William Higham – Founder, Next Big Thing Consulting

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William Higham is one of Europe’s most respected futurists and consumer strategists.

William founded Next Big Thing in 2002. He’d spent ten successful years in the music industry, working with artists from The Rolling Stones to Michael Jackson, and was keen to use his understanding of audience trends to benefit other industries.

Since then, he’s informed 1000s of business leaders via talks, consultancy, articles and his book ‘The Next Big Thing’.

He’s spent almost 30,000 hours over the last 15 years analysing trends – and their business implications and opportunities.

William is a popular speaker at industry conferences for brands for sponsors from the FT to Barclaycard.

And he’s run multiple leadership team strategy seminars and sales conferences, for companies from Estée Lauder to Walt Disney.

He’s been interviewed across media: BBC to Al Jazeera, The Sun to Cosmopolitan.

He’s written articles and regular columns for several publications, from The Economist to Ad Week.

Will’s also been the spokesperson for many PR campaigns: from Amazon to HSBC.

He’s taken part in academic programmes like Cambridge University’s Open Innovation Forum. and been a judge on prestigious panels such as WARC Innovation Awards

Before he was a Business Futurist, William worked in Marketing at Sony, Virgin and Universal, for artists including Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones.

Now, an authority on Future Business Strategy, he is the founder and CEO of consultancy Next Big Thing, the author of The Next Big Thing: Spotting and Forecasting Consumer Trends for Profit, and has featured on Netflix’s Future Of series.

William Higham is a global authority on Future Business Strategy.

Will Higham Keynote Speaker

He can tell you what your customers, employees and clients are likely to think, do, want, and expect from you tomorrow, and the best strategies you can adopt to attract and retain them.

William covers all aspects of the future and is as comfortable talking about the future of work as he is about tomorrow’s ethical consumer or how the Metaverse, Web3 and generative AI will impact business.

He has led the consultancy Next Big Thing for the last twenty years and worked with clients across multiple industries including Amazon, Walt Disney, HSBC, and MTV.

William can be seen in Netflix’s The Future Of series.

He is the man who warned the drinks industry of the New Sobriety; saw the Wellbeing Consumer coming a mile off; and championed Strictly Come Dancing to the BBC.

William is the author of the first practical handbook for UK trend strategists: The Next Big Thing: Forecasting Consumer Trends For Profit, and has been interviewed on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, Fast Company, and The Times.

He has presented a TV show for CNBC, and written for The Economist, Advertising Age and Huffington Post. William has also helped the Cambridge University Innovation Forum and judged WARC and IoD innovation awards.

He first made his name in the music industry. Working at Sony, Virgin and Universal, William ran marketing communications for artists including Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones.

His fascination with music consumers led him to the trends industry, where he was a trends consultant for brands including Levi’s and BT.

He then spent a year as managing director of online research company OnePoll, attracting clients from Kelloggs to Findus, before setting up Next Big Thing.

As a speaker William leaves audiences excited to face the future and armed with new, practical ways to handle tomorrow’s consumers and employees.

Client Feedback

Good mix of industry examples, links to the past and future predictions.