[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Quotes from Keynote Clients

Futurist and bestselling science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer speaks at many conferences and corporate events each year. E-mail him at sawyer@sfwriter.com about arranging a booking to meet your specific needs, or read more about Rob as a speaker.

Here are some quotes from keynote clients and event organizers who have used Rob in the past:

"Engaging, intelligent, entertaining, stimulating. Although these are powerful adjectives that I don't use lightly, they still fall short of conveying the audience response to Rob's keynote address at our conference. We were absolutely delighted!"

— Michael Doyle
Conference Manager
Documentation & Training Conference
(at the Boston University Corporate Education Center)

"Thanks again for coming to our meeting. I don't have to tell you the talk hit the spot, as you personally saw how the audience engaged in a lively Q&A at the end of your presentation. This continued into the coffee break, which really shows how much your words provoked the reaction I was hoping for, namely a thought-provoking break from our organizational/technical discussions. Feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. I am glad you could come on short notice. Your participation certainly contributed to the success of our event."

— Gabriel M. Silberman, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President & Head CA Labs
CA Technologies (Computer Associates), Islandia, NY

"As a loyal fan, and on behalf of Google Waterloo and Google as a whole, let me extend my very sincere thank you for your time, your insightful talk, and your very interesting and entertaining perspectives on the future. We all eagerly anticipate more enjoyable work and interactions with you."

— Steven Woods, Ph.D.
Site Director
Google, Waterloo, Ontario

"All of us at the Science Media Centre of Canada (SMCC) would like to thank you very much for participating in our AGM event on Monday, October 17, 2011.

"We were honored to host a stimulating talk with a writer of your caliber and scientific expertise — not to mention a writer of your popularity! We hope you were as pleased as we were with the attendance at the Canada Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa.

"You did a fabulous job and we couldn't have asked for a better show!"

— Penny Park
Executive Director
Science Media Centre of Canada

"It was great having you participate and present yesterday. I think you made a number of people sit back with some new insights and it will be fascinating to see how this initiative evolves. It has been a pleasure working with you and I hope our paths cross again on this initiative or something else down the road."

— Shawn Brayman
Fintellect Initiative
FP Canada [Financial Planners]

"Your presentation was extremely well received and your insights appreciated; you did give us a lot to think about and with a different and refreshing perspective."

— Anne Rouleau
Programs Officer
Canada Foundation for Innovation

"Robert J. Sawyer came to Canandaigua for our George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum Speaker Series and made our heads spin in the best way possible: with possibilities! His omnivorous appetite for all things science is matched only by his ability to convey it all with crystalline clarity. After nearly two hours in the presence of such a questing mind, our entire audience — adult or student — was happily dizzy, pondering the promises and challenges of our technological and ethical future. Bravo, Rob! We're all in line for your next book!"

— Andy Thomas
GME Canandaigua Forum
Canandaigua, New York

"What you said blew me away. My mouth hung open the entire time, and I kept glancing over to see if the publishing industry was sending in shock troops to pull you down from the podium. You were a firebrand, and dang, I kept thinking, ‘He can't be saying this stuff. Someone is going to stop him.’ But no one did because you were speaking the truth."

— Aaron Ritchey
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers
Denver, Colorado

"Your presentation was very well received — all evaluations ticked excellent or outstanding!"

— Liz Kerr
Education Director
Ontario Library Association

"Your presentation was the highlight of our event. You presented compelling scenarios regarding what we could expect to see for healthcare in the future with an engaging and humourous style. It was a fascinating topic, well researched and presented by a gifted speaker, and it captivated the audience throughout."

— Catherine Statton
Grey-Bruce Health Network

"Robert, thank you for your keynote address last night. I have only heard positive things. I also wanted to say on behalf of our group that is was a pleasure working with you."

— Joseph Guzzi
University of Waterloo Planning Alumni of Toronto

"Robert delivered a provocative and dynamic address to our conference. Our goal was to choose a keynote who spoke outside the box and Robert delivered. He spoke to the wonders / marvels / complexities of modern technology ... how it's shaped our human history ... and how it's continually shaping us. Robert went out of his way to weave our conference theme and industry into his remarks which only added to his impact on the audience. It's often difficult to inspire an audience who has been to many conferences and sat through many keynote sessions. Robert, however, did just that. I'd definitely recommend him."

— Andrea Dale
The MEARIE Group

"What will the future work environment look like — and who will design it? Visionary science-fiction author Robert J. Sawyer can help you imagine and understand this new frontier through a personalized journey that begins with present-day biology, detours back to our ancestors of 50,000 years ago, and fast-forwards to what professionals will need and expect tomorrow: how we will balance our careers with our other activities, how we will collaborate with others, and how we will work individually — perhaps from an easy chair in our living room. For the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan, Robert J. Sawyer wove an engaging, thought-provoking, seamless tapestry depicting our possible future."

— Margaret Anne E. Hodges
Executive Committee
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan

"Your keynote address was the perfect kickoff for our conference 'Facing Technology Together.' You obviously did your research on us, and the message hit the nail on the head. I was very impressed with how you even worked in the breakfast-table conversation about our promotion of 4-H. Fantastic job!"

— Glen Johnson
Ontario Mutual Insurance Association

"Rob was the Keynote Speaker at WordBridge, the writers' convention I Chair in Lethbridge, Alberta, and may I say one could not ask for a better guest of honour. He is a great speaker and knowledgeable about so many aspects of the craft and generous with his time and energy.

— Robert Runté

"Just a quick note of ‘Thanks’ for your thought provoking keynote at the IAPP conference. You presented an engaging and thought provoking vision of the near future that challenged my conceptions of privacy and information ethics. I really appreciate you bringing a provocative view to the conference that excited people into discussion. Bravo!"

— Lyndon Dubeau
Director, Architecture and Information Security
Cancer Care Ontario

"@RobertJSawyer is a huge breath of fresh air in a community that is too insular & insufficiently reflective"

— Tweet by Dr. Ian Kerr
Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology at the University of Ottawa, following Rob's keynote at the 2016 Canadian Privacy Symposium

"Your well-researched speech was perfect for the occasion. It was informative, entertaining, uplifting and thoroughly enjoyed by all. You made us all proud to be engineers, and to be Canadians."

— Ross Gillett, P.Eng.
Member, Organizing Committee
Ontario Professional Engineers Awards

"Several years ago, I was at the ACSE [Association for Computer Studies Educators] conference in London, Ontario, where you spoke about artificial intelligence. Your talk absolutely blew my mind. It was without a doubt the most fascinating talk I have ever attended."

— Daphne French
Computer-science teacher
Sherwood Secondary School, Hamilton, Ontario

"Thank you for your witty, insightful, thought-provoking look at the future. Your talk was perfectly focused for our organization, and was, according to the glowing feedback we received from attendees, a highlight of our conference."

— Arthur Uyeyama
48th International Conference on Health & Science Communication

"What a fantastic job! You are a captivating, stimulating provocateur who got us outside our comfort zone and challenged us to contemplate the exciting and scary forces of change as we work to prepare our profession for an exciting and challenging future."

— Donna Brunskill
Executive Director
Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association

"Just a short note to express my thanks to you for your superb presentation at Hockley Valley. You focused precisely on those areas that were of most interest to the audience. Your delivery was exciting and challenging. A number of our insurance-broker guests spoke to me later about your presentation and there were several discussion later at dinner and the next day."

— David Kent
Vice President, Group Insurance
National Life

"Robert J. Sawyer is the most engaging speaker we have ever hosted. His address was intelligent, funny, and challenging. Our students especially enjoyed the extra time he spent with them encouraging their writing and intellectual pursuits."

— Roger Adams
Special Collections
Kansas State University

"I thought your session at IdeaCity was the most engaging and intellectually challenging of all the the others over the three days."

— Dr. David Nostbakken
McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology

"It was such a treat to meet you and work with you on the conference. I've been reading through the evaluation forms, and thought that you might like to hear some of the feedback from conference-goers:
  • "The personal highlight of the conference for me was Robert J. Sawyer's keynote."
  • "Terrific keynote." (This was mentioned several times.)
  • "Robert Sawyer was excellent, inspirational."
  • "Robert Sawyer was by far the best!"
  • "Robert Sawyer — no doubt at all, he's a star. I learned things about subjects I thought I knew all about."
  • "Rob Sawyer was a passionate and inspiring keynote."
  • "Robert Sawyer on Friday night — excellent! Inspiring, motivational, well-organized, well-presented."
  • "Loved Rob Sawyer's keynote!"
  • "Robert Sawyer keynote was excellent, inspiring."
  • "Can't speak highly enough of Robert Sawyer as a motivational speaker!"
  • "RJ Sawyer's keynote speech was my personal highlight of the conference."

— Lisa Mason
Surrey International Writers' Conference
Surrey, British Columbia

"On the evaluations, a large number of respondents listed that Robert's presentation was the best part of the retreat; the presentation was incredibly enlightening. Robert is very knowledgeable and passionate, and a natural at speaking. We learned much from him and are now in the process of coming up with strategies to prepare us for the future that he envisions."

— Te-Jay Thompson
Senior Policy Analyst
Alberta Health and Wellness
(Alberta provincial Ministry of Health)

"To me falls the very great privilege to convey to you our expressions of sincerest gratitude for your generous participation in our annual conference. Your early acceptance permitted us to circulate publicity with your prominent name right from the start. Your excellent, right-on keynote address set the upbeat tone for the whole conference. Your presence and active participation all through the conference was very much appreciated by everybody. Thank you very, very much."

— Walter P. Mittler
Canadian Authors Association 76th Annual Conference

"Robert was an excellent addition to our conference! He tailored the content of his presentation specifically to our audience of science teachers. He weaved fascinating stories and perspectives in and around his material. He was entertaining as well as informative. In addition, for anyone who is familiar with his writing, it was a real thrill to have him at our conference."

— John Storr
Conference Program Committee
Science Teachers' Association of Ontario

"Thank you again for making the trip to Penn! It was wonderful to finally meet you, after enjoying so many of your books. Your talk exceeded my fondest hopes — it was so clear and interesting and provocative! — and the group adored it."

— Martha J. Farah
Director, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania

"Your popularity and acclaim have been crucial to our publicity and programming; as our country's articulate SF ambassador, you've been a perfect guest for this 'hybrid' academic/populist symposium."

— Dr. Randy Schroeder and Dr. Sabina Reed
Department of English
Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta

"In a conference already packed with treats and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, Rob's talk on the craft of science writing from a science fiction writers' perspective stood out as a celebration of compelling science communication. His keynote at our meeting charged members with enthusiasm for new ways of showing-off science to the general public and his reading from his novel was perfectly tailored to our event."

— Peter McMahon
Canadian Science Writers' Association

"Our thanks to you for such a wonderful talk. On behalf of the Saskatchewan Library Association, I would like to add that you deserve your spot with these other fine lecturers that we have had over the years. Your lecture was a high point for the conference. Thanks again."

— Amy Rankin
President, Board
Saskatchewan Public Library Association

"Last night, Rob gave a talk at the Canadian Light Source Users' Meeting. The people who were in attendance (mostly scientist) are still buzzing about it. Thanks, Rob, for the thought provoking-talk on the role of science fiction in the scientific process."

— Jeffrey Cutler, Ph.D.
Director of Industrial Science
Canadian Light Source

"Your three presentations were engaging, professionally executed and very informative. The response of the visitors that attended your talks was very positive. Speaking not only for myself but on behalf of the Ontario Science Centre, you were, as always, a pleasure to work with, and we look forward to working with you again."

— Louise Hypher
Program Coordinator
Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario

"I saw you speak at the IRIS/Precarn conference nine years ago. I used to attend their annual conferences every year and over the years I think you and Ray Kurzweil gave the two most stimulating and provocative talks in the lifetime of the organization."

— Gregory Dudek
Director, School of Computer Science
McGill University

"Thank you for delivering the plenary presentation January 31, 2014, at the OLA Super Conference. We cannot think of a more relevant author for our theme of A Universe of Possibilities. You spoke to the core librarian in all of us.

"The annual OLA Super Conference is the largest library conference in Canada bringing together more than 4,500 people. The post-conference survey revealed your talk was one of the top highlights!"

— Shelagh Paterson
Executive Director
Ontario Library Association

"As conference chair for Gartner's annual Information Security Summit, I contacted Robert J. Sawyer based on a co-worker's recommendation. I asked Robert to assist in producing, and to moderate, a session called Science Fiction Writers Panel: Information Security and the Sci-Fi Future.

"Robert helped us evaluate suitable panel members for this topic, worked to help us contact and contract with them, and when the big day came, moderated the panel with the highest degrees of professionalism, along with considerable wit, humor and clarity. As they occasionally can do, when the panelists wandered off in flights of fancy outside our topic area, Robert skillfully and diplomatically brought the discussion back to relevance with the main theme.

"I have no doubt about Robert Sawyer's ability to hold an audience's attention, either solo or in the more challenging panel discussion format, and recommend him for suitable corporate or other events."

— Victor S. Wheatman
Managing Vice-President, San Jose
Gartner, Inc.

"It was so generous of you to give your time and huge creativity and enthusiasm to this venture for us. We are very grateful. You are indeed a unique and wonderful creation, with imagination, superior writing ability and oral communication par excellence, including a lively sense of humour and sensitivity to all types. Thank you!"

— Mardi Tindal
Adult Programming Coordinator
(and subsequently Moderator of the United Church of Canada)
Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre, Paris, Ontario

More Good Reading

Quotes about Rob from his writing students
Quotes about Rob from writing conference and workshop organizers
Quotes about Rob from libraries and schools
Quotes about Rob from SF convention attendees
The Top Ten Things to know about Robert J. Sawyer
Press Backgrounder: Robert J. Sawyer
Rob's stints as Guest of Honor at SF conventions

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