Salim Ismail is the best-selling author of Exponential Organizations – required reading at the world’s top organizations.

  • Why you need to meet Salim

    Salim Ismail is the best-selling author of Exponential Organizations - required reading at the world's top Organizations. Salim is a sought-after strategist and a renowned technology entrepreneur who built and sold his company to Google. He was Founding Executive Director at Singularity University (2008-2010) and was the their Global Ambassador for another seven years.


    Salim consults on innovation & growth and believes

    "If you are not disrupting your business or industry, someone else is."


    Salim shares jaw-dropping insight on how companies can leverage technology and strategy to grow 10 times faster than their peers. He turns cutting edge ideas into thriving startups and applies leading-edge thinking to

    invigorate industries.

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  • About

    Salim Ismail is a man who is passionate about business, entrepreneurship, and technology. He is a technology strategist, software engineer,

    and successful entrepreneur.

    Futurist and best-selling author of Exponential Organizations and Exponential Transformation, Salim Ismail has been building disruptive digital companies as a serial entrepreneur since the early 2000s.

    A prolific speaker, Salim gives more than 150 talks a year to audiences of all sizes around the world. He has been profiled across a vast array of media outlets including The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, WIRED, Vogue, and the BBC


    Salim is Founding Executive Director of Singularity University and Co-founder and Chairman of OpenExO, a global transformation ecosystem that connects world-class professionals with organizations, institutions and people who want to build a better future through cutting-edge ideas and actionable methodologies. The ExO consulting ecosystem consists of more than 155 certified coaches and advisors from 29 countries doing business in 24 different languages. OpenExO and the global consulting team at ExO Works transforms global business by catapulting organizations into the world of exponential thinking through the ExO Sprint, a proprietary process to achieve 10x performance for organizations of all types.


    Salim founded and led some of the most influential tech companies at the foundation of our digital society, including PubSub Concepts and Angstro, which Google acquired in 2010. He led Yahoo!’s internal incubator, Brickhouse, and is an XPRIZE Foundation Board member.


    Salim also co-founded the Fastrack Institute which harnesses new technologies to solve the most pressing problems faced by cities today. He sits on the Board of Rokk3r, Inc, and is a general partner at its Rokk3r Fuel ExO venture fund where he identifies the next founders of exponential growth companies.



    Salim Ismail has spoken in front of top business leaders of Fortune 500 companies & boards including a keynote at the G20 Summit.


    As a result of accelerating change, a new breed of businesses is scaling 10 times faster than established organizational structures. Salim Ismail calls these exponential organizations. This talk describes the characteristics and attributes of these organizations and finishes with how to implement these ideas into established companies. He looks at today’s fastest growing technologies and the social impact they will have on our organizational, political, legal, educational, and medical systems. From artificial intelligence to biotech, these disruptive technologies are changing the face of many disparate industries and creating new innovations and opportunities. Audiences walk away with a tailored action plan for moving forward that utilizes five internal and five external strategies to spur astounding growth – like partnering with an incubator and transforming their organization’s leadership team.





    Salim describes major breakthroughs occurring in a series of accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, sensors, neuroscience, medicine, and even energy. He describes the implications of these breakthroughs on both society and business, and will give a perspective on their impact tailored to each specific audience.




    Today there are 8 billion internet-connected devices in the world. By 2020 Salim Ismail predicts there will be 50 billion. Will computer driven cars be a reality in three years? Will we see a dramatically lengthened lifespan and delayed retirements in a matter of 1-2 decades? What does this mean for investment, growth, and contraction in key industries? As the world becomes more digital, advancements in technology are skyrocketing. Technology strategist Salim Ismail knows the trajectory of fascinating projects that are sure to change our lives and challenge societal norms as we know them. His take on the impact to the financial services sector will have you thinking twice about where to put money and how much is needed for the future.



    The fastest technological improvement today is being seen in biotechnology. According to technology strategist Salim Ismail, by the year 2020 it will be cheaper to sequence your genome than to flush your toilet. What will this mean for personalized therapies? Will we eradicate allergies? Or grow replacement organs? Will artificial intelligence make better, more accurate diagnoses than human doctors? Could a computer be your future surgeon? Ismail tells incredible stories of the research and development he’s seen first-hand and the potential for next-generation disruptive technologies. He weighs the benefits with the sinister side and calls on society to prepare our systems for running the world (legal, political, medical) to meet the realities of the very near future.


    The confluence of new developments makes today the best time ever to be an entrepreneur. Salim talks about how accelerating technologies, crowd funding, incubators, fablabs, and cloud computing have made it faster, better, and cheaper to be an entrepreneur. This talk also covers the steps needed to create entrepreneurial ecosystems and start-up communities in different regions.

  • EXO

    Our environment is changing exponentially, mainly driven by exponential technologies and globalization. As a result, the world is becoming increasingly open and transparent and we are slowly moving from a world of scarcity to a world of abundance. However, our organizations are still linear: hierarchical, centralized, closed, top down and focusing on ownership due to scarcity of people, resources, assets and platforms. They evolved one hundred years ago for an era of economies of scale and relative stability and predictability.


    Now it is time to introduce the Exponential Organization leveraging openness, transparency and abundance in a new way. This is a new organizational model that is condusive to an exponential age. It closes the gap between the linear organization and its exponential environment. It is at least 10x more effective, efficient and/or faster relative to its linear peers in the same market. In the first half of the book, we examine these revolutionary structures and detail the ten characteristics and attributes of ExOs - five external elements and five internal organizational strategies. The second half of the book is a how-to guide: How can you build a startup with these principles? How could you apply them to a mid-market company? How can you retrofit these ideas into large organizations?

    We are seeing a transformation in business that hasn't been seen in the last hundred years - the future will be owned by this new breed of Exponential Organizations. How scalable is your organization? Is it an ExO? We have provided a complimentary diagnostic survey below that will assign you an Exponential Quotient (ExQ) score based on answers about your business.


    The business world has learned over the last two decades how to scale technology, but now it's time to scale your organization. A new breed of Exponential Organizations - companies that grow at a minimum pace of 10x better than their peers - is delivering a new way of doing business.

    In full- or half-day workshops, Salim walks participants through how any company, from a startup to a multinational, can become an exponential organization, streamline its performance, and grow to the next level. The key benefits of the workshop include:

    • Getting an overview of accelerating technologies and understanding the new paradigm for building organizations

    • Understanding and internalizing the distinction of linear vs. exponential

    • Learning how to scale any organization to 10.

    Regardless of an organization's size or age, Ismail has a tailored action plan for getting it on track to grow at an astounding rate. He offers real tactics, like partnering with incubators and transforming the leadership team, so that participants get a clear roadmap for moving forward.

    This workshop is the perfect extension of his keynote for organizations looking to put his insights into practice.

  • Salim's Book - Exponential Organizations


    Salim Ismail is the lead author of the best-selling book Exponential Organizations –

    required reading at the world’s top organizations.

    Enter your information below to receive a free download of the first two chapters of Exponential Organizations.


    For hundreds of years, traditional business structures have put an organizational/legal boundary around an asset or a workforce and 'sold' access to that scarcity. However, just In the last few years, a new breed of organizational structure is emerging that is able to scale at unimaginable rates - we call these Exponential Organizations (ExOs). These new organization structures are leveraging a newly available set of externalities like big data, community, the crowd or accelerating technologies and by doing so, are performing 10x better than their peers in the same space.


    We are seeing a transformation in business that hasn't been seen in several hundred years - the future will be owned by this new breed of Exponential Organizations.


  • “Exponential Organizations should be required reading for anyone interested in the ways exponential technologies are reinventing best practices in business.”

    — Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google

    “Exponential Organizations is the most pivotal book in its class. Salim examines the future of organizations and offers readers his insights on the concept of Exponential Organizations, because he himself embodies the strategy, structure, culture, processes, and systems of this new breed of company.”

    — John Hagel, The Center for the Edge

  • Other Books by Salim


    Overcome your organizational immune system and become a thriving exponential organization

    We live today in a world of exponential technologies and accelerating breakthroughs, all of which present boundless opportunities. Accessing that opportunity, however, requires organizational evolution.

    No enterprise will be able to stay alive--much less thrive--without adapting to the exponential rate of change that accelerating technologies deliver.


    Learn More




  • Testimonials

    “The best talk I think I’ve ever heard.”

    Association for Corporate Growth

    "Salim is one of our highest rated Keynote speakers to date. Our attendees have many opportunities to meet and hear exceptional speakers, and are not easily impressed. To say that Salim blew their minds would be an understatement. His presentation challenged them and led them to think about their business in a new light. Salim's willingness to create a custom presentation for our audience and to interact with attendees was appreciated. Salim was the highlight of our annual conference."


    Edison Electric Institute

    "Salim Ismail was a genuine knockout hit at our executive conference. His message resonated deeply, and his dynamic presentation totally captivated a sophisticated and demanding audience. He skillfully wove video and PowerPoint into his talk in ways that amplified his message. And people are still talking about it."

    Global CLP

    "I wanted to let you know that Salim exceeded all expectations and was an amazing kick-off to our conference. His session was thought provoking, insightful, and an unbelievable fit with our SHIFT theme. I could not be happier, he spent time answering a ton of questions and hung out with our folks after at the bar."


  • Connect With Salim