Rik Vera

International keynote speaker, coach, author and advisor on the impact of all things digital on society and business.

Rik Vera has had 25 years of a successful career at C-level in sales, marketing and general management positions in large international manufacturing companies. He has always been interested in combining good old management knowledge with the latest technological and digital tools to outrun the competition, focusing on customers rather than products or competition. He has always been a gamechanger. A leader. Not a follower of rules.

Since 2010, Rik inspires businesses to act upon their Day After Tomorrow as a frequently asked keynote speaker and successful workshop facilitator.

When markets speed up, organisations, governments and their managers have to think about their Day After Tomorrow and take the first steps to get there tomorrow.





Dutch, English

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

Speaker, Executive workshops, Moderator

Customer centricity, Customer Experience, Ecosystems

Presentations and Topics

Business and life in the Day after COVID-19

The Day After Tomorrow has been given a name. It is has become The Day After Covid-19. When the meteorite struck planet earth and killed the dinosaurs in a short period of time, those little rats, that we now call mammals, were already around.  The same is going to happen right now. 

We are not going to witness a brand new economy or a brand new customer. We are not going to have to interact with that customer in a brand new way. Every aspect of the post-Covid-19 era was already around, but it had to fight the old normal of old business models that were still making money. People and companies that were locked in fixed patterns did not know how to escape the boxes they created themselves. Nobody likes to kill the old to give birth to the new. 

Rik predicted the ‘Twilight Twenties’: a decade of in-between zone. He was wrong. The Covid-19 lockdown will be our devastating Twilight Zone. That is what Covid-19 will have done: kill the Old Normal and make way for what was already there. The boxes are gone. The future will be here at full force.  

What does it mean for a company? What does it mean for you and me that are in business? The answer is simple and not new at all. More than ever: extreme customer-centricity is a must. Connect to many will be easier than ever before and engage individuals will be more important than ever before. Combining both is a matter of survival.  

In this keynote, Rik sets the scene and warns leadership to not just freeze a company in a temporary coma, but to act right now and at full force. There never was a better moment to make companies future proof.

Managers the Day after Tomorrow

What is the best strategy for the digital world? How can you deal with unpredictability? How is it possible, both as an entrepreneur and as an enterprise, to keep in sync with the outside world, the world of technology and the world of the consumer?  Where do you focus your attention? Which of the countless possibilities do you explore? How can you redesign your company to make it sustainably relevant? Which technological wave do you need to surf? What do you have to build up and what do you have to tear down?   …, it is a feature of our rapidly changing world that there is no longer a single answer to any of these questions. The moment you give one, you already need to think about how you can best modify it. 

It is impossible to work with a prefab design when developing a strategy for the digital world. You need to build systematically, block by block, adjusting and amending as you go, so that you can keep up with the changing fashions and opportunities of the day. 

The questions that Rik wanted to answer in his book are more relevant than ever before as the changes in the outside world and those of the consumer are more devastating than we could ever have imagined in 2018. The waves of change are not only driven by technology but are being amplified by the disruptive force of a virus that has killed the world as we have known it for many decades in just a couple of weeks. And that has created room for a completely new world of unknown ecosystems, business models and customer behaviour.   

In this keynote, Rik re-visits his book and re-defines what management should be like for Managers in this New Day After Tomorrow.

The Smart Ecosystem Economy

The business environment has been reshaped dramatically between 2000-2020 due to technological waves that have changed people and society. Due to big data, AI, and robotization, we live in a data-driven world that will lead to a blurring of old industry lines. 

The new competition will be one between ecosystems. COVID-19 will be a tipping point:  the world came to a standstill and when it reboots, it will reboot in a variety of small and smart ecosystems. We are just witnessing the opening moves of a very exciting endgame that is going to unfold in the next decades to come. Companies need to play the game. Not playing it is not an option.   

This is the era of the Smart Ecosystems Economy. We need companies to be ready to cope with randomness and unexpected events. We need companies to be systems that are not eaten by chaos, that do not think they can control chaos, but companies that are antifragile and grow by randomness.  We all know that antifragile systems are the answer, but how do you actually build them?  

In this hands-on keynote, Rik explains what it takes to become antifragile and how to build an antifragile system. He will explain what “smart” is and how to build a smart ecosystem or how to participate in one. Rik will help you to solve this antifragile mystery and turn it into actionable building blocks.

Testimonials & References

Having Rik Vera as a keynote speaker during our flagship customer event, was a guarantee for high scores on the after-event evaluation forms. Rik knows exactly how to bring across the message that curiosity is the key to innovation and as such “did not kill the cat, rather a lack of curiosity did”. Rik’s speech was perfectly in line with the expectations of the audience to get inspired about next level digitization and how to prepare for the day after tomorrow. Apart from a key-note speech Rik also moderated a panel, discussing hands-on techniques and providing the audience with practical tips and tricks to apply to their daily jobs. Working with Rik is never boring and a guarantee for delivering a great customer experience.  

Ivy Vanderheyden, Marketing Director BeNeLux SAS 

I have seen Rik deeply inspiring audiences from as small as a living room to as large as an auditorium. Rik constantly gets me out of my comfort zone by exploring yet another horizon. In his keynotes, Rik voices like no other this vulnerable yet exciting balance between the emotional connection and the real contact with humans. He is a true leader that thinks practical at the same time.  

Casper Overbeek, CX Manager CitizenM 

Rik really helped set the tone for our conference and provoked the participants to begin shifting their mindset to what it truly means to lead in these turbulent times.  I really appreciate how easy Rik and his team were to work with.

Carrie Johnson, Senior Program Manager PCMA

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All our speakers are specialised in online events, from enhanced webinars to special format interactive sessions!