Tarun Wadhwa


Tarun frequently speaks, educates, and provides strategic advice and research to decision makers in a wide variety of industries. He also offers consulting services on strategy, policy, and technical architecture for startups, companies, and institutions related to designing platforms, creating ventures to address social issues, and developing frameworks to measure digital preparedness and vulnerability. He has served as a lecturer, facilitator, and consultant to some of the top minds in finance, business, and government across a diverse array of environments and cultures.


  • Fujitsu Labs

  • Institute of Global Management Korea

  • IBM Japan


  • American College of Corporate Directors

  • Inland Northwest Contractors Association

  • Carnegie Mellon University

  • China Merchant Bank

  • Grupo Salinas

  • UC Berkeley School of Information

  • AT Kearney

  • Dare2BDigital Conference

  • Privacy, Identity, Innovation Conference

  • University of California at Santa Barbara


  • Pacific Coast Builders Conference

  • Moss Adams

  • Sime Darby

  • UEM of Malaysia

  • The European House Ambrosetti

  • Technology Hub

  • State of Chihuahua Business Association

  • Khazanah Nasional Berhad

  • The Family Startup Accelerator

  • Urban Land Institute of Australia

  • Dominion Energy

  • Lionstone Investments

  • Emory University

  • IBM Global Services

  • Poste Italiane

  • Partners Group

  • SV Links



In the Exponential Innovation Workshop, leaders of the world learn how to turn disruption into opportunity.

The program combines a series of lectures and discussions to teach executives about the new paradigms of innovation and competitiveness-and how to thrive in today's era of exponentially advancing technologies. What is enabling this new revolution is computing’s exponential pace of advancement.  Our smartphones now have greater computing power than yesterday's supercomputers.  Every technology that is information-based is advancing on an exponential curve including sensors, artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic biology, and 3D printing.  These are becoming smaller, faster, and cheaper. 

Leaders need to change their way of thinking about competition and value creation - if their companies and institutions are going to survive.  Innovation has globalized now. Business models and technology developed in one country can easily be exported to another.  Everyone will need to make bold changes in order to survive in this new era of industry disruption. They must take big risks and disrupt themselves-before someone else does.  

This workshop teaches people at every level how to prepare for and thrive in a period of great change. In one and two day sessions, we cover the fundamentals of exponential technologies, where and how disruption is occurring, and how to prepare for the changes ahead.  These programs have helped thousands of participants around the world to watch for convergences, anticipate threats, and become leaders of the new industrial revolution.

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A Crash Course in Advancing Technologies

We live in the most innovative and interesting time in history, with unprecedented opportunities and resources becoming widely available. While economists and politicians argue amongst themselves about whether progress has come to a halt, scientists, designers, and entrepreneurs are building the future not just one advancement at a time, but also in clusters. Nearly every field and part of life are in the midst of experiencing a massive technology-enabled transformation that will only grow over the next two decades, for better or worse.

This change is coming due to technologies advancing exponentially. For more than 100 years, the processing power of computers has doubled every 18 months. Now it has come to the point at which our smartphones are more powerful than yesterday’s supercomputers were. Faster computers are now being used to design faster computers, and computers and the information technology that they enable are absorbing other fields.

This fast-paced presentation explores the progression of technologies and the driving forces behind this acceleration. Tarun will detail advances in fields such as computing, medicine, sensors, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, and robotics. He will explain how they’re changing manufacturing, distribution, and virtually every part of how a corporation operates.

We are seeing startups come out of nowhere to disrupt old industries. Note Amazon.com, a technology company, disrupting bookstores; Apple’s shake-up of the music industry; mapping apps on cellphones’ displacement of GPS devices; and Uber’s transformation of the taxi industry. Innovation has globalized; business models and technology developed in one country can easily be exported to another. Companies will need to make bold changes in order to survive in this new era of industry disruption, and that begins with understanding the larger picture of what is going on.


Cyber-Security: Exponential Vulnerability and Potential for Cutting-Edge Innovation

The rapid pace of technological change is creating unprecedented security risks for companies. While every day there seems to be a new story of a corporation that has been hacked, the reality is that we are only at the tip of the iceberg. The cyber attacks of the near future won’t be as much about stealing credit cards and passwords as they will be like the events that took place at Sony Pictures, where an entire enterprise was taken apart in the span of three weeks. Executive emails, employee health information, and industry contracts are all fair game in this new age of security threats.

But not only should we be hyper-aware of threats, we need to also look at the cutting-edge creativity of cyber-criminals who are driving arguably the most innovative models of operation in the world.

In order to prepare for the challenges ahead, executives need to understand what has changed and what they are now responsible for. This intriguing speech will dive into the trends in cyber-security that will take place over the next 5-10 years. From hacked thermostats sending your competitors intelligence to phishing emails so convincing it is hard to know who is really behind the screen, cyber-security is going to become one of the largest obstacles that individuals and corporations will face for success.

That’s because the nature of cybercrime itself is changing, and criminals are often some of the savviest and enthusiastic early adopters. By examining their behavior we can understand the nature of the threat companies will face – and also learn their best practices and how they are able to be so effective.

Tarun engages an important discussion of what corporations can do to position themselves for success and an overview of the most contentious debates in the field. It takes important concepts that everyone in business needs to know but distills the most practical knowledge without getting lost in the technical specifics. Customers, clients, and boards are ultimately holding executives responsible for the security of their company. What they will need to learn is a shift in mindset towards proactive defense rather than the status quo of reactive response.


Blockchain: The Opportunity and The Hype

Blockchain is an important technology that needs impartial experts like Tarun Wadhwa to help us sort thru the promises and hype.

The biggest story in the ecosystem of blockchain is tokenization - the ability to turn physical and digital objects into a cryptographically secured digital representation of a set of rights.  In other words, a string of code that can be tracked, traded, and split up into micro-fractions.  We saw the first wave of excitement with ICOs, which are tokenized company equity, but that’s just the beginning.

Tokens will play a critical role going forward in virtually any digital exchange of value.  And the implication of this is the creation of massive, entirely new markets.  Assets that couldn’t be sold can now become liquid…it will soon be possible to buy shares in a house or an art painting just as you would stock in a company.

Yet to explore the real opportunities, we must also examine the hurdles that might hamper the growth of blockchain use. It is complex by nature, which make it hard for many users to understand. It lacks oversight thru regulation, which makes it risky. It can be an arduously slow system, which makes it less attractive for simple uses.  It uses massive computing power for its checks and balances algorithms, which makes it dependent on large amounts of electrical power. And it promises to remove all the middle men, which also discards the value of expertise and dispute resolution that middle men delivered throughout history.

It is important to understand both the possibilities and the hype.  While the vast majority of use cases we hear about today are going nowhere, there is something larger going on.  Blockchain or some other form of partially distributed ledger, will ultimately be transformative in defining the future of how we own and exchange things.


Legal, Ethical, and Social Disruptions of Advancing Technologies

Drones crash-landing on the White House lawn. Cars driving themselves for millions of miles on public roads. Scientists editing the DNA of embryos to remove diseases. 

These scenarios may sound like science fiction, but they have all already taken place.  As technology continues to advance at an exponential rate and overturn entire industries, it is raising some very serious questions related to how we should live our lives.  Along the way, it is posing grave challenges to our legal and ethical systems, the likes of which we have never experienced before.

It’s far greater than just one type of technology or one area of law that will need to be updated, advances in technologies will undermine all of these systems, on many different fronts at the same time.  By understanding and advancing not only the larger changes taking place, but the greater impact of these developments, individuals and corporations can understand the risks and issues they will have to grapple with in the near future.  The type of disruption that would take centuries and generations to take place now occurs in a matter of months.

This lecture will commence with an overview of how advances in information technologies like data storage, processing, and analytics are leading to a revolution in robotics, artificial intelligence, and connected hardware that will lead to massive opportunities while at the same time causing great upheaval.   Going technology by technology, Tarun will explain how these new systems, applications, and business models will need to be dealt with in order to maximize their upside while limiting their potential downside. 


Transforming National and Digital Identification Systems

Digital identification systems are quietly reshaping the world. They are transforming everything from how we move across borders to how we conduct commerce and interact with our governments.  It used to be that a small group of documents would define who you were, but now your pieces of your identity exists in thousands of places across the internet and physical world. There have been incredible advancements in areas such as national identification systems, biometrics, and online identity – the very systems at the core of our government, economy, and political order. 

These technologies offer an incredible tool to implement reforms and can help to transform the lives of billions of people by providing them recognition, resources, and access. Yet there are also enormous challenges involved as well. These same systems can be used to digitize discrimination, conduct surveillance a massive scale, undermine civil liberties, while posing enormous cyber-security risks to individuals and corporations.

In this lecture, Tarun will focus on how changes in the way we are identified are spreading.  For businesses these advancements will cause significant change to how nearly every transaction or process that involves trust will take place. He will track how these advances are impacting the daily lives of people in every corner of the globe – and what companies can do to add value for everyone involved.  

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