J. Walker Smith

Executive Chairman

Global Knowledge Lead- Global Economics & Aging

J. Walker Smith

What do you do?

Client strategy. Thought-leadership. Coaching. Business-building.

How did you get here?

I was a client for years and finally just had to join the team.

Why do you do it?

I am thrilled and lucky to work at a place dedicated to helping clients build their brands through an understanding of trends and marketplace futures.

What have you learned during your career?

Around the next corner is another challenge. Facing up to challenges is the only way to learn. Learning lends meaning and purpose to life. Life is found around the next corner.

What do you do away from work?

Do things and go places with my wife of 30+ years.

I strongly believe...

...That in bearing down we are lifted up.

I wish...

…that I could do my job forever.

Presenter Bio

J. Walker Smith is Executive Chairman of The Futures Company, the leading global foresights and futures research consultancy, that is part of the Kantar Group of WPP, with a core client purpose of being “a catalyst for positive change.” Walker has been described by Fortune magazine as “one of America’s leading analysts on consumer trends,” and he consults with clients globally about trends, futures, marketing and advertising strategy. He is the co-author of four highly regarded books, including Rocking the Ages (1997), a book about generations now regarded as one of the standards in the field that has been included in one list of the top 100 marketing books, and Life Is Not Work, Work is Not Life (2001), selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best work-life books of 2001. He is a much sought-after speaker, a columnist for Marketing News, a blogger for Branding Strategy Insider, an avid daily tweeter of links to must-see material, and a former weekly radio commentator for almost ten years on Smart City, a public radio show about cities and community life. He is a 2012 inductee into the N.C. Advertising Hall of Fame. He won the 2014 WPP Atticus Award for thought-leadership in Consumer Insights. Walker holds a doctorate in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.