CoolBrands founder Maarten Schäfer interviewed keynote speaker and futurist Igor Beuker – A fresh and bold player in an arena of traditionalists.
You can read the interview here or read it below:
During my travels around the world, I have met many people with a vision and created their stories. Spending a few days in Amsterdam, a business acquaintance suggested me to meet Igor Beuker, if I was at least interested in a good story…so before meeting with him, I did some background research.
What I found was quite impressive. Igor is a public speaker, futurist, television host, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor in 24 social startups. He’s known for his bold vision on emerging trends and technologies, and on their effect on business, media, and society.
Igor helped global brands like Amazon, L’Oreal, Nike, and Unilever undergo digital transformations.
Some say that a man’s future is shaped by his past. Not Igor Beuker. It’s how he’s dealt with his past that has shaped his vision of the future. He makes no concessions, no excuses.
I was determined to find out more about him, about the path he has cleared – not so much navigated – that has brought him to where he is today.
So here we are, in a bar in Amsterdam, where he’s getting ready for his next presentation.
“I never do the same presentation twice, that keeps me sharp and interested,” Igor takes off.
Igor appears to be a remarkable man: he exudes a rare combination of calm and enthusiasm – he doesn’t mince words, is candid and genuine. He voices his opinions without hesitation, yet remains respectful and interested in hearing what the other has to say.
“So tell me, how did you end up being an inspiration to so many people?” I ask.
A Misfit On A Mission
“Well, let’s go back some years…As a child, I displayed a talent for soccer, which did not go unnoticed by professional clubs. Growing up in rather difficult circumstances, soccer seemed like a gift, one that could offer me a bright future despite my rough start in life.
“I was recruited by AZ, where I joined the ranks of the best soccer players in a nation where success in this sport is a fervent dream for nearly every young boy. Nevertheless, while maintaining my love for the game, I became increasingly dissatisfied with all that surrounds it. End of that story…”
“What happened?” I ask.
“I was a rebel and a misfit. I missed a certain depth, insightfulness. I didn’t feel as though I was developing as a person and knew there had to be more out there for me, also on an intellectual level. And in the end, that meant that I just wasn’t cut out to be a professional soccer player. There was something else out there for me. It was up to me to find my purpose and make it happen.”
So what does a young man whose expectations for the future have evaporated do? Sulk? Settle for a mundane desk job or join the endless ranks of former hopeful players turned trainers? These simply weren’t options for Igor.“So what did you do?” I ask.
“I started to think about what it was that I enjoyed, where I could put my other talents to use. And I chose to become proficient in the areas of internet and marketing.
“During the dawn of the internet age, I quickly came to the understanding that data, the internet, and particularly the opportunities that technology offers were the way of the future.”
“I read about that,” I say. “This insight proved indeed revolutionary and invaluable. In the years that followed, you became a genuine leader in the field, taking perspectives that no-one else dared to offer or even conceived.”
“Thinking back at those days,” he continues, “I became what audiences called in their speaking reviews a ‘Math Man in a world of Mad Men’, convinced that advertising may win quarters, innovation wins decades.”
A fresh and bold player in an arena full of traditionalists, his approach and authenticity earned him both success and respect.
It isn’t so much that Igor has overcome the many curve balls that life has thrown at him, he has mastered the bat and found a way to make them work for him. And subsequently turn these challenges into a fresh, inspiring life view that has proven inspirational and beneficial for others.
“I read that your public speaking engagements are met with unequivocal enthusiasm, your spirit and unique insights prove invaluable to both individuals and multinationals alike,” I say.
“I guess that overcoming adversity is not about waiting for the dust to settle, it’s about rolling up your sleeves and seeking out opportunity, challenging your preconceptions, and pushing forward,” Igor concludes.
Read more CoolBrands stories with Igor Beuker:
About Igor Beuker
In the spotlights, Igor Beuker is a professional public speaker and futurist known for his foresight on trends and technologies that impact business, economy, and society. Behind the scenes, a social entrepreneur with 5 exits and angel investments in 24 social startups, an award-winning marketing strategist for brands like Amazon, L’Oréal, Nike, and Unilever, and a seer for Fortune 500s, organizations, foundations, and governments.