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Global strategist on inter-generational leadership.

Disruption presents a choice between opportunity and obsolescence.

A specialist in disruptive strategy, a private company director and advocate for social and economic inclusion, Holly Ransom is recognized globally for her super-human ability to synthesize and simplify complex issues, and create engaging, thought-provoking conversation.

Current Work:

An in-demand keynote speaker, Holly breaks open obscure technical language and ambiguous challenges to ignite inclusive debate and drive pragmatic responses. Having presented over 500 sessions across six continents in the past three years to corporate, public and not-for-profit audiences, Holly brings high energy and a strong new voice to the topics of leadership, culture and innovation.

As founder and CEO of renowned consulting firm Emergent, Holly has partnered with clients such as P&G, Microsoft, Virgin, Cisco and across all levels of government to catalyse new strategic thinking, build innovative workplace cultures and to help leaders prepare for the employment, consumer and community challenges created by the rapid evolution of both technology and society. A 2019 Fulbright Scholar and Harvard Kennedy School Class of ‘21 fellow, Holly is currently undertaking a Master of Public Policy with a focus on how we drive better decision-making when it comes to technology’s impact on humanity.

Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Holly has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, interviewed Barack Obama on stage and was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch in 2017. In 2019 she was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence.

Identified early as a dynamic leader by the Australian Prime Minister, Holly was asked to Co-Chair the G20 Youth Summit in 2014, the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs in 2016, and is the youngest Director to have been appointed to an Australian Football Club. Holly attributes her bias for action and intense curiosity to a childhood in which answers always warranted further questions!

Talking Points

The New Trust Landscape

Trust is the social glue that holds our institutions, businesses, media and societies together but it is under unprecedented attack. Trust is our lifeline against the COVID-19 pandemic, essential for the collaboration and coordination required to defeat the disease. Trust in technology will be necessary for our increasingly digitised lives and livelihoods. Trust in governance will determine which businesses rise and which fall. Yet the World Bank notes that trust in government and institutions has been in a precipitous decline in many parts of the world.
This presentation will examine the change in the ‘trust landscape’ from a source model to a distributed model where reputation has never mattered more. We will unpack the adaptions businesses need to make to position for competitive advantage. This talk will activate the three core components of any trust equation: how do we build it; how do we break it; and what can we do to rebuild it for resilience? We will examine companies and organizations who have successfully adapted to the new trust landscape, and stress test the role of technology, robots and algorithms in our evolving trust conversation.

Change is Inevitable but Growth is Intentional: Turning Innovative Ideas into Action

COVID-19 gifted us the knowledge that we can pivot our businesses, workforce and community norms with high-speed precision before unseen. Historically, research shows us that 90% of companies fail to implement their strategy due to poor execution. Likewise, McKinsey data tells us that 70 per cent of organisational change efforts fall short of desired results. Against the backdrop of a world and business landscape that is changing at a greater velocity than ever before, we need to continually evolve the way that we work and lead so we can commit to achieving excellence.

This talk will explore the discipline of intentionality in leading change and executing ideas. Specifically, this presentation will focus on empowering leaders to be able to build their own change roadmap- from framing the messaging and building cultural momentum around an idea, to strategies ensuring innovations get executed.

Leadership is an Inside Job

When crisis hits, leaders on the ground need to stand their ground. But do they have what it takes? We spend around $14 billion annually on leadership development programs and yet, as a Boston Consulting Group report highlighted, these programs fail to build competencies linked to core, relevant business outcomes. While we might have ditched roadmaps for Google maps, when it comes to work and leadership, we’re still navigating from a 20th-century handbook that’s proving ineffectual in the face of present-day challenges.

This talk is all about evolving leadership thinking and development for our present-day reality. Over the course of this presentation, we’ll examine the fundamentals necessary to be a leader of impact, unpacking the three core areas of mindset, method and mastery. Topics explored include ‘dilemma flipping’, ‘extreme listening’, ‘habit hacking’, ‘readiness discipline’ and ‘getting comfortable being uncomfortable’. The audience will be exposed to case studies extracting how these techniques and approaches are being employed by leading-edge individuals and organisations.

Influence for Impact

We live in the knowledge economy and the communication age. We must be able to engage effectively in an environment of record short attention spans, a saturated and noisy landscape and an increasingly sophisticated audience. However, according to an HBR study, 91% of employees say their leaders’ communication style limits the effectiveness of their leadership, and the Independent Directors Council research says miscommunication costs business $62 million annually.

This presentation is centred on building the communication toolkit of the leaders in the room through storytelling, psychology and engagement theory. We’ll unpack the techniques of some of the world’s leading communicators, get our heads around effective change theory and empower leaders to position messages in a way that builds cultural momentum around their ideas.

The Pillars of Peak Performance (and how to drive them in your organisation)

At the present rate of change 75% of the SAP 500 incumbents will disappear by 2027- with the rate of change and volume of new market entrants, it’s never been harder to remain at the top for an extended period. We have extensive data points (from workforce engagement falling, to skill relevancy declining and trust bottoming out) but we’ll still be relying on leadership approaches that ‘are the way we’ve always done it’. We need a new approach to mindset, method and mastery that’s geared for the reality of the 21st-century organisations and all their challenges.

A great talk to be paired with ‘Leadership is an Inside Job’, this presentation builds on those individual leadership traits to focus on the building blocks of high performance and the role of leaders seeking to inspire, interact and execute in a way that delivers high-performing and sustainable outcomes. This presentation will cover off topics such as ‘leading for effectiveness, not efficiency’, ‘constructive depolarisation’, ‘rapid prototyping’, ‘smart mob organising and ‘informing for influence’, and we’ll delve into the way leading organisations are applying these techniques to achieve extraordinary outcomes.

E-Sports, Gaming & Social Media: How they’re changing connection, commerce and our neurology

Esports is one of the fastest-growing entertainment markets, expected to rise to $1.5 billion market by 2020 with 303 million annual viewers; Gamers devote a collective 156 billion hours a week gaming and spend $23.5 billion for the privilege of doing so; and 2.85 billion people are using social media, with $31 billion currently being spent every year to try and grab their attention on the social platforms.

These three phenomena are profoundly shaping psychology, communication and commerce, and leaders who want to understand the future of consumer expectations, fan experience, commercial partnerships and customer interaction need to open their minds to the next frontier that leaders across these three industries are pushing for. Additionally, for community leaders, teachers and employers this talk will examine the inextricable link between these three phenomena and mental health, connection and community.

The Inter-generational Shift

Millennials comprise 37% of the Australian workforce but will occupy near 75% of positions by 2025. Currently, six out of ten are reportedly disengaged, costing about $20 billion annually. From a consumer standpoint, millennials have a current spending power of US $10 trillion and will control 28% of the world’s financial assets by 2030 as more than $59 trillion worth of wealth transfers between generations.

This talk will examine the driving forces behind this emerging generation: what motivates and engages them, and what leads them to make a purchase, become a brand advocate and develop brand or employer loyalty. Importantly, this talk will deal with key intergenerational differences and tensions: feedback, expectations, communication and key decision-making factors; allowing leaders to understand the subtle but significant changes they can make to drive greater employee and customer outcomes.

Master of Ceremonies: Content Weaver

The master of ceremonies should also be a master of content, helping you to weave together key messages, big ideas and divergent opinions to create palpable emotive responses from, and meaningful learning moments for, your audience. Across panels, fireside chats, debates, interactive polling and more... I act as a human curiosity barometer. It’s only when people have the tools to ask new questions, that new solutions will present themselves. My favourite request is to research and compile your conference content. Then to be tasked to synthesize complex information in real-time, weaving together different voices and views to enable inclusive debate.
Watch this space! Holly is a 'mover and shaker' and she has already well and truly commenced a fascinating journey. I will follow her achievements and can only wonder where she will be, in say, ten years' time. Holly was invited to speak to the KPMG Audit team in Perth. Her key messages were valuable both from a professional and personal development perspective and she inspired many. Holly is passionate and she is the real deal. Her energy is infectious. KPMG

A presentation that starts and ends with a standing ovation and can maintain the energy and engagement of an audience of 500 of America’s most talented high school and college students is no mean feat! When Holly presented for us at the LEAP Foundation Los Angeles, her high-energy and informative session delivered exactly that. Holly commands the stage with such a presence and gains instant respect from her audience for her track record of achievement. She walks the walk of what she talks about. Her ability to break topics like goal-setting and leadership down into pragmatic steps meant students had practical takeaways

LEAP Foundation Los Angeles

Holly is the most amazing young person I have ever come across in my whole life! I often scratch my head and wonder how it is possible that this human dynamo has managed to cram so much into her 22 years and create such lasting, sustainable change in the community while remaining so humble and graceful. There are too many organisations and achievements to mention. But Holly Ransom is a name synonymous with hard work and results.

United Nations Association of Australia

Holly was an exceptional speaker who captured the audience's attention from the very first word she spoke. Her interaction with the crowd was exceptional and her stories were intriguing and inspirational. Holly is a confident speaker and she has achieved so much in her short time. It was very interesting to hear how she has achieved it all. Holly was one of the key speakers at the Worldly Women lunch with over 900 attendees to celebrate International Women's Day. We would definitely recommend her as a keynote speaker to inspire anyone and everyone.

Everywoman Business Events

I cannot commend Holly enough. Holly presented an interactive leadership workshop for 70 high school students at UNICEF Day for Change: A Children’s Rights Conference for Young Leaders. Her presentation was the highlight of the day and combined her expertise in the youth-led sector with her exceptional interpersonal and public speaking skills. She connected with the students via a range of media and inspired them individually to take action for a cause they cared about. I recommend Holly to anyone looking for a skilled, informed and passionate speaker - her presentation will be one to remember.

UNICEF Ambassador for Australia
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