Author, Speaker, Teacher & Advisor

Rishad Tobaccowala is an author, speaker, teacher, and advisor with four decades of experience specializing in helping people, organizations and teams re-invent themselves to remain relevant in changing times. He specializes in unleashing talent and turbo-charging productivity by delivering perspectives, points of view, provocations and plans of action but no PowerPoints!

Rishad’s best-selling book “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data” was published globally by HarperCollins and focuses on helping people think, feel, and see differently about how to grow their companies, their teams and themselves in transformative times. The Economist Magazine called it perhaps the best recent book on stakeholder capitalism and Strategy Magazine named it among the five best business books and the marketing book of the year. Rishad’s weekly thought-letter, “The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past” is read by over 25,000 leaders every week across industries and around the world.

Rishad speaks on change, future trends and transforming work forces to a range of industries from platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Snap, Tik-Tok), to technology ( Akamai, Juniper Networks) media ( NY Times, Conde Nast, Univision, Vice, NBCU), to blue chip firms ( Walmart, Procter and Gamble, H&R Block, Bayer, Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive) to Financial Firms ( Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Georgia Bank) to Industry Associations (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Illinois Department of Tourism, US Olympics, Radio Advertising Bureau, Outdoor Advertising Association).

Rishad teaches several highly popular workshops (virtual and in-person) on eight different subjects (which are often combined and customized to audience) on subjects such as Change Management, Upgrading Your Mental Operating System, How to Lead with Soul, Frameworks for the Next Frontier of Marketing and Creativity and Re-Thinking Organizations for the Future of Work. Rishad is also a frequent guest lecturer at The University of Chicago, Northwestern University and NYU.

Rishad’s advisory clients include global firms such as Publicis Groupe and many executives at Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, private equity organizations such as Growth Catalyst Partners, Venture Capital firms such as Abundant Ventures and Greycroft, and technology platforms such as Crisp, Firework, Quilt, Shift Paradigm, Dumbstruck, Work Reduce, Spores Networks.

Rishad spent nearly four decades at Publicis Groupe an 80,000-employee firm comprising companies like Epsilon, Sapient, Digitas, Leo Burnett, Saatchi and Saatchi, Starcom and Zenith dedicated to delivering marketing and business transformation. Before Rishad stopped being a full-time employee with Publicis Groupe (where he remains active as a Senior Advisor) he was Publicis Groupe’s Global Chief Strategist and Growth Officer and served on its Management Committee.

Rishad has also been the Chairman of Digitas and Razorfish, two of the largest marketing transformation agencies in the world with over 11000 employees.

Over his 40-year career Tobaccowala has worked across almost every area of marketing and strategy including brand advertising, media, database, direct and interactive marketing. As a pioneer in digital marketing, Tobaccowala helped create one of the first interactive groups and digital agencies 25 years ago and has helped launch a series of initiatives over the years from groups focused on gaming, social, mobile and search engine marketing.  Starcom IP, Play, Giant Step, SMG Search and Denuo are some of the brands Tobaccowala helped incubate.

Tobaccowala was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top business leaders for his pioneering innovation and TIME magazine dubbed him one of five “Marketing Innovators. He is the Ad Age Interactive Hall of Fame and has received a lifetime achievement silver medal award from the Chicago Ad Federation and an Inspire Award for motivating and building talent from the Advertising Education Foundation and the Association of National Advertisers.

Rishad is also is chairman of The Tobaccowala Foundation, which helps over 10,000 people gain better access to health and education in India.

Tobaccowala holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Bombay and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago with which he remains closely involved.


Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, and is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and he hosts the Shelly Palmer #CryptoWednesday Livestream.

Shelly is a prolific author. Along with his daily newsletter, his books include, the Amazon #1 Bestseller, Blockchain – Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance and Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV, the seminal book about the technological, economic, and sociological forces that have changing everything about the the business of television, Overcoming the Digital Divide: How to use Social Media and Digital Tools to Reinvent Yourself and Your Career, and Digital Wisdom: Thought Leadership for a Connected World.


Shawn Riegsecker is the CEO and Founder of Basis Technologies. He founded the company in 2001 intent on developing the most comprehensive, automated and intelligent software platform for the digital media industry.

His leadership, commitment to innovation and modernized approach to culture and employee happiness have led Centro to receive many accolades, including appearing on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, the Inc. 500, and No. 1 on Crain’s Chicago Business’ Best Places to Work for three years in a row.

Shawn is a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and a founding director and co-chairman of Unite America, a new movement working on solving the partisan divide in politics through the election of Independent, moderate candidates.

He serves on the board of directors of The Director’s Cup, a ski pro-am focused on bringing together influential leaders to aid and support the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team. Shawn is also serves on the Board of Governor’s of the Metropolitan Planning Council, dedicated to shaping a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region.


Across our combined 30 year career, we have led growth for the top independent and large holding company agencies, and managed marketing programs for global brands across industries like tech, hospitality, CPG, financial services, and more.

We bring deep expertise in building awareness, driving differentiation and creating demand for agencies and brands. This range of experience has shaped our belief in the powerful combination of brand and growth to deliver commercial return for our clients. Once you layer creativity onto that equation, a business becomes unstoppable.

Our experience tells us that the future of business growth requires a willingness to divert from business as usual. But we're not here to fix a broken system - we’re here to create a new one.