  • Futurist & Thought Leader on Transformative Business Models
  • Corporate Consultant and Technology Advisor
  • Founder, REX (Relationship Economy eXpedition)
  • Globetrotter and Adventurer

Jerry Michalski helps people see the future differently. He was a key tech industry analyst in the middle of the dot-com vortex, shaping how entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and journalists saw the early Internet; shining a spotlight on specific trends and startups; and making important introductions. He advises organizations large and small on how to navigate the waves of technological and social change that are transforming their industries and our world. Briefly put, producers could once mostly ignore consumers, telling them what was on offer and what they should want. Now the playing field is much more level. People are not mere consumers. Companies are realizing this, which is leading to a humanization of capitalism. The problem is, most companies don’t know how to be human, strange as that may seem. Jerry helps organizations become more human by offering unique perspectives on innovation, automation, big data, reputation, trust, authenticity, intent, purpose and other words that frighten the lawyers. He does this by guiding conversations into deep waters, framing issues crisply and clearly, and opening new possibilities.

 
  

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Rave Reviews About Jerry Michalski
I never fail to learn new insights from his talks. First he intrigues, then he unfolds his insights and then he suggests new pathways ahead that enable me to act on the insights. By the end of his talks I feel like I own his ideas in a way that they become part of me. Yes he has a great knack for telling compelling stories and letting me fill in the conclusions. And his use of presentational materials — his mind maps — always excites and illuminated. Why didn’t I think of that?? Well, once you see his visionary and far reaching mind maps you say to yourself, wow — not only does this guy have great and compelling ideas but he has a unique tool set to help accelerate sense making and communication. So by the end of his talks I realize he is a true maestro orchestrating ideas, tools and concepts that stuns and excites me to action.”

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Jerry Michalski
  • Gottfried Duttweiler Institute
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Exosphere Boot Camp
  • University of Alabama
  • LIFT14
  • Point Zero
  • TEDxCopenhagen
  • Public Affairs Council
  • Xerox PARC
TEDXCopenhagen: What If Our Institutions Trusted Us? - Get Sharable Link
TEDXCopenhagen: What If Our Institutions Trusted Us?
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Jerry Michalski: Lessons from 15 years using TheBrain
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Jerry Michalski - Future of Marketing: Trust, don't stalk
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'Jerry's Brain' (The Online Version) Has Been Going Strong for 20 Years
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Explore Jerry Michalski's Talks
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AI: Boon or Threat -- and How?

It’s easy to find an opinion that Artificial Intelligence will cure all our ills and catalyze the leisure society -- or that it will eliminate the need for humans to exist at all. Surely the future will follow a middle path, but which? With 30 years’ experience as a technology analyst, much of it in ...

It’s easy to find an opinion that Artificial Intelligence will cure all our ills and catalyze the leisure society -- or that it will eliminate the need for humans to exist at all. Surely the future will follow a middle path, but which? With 30 years’ experience as a technology analyst, much of it in what is now called Deep Learning, Mr. Michalski offers memorable and useful perspectives on these epochal shifts.

What If We Trusted You

New organizations, from ridesharing to Wikipedia and open-source software, are using trust in a very different way from established organizations. Although it seems counterintuitive and maybe dangerous, they are trusting the average person to behave for the common good -- and it’s paying off. Learn ...

New organizations, from ridesharing to Wikipedia and open-source software, are using trust in a very different way from established organizations. Although it seems counterintuitive and maybe dangerous, they are trusting the average person to behave for the common good -- and it’s paying off. Learn how you might harness trust, too.

You’re Hired: Employees and the Future of Work

Your best people are sorely tempted to go solo. Setting up shop online is simple, and platforms for doing practically anything are sprouting monthly. How will you keep your employees as employees? How is that social contract changing? How might meaning and impact outweigh job security and a fancy ti ...

Your best people are sorely tempted to go solo. Setting up shop online is simple, and platforms for doing practically anything are sprouting monthly. How will you keep your employees as employees? How is that social contract changing? How might meaning and impact outweigh job security and a fancy title as attractors for corporate work?

Stalk or Serve: Rethinking Your Marketing Strategy

If trust is key to good customer relationships, why is marketing so violent and intrusive? Why are we accustomed to systematic mass marketing campaigns, invasive new technologies that record our every click, and pop-ups that assault our screen? There is a better, more innovative, way, and it begins ...

If trust is key to good customer relationships, why is marketing so violent and intrusive? Why are we accustomed to systematic mass marketing campaigns, invasive new technologies that record our every click, and pop-ups that assault our screen? There is a better, more innovative, way, and it begins with being more human all around. You can flip the marketing dynamic and move away from customer suspicion and annoyance and towards engagement and participation. Understanding the dynamics of trust allows you to become your customer’s Trusted Ally. For life.

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<p>Jerry Michalski shares his brain, the online version, with Living Lab Radio on NPR.</p>

Jerry Michalski shares his brain, the online version, with Living Lab Radio on NPR.

Futurist, tech thought leader, and transformative business free-thinker Jerry Michalski has created the world's largest (online) brain.  He shares his mind in this interview on Living Lab Radio on NPR.

Listen to the interview here > >
<p>Jerry Michalski launches forward-thinking What If We Trusted You on Patreon</p>

Jerry Michalski launches forward-thinking What If We Trusted You on Patreon

Worldwide we are experiencing a crisis of trust. As the World Economic Forum highlighted, recent studies show individual’s trust in the four institutions of government, media, business and NGOs are in steady decline worldwide. What does this mean? And what would it look like if individuals actually trusted their institutions? Jerry Michalski has been exploring these crucial questions for decades, delivering compelling TEDx Talks and thought-provoking keynotes on trust as the key element to any successful relationship, whether it be peer-to-peer, business-to-client, or government-to-citizen. Through his newly launched Patreon project, appropriately titled What if We Trusted You (WIWTY), Michalski illuminates a successful, optimistic path forward, highlighting what can be gained when organizations across industries move away from coercion and towards cooperation, and away from control and towards community, so that they may thrive in a new economy where the most innovative businesses already let strangers rent our homes and drive our cars. Launched through Patreon, a platform similar to Kickstarter that encompasses the very ideals of trust Michalski touches on, WIWTY is an ambitious and bold project involving a book, podcast, media experiment and more. Ultimately, it will bring Michalski’s pioneering work to the world as he collaboratively builds a productive path forward.

Visit Michaelski's What If We Trusted You page >>
<p>Rave reviews for a presentation that will make you “think differently">

Rave reviews for a presentation that will make you “think differently"

Relationship economy expert JERRY MICHALKSI recently spoke before a rapt 2,000+ audience at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Medellin, Colombia. The event gathers global leaders, policy makers, investors, scholars and entrepreneurs who want to get inspired by talks from international trendsetters and innovative thought leaders and gain skills to “think differently,” and Jerry delivered in spades. Addressing the issue of how we have “consumerized everything” Jerry gave a provocative talk on how we have to stop treating customers as “targets” and stop “bombarding” them with our messaging. We need to focus on gaining trust and that is done by creating a relationship with our customers. Interestingly enough, many companies are still struggling with this concept of becoming more “human” and Jerry helps guide them by taking the conversation into deep waters, framing issues crisply and clearly, and opening new possibilities.

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<p>What is the relationship economy?</p>

What is the relationship economy?

JERRY MICHALSKI offers companies insights on how to manage the shift from consumer mass marketing to what he terms the "relationship economy." People aren't mere consumers. They have been transformed and companies need a different skill set and mindset to effectively reach them. People are much more than consumers: they are customers, members, users and active participants in business. They can repair, design, improve, manufacture, fund, review, recommend, translate, sell and troubleshoot almost anything. Jerry helps companies and organizations understand the value and opportunity of creating deeper relationships with their customers, and provides unique insights on the best way to accomplish these goals.

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Biography

Jerry Michalski is a futurist with a practical, humanist bent. He is also a Gladwellian connector, guide and pattern finder. Since 1987, he has been helping organizations large and small navigate the turbulent changes at the messy juncture of hyperconnectivity and outdated world views.

Practically, this means delivering speeches with insights that help organizations: be authentic — and therefore more trustworthy — in a mass-media world; innovate, working with the world’s new forces, not against them; design from trust; re-imagine their relationships to those people formerly known as consumers; see where value is going as markets flip and citizens stop acting as mere consumers; and understand and leverage the effects of automation on their various stakeholders.

Through a dozen years’ experience as a leading technology industry analyst, Jerry developed his perspective. As an analyst, he helped shape technology markets and in particular introduced the Internet to investors, entrepreneurs, corporate users, civic entities and nonprofits. For example, in the June 1993 issue of Release 1.0 (then the leading tech newsletter), he wrote about online community — then an obscure concept — illustrating how much more was already happening online than commerce.

In the middle of that period, just as the Internet started warming up in the mid-90s, Jerry noticed that the word “consumer” didn’t sit right. Paying attention to that word and its implications helped him realize that we are in the early stages of making capitalism more human — and more humane. He calls this new era the “Relationship Economy,” in contrast to the fragmenting and problematic consumer mass-marketing economy.

Speeches ignite imaginations, but it is often what you do right afterward that catalyzes change. Conversations about large-scale change can be difficult, especially if they challenge long-held views or corporate taboos. Over the years, Jerry has developed facilitation skills that let him guide conversations that are safe yet deep, diving into uncomfortable waters and expanding perspectives.

In 2010, Jerry turned the Relationship Economy insights into a think-and-do tank called REX (the Relationship Economy eXpedition). REX members come from Kaiser Permanente, Deloitte, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the United Nations Foundation, the Institute for the Future, Intuit and many more. Together they explore the implications of this shift to a focus on relationships. In particular, how can organizations still thrive in this new world order?

Along the way, Jerry has advised numerous startups, from Pyra, which became Blogger and then got acquired by Google, to Evernote and CoTweet, which is now part of Salesforce.com.

Although he’s not in the Guinness Book of World Records, Jerry does have a clear claim to uniqueness: the world’s largest published Brain. (TheBrain is a concept-mapping application Jerry adopted on its first press tour, back in 1998.) To get a feeling for Jerry’s Brain, search for “Jerry’s Brain” in the Apple app store. Now imaging tracking everything you care about for 18 years and curating it with care, accumulating a quarter million nodes connected by nearly half a million links — all put in by hand.

Jerry earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Irvine, and an M.B.A. in International Business from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Jerry’s parents met in Bolivia; they raised him in Peru and Argentina, with a year in Berlin after that. As a result, he can deliver speeches in fluent Spanish and German, as well as English, of course — all like a local. His French is also good enough for public speaking.