Upcoming Event


2017 LEF Study Tour – Re-architecting for a Smarter World

In the world of the matrix, everything is increasingly connected via the Cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).  IoT creates massive potential flows of data (one plane journey can throw off one Terabyte of data, for example), and different types and levels of real-time activity, and the need for anti-fragility.  Smart companies, government agencies, ecosystems, cities and nations will be powered by big data.  New threat vectors are emerging.  Vendors are jostling for position in the IoT platforms and Cloud platform space.  New economic and business models are emerging.  Our organizations need to become intelligent clients of, and players in, this evolving matrix. 

On this study tour, we will look at a wide array of small and large players who are helping reshape the fabric of the matrix, and helping organizations exploit it for advantage.   A full list of host visits will be available in the Spring.

Our tours are designed to help you and your organization improve your understanding of emerging technologies, not just in terms of their capabilities and likely impact, but also the skills, experience, and digital leadership you will need to take advantage of these developments.  We hope you can join us on what we think will be one of our most important tours ever.


Because we think our Study Tours are a unique learning experience (view the video clip). But don’t just take our word for it – see what attendees have said after previous Tours:


  • “I would like to thank you and your colleagues for providing such a stimulating and exciting vision for us to engage with.  The time I spend with LEF is the time I feel most alive at work and it gives me renewed hope and enthusiasm to go back and fight the hard won inches.”

  • “We send two people each year on the LEF Study Tour and it consistently serves to both stoke the innovative flames already burning in some and ignite sparks of new possibilities in others.  We enjoy the challenge of keeping up with the participants upon their return to an industry environment in significant need of innovation and disruptive thought.”  

  • “The LEF Study Tour is always for me and my organization a great source of inspiration to think (and once home, act) differently about developments, products and services in the IT market.  The discussions and interactions with the host companies, LEF staff, and last but not least, the 30+ group members, provide a deeper insight in the forces acting in the IT market.”

  • “As ever, the highlight of the work year.  Informative and great fun.  Excellent networking and great to be able to spend a week in the company of so many like minds.”

  • “Superb event.  A week with peers from different industries provides unique insight and value far beyond what would be achieved reading and alone.”

  • “Great tour!  Seeing the difference between the large incumbents and smaller more nimble firms.”

  • “Overall, an excellent tour – very well organized.  I felt very welcome and the standard of client service (from LEF) was very high.  The tour itself was thought-provoking, and networking with fellow attendees was also good.”

Dave Aron

Global Research Director
Leading Edge Forum

Dave Aron, based in the UK, is Global Research Director for Leading Edge Forum.  In this position, he guides a series of global research initiatives aimed at helping CIOs and other Business/ IT leaders understand and exploit the ever-expanding intersection between business and information technology. 

Dave’s key areas of research include digital business, strategy and new business models.  Previously, Dave spent more than 12 years at Gartner, as a Gartner Fellow, focusing on strategy and CIO leadership issues.  Dave has more than 30 years’ experience in the IT business, and has been writing, speaking and teaching on digital business, IT strategy and other topics around the world for more than a decade.

Dave holds a BSc in Computer Science from Queen Mary College, and an MBA from London Business School.

Dave's alter ego is Mu, The 21st Century Anti-Strategist, which comprises Dave's distilled thoughts about what doesn't make sense as 20th century organizations sleepwalk into the 21st century.

Lewis Richards

Leading Edge Forum

Lewis Richards, based in the UK, is a researcher and self-styled Digital Chef for Leading Edge Forum.  He is responsible for research into Pro-active, Haptic Sensing and bringing additional value to clients as part of our Xperience Lab Advisory workshops, enabling clients to build hands-on digital skills. 

Lewis’ most recent publication is entitled Technology Trends and Me: VR & Me – Episode 1. Prior to this, Lewis authored the report The Field Engineer of the Future – An LEF Xperience Lab Case Study.

Lewis is a seasoned IT leader having spent the last 16 years working for CSC where he performed a number of UK and International roles within Financial Service and the Corporate Office of Innovation.  Lewis managed the European Innovation Centre for CSC for a number of years and worked with clients and partners to showcase Next Gen technologies whilst articulating how IT can address the needs of current business problems.

In his previous post, Lewis was responsible for Global Portfolio Management for CSC's Application Business.  This role involved the management of a diverse workforce and the reengineering of the applications business, including the adoption of a globalized portfolio management process and the implementation of product and technology roadmaps.

Lewis is passionate about collaboration and the cultural changes required to enhance business functions.

Lewis has a BSc from the University of Surrey and an MBA in Technology Management from the Open University.

Watch this video of Lewis being interviewed about using social media and being a digital representation of your physical self.

Start: 23 Sep 2017 09:00
Finish: 29 Sep 2017 17:00

Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle
Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Francisco


Places on the tour are limited.  The tour has been sold out for the past five years so we encourage you to book early.  If you wish to reserve a place or have additional questions, please register online above or contact Jane Kingston at jane.kingston@leadingedgeforum.com or by telephone on +44 (0)7768 643936.


Based on our experience of previous study tours, we expect that most delegates will wish to arrange their own travel to and from the United States. 


The fee for participating in the tour is £4,750 plus VAT (or $6,000) for clients and £6,920 plus VAT (or $8,650) for non-clients of Leading Edge Forum. This fee covers:

  • Accommodation (room and breakfast) for six nights, from Sunday 24 to Friday 29 September inclusive
  • Reception and social events on Sunday
  • Travel between Seattle and San Francisco
  • Travel to all host companies during the week
  • Reception and dinner on Wednesday evening
  • All costs incurred by us in organizing the tour

In the event of you cancelling either your own or your partner’s registration, you will be liable for any cancellation costs that may be incurred by Leading Edge Forum.  If you cancel your registration and your place on the tour cannot be allocated to another delegate, please understand no refund may be payable.