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. It 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 strategy. He is the co-author of four well-regarded books. Rocking the Ages (1997) is considered a standard in generational marketing and was included in one list of the top 100 marketing books. Life Is Not Work, Work is Not Life (2001) was 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, an avid daily tweeter of must-read material, and a former weekly commentator for the public radio show Smart City. His presentation at TEDxPeachtree 2012 led off the program. He is a 2012 inductee into the N.C. Advertising Hall of Fame. He won the 2013 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.