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Gloucestershire Business News

Businessman to out himself as book author at breakfast event

All business people know what it is like to wear a variety of hats, but Adam Starkey's are perhaps just a little more diverse that most.

Followers of the chief executive officer of Green Gourmet and vice chairman of GFirst LEP will be aware of his provocative and thought-provoking talks on the future.

His enthusiasm a for technology and its impact, and his ability to deliver a good speech, makes for a captivating gig - and now he has written down some of his ideas into a book on the subject, Surfing the Digital Tsunami.

Which means Mr Starkey can now also law claim to being an author, as well as a businessman, public speaker and futurist - and he is due to unveil his new publication at a forthcoming business event at Gloucestershire College.

He will appear alongside Nick Howell, from Lucozade Ribena Suntory, as well as Laura Hurcombe, from Coleford-based SPP Pumps, at the business breakfast later this month.

"Anyone who has heard Adam Starkey speak before will know they are in for an entertaining and thought-provoking turn as he looks at how businesses might evolve and what they need to prepare for," said Mark Owen, the editor of Punchline.

"And to have two of the Forest of Dean's biggest employers involved as well is really exciting. SPP Pumps employs 250 staff in the district and turns over something like £70 million.

"Lucozade Ribena Suntory employs 330 staff in Gloucestershire and recently invested £13 million in its Coleford factory. Both are champions of apprenticeships and both international businesses.

"The aim is to bring businesses in the Forest together. We think the event should offer plenty to learn and there should be plenty of new faces to meet too."

As for Mr Starkey, this is more than just his book. He set up Starkey Research by combining his two passions of personal development and futurism.

Its aim is to inform people about the huge technological change that is coming and also to help people to be prepared to thrive in the future (see more below).

As well as general advice given to the public, Starkey Research also gives tailored advice to various businesses and institutions and Mr Starkey is keen to speak to as many young people at schools and colleges across the county.

"My mission is to speak to as many people as possible. I am currently expanding the number of speaking dates I have with schools and colleges, the NHS and business groups. The more opportunities I get people thinking, the better," he said.

There will be a full-English breakfast for delegates in the college's new restaurant, The View, and the opportunity to meet the institution's Business Hub team on a one-to-one bases to get advice on training and apprentices, including information about funding.

The event is due to take place on Thursday, March 28, from 9am to 11.15am, at Gloucestershire College, Forest of Dean Campus, Northern United Way, Cinderford, GL14 3FF (for sat nav use GL14 2YT).

To find out more visit Forest-business-breakfast.eventbrite.co.uk

Read more: Robots, Ribena and the future 

Are you prepared for tomorrow? Adam Starkey's new book, Surfing the Digital Tsunami

We have entered a new period in human history marked by a veritable tsunami of technological change which will transform almost every aspect of our lives. The rate of change will continue to accelerate until we are barely able to keep up with new developments.

This might seem like a frightening science fiction scenario but it is really happening and it has already begun. How to prepare for an unpredictable future is Adam Starkey's specialist subject.

Over the last year he has steadily been building a name as a speaker in Gloucestershire, having recently given talks to The Growing Gloucestershire Conference at the University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham Connect and GFirstLEP.

He is passionate about sharing facts and insights into what exponential technological change will mean for us and how we can take steps to prepare ourselves and our families for its inevitable impact.

Adam set up Starkey Research by combining his two passions of personal development and futurism. It has the aim of informing people about the huge technological change that is coming and also to help people to be prepared to thrive in the future. As well as general advice given to the public, Starkey Research also gives tailored advice to various businesses and institutions. Adam is keen to speak to as many young people at schools and colleges across the county.

"My mission is to speak to as many people as possible. I am currently expanding the number of speaking dates I have with schools and colleges, the NHS and business groups. The more opportunities I get people thinking, the better", Adam said.

Exponential has become a buzzword in recent years. It refers to a mathematical relationship where something doubles itself over a period of time. It is an important concept because modern technology is underpinned by the processing power of microchips which has demonstrated exponential growth since the 1950s.

This is known as Moore's law which states that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit for the same price (a nominal $1000) will increase exponentially by a factor of 2 every 12 to 24 months. In other words, CPU processing power - the computer's ability to think - will double approximately every two years for the price of $1,000

On a graph exponential change looks like a hockey stick, a slow build up suddenly becomes an upward curve and then an almost vertical straight line. Applying this technological change to our lives would mean developments coming so quickly we will not have time to assimilate them.

Most people are completely unaware that this is happening, it hasn't become a mainstream subject yet, although it is probably the most pressing challenge for humanity at the moment, the amount of change that we will face will make Brexit look like a storm in a teacup. The clock is ticking.

Many futurists are focused on the opportunities and/or dangers that technology presents to humanity, and there is no doubt that this is a crucial perspective.

Although the public are aware that autonomous vehicles are coming, many would probably like one, but few have thought much about the impact they will have on society and that they will be with us within the next three years. For example, five per cent of all jobs in the USA are driving jobs. This particular form of AI and Robotics could make all these people need to change careers.

"Human evolution responded to a straight line of very gradual technological change over many generations. But now change is too quick for evolution to respond, we need to become active in our own personal development and use the tools and habits which help us to adapt and thrive in a fast changing world".

Starkey Research is similarly focused on the opportunities that the technological revolution will bring. Adam is very positive about thriving in the future world. Technology can transform for good, and there is a lot to be excited about.

Adam's book, Surfing the Digital Tsunami, neatly combines personal development with future trends. In it he goes through the various developments that are going to happen in the coming years and discusses how they might influence the way we live. He also presents an amazing array of new technology available in the guise of personal development tools.

Harvard and Yale Universities now teach happiness. The world's leading academic institutions take the practice of happiness seriously. There are scientifically proven techniques which can be learnt to improve our happiness, and therefore improve most aspects of our lives, as increased levels of happiness have been proved to do. In his book Adam reveals simple techniques to increase our own happiness levels.

Along with happiness the book examines the latest knowledge and techniques in the areas of health and wellbeing, developing will power and resilience, changing habits, longevity, and parenting in the future.

Adam often begins his talks by asking the audience how long they expect to live. Answers are always underestimated as most people alive today will live 50 years longer they expect to, technology will change everything in our lives including our life span itself. One of the big challenges is to help people to understand that they will have a lot more time and health than they are expecting.

"That's what Starkey Research is about, trying to understand what the future is going to look like, what challenges and opportunities may appear and then applying tried and tested person al development techniques in order to meet those challenges or take advantage of those opportunities", said Adam.

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