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Former Facebook CEO for Australia & New Zealand.

Disruption isn’t a threat, it’s your greatest opportunity.

Stephen Scheeler is Australia’s most authoritative voice on digital disruption, transformation, culture & leadership. His experience at the heart of Silicon Valley is truly unparalleled, and he has a unique ability to inspire audiences of all kinds with rare insight, humour & humility.

Stephen is the former Facebook CEO for ANZ, where he helped guide Facebook’s unprecedented rise from quirky Silicon Valley start-up to media & technology titan. Stephen’s acclaimed TEDx talk - The Oldest Guy at Facebook - recounts his amazing journey at the heart of one of the world’s most disruptive companies.

Today, Stephen is a frequent media commentator on digital disruption, culture, leadership, technology & A.I. - including TEDx, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, ABC, Sky News, The Project, Sunrise, The Today Show, The Australian & The Australian Financial Review. He is also a member of the Australian Prime Minister’s Knowledge Nation 100, top innovation leaders in Australia.

Stephen is also CEO of revolutionary artificial intelligence start up, Omniscient - the world leader in using A.I. to decode the human brain. Backed by some of Australia’s most iconic business names - including Gina Rinehart, Gretel Packer and Will Vicars - in 2022, Omniscient won the coveted South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Innovation Award for A.I. and Machine Learning.

Stephen is also founder of global advisory The Digital CEO, and Executive-in-Residence at the Asia-Pacific’s leading business school, the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Stephen is one of Australia’s most sought-after speakers & advisors on digital disruption, transformation, culture & leadership, and the future of technology, data & A.I.

He has spoken to or advised the likes of Qantas, nab, Westpac, Macquarie Bank, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Bank of Queensland, IAG, Suncorp, Telstra, Optus, Wesfarmers, AMP, CUB, Lion, Brambles, Google, DellEMC, Lenovo, Tanium, Workday, Hubspot, Seven West Media, MCN, QBE, Hollard, CBRE, BAT, LVMH, JB Hi-Fi, Bunnings, Flight Centre, Lend Lease, Mirvac, EY, PWC, McKinsey, Splunk, Gartner, Toyota, VW, Honda, BUPA, Seek and the Australian Government.

A native New Yorker, Stephen has spent over 25 years in Asia-Pacific, with deep business & cultural experience across China, Japan, SE Asia & ANZ.

Talking Points

LEADERSHIP - Walk the Talk: Mastering the Eight Elements of Disruptive Leadership for the 21st Century

Amidst the exponential change sweeping business today, one thing is certain: the demands of leadership today are far different than they were in the past. Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple & Facebook are not only masters of technology & business model innovation; they have also reimagined business culture & leadership in the 21st century. In this keynote, Stephen shares insights from his own leadership journey at Facebook, and lessons he has learnt advising the leaders of companies large & small. From vision, humility & curiosity, to speed, transparency, data dexterity & customer obsession, Stephen offers practical advice for every business leader on how to remake themselves from corporate also-rans into leadership rock stars! Also available as a 1-day masterclass, “The Eight Elements of Disruptive Leadership”.

Who this is for: Relevant for a wide range of audiences, both senior & middle management, and a wide range of organisations, both large & small - anywhere that organisations or their leaders are being challenged by the demands of technology, competition, or rapid change.

Key Takeaways: This keynote is chock full of practical, real-life examples of how to evolve your leadership to tackle today’s business challenges: eg how to be more curious, how to be more humble & transparent, how to move faster, how to be more customer-obsessed, how to work with data/A.I.

FUTURE - Fear or Fascination?: The Future of Technology, Business & Human Life

The 2020’s are fast-emerging as a key “inflection point” in the history of technology. A.I., blockchain, the metaverse & green tech are but a few of the technological frontiers advancing at lightspeed, underpinned by billions of dollars in investment. But what will the future truly look like in five, ten or twenty years? What should excite us? What should worry us? And what should we - as businesses, individuals & society - do now to prepare for the opportunities & challenges hurtling our way? After helping to build one of the tech giants, Facebook, and now running one of the world’s most innovative A.I. companies, Omniscient A.I., Stephen Scheeler has insights into the future which few can match. With his unique humour & humility, Stephen debunks myths, inspires wonder and lights a clear path to what the future of technology will hold for all of us, and the practical, actionable things we need to do today to prepare for a better tomorrow.

Who this is for: Relevant for any organisation or team thinking about the future of technology, its impacts on business, society & individuals, and how to best prepare for it today.

Key Takeaways: Technology has always been with us - but the 2020’s promise to be a decade of rapid acceleration. Business, work & life in general are likely to operate very differently within the next decade as a result of breakthroughs in A.I., blockchain, the metaverse & other innovations. Much of this will be of immense benefit to business, society & human life. But preparing now is vital: for example, by deepening our understanding of data & A.I.; by considering the ethics & possible adverse impacts on individuals & groups; and, by establishing the guardrails necessary to maximise the benefits of the future & minimise the downsides.

PERSONAL JOURNEY - The Oldest Guy at Facebook: My Journey from Nowhere to the Heart of Silicon Valley

Stephen Scheeler was born & raised in the mid-20th century, rustbelt America, where working the blast furnace at the local steel mill was the pinnacle of career aspirations, and cutting-edge technology was a shiny new fax machine. Fast forward to the 2020’s, and Stephen has a resume of innovative leadership like few others: one of Facebook’s top global leaders, senior advisor to McKinsey, and CEO of revolutionary brain A.I. company, Omniscient. So how did a working-class kid from Buffalo, New York become Australia’s leading authority on digital disruption, technology & leadership? It’s a journey that includes hitchhiking across America, riding a horse through Tibet, auctioning off Mark Zuckerberg, stumbling his way on to the biggest TED talk stage, and decoding the dizzying complexity of the human brain. With rare insight, humour & humility, Stephen shares his story of failure & success while learning that the greatest technologies are nothing without the imperfect humans that make the world go round.

Who this is for: Relevant for any organisation or team needing inspiration about overcoming adversity, creating opportunities and changing the world.

Key Takeaways: Stephen distils his amazing life journey into clear, actionable key lessons, eg: (1) never underestimate the power of your own energy; (2) find great people & set them up for success; (3) listen, turn off, think; (4) technology is your friend, but so are real people; and (5) stay hungry to win every single day.

A.I. & THE BRAIN - Omniscient: The Humble Aussie Start-Up Leading the World in Using A.I. to Decode the Human Brain

With over 90 billion neurons firing thousands of times every second, the human brain is the most complex thing in the known universe - it’s also the most important data set in the world. With recent advancements in computing power, cloud storage & machine learning, the brain is now understandable in a way that seemed science fiction only a few years ago. Founded in 2019, Australia-based Omniscient is the world’s leader in using A.I. to decode the connections & functioning of the human brain, a field known as connectomics. Omniscient have built revolutionary tools for mapping the brain in ways never before possible, and their technology is revolutionising fields as diverse as neurosurgery, neurology, mental health and learning & development. In time, their technology may be key to eliminating mental illness and neurodegeneration from the planet, and to unlocking limitless human potential.

Who this is for: Relevant for any organisation or team who want a front-row seat into how A.I. is helping humankind crack previously insurmountable challenges and make quantum leaps in our ability to change the world for the better.

Key Takeaways: Stephen unpacks Omniscient’s journey from cocktail napkin idea to global A.I. leader, takes you under the bonnet of how their brain A.I. technology really works, and highlights the profound, paradigm-shifting impacts it is already having on medical science & everyday human lives.

A.I. - The Algorithmic Tsunami: A Silicon Valley Insider’s Guide to the Promise & Pitfalls of the A.I. Revolution

Once the realm of science fiction, the recent rise of A.I. means that all organisations must come to grips with the awesome new potential which A.I. presents to re-imagine processes, products & business models. In this keynote, Stephen brings his unique insight as CEO of Omniscient - one of the world’s most innovative A.I. companies - to how A.I. is transforming both the customer experience & the basis of competition in dozens of industries - from consumer products & retail, to banking, media, education, transportation, healthcare & travel - as well the promise & pitfalls which this holds for business leaders, for individuals & for society.

Who this is for: Relevant for any organisation or management team trying to understand the rise of A.I. as a business opportunity and/or threat.

Key Takeaways: A straight-talking, demystification of A.I.: what is it good for, where does it fall short, and how should we think about maximizing its potential & controlling its downsides - both for organisations, and for society at large.

TRUST - Have We Met Before? The Revolution of Trust, Identity & Privacy in a Cyber Unsecure World

Data breaches, cyber attacks, fake news, election hacking…many of today’s headlines share a common underpinning: the profound, technology-driven changes in our understanding of who we can trust. Facebook has been one of the companies at the centre of these headlines. In this keynote, Stephen shares his insider’s view of how trust & identity are being redefined in a data-driven, digital-first world, how the future of trust is likely to unfold, and how individuals & organisations can come to terms with new definitions of trust, identity & privacy far different than those understood just a generation ago.

Who this is for: Relevant for any organisation or management team dealing with the challenges presented by the new world of data-driven customer relationships & cyber-security threats.

Key Takeaways: Stephen provides a Silicon Valley insider’s view on the current revolution in trust sweeping business & society and practical advice for how individuals & organisations can manage trust in this new, hyper-connected world.

MASTERCLASS: The Eight Elements of Disruptive Leadership (based on the acclaimed TEDx Talk: The Oldest Guy at Facebook)

Many of today’s public and private sector leaders are ill-equipped for the demands of leadership in the 21st-century, where “digital” and “disruptive” experience & skills mean the difference between success and failure in leading organisations of all sizes and sectors.

Stephen Scheeler has a record of transformative leadership which few can emulate. From his recent tenure as one of Facebook’s most senior global executives, to senior executive roles at iconic Australian giants Lion and Westfield, to his current roles as founder of The Digital CEO, Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company and CEO of revolutionary brain A.I. start-up Omniscient - Stephen has thrived at the frontier of technology, disruption and change for 25 years.

In this energizing masterclass, Stephen shares his personal insights into the secrets of great leadership in the 21st century.

From disruptive Silicon Valley giant Facebook to incumbent corporate titans, Stephen draws on his unparalleled leadership experience to offer actionable advice for leaders of organisations large and small, public and private, on how to transform their personal leadership style, rapidly gain impressive digital experience and insight, and remake themselves into versatile, high-impact, disruptive leaders with the ability to develop true insight into the threats and opportunities offered by technological change.

The eight elements are: vision, humility, curiosity, adaptability, transparency, data dexterity, customer obsession and speed. Through The Eight Elements of Disruptive Leadership, you will:

- Increase your capacity to articulate a compelling vision for yourself, your team, and your organisation
- Deepen your command of humility and curiosity as pillars of your leadership formula
- Build new capabilities in data dexterity and customer obsession
- Learn how adaptability can help you reimagine yourself as a leader, and take your impact in exciting new directions
- Master new techniques for harnessing transparency and speed as powerful weapons in your leadership arsenal
- Build a simple but powerful plan for remaking yourself as a disruptive, digitally savvy leader for the 21st century

This masterclass can be tailored to the client's time and development requirements, and conducted over several hours or up to two days.
We had nine speakers today and you were the highlight X10! Your keynote really got the room thinking and talking in a way that a room full of accountants and lawyers rarely do! Australian Taxation Office

Your engaging personality and enthusiastic speech worked their magic to transform a usually silent audience of lawyers and accountants into an active and productive discussion about the future of the tax profession. Your insights and views brought up new perspectives from outside the ‘tax bubble’ and greatly contributed to building the bridges between tax and other areas of business. Your opening address was not just a speech, it was a masterclass on how to bring an audience together, and I’ve personally learned enormously from you today. As a lecturer and as a member of the organising committee of The Future of the Tax Profession Symposium, my big thanks to you!

La Trobe University - Future of the Tax Profession Symposium

Stephen Scheeler is one of the most dynamic, engaging and authentic speakers I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Stephen connected brilliantly with our delegates as he delivered a talk on the ‘Pivots’ undertaken by Facebook during his time as CEO Australia/NZ. A relevant, captivating and effortlessly delivered presentation perfectly matched to our theme - so much so, that question time could have gone on for hours!

Association of Market & Social Research Organisations

Thanks so much, Stephen! It was a pleasure to work with you today. Everyone was raving about how fantastic you were and you were quoted for the rest of the day. Thanks again for sharing your insights. You were so interesting - undoubtedly the best session of the day!!!!!

Bank of Melbourne

“Your keynote was incredibly popular, it generated a real buzz and some phenomenal audience feedback, eg: • Sensational! Fresh, proven, engaging and so very relevant and important • Very useful - it’s like a short guide to developing a business in a digital era • The best reason for coming to this 2 day conference! • Really relevant, very engaging and practical. Dramatically exceeded my expectations. Apart from Stephen being a great presenter and speaker, it is real world and talking to actual lessons and experience • Content rich and practical presentation. Great insights. Really engaging. Best presentation so far, by a long way! • Marvellous! Informative and so so relevant! • I could listen to this guy for hours!”

Australian Governance Summit 2018

Stephen was brilliant to work with. He is clearly a seasoned speaker, who knows his topic inside and out. Our audience was glued to his talk and he kicked off our conference with gusto! An incredibly intelligent man, who was able to deliver his content with all in mind.

Registered Clubs Association of NSW t/a ClubsNSW
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