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Investor, Business Strategist & Internationally Acclaimed Speaker


Jonathan MacDonald is an award-winning, bestselling author and one of the most in-demand keynote speakers in the world on the topics of change, digital transformation, mindset, innovation, strategy and the future. Born in the UK, Jonathan has worked in over 100 cities globally and is internationally renowned as a business, technology and social expert. With a background in retail, entertainment and strategy, Jonathan has been creating and advising businesses for almost three decades. He was the youngest ever Chairman of the British Music Industries Association. Later, as Commercial Director for Ministry of Sound, Jonathan turned an analogue company into a digital powerhouse, helping to expand the global franchise around the world. He also launched the first-ever Sky TV station specifically for musicians, “The Musicians Channel”, generating higher viewing figures than MTV.

An entrepreneur and investor, Jonathan has nine start-ups to his credit. He has also advised well-known, blue-chip companies including Google, Microsoft, Apple, P&G, Unilever, Nestle, Lego, Heineken, Sony and IKEA, and is trusted by senior executives around the world to convert his insights on perpetual change into profitable business strategies and personal success.

As a thought-leader, he contributes to numerous publications including Forbes, Google’s Think Insights, and The British Airways Business Life magazine.

Jonathan MacDonald’s latest book “Powered By Change“ became a Sunday Times Bestseller and won the 2019 Business Book Awards. The book introduces ‘The Windmill Theory’, demonstrating how businesses can be designed for perpetual success. His next book, currently in production, focuses on mindset, psychology, and strengthening your thought muscle.

To fuel his quest for new insights into the human mind, and to create the foundation for his next book, Jonathan recently received a diploma from the National Research University High School of Economics in Neuroeconomics, an emerging interdisciplinary field looking at how economic decision-making actually happens inside the brain and how it determines a course of action.

In 2019, Jonathan took the bronze medal in the Sports Jiu-Jitsu World Championships, after winning the British Sports Jiu-Jitsu Heavyweight Championship in 2018. He has been a blackbelt martial artist for many years, specialising in full-contact kickboxing.

Jonathan is also the founder of the Academy of Advanced Thought, a training system for the brain that focusses on developing your thought muscle to enable it to be in the best condition it can be. The Academy is full of insightful content, an active community, a game-changing mentorship programme and a wide range of cutting-edge tools. Click here to look deeper.

Talking Points

Managing Transformation and Strategic Development

Is your organisation in need of a major makeover to cope with the disruptions that are sweeping through your sector? Where to start? Is there a fail-safe model? What are the key success factors? And what are the common pitfalls or roadblocks? What to do when things are not going to plan?

In this speech, Jonathan translates his extensive business transformation and development experience into a tried and tested framework that helps you tackle organisational transformation with growth and success in mind, with a side order of trouble-shooting. Peppered with humorous war-stories and astonishing insights, this speech equips your audience with practical advice as well as an infectious readiness to make things happen.

What does the Future Hold?

Would you like to be able to gaze into the crystal ball and see what the future holds for you and your company? Are we really going to be visiting the moon during our annual leaves soon? Are robots going to run our lives in due course?

An early adopter of blockchain, an entrepreneur and an investor, Jonathan moonlights as an advisor, and is on first-name terms with senior executives at Google, Apple, Nestle and IKEA, to name but a few. Drawing on the intelligence he has gathered from the business trenches, he provides an up-to-the-minute report on the key trends and thinking that will help shape the world we live in in the not-to-distant future, how they impact your organisation, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

The Change Mindset

Are you frustrated by the lack of urgency in the implementation of change initiatives in your business? Are you baffled by your colleagues’ lack of enthusiasm for the new processes you have installed to improve productivity? Or are you the one who struggles with the winds of change that are constantly coursing through the business landscape these days?

As the saying goes, ‘it’s all in your head.’ In this speech, Jonathan dissects the human resistance to change from a neuro-economical perspective. Did you know that we think around 70,000 thoughts a day, 90% of which are repeated thoughts from before? Jonathan will detail a road map that will enable the most stubborn brains to retrain themselves, to be ready for fresh challenges, and to make top-quality strategic decisions that allow organisations to survive and thrive.
We challenged Jonathan to be the final speaker at our conference on digitising the construction industry, a sector that is not known for its rapid adoption of technology. As well as reinforcing and driving home the underlying theme of the day, he thoroughly entertained and educated the audience on digital and disruption and gave us a number of ‘laugh out loud’ moments. His messaging was clear and unambiguous, and was delivered in a challenging but non-threatening way. A great way to end the day. NBS

It was a brilliant session and it was really clear that the audience was engaged throughout. As well as learning from the amazing content, I know I’ve also picked up some tips on how to deliver an impactful presentation from an absolute expert.

Tesco plc

We invited Jonathan to speak at our Annual Conference after seeing him present previously at another hotel industry event. He did not disappoint! His presentation was engaging, interesting, entertaining and filled with anecdotes that were relevant to our industry. We would gladly work with Jonathan again.


Having Jonathan as a keynote speaker at our event turned out to be a recipe for success. He challenged, inspired and entertained the audience with his strong message, relevant industry examples and anecdotal quotes and stories. Jonathan’s speaking style and message fitted in perfectly with the theme and atmosphere of the event.


Rarely will a guest speaker dedicate so much research and insight into a client and a topic. I found Jonathan’s willingness to engage pre-event to learn about the client, and tailor his content to suit, to be very refreshing and this attention to detail really paid off onsite. Despite a red-eye flight from Canada to make our morning event, Jonathan was fresh and energetic and made a real effort to mix with the client, adapting his content on the move to relate to the other speakers and he even helped out the production team by keeping ahead of time to balance the agenda! I thought he was very professional and he delivered insightful, challenging and stimulating content that perfectly matched the audience and our brief.


A short note of sincere thanks for your outstanding contribution to the IoD Convention. As you know, we were very much aiming for a complete change of direction in terms of positivity and attitude coming out of the event. I am delighted to advise that feedback thus far has been incredibly positive, and your presentation was a huge contributor to this success. You were simply outstanding in terms of content and delivery of your talk, setting the scene for discussions over the rest of the evening. And the way that you tailored the session specifically for us certainly engaged and entertained the audience. So on behalf the organising committee, thank you very much, your professionalism is unsurpassed and we are truly delighted that you were able to join us in Guernsey. We hope we can tempt you back again?!

Guernsey Branch

You made a great impression on us. With a risk of telling you what you already know; you have an absolute world class, unique talent combining vision, strategy and challenge which, based on your lovely sense of humour, is incredibly effective to open minds.

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