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The Intelligence Tsunami
is one of history's greatest
wealth-creating and most disruptive transformations.

Inspire your team to
ride the wave.

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Electronic devices are becoming autonomously intelligent, which is impacting every individual and for-profit, not-for-profit, academic, and government organization. A few innovators will create enormous wealth riding the wave, while many others will crash on the beach. My book and professional presentations describe what The Intelligence Tsunami is and where it came from. I share lessons from my career of organizations that successfully rode earlier transformative waves and those that crashed trying.

The best way to predict the future is to create it. 

Great leaders apply universal principles to inspire their teams to create transformational Innovations that supercharge productivity and deliver huge new value:

  • Identify the essential mission,

  • Attract a talented, creative team,

  • Empower the team with needed resources,

  • Ensure their team is accountable, and

  • Let go so the team can excel.

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Learn more about my extensive experience through my LinkedIn profile

I have a lifetime of great experience as a serial innovator riding waves from scrappy startups of companies, academic centers, not-for-profits, and a government agency to the towering halls of the New York Stock Exchange.

After my early days at KPMG serving visionary entrepreneurs, I made my own entrepreneurial leap, co-founding Capital Insights, which became one of the country’s largest angel investment groups. I was Chairman of the Board of its most successful investment, Earth Fare, which grew into the country’s largest regional organic grocery store chain. 

As Vice President of Strategy and Communication at KEMET, a world leader in electronic capacitors, I was the company’s point person with Wall Street analysts during the chaos of the 2000 internet tsunami. I was the architect of InnoVenture and InnoMobility conferences, with anchors including Michelin, Milliken, Sealed Air, GE, Blue Cross, and others. I sparked impactful innovation at the intersection of corporate innovators, entrepreneurs, and academic researchers and experienced firsthand the institutional and cultural barriers that resist change.


My insights have inspired audiences as a speaker at innovation conferences, business leadership retreats, and professional society meetings. I'm a familiar voice on South Carolina Public Radio, where I have promoted innovation and entrepreneurship for two decades. I wrote my first book about my Capital Insights experiences and many newspaper op-eds and business journal articles.


My community leadership has included being a founding board member of Artisphere, a nationally acclaimed arts festival, and the South Carolina Venture Capital Authority, a pioneering state agency promoting venture capital investment. I was part of the community conversation leading to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, an internationally known graduate engineering school.

My Testimonials
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John gives a great perspective on Intelligent Agents from an entrepreneurial view. Tying real-world examples to personal and tech industry history illustrates incredible opportunities presented by AI as it evolves in the future.

Boyd Wilson
CEO, Omnibond

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John understands that innovation isn’t just about brilliant individuals. He knows how bringing together people and organisations gives the resonance that makes innovation work.

Nigel Clarke
Co-Chair, UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership, Executive Chairman, Ultra Micro Transit Systems Ltd

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In working with John  I found he has the ability to not only visualize an innovative solution but to execute to commercially launch it into the market.

Amit Mehta
Founder and CEO of Elevare Systems AI and former Vice President - New Initiatives 
Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited

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John’s keynote address at our Ingenuity Fair complemented our agenda and set the stage for a successful event. His relevant, real life examples motivated our employees to challenge the status quo and co-create new innovative solutions with our business partners.

Marcy Thompson
Retired Vice President, Marketing & Innovation of Sonoco

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John has been a thought-leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge-base economies long before most of us even thought about these concepts. He continues to develop and advocate for creative ideas in these areas for industry, academia, and the public sector.

Dr. Chris Przirembel
Clemson University Vice President Emeritus for Research and Economic Development

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I’ve known and worked with John for 20 years. He’s one of the most knowledgeable and visionary thinkers in innovation-driven economic development there is.

Dr. John Ballato
Clemson University Professor, JE Sirrine Endowed Research Chair, and former VP for Research and Economic Development

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John presented to the GEO-ENERGY-CYBER Huntsville Summit about problems and traps that innovators and entrepreneurs face. He spoke from experience, provided excellent insights and advice, and engaged everyone with interesting and relevant stories.

Dr. Caron St. John
Professor Emerita and former Dean, University of Alabama in Huntsville  

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John provides an excellent glimpse into the world of AI, thoroughly dissecting it to understand how it can be used for better business management and long-term planning. This book is a definite read for anyone involved in business at any level.

Sharon Durgin
Engineering Designer, Fluor Corporation

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John has deep knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation. His on-the-ground practical advice has been invaluable to me in founding my company multiple times. I am a big fan of John. 

Srikanth Kodeboyina
Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Eye Soft

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I have known John for over three decades and have heard him speak on many occasions regarding innovation.  John is inspiring, energizing, and entertaining with the ability to get his listeners to think about tomorrow and beyond.

Ray Lattimore
Founder and CEO of Marketplace Staffing

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John did an excellent job as a Keynote Speaker at the Innovation for Business and Manufacturing Summit .I highly recommend using John for your corporate event or conference.

Lee Stogner

Managing Partner

Vincula Group

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John is one of the networkingest people I have ever met. He brings stories, examples, and data pulled from his vast contacts that he carefully nurtured. IHis book tis a real page-turner, which is quite unusual in the world of AI and business reporting!

John Sterling
Owner, Foxfire, Warehouse Management Software

My Testimonials

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John understands building innovation ecosystems from years of deep experience. With thoughtful reflections and personal insights, John allows listeners to think, laugh and take away key concepts for innovation.

Dr. Kristie Byrum, APR,
Fellow PRSA
Associate Professor, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

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John is a great educator and communicator who knows both theory and practical details of turning an idea into a high tech start-up. He was essential in starting Hoowaki. He knows how to nurture innovation in organizations of all sizes.

Ralph Hulseman
CEO of Hoowaki and former VP of External Research for Michelin

Click to email me​ 
(My preferred initial contact.)


Or text me at 864-561-6609
(Texting is better
than calling initially.)

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