Sophie Hackford

Sophie Hackford


Futurist | AI

Job Title

Co Founder & Chair


1715 Labs (Oxford University spin-out)


United Kingdom




Sophie is an impressive and engaging speaker, she is a futurist whose research entails meeting entrepreneurs in off-the-beaten-track labs, makerspaces, garages around the globe – Shenzhen, Seoul, Detroit, Mumbai.

Speaking Topics

Science-enabled sustainability through the lens of business resilience

– How to deploy sustainability technologies for resilience

– What is a  resilient company doing in the next ten years?

– Advising large MNCS on what their sustainability report will look like in 2030

Exploring space is important for us to realize the fragility of Earth

– Mars is not a fall-back option to Earth; Mars’ environment is terrible for human life 

Private space industry: what is it and why is it interesting?

– Satellites: we cannot think about the global economy without satellites

– AI, autonomy, robotics deployment

Downmass: idea that we might bring things down from space to earth

manufacturing in space that is so unique because of low gravity environment

What is occurring in space has a material impact on the earth

– Manufacturing in space, mining asteroids, cancer and vaccine development in ISS

– Decarbonizing Mars will help us decarbonize Earth

– Lessons learned from biology in space that can be transplanted to Earth

– Alzheimer’s research, make organs in space and bring them back to Earth

Extra-terrestrial innovation

Sophie warns against ignoring technologies being developed for the new space race, as they hold huge potential for changing life on earth. In fact, they may hold the keys to solving some of the challenges we have not been able to solve on earth. Experiments on cancer cells are conducted on the ISS, autonomous robots have just landed on Mars, solar sails offer the promise of ‘free’ energy in space. It’s getting very busy in space, feeling sometimes like a cross between the Gold Rush and a giant laboratory. Sophie’s talk will explore how this bustling living lab might change the world.

– Deep tech: gene sequencing, AI, robotics, quantum computing etc

– Virtual and Augmented Realities

– Data and Analytics

– Digital design and IP

– Blockchain and Bitcoin

Expert Profile

Sophie is an impressive and engaging speaker who regularly presents in front of MNC company boards about the disruptive effect of specific technology trends on their businesses, and the potential impact on the competitive landscape of the MNC. 

She is a futurist whose research entails meeting entrepreneurs in off-the-beaten-track labs, maker spaces, garages around the globe – Shenzhen, Seoul, Detroit, Mumbai. She has chaired panels, conducted interviews (including with the chief futurist at the FBI), and curated conferences on the future. The speaker has given 150+ talks for exec teams and boards of large companies on the explosive new technologies defining the new economy. 

She is currently a Member of the Global Technology Innovation Advisory Council for John Deere where she is exploring emerging technology for resilience, food security, sustainability, and climate change mitigation.

She is also co-founder of a data and AI company, 1715 Labs, spun out of the Astrophysics department at Oxford University with her academic collaborator. She is a board member of 3 early-stage tech companies. 

Formerly relaunched and scaled WIRED Consulting to bring the future to life for smart corporate leaders, investors, and innovators, by tapping into WIRED’s network intelligence. Bringing troublemakers into boardrooms, from microbiologists to blockchain entrepreneurs to astronauts.