ORLANDO Fla. Longtime futurist and trends analyst Peter Leyden, the former managing editor of Wired magazine, will assess the technological and sociopolitical changes shaping cultural and business environments in a keynote address here at FS/TEC 2009, the International Foodservice Technology Exposition, Feb. 4-7.
"Our Age of Transformation: What's Next in Our High-Tech, Global 21st Century World" will be the title of Leyden's Feb. 6 presentation during FS/TEC's featured educational sessions, which augment the annual event's exhibitions and demonstrations of cutting-edge foodservice software and hardware.
FS/TEC is a managed and produced by Nation's Restaurant News with Robert N. Grimes of Accuvia. The 2009 exposition will be co-located at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando with the biennial NAFEM trade show of the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers.
"Peter Leyden has long studied the future and the tremendous impact technology will have on it," said Nation's Restaurant News publisher Tom Larranaga. "No matter what restaurant segment or market operators compete in today, leveraging technology smartly is not optional, it is a strategic imperative with implications across the business.
"Leyden's unique insights on technology, business and politics will give FS/TEC attendees a heightened sense of perspective — and conviction — in making the case for technology's critical role in a successful enterprise strategy," Larranaga added.
Leyden expects his presentation and ensuing question-and-answer dialogue with attendees to tap into his expertise in information technology, clean technology, biotechnology and the shift from old media to new media. In addition, the "sense there is going to be a different political framework" in the future supporting increased regulation, and "the implications of that for business" are other likely topics he'll address, he indicated.
Most recently, Leyden was director of San Francisco's New Politics Institute, a think tank described as a means to help "progressives understand today's transformation of politics due to the tumultuous changes in technology, media and the demographics of the country." Before that, he was "knowledge developer" for the Global Business Network, or GBN, a future-focused think tank in San Francisco that is a scenario-planning firm that consults global corporations, nonprofits and government.
While at GBN, Leyden co-authored "What's Next, Exploring the New Terrain for Business," a book examining conditions that companies could expect in the 10 years following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He earlier co-authored "The Long Boom, a History of the Future, 1980-2020."
For his insights into the globalization of the changing world, Leyden will draw on experiences as a traveler to 49 countries in all major regions and his work as a special correspondent for Newsweek in Asia. After earning a master's degree in comparative politics and journalism from Columbia University, he worked in the 1990s as a senior editor and then as managing editor at Wired, where he was among the earliest monitors of the influence technology and the Web have had on culture, the economy and politics.