The Human Spark Plug

Rebecca Ryan is called a “human spark plug.”
Trained as a futurist and an economist, Rebecca helps clients figure out what’s next, so they can be ready for the future.

Rebecca is the Resident Futurist at the Alliance for Innovation, a Senior Advisor at the Governing Institute, a faculty member at the Institute for Zen Leadership, and the owner of NEXT Generation Consulting, Inc.

She is the author of The Next Big Things: The Future of Local Government (2015), ReGENERATION: A Manifesto for America’s Future Leaders (2013), and Live First, Work Second: Getting Inside the Head of the Next Generation (2007). Her TEDx talk, Spring is Coming, was featured at the prestigious TEDxBeaconStreet in 2015. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, calls Rebecca “one of the most reliable sources for CEOs and Mayors who want to attract and keep the next
generation of creative workers.”

Other accolades include:

  • Thought Leader, CPA Practice Advisor
  • Top 100 Most Influential People, Accounting Today
  • Communicator of the Year, Women in Communication
  • Woman of Influence, Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Most Powerful Women in Public Accounting, CPA Practice Advisor


Graduate Certificate in Strategic Foresight, University of Houston
Bachelors of Arts in Economics, Drake University
Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Drake University
Kozgaz University Budapest, Hungary
Institut fur European Studiern, Freiburg, Germany