Gerrie Smits

Chief Curiosity Officer. Intrigued by the impact of tech on business, people & society. Author/Facilitator/Speaker.

Clients have called Gerrie accessible, enthusiastic and able to bring complex things in a simple way. He can live with that. He loves challenging the status quo, but is also experienced (read: old) enough to understand the value of common sense.

Gerrie has got 25 years of experience in industries that got disrupted by the internet, which makes him a hands-on expert in dealing with the impact of 'digital'. Through his talks and workshops he's inspired and helped a variety of clients, ranging from FMCG corporates to AI start-ups, from government agencies to the World Chambers Congress.

While he's in top of digital trends, the words he uses (too) often are 'user', 'why' and 'alignment'. A few years ago, he was so intrigued by blockchain, that he wrote a book about it ('Blockchain is WTF').

Before he fell in love with digital, he wrote about music, made television, founded 2 companies during his 15 years in London and was a civil servant. #generalist



Dutch, English

Technology, Transformation & Innovation, Business, Strategy and Management, Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience


Speaker, Trainer, Moderator


Sustainable business, Ethics, Fair value, Organisation design, Collaboration, Humanity, User-centricity, Zag to the Zig, Impact, Framing, Tangible, Blockchain

Presentations and Topics

The Future of Business is Alignment

Beyond 2020, focusing on Digital Transformation or Design Thinking will no longer cut it. Being successful in this increasingly complex and networked world means you’ll have to align the needs and incentives of all your stakeholders. That covers users and employees, suppliers as well as the society at large.

The challenge is: managing alignment brings up different, ecosystem-style issues.

Rather than (just) focus on user needs, companies need to take into account the role their users play in society. 

Rather than ‘go digital', companies need to predict the (unintended) impact of their technology choices.

Rather than classic employment, companies will require different organisational structures that allow people to create value together ánd share rewards.

In short, the companies that will be successful in the future will be the ones that manage to align the incentives of these stakeholders to enable them to create value together.

Some people call it Sustainable Business, I call Alignment Business.

Blockchain: is it still WTF?

What goes up, must come down. After the blockchain hype of 2017/2018, it became the thing-to-do to sneer at the technology. But Deloitte recently reported that 40% of the businesses they talk to have a blockchain project in production. And blockchains like bitcoin and ethereum are still up and running. More, they’re being challenged by new infrastructures!

So something about this blockchain ‘thing’ must be working, right?

It is.

The key is to strip blockchain to its essence and go beyond the technology. Once you understand the concepts behind it (traceability, programmable tokens, incentive design,…), you can see the potential use cases. And only then will you see how it can optimize intra-company processes. Only then will you open up your mind about how it might, one day, re-design how we create value together.

The Customer of The Now-Future

Trying to predict the future is pretty pointless, really.

Instead, it's much more useful if we unravel current trends and map its potential impact on the customer.

Sure, the customer of the Now-Future is tech-enabled, but what is the effect this has? Hyper-personalisation, Digitally Connected,… What is happening now that we can extrapolate into the future?

Also, the customer of the Now-Future will still be a human (in most cases). So how do we use available tools to better understand deeper emotional and social needs? What if wearables can capture our emotions?

And thirdly, customers of the Now-Future will be more aware. It is very likely that people will have different expectations from organizations, brands and CEOs when it comes to transparency, privacy, digital detox and societal impact.

In this talk, Gerrie shows you how to understand these trends and then use them in your own context. This way, you don’t have to pre-dict, you can start pre-paring for the now-future.

Testimonials & References

Been awhile since I had an AHA moment like I did on stage when you were speaking  

Julia Glidden, CVP Microsoft  

I just witnessed the PERFECT explanation of the blockchain is and it starts with an orange 

Doron Wesly, Chief Marketing Officer.   

That was awesome. Exactly what we needed: clear and full of energy  

Senior Executive SAP  

Simply a fantastic book ! 

(impartial) tech journalist who prefers to stay anonymous

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