Upcoming Event


2017 Study Tour: Applying Machine Intelligence

Due to increased demand, we are repeating our September 2016 Study Tour in April 2017. Register now to make sense of these emerging tech developments and separate the hype from the reality.

These days, there is nothing artificial about machine intelligence.  The ability of computers to use software and data to recognize faces, translate documents, recommend movies, make diagnoses, control vehicles, provide financial advice, beat us at games, and even understand our emotions is not science fiction.  It is science fact.  From investing to transportation to advertising and news organizations, more and more businesses are being run by algorithms.

For more than three decades, LEF Study Tours have provided delegates with the insight and situational awareness they needed to identify and act on important watershed changes.  In 2000, the study tour to Scandinavia and Japan investigating 3-G mobile data led the way to our research on consumerization. In 2006, the newly announced EC2 on our visit to Amazon opened our eyes to the importance of cloud. Now, in 2016, the new watershed is the application of machine intelligence to augment nearly everything we do.

The host visits of organizations at the leading edge, plus hands-on exercises and discussions with your peers, will put you in an enviable position compared those who stayed home and could only speculate.


Microsoft Amazon Web Services Salesforce “IBM “IBM Google Skymind a16z


To register, or for more information, please contact Jane Kingston at jane.kingston@leadingedgeforum.com or call Jane on +44 (0)7768 643936.


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.”

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.

David Moschella

Research Fellow
Leading Edge Forum

David Moschella, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum.  David's focus is on industry disruptions, machine intelligence and related business model strategies.  He is the project lead for our 2017 research into Disrupting ‘The Professions’ – Scenarios for Human and Machine Expertise. David was previously Research Director of the programme.

David’s key areas of expertise include globalization, industry restructuring, disruptive technologies, and the co-evolution of business and IT.  David is the author of multiple research reports.  His most recently published reports include Embracing 'the Matrix' and the Machine Intelligence Era (March 2016) and The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption (September 2015).

An author and columnist, David’s second book, Customer-Driven IT, How Users Are Shaping Technology Industry Growth, was published in 2003 by Harvard Business School Press.  The book predicted the shift from a supplier-driven to today’s customer-led IT environment.  His 1997 book, Waves of Power, assessed global competition within the IT supplier community.  He has written some 200 columns for Computerworld, the IT Industry’s leading publication on Enterprise IT, and has presented at countless industry events all around the world.

David previously spent 15 years with International Data Corporation, where he was IDC’s main spokesperson on global IT industry trends and was responsible for its worldwide technology, industry and market forecasts.



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.

Start: 02 Apr 2017 09:00
Finish: 07 Apr 2017 17:00

Seattle and San Francisco, USA


The fee for participating in the tour is £4,750 plus VAT (or $6,800) for clients and £6,920 plus VAT (or $9,900) for non-clients of the Leading Edge Forum. This fee covers:

  • Accommodation (room and breakfast) for six nights, from Sunday 2 to Friday 7 April 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

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.


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.