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David Houle David Houle

David Houle ’69, a futurist, thinker, speaker and Syracuse University alumnus, will deliver the keynote address at the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) annual fall convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 4 p.m. in Goldstein Auditorium, Schine Student Center. The event is open to VPA students, faculty and staff.

Houle spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment. He has worked at NBC, CBS and was part of the senior executive team that created and launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and CNN Headline News. He has won a number of awards, including two Emmys, the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, and the Heartland Award for “Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream.” He was also nominated for an Academy Award.

Houle is consistently ranked as one of the top futurists and futurist keynote speakers on the major search engines and in the world today. He was named a Vistage Speaker of the Year for 2008. In the last 10 years he has delivered more than 800 keynotes and presentations on six continents and 15 countries. He is often called “the CEOs’ Futurist,” having spoken to or advised more than 4,000 CEOs and business owners in the past 10 years.

Houle writes the highly regarded futurist blog with the tag line “A Future Look at Today.” He is on Twitter @evolutionshift, which is also the name of his YouTube channel. He publishes the free Shift Age Newsletter, available on his website. During 2010 he was a featured contributor on

Houle has been speaking about the future for 11 years, and his influential first book “The Shift Age” (Sourcebooks) was published in 2007. His second book, “Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education” (Corwin), written with Jeff Cobb, was published in 2011. “The New Health Age: The Future of Health Care in America,” co-authored with Jonathan Fleece, was published by Sourcebooks in 2012 and became a no. 1 best seller on Amazon in the categories of medicine and future of health care. “Entering the Shift Age” was published by Sourcebooks in 2013. It is a no. 1 Amazon best seller in the category of business planning and forecasting.

Houle published the eBook “Is Privacy Dead: The Future of Privacy in the Digital Age” in 2013, and “Brand Shift: The Future of Brands and Marketing” with co-author Owen Shapiro was published in 2014. It quickly became an Amazon top 10 best seller in the category of media and communications and was named one of the top five marketing books published in the world in 2014. His latest book with co-author Timothy Rumage is “This Spaceship Earth,” published in 2015.

In 2016 Houle launched the global non-profit to create “Crew Consciousness” to address climate change. He was invited to present “This Spaceship Earth” to scientists at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2016.

Houle is futurist in residence and guest lecturer at the Ringling College of Art + Design. He is also the honorary futurist and president of the Future Business School of China. He is a founding member of the Sarasota Institute.

VPA’s fall convocation provides an opportunity for the college’s students, faculty and staff to gather together and celebrate their creative and scholarly community. The event also includes student and faculty presentations of work and performances. For more information, visit VPA's calendar.