Keynote Speaker Rebecca Costa

Rebecca Costa

Leading Authority on Leadership and “Fast Adaptation”

  • Author of two international bestsellers on leadership, The Watchman’s Rattle and On the Verge
  • Founder/CEO of one of the largest technology marketing  firms in Silicon Valley
  • Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Award Winner
  • Columnist of The Fix, for Newsmax.
  • Featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and many others.

Rebecca Costa (bio) is pioneering the converging science of great leadership.  For the first time in human history, breakthroughs in science and technology have brought leaders to the brink of predicting future outcomes with unprecedented accuracy.  Advanced tools - such as predictive analytics, Big Data, AI, genomics, etc. - have made it possible for organizations to pinpoint future results and avoid negative consequences "before the fact," as well as get an early jump on opportunities which have yet to happen.  Costa calls this growing advantage predaptation.

Areas of Expertise

Leadership  |  Decision-making  |  Technology  |  Predictive Analytics  |  Complexity  |  Innovation  |  Agility  |  Big Data  |  Quantum Computing  |  AI  |  Neuroscience  |  Robotics

Speech Topics

The Science of Predicting the Future and the New Leadership Realities

In this critically important presentation, Rebecca uses science to explore how we can use new systems, new skills and new technology tools to combat complexity and become better leaders.
Rebecca shows how the to differentiate between fact-based and belief-based decision-making, delves into the power of learning and knowledge, explores new systems for failure-tolerant breakthroughs, and discusses the revolutionary technology advances, including predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and many more that are making it possible to pinpoint future results with tremendous accuracy.  The result is what Costa calls “preadaptation”: the ability to adapt before the fact.
For leaders moving forward, this can easily be one of the most important speeches you will ever experience.

Healthcare on the Verge

Every day, healthcare professionals face pressures to increase efficiency and reduce costs while simultaneously providing the highest quality of individualized care possible. But do these objectives compete with one another? According to Rebecca Costa, technologies ranging from genomics, robotics, facial recognition software and nano-sensors, to Big Data and quantum computing, mobile phone diagnostics, and virtual reality are raising the bar for quality care while freeing healthcare professionals to work more effectively.
Costa shows how these technologies are not only being deployed to rapidly diagnose and tailor patient treatment, but also to monitor and preempt danger. For example, we can now predict a person is going to trip and fall within the next three weeks with 86 percent accuracy. And we are equally adept at identifying patients who are predisposed to opioid addiction, specific cancers, diabetes and near-term heart-attacks and strokes. As predictive analytics becomes ever more precise, the opportunity to head off many healthcare crises increases. Costa refers to this phenomena as predaptation—the ability to adapt to the future before it even happens. In this presentation, she highlights how preadaptation and technology will transform healthcare, enabling it to raise the bar on both quality and effectiveness.



Client List & Testimonials

Academy of Science and Engineering (ASE)
Abbott Laboratories
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
America Computer & Robot Museum
American Red Cross
Big Data Alliance
Big Data Congress (BDC)
Book Expo America (BEA)
Brookings Institute
Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO)
Chautauqua Institution
Colorado Health Symposium
Commonwealth Club
Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA)
Council of Community Services
The Dieline Conference
Dignity Health
Dole Food Company
Financial Services Council (FSC)
G20 Summit
Gentrain Society
Georgia Southwestern State University
Great Lakes Business Intelligence and Big Data Summit
Hewlett Packard
Human Capital Institute (HCI)
Illinois Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)
Junior Leagues’ National Conference
Kansas Health Symposium
Long Beach Public Health Week
Marion Institute
The Nantucket Project
National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)
National Retail Federation (NRF)
Naval Post Graduate School
North American Spine Society NASS)
OffShore Technology Conference
Old Dominion University
Royal Cup Coffee
Rx Ohio
Stanford University
State University of New York (SUNY)
Stellar, Inc.
Sun Life Financial
Tableau Software
Texas Assn. of States Systems for Computing & Communications
United Nations: Women’s Day
University of Tulsa
University of Arkansas
U.S. Center for Defense and Homeland Security
Vistage International
West Coast Green

The presentation was outstanding and we received rave reviews—the attendees wished your session could have been longer! "
          - National Assn. of State Chief Information Officers
"Rebecca hit the mark! She helped us gain new perspectives on how we can better deal with the growing complexity businesses face today. "
           - Senior Vice President, Dole Food Company
You were absolutely a hit at our conference.  We did some extensive surveying of attendees and you received excellent feedback across the board.  In need to thank you for what you’ve done and continue to do for everyone.  Your message and your work are important for the world and I’m incredibly pleased we are able to get some more thinkers tuned in to your channel.”
          - President & CEO, LLamasoft
"After being in the industry for almost 40 years, I attend a lot of presentations. Normally I attend, I listen and leave and nothing changes. Your presentation was different. It really made me stop and think about our business in a different light. "
          - Executive Vice President, Abbott Nutrition
"We had more feedback from your seminar than from any of our previous sessions. Thank you for kicking some doors in. "
           - Vice President, Walmart
"Rebecca Costa blew us away with her socio-biological explanation of how our complex environment drives humans into gridlock and indecision. She artfully connects the dots from genetics to complexity to evolution to gridlock. "
          - Exec. Director, Center for Homeland Defense & Security
"Provocative and entertaining! Rebecca Costa inspired and instructed our group of CEOs to both recognize and overcome the critical challenges we all confront. "
          - Chairman of the Board & CEO, Vistage International
“Once again thank you for an outstanding presentation at the recent NASS meeting.  Your presentation was the highest rated session.  Thank you for your willingness to share your 6 points over the subsequent lunch.”
          - Director, USDA/National Agricultural Statistics Service


On the Verge

Book Cover for On the Verge

“There can be no greater advantage than certainty of the future.
Not in nature. Not in business. Not in governance.”

So begins Rebecca Costa’s much-awaited exploration of foresight: “the crowning achievement of human ambition.” According to Costa, advances in Big Data, predictive analytics, genomics, artificial intelligence, and other breakthroughs have made it possible to pinpoint future results with mind-blowing accuracy—cracking the door to what Costa calls predaptation: the ability to adapt before the fact. Never before has the information needed to avert danger, get the jump ahead of others, or prepare for the inevitable been so clearly within grasp.

Through fascinating real-life examples, Costa reveals how technology has brought nations, businesses, and individuals to the edge of clairvoyance. Yet, our ability to act on foreknowledge often falls short—causing leaders to squander the advantage of preemption. To counteract this failure, Costa illuminates 12 principles of adaptation, and predaptation, used to succeed in fast-moving environments.

In the spirit of the best in popular science, On the Verge is a landmark examination of big-picture forces affecting society today. Costa’s unique sociobiological perspective, combined with her ability to blend humor, breaking science, and insightful personal stories, distinguishes her as one of the most important female thought leaders of our time.

The Watchman's Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse

Book cover for The Watchmens RattleWhy can't we solve our problems anymore? Why do threats such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, and global warming suddenly seem unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve?

Rebecca Costa confronts - and offers a solution to - these questions in her highly anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle.

Costa pulls headlines from today's news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces that rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities. With compelling evidenced based on research in the rise and fall of Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how the tendency to find a quick solution - leads to frightening long-term consequence: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues.

A provocative new voice in the tradition of thought leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage, and incite change.


Rebecca Costa

Leaders Who Are Fastest to Adapt, Win!

Rebecca D. Costa is an American sociobiologist and futurist. She is a world-renowned expert on "fast adaptation" in complex environments, and a recipient of the prestigious Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Award. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, The Guardian, and other leading publications.  Costa also hosted a popular syndicated radio program, The Costa Report, and writes a weekly column, The Fix, for Newsmax.

Costa was the founder and CEO of one of the largest technology marketing firms in California, where she developed an extensive track record of introducing disruptive, bleeding edge technologies.

Her clients included industry innovators such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Oracle, Siebel Systems, General Electric, 3M, and others. She has been on the forefront of technological and scientific innovation for more than four decades.
Yet she retired at the zenith of her career in Silicon Valley to tackle one of the biggest challenges in human history:
  • What causes leaders to make decisions which lead to failure and collapse…
  • …and how do we assure that we make better decisions in the future.
Rebecca Costa speaking at the Human Capital InstituteYears of research on these issues culminated in two international bestsellers, The Watchman's Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse, and her newest book, On the Verge (shooting to the top of Amazon's #1 New Business Releases).  Considered by many as the greatest One-Two punch ever in the field of leadership decision-making, Costa taps science: she uses history to dissect the collapse of great nations and organizations; explores neuroscience to uncover the depth of the human “thinking”; digs into complexity theory to explain the exponential growth in data and intricate connections; highlights the rapidly advancing technologies aimed at better, faster decision-making; and much more.
The result is an incredibly enlightening exploration of modern leadership decision-making that makes the difference between success and failure.
It's no longer enough to be nimble, innovative, and quick—not enough to rack up 10,000 hours of experience, master the 7 habits of successful people, or transform ourselves into 1-Minute managers. These skills are no match for a firm knowledge of how humans make decisions, and the ability to foresee and manipulate future outcomes, events, and trends to our advantage - which is what big data, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and light-speed communications have equipped leaders to do.
A global thinker in the mold of Alvin Toffler, Jared Diamond, Ray Kurzweil, and Thomas Friedman, Costa also has a flair for fun, creating a rare combination that is both teacher and entertainment in one package.