Flux: Thriving in Constant Change and Uncertainty
The pace of change has never been as fast as it is today... and yet, it's unlikely to ever again be this slow. Every day, we’re bombarded with information and feel pressure to keep up. We juggle increasing responsibilities and higher expectations, often set by others. And we’re doing this against a backdrop of uncertainty about the future: Will automation destroy my job? Will my children inherit an uninhabitable planet? Will I ever earn “enough?” For business leaders, there is added anxiety about what this means for talent, strategy, purpose, and profitability.
All this was true before a global pandemic changed daily life all over the world. It is even more true now, as we navigate even more unknowns today, tomorrow and into the future.
Answers to many of these questions are all around us… and yet we’re too busy, running too fast to notice them. We’re living in a world in flux, yet our obsession with predicting and controlling the future is hijacking not only our ability to show up and live fully today, but also how we perceive this future.
“Flux mindset” is a term I coined to describe how to thrive in a world of constant change. In this talk, I guide audiences on a journey through what a flux mindset is, why it matters, and how to develop one. I draw on my personal and professional experiences with flux (from losing both of my parents in a car accident when I was 20, to building an ever-evolving “portfolio career”) and countless examples from others. Whether you’re building your career, managing a company and team, triaging new workplace realities, or are simply not sure what to do next, you’ll learn unconventional and often counter-intuitive strategies for how to think, learn, work, live and lead better — not by running faster, but by slowing down, unsticking your mind, flipping your perspective, re-evaluating who and what you really trust, and learning to embrace flux.
The New Economy in Flux
The sharing economy, collaborative economy, digital economy, on-demand economy, access economy... these terms are in the media daily and yet what do they mean for companies, individuals, governments, and the future? A renowned expert on emerging digital technologies and the new economy in all its forms, Rinne unpacks the headlines and hype, decoding crucial terminology, highlighting new forms of disruptive innovation, and identifying underlying trends to help leaders across industries forge a successful path forward. Touching on major shifts from centralized institutions to decentralized networks, to business models based on access rather than ownership, and on how to build trust in new ways, Rinne serves as a hands-on guide to the new economy, helping organizations translate uncertain change into economic opportunity.
The Future of Work in Flux
Almost every aspect of the way we work is changing as the world shifts from lifetime employment to freelance work arrangements, and as new technologies portend to displace jobs at an unprecedented rate. Today, in the U.S. alone, 34% of the workforce is already freelance, a number that is expected to rise to 50% by 2030. Drivers and retail clerks, two of the largest professions worldwide, are among the most at-risk for technological disruption as driverless cars and self-serve tablets become the norm. Tackling the complexity of the future of work in terms of its impact on companies, workers, and policy makers, Rinne reveals the trends behind the stats, helping stakeholders across industries prepare for the evolving nature of work. Breaking down complex shifts and interweaving powerful experiences with hard-hitting facts, Rinne shares how we can maximize the benefits of the future of work and ensure that new technologies augment rather than replace human potential, ultimately providing a playbook so that organizations and individuals can become predictive and proactive rather than reactive and stay two steps ahead of the competition.
Careers of the Future: From Path to Portfolio
What the Future of Work Means for the Future of Education
We hear the stories: of a future in which technology has addicted us, we have robot overlords, and we lose the ability to be in relationships. We see the statistics: of automation that will eliminate entire job categories, of rising inequality and safety nets that are fraying. Or will it be a future of unparalleled connectivity, collaboration and opportunity?
While the answers are up for grabs, one thing is clear: the future of work and education are fundamentally intertwined, and whether we get it right depends on understanding these forces at play. The stakes are high for parents, teachers, educational institutions, business, government and society at large… and most of all, future generations.
By and large, we are stuck in an education system that was designed for the First Industrial Revolution, which is a very poor fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution that we live in the midst of today. Students study for the test and worry about grades, rather than sparking curiosity and innovation. Between 1989 and 2016, the cost of college increased eight times faster than wages did. With automation expected to scale in the coming years, how can our education system possibly keep up -- and what else should we consider?
April Rinne has been at the 50-yard line of these shifts. In this talk, she unpacks key themes -- from artificial intelligence to lifelong learning -- in a practical, approachable way. She helps educational institutions identify and address their blind spots as well as new opportunities, she helps companies rethink their talent strategy, and she helps parents give future-forward advice. She’ll challenge your assumptions, connect new dots, and help you see differently.
Future-Forward: New Ways of Learning, Working, Living and Leading in Flux
The future can feel overwhelming: it’s full of unknowns and risks, the pace of change is unrelenting, and sometimes it’s as though we’re losing our ability to understand one another. For young adults, there’s an added burden of older generations expecting you’ll fix the problems they created. Yet right now, you’d really just like to know: what should I study? What skills will be valuable in 10 years? Is a four-year college degree be worth the debt? You’ve been taught to study for the test, yet the future resembles a multiple-choice question with no good answers.
April Rinne is your guide to this future. She won’t give your parents’ advice to “study hard, get good grades and you’ll be fine” because she knows it’s outdated. She will help you understand the future landscape, navigate your own path, and adopt a mindset that will thrive.
April has been at the 50-yard line of the future of work, education, technology, innovation and globalization her entire career. She has a black belt in seeing beyond borders (in 100+ countries), crafting future-forward inroads and helping others do the same. These skills and perspective aren’t just the result of her professional expertise; April’s personal journey is also one of navigating the unknown. Following the death of both of her parents in a car accident at age 20, she had to ask hard questions -- about life, loss and what really matters. Without a map, she had to chart her future path.
This talk distills the best of April’s wisdom and personality. She connects easily with Gen Z and Baby Boomers alike. Listen to her explain why the future career looks more like a portfolio than a corporate ladder, or how having a midlife crisis at age 20 was a blessing in disguise. You’ll never look at today or the future the same.
Event Moderator, Facilitator, Host, Interviewer, Emcee
In addition to her inspiring and insightful keynotes, April is frequently invited to moderate and interview panels and roundtables, facilitate workshops and lead open space sessions. She is known for catalyzing new conversations, emerging ideas and bringing fresh perspective wherever she goes. From kickoff to closing, April has led a variety of such conferences and convenings as The Collaborative Economy Canada Tour, the Cape Town Sharing Economy Think Tank, Singapore & The Sharing Economy, World Tourism Day Summit - Happiness 360 and Reinvent’s Future of Work series. Several of these engagements were first-time events for their host organizations, industries or locations. Often asked to collaborate on structuring for the day or event, April is happy to assist meeting planners with creating a truly immersive and memorable experience for your next meeting.
Virtual Programming: April Rinne shares the mindset we need to navigate our uncertain future
Named one of "15 Women Visionaries to Watch for a Resilient Post-Pandemic Future" and to Forbes "50 Leading Female Futurists," APRIL RINNE illuminates the mindset we need to navigate this current, unprecedented moment: a flux mindset. The subject of her recent, compelling virtual keynote for nexxworks, virtual conversation with the Femme Futurists Society, and of her TED Talk entitled "How to navigate our uncertain future," Rinne highlights that a flux mindset is an ability to thrive amidst constant change. April rethinks how we work, live, create, collaborate, invest and plan in a world where the sheer pace of change is difficult to keep up with, and offers tangible solutions for how to thrive amid the flux. Having recently penned, "The Mindset We'll Need to Get Through the Coronavirus," Rinne breaks down how developing a flux mindset helps us navigate a global pandemic, tailoring her message for every industry and audience.
An advisor of choice for a range of private and public sector organizations, from Airbnb to the World Economic Forum and governments worldwide, Rinne helps audiences see the shifts underway in communities and businesses worldwide. Not just a thought leader, but a doer, her work has taken her to 95 countries (to date), and she provides a truly global perspective on the new economy and how to hone a team, culture, and mindset that allows you to thrive amid rapid change. Sought-out to speak everywhere from TD Ameritrade to college campuses worldwide, she receives out-of-this-world reviews such as: "April's keynote was excellent. She was engaged in the whole process from start to finish. Her inspirational and valuable insight proved to be of enormous value for the Summit... She set the stage for an informative and lively discussion and many people cited April’s keynote as a particular highlight point of the event." (World Travel & Tourism Council)Watch April Rinne's virtual webinar on flux mindset >>
April Rinne reveals how to harness business for social and environmental good, inclusion and equity
Head of the World Economic Forum's Sharing Economy Working Group, APRIL RINNE is a go-to voice on the new economy and sustainable development. Sought-out to speak at numerous forward-thinking events—including Enova’s Energy & Climate Conference, the Global Sustainable Development Speaker Series at Occidental College, Sustainable Brands, and more, Rinne consistently receives rave reviews thanks to her ability to balance actionable takeaways and eye-opening anecdotes. Advisor of choice for a range of private and public sector organizations, from Airbnb to the World Economic Forum and governments worldwide, Rinne helps audiences see the innovative shifts underway in communities and businesses worldwide, shining light on how we harness business -- and business models -- for broader social and environmental good, inclusion and equity. A Portland-native, Rinne has also advised her home city in its goal of becoming "the B Corp capital of the world."
Not just a thought leader, but a doer, Rinne’s work has taken her to 95 countries (to date), and she provides a truly global perspective on the new economy and how it fosters sustainable development. As Sustainable Brands raved after an engagement: "Thanks so much to April for helping us kick off what most attendees are saying was the most engaging Sustainable Brands Conference yet. We heard again this year a deep appreciation from attendees for bringing a higher level of thinking to the table. You played a significant role in helping to set the tone this year by challenging our group to think from a different lens about the work we do and the rules by which we all operate. I'm confident your presentation had a real impact in upping the level of dialogue that took place throughout the week..."
April Rinne is a sought-out expert on sustainable development
Head of the World Economic Forum’s Sharing Economy Working Group APRIL RINNE is a go-to voice on the new economy and sustainable development. Sought-out to speak at numerous forward-thinking events—including Enova’s Energy & Climate Conference, the Global Sustainable Development Speaker Series at Occidental College, Sustainable Brands, OuiShare Fest where she delivered a keynote on “Sharing Cities: Rethinking Urban Planning & Sustainable Growth,” and more, Rinne consistently receives rave reviews thanks to her ability to balance actionable takeaways and eye-opening anecdotes. An example of her stellar reviews: "Thanks so much to April for helping us kick off what most attendees are saying was the most engaging Sustainable Brands Conference yet. We heard again this year a deep appreciation from attendees for bringing a higher level of thinking to the table. You played a significant role in helping to set the tone this year by challenging our group to think from a different lens about the work we do and the rules by which we all operate. I'm confident your presentation had a real impact in upping the level of dialogue that took place throughout the week..." (Sustainable Brands & Sustainable Life Media); and "April Rinne’s keynote was most inspiring and interesting. She linked the energy sector and the sharing economy in an interesting manner, and highlighted the investment opportunities for the audience. April Rinne is a very professional speaker and we were delighted to have her as our keynote and guest in Norway." (Enova). Advisor of choice for a range of private and public sector organizations, from Airbnb to the World Economic Forum and governments worldwide, Rinne helps audiences see the innovative shifts underway in communities and businesses worldwide, pointing to how good business and sustainable development can go hand-in-hand. Tailoring her remarks to each audience, Rinne is at the 50 yard line of the most cutting-edge workforce and industry innovations, decoding the positive social implications of new technologies and providing a refreshing-- and not often presented—perspective. Not just a thought leader, but a doer, Rinne’s work has taken her to 95 countries (to date), and she provides a truly global perspective on the new economy and how it fosters sustainable development.
April Rinne is a Contributor for Quartz at Work
Expert on the new economy, future of work and disruptive innovation April Rinne has been named a contributor for Quartz at Work, the digital news outlet’s guide to being a better manager and how to navigate the modern global workplace. An in-demand advisor for organizations and companies as diverse as the World Economic Forum, Airbnb, and China’s National Sharing Economy Commission, Rinne is a leading voice on the real opportunities and obstacles of the new economy. Her informative Quartz columns unpack myriad lessons from her forward-thinking and global career, touching on everything from trends in the future of work to growing pains in the gig economy. Her keynotes are equally illuminating, as Rinne has been sought-out by Coca-Cola, TD Ameritrade, Enova, The Aspen Institute, and more to shed light on how businesses can translate uncertain change into economic opportunity. Rave reviews from Rinne’s recent engagements include: “Timely topic, and April was really wonderful to have” (TD Ameritrade); "April is a gifted speaker with in-depth knowledge of her field of expertise. Her talk at our conference was a highlight which has inspired an entire industry to understand that business can be done differently!...The insights and ideas she shared with us at our congress were an eyeopener for our entire industry... With her inspirational, profound, and – at the same time – entertaining talk at our congress, she put an entire industry under her spell!" (RIAD International Association of Legal Protection); “April Rinne is a brilliant thought leader operating at the nexus of technological change, new economy, and social impact. She is able to unpack the confusing signals and share perceptive insights that allow us to make practical strategy" (Social Innovation Generation).Read April Rinne's pieces for Quartz at Work >>
April's HWA Chat offers golden nuggets of insight about the sharing economy
Whether you are intrigued by the success of sharing companies like Uber, airbnb, Lyft, Task rabbit and the like, or you are a die hard believer that the sharing economy is in fact the new normal and wave of the future, April has an innovative and well-rounded perspective about the future of the sharing economy.Check out our HWA Chat with April >>
April Rinne is a smash hit at back-to-back engagements
Sought-out to deliver two keynotes at back-to-back events, first at Dentons’ Courageous Counsel Leadership Institute and then TD Ameritrade’s National LINC Conference, APRIL RINNE delivered sharp insights into the sharing economy and future of work. Delivering a keynote entitled, “The New Economy: What’s It all About?” at Dentons LLP’s professional leadership development conference, the theme of which was “cultivating innovation,” Rinne exposed audience members to emerging trends and new platforms, unpacking their legal implications. Engaging in an in-depth and informative Q&A, Rinne kept the audience riveted from start to finish, and received stellar feedback: “Amazing!! April is such a profound speaker! The entire audience was so captivated with her.” Just one week later, speaking to a packed room at TD Ameritrade’s LINC Conference, Rinne gave a showcase presentation on the new economy. Tailoring her remarks to the audience of financial advisors, Rinne dove into how shifts in labor, business models, and technology will impact the business and finance industries, and delivered substantive analysis on how the sharing and gig economies will affect financial planning. Keeping the conversation going with a handful of particularly curious participants for over an hour after the keynote’s close, Rinne received the following rave review: "It went very well. Timely topic, and April was really wonderful to have."
April Rinne sought-out to advise forward-thinking, visionary companies across industries
Working at the intersection of the public, private and social sector for almost 20 years, APRIL RINNE has been sought-out for her extensive expertise on the new economy, future of work and inclusive growth by top organizations across industries. Advising a range of leading companies and organizations such as Airbnb, Nike, Intuit, The World Economic Forum, World Bank, The Inter-American Development Bank, and Jobbatical, plus numerous public sector organizations including Amsterdam Sharing City, Sharing City Seoul, Apolitical, Welcoming International, Estonia's e-Residency initiative and China's National Sharing Economy Commission, April has brought invaluable strategies and insights to help organizations prepare for the future and stay ahead of the curve. Whether shedding light on emerging markets and opportunities for international expansion, crafting innovative public policies, or decoding the implications of new technologies and helping organizations prepare for the future of work, April anticipates major global trends before they’ve disrupted entire industries. Her track record speaks for itself: "Drop the April bomb… and good things happen" (Patrick Robinson, Director of Public Policy, Airbnb); “Who’s your April?” (Will Fitzpatrick, General Counsel, Omidyar Network).Learn more about April’s advisory roles >>
Read the latest post from new economy expert April Rinne
APRIL RINNE is a global authority on the new economy: sharing economy, collaborative economy, on-demand economy, freelance economy and new tech-enabled business models. Advising companies, local and national governments, entrepreneurs, think tanks, investors and development banks, using for-profit and non-profit models, her areas of expertise include policy reform; the future of work; the future of travel and tourism; sustainable development; cities; and emerging markets.Read April's insightful posts >>
April Rinne shares substantive insights on the new economy at the Microsoft Summit
Addressing a sold-out crowd of top executives at the Microsoft Summit in Bucharest, APRIL RINNE shared key insights on the future of work, automation, innovation and more in her keynote: “The Digital Sharing Economy.” Drawing on her extensive experience at the head of the World Economic Forum’s Sharing Economy Working Group, Rinne illuminated the impacts of new technologies in transforming business, government and society at large. Sprinkling in loads of fascinating anecdotes (there are platforms just for sharing Maseratis, for example!), and tailoring her remarks to the Romanian and European market, Rinne inspired lots of interaction with the audience. Sought-out for six interviews while at the conference, many of Rinne’s insights were highlighted in a Business Review article and she shared her own perspective in an informative LinkedIn post.
April Rinne decodes the human side of AI and automation, and the implications worldwide
Co-Founder of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Sharing Economy Working Group and serving on a wide range of tech-focused advisory boards, APRIL RINNE is a trusted expert on the new economy and digital disruption, able to shed light on how AI and automation will impact individuals and companies across industries and geographies. Having recently written an informative op-ed on the uneven distribution of AI and automation development around the world, and interviewed by ReInvent on how AI and automation interest and fear is playing out in different countries, April is an authority on how new technologies are being implemented worldwide and how they are (and will) affect business models, the future of work, and more. Heralded by audiences for presenting “new, complex and even sometimes controversial topics substantively and with ease, persuasively informing everyone from students to CEOs..." (Emory University), April brings a human dimension to the conversation around AI and automation, breaking down how society as a whole can best prepare for inevitable disruptions and shifts. Drawing on her experience advising a range of organizations directly involved in the "humans vs. machines" debate, from companies including Airbnb and Intuit, and governments from Estonia to Singapore and China, April provides a playbook to help prepare for an uncertain future and become predictive and proactive rather than reactive in the face of change.
April Rinne keeps audiences raving at every kind of event
Whether speaking at industry associations or universities, The World Economic Forum or government roundtables, APRIL RINNE consistently receives rave reviews for her transformative insights and shrewd analysis on the new economy, the future of work, global citizenship and more. Having already addressed audiences in seven countries at events such as the Future Trends Forum and the Conference on World Affairs in 2017 thus far, Rinne is praised by attendees and event-planners alike for her on-the-point, customized remarks, tremendous passion, and vast knowledge. Recent reviews include: “April's presentation was fantastic. She delivered a keynote as it should be: showing the big picture, addressing key issues, and doing so in a way that's enlightening and fun.” (ITB Berlin Convention); “April's keynote was excellent. She was engaged in the whole process from start to finish. Her inspirational and valuable insight proved to be of enormous value for the Summit.” (World Travel & Tourism Council); "April is an engaging communicator who has a special knack with audiences. She can present new, complex and even sometimes controversial topics substantively and with ease, persuasively informing everyone from students to CEOs..." (Emory University); "April is a gifted speaker with in-depth knowledge of her field of expertise. Her talk at our conference was a highlight which has inspired an entire industry to understand that business can be done differently!” (RIAD International Association of Legal Protection).
April Rinne sheds light on the future of work and gig economy
The Head of the World Economic Forum’s Sharing Economy Working Group, APRIL RINNE is not only a renowned expert on the gig economy, but a living embodiment of it. A freelancer who’s worked at the intersection of the private, public and social sectors for over 20 years, currently April is also an advisor at Airbnb and a Sharing Economy Advisory Board Member for China’s National Sharing Economy Commission. As Airbnb’s Director of Public Policy Patrick Robinson said: “Drop the April bomb… and good things happen.” Recently sought-out as a keynote to shed light on the future of work and the impact of the gig economy at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit, The Enova Conference, and The World Economic Forum Regional Summit, April is known to tailor her speeches to every audience and consistently receives rave reviews: “April's presentation was fantastic. She delivered a keynote as it should be: showing the big picture, addressing key issues, and doing so in a way that's enlightening and fun.” (ITB Berlin Convention); "April is an engaging communicator who has a special knack with audiences. She can present new, complex and even sometimes controversial topics substantively and with ease, persuasively informing everyone from students to CEOs..." (Emory University); "April is a gifted speaker with in-depth knowledge of her field of expertise. Her talk at our conference was a highlight which has inspired an entire industry to understand that business can be done differently!” (RIAD International Association of Legal Protection). Check out April’s recent interview on the rise of independent workers worldwide, and her podcast on the gig economy trend with Wharton Business’ podcast.
April Rinne's website is the hot spot for timely insights on the new economy and global citizenship
APRIL RINNE's work is focused on 'building better markets that work better for more people.' She is focused on Global Access, Global Perspective and Global Citizenship. She posts thought-pieces on how people, companies and communities can navigate the future of the new economy and global citizenship. She explains how global citizenship is not the same as globalization or being well-traveled, and why she predicts changes to our values, sense of citizenship, and our economic opportunities.Visit April Rinne's website >>
Artificial Intelligence & Digital Disruption
As technological developments continue at break neck speeds, impacting businesses across industries and fundamentally changing the way we work, consume and live, these HWA experts are qualified to address questions at the at the top of business leaders' and employees' minds. Whether shedding light on both the opportunities and threats in automation, revealing the next wave in artificial intelligence, or preparing your business for the impacts of disruption, HWA represents some of the leading minds of the new economy and tech.
April Rinne has been weaving her own story about how to thrive amid flux, personally and professionally, for as long as she can remember.
Today April is an acclaimed speaker, thinker, advisor and writer. She is known today for her many keynotes each year to business, industry, investment, policy and educational audiences around the world, and for her role as a bridge: between startups and governments, between developed and developing countries, between those excited about change and those resistant to it. She is also an impact investor, mental health advocate, yoga teacher and insatiable handstander. April's handstands underscore her upside-down perspective on the world: they help her see differently, stay flexible, and bring joy (and occasionally amazement) to others. Earlier in her career served as a global development executive, microfinance lawyer, and hiking and biking guide.
April holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in International Business and Finance from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. in International Studies and Italian summa cum laude from Emory University. She is a Fulbright Scholar and studied at Oxford (University College; one full academic year), the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the European University Institute (the EU’s premier graduate institution; one full academic year). In 2011 the World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader; she has attended Davos multiple times as well as WEF summits worldwide.
But April’s CV and educational pedigree don’t begin to capture April’s story, her perspective, and her understanding of the world. Both of her parents died in a car accident when she was 20, which threw her into a world of flux. She put the expected path on hold to deal with the aftermath, ultimately letting go of how she thought her own future might unfold. Rather than the Ph.D. her parents expected, or the Wall Street analyst position society expected, she spent several years leading hiking and cycling tours from Puglia to Patagonia, which in turn provided enough income to travel widely (and alone) from the Golden Triangle to the Darien Gap. From there, her unconventional journey took off.
April spent the first half of her career focused on global development and financial inclusion. She was very early to the world of impact investing. She led microfinance teams on four continents, wrote microfinance legislation, was in the vanguard of mobile banking innovation, and created new investment vehicles for the world’s underserved before Muhammad Yunus made microfinance a household term.
When the digital economy and smartphones began to take root, April shifted her focus to how these new platforms could help build more inclusive business and more robust opportunities for income generation. The second half of her career has focused on how this “new” economy and the future of work will play out worldwide, advising numerous startups, established companies, governments, policy makers, financial institutions, educational institutions, think tanks and others along the way.
Taken together, April’s breadth of experience and exposure to other cultures and ways of life provide her with an enormous lens through which to see change. On the one hand, she is as comfortable at Davos as she is talking with microfinance borrowers in an urban slum. On the other hand, she has seen how – regardless of age, income, or background – humans genuinely struggle with navigating the unknown. She is convinced that the disciplines of a Flux Mindset can help.
April brings a practical perspective and a global worldview. She has lived with, advised others on, experimented, researched, prototyped, traveled long and far to experience, speak with and learn from others about how to embrace flux.