Rachel Botsman

Rachel Botsman writes and researches about how technology is transforming trust and what this means for life, work and how we do business. Who Can You Trust? is her second book, following the highly acclaimed What’s Mine is Yours.

Who Can You Trust? How Technology Brought Us Together – and Why It Could Drive Us Apart (Penguin Portfolio) explains a huge shift in patterns of trust from institutions to individuals. Through stories that are funny, exciting and at times unnerving, she explores what this ‘trust shift’ means for different areas of lives from banking to dating, politics to consumerism, and even how we raise our kids.

What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live (HarperCollins, 2010), she predicted the rise of sharing economy companies such as Airbnb, Zipcar and Uber, long before they became popular. The concept was subsequently named by TIME as one of the “Ten Ideas That Will Change the World”.

Rachel is a thoughtful and humorous storyteller who specialises in simplifying big complex ideas to make them meaningful for a wide range of audiences. She is known for her TED Talks, which have been viewed more than 4 million times and subtitled in 29 languages. Named as one of the world’s top 20 speakers to keynote your conference by Monocle, she is described by clients including Google, Microsoft, Xero, Accenture and various government agencies as a “standout favourite for audiences”, with a “rare and visionary intellect.”

She features regularly in the media– including widely-read, regular pieces for The New York Times, Wired, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review and more. She’s a dynamic and thoughtful panel member or interviewee, having featured in broadcasts on the BBC, CNN, ABC, NPR and more. Rachel will appear as a presenter on the upcoming documentary series for PBS First Civilizations on the history of trade.

She is recognised as one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company, a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum and was a recipient of the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award for recognising a “radical idea which has the potential to change the way we think about business forever.”

She is a board member for Australia’s National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) and was a former director at the William J. Clinton Foundation. Rachel received her BFA (Hons) from the University of Oxford and attended Harvard University for her post-graduate studies.

Rachel has worked on every continent (except for Antarctica!) and divides her time between Sydney, where she lives with her husband and two children, and London.


The New Rules of Trust

Who and how we trust is changing radically and rapidly. The implications for organisations, institutions and society are immense. Rachel Botsman spells these out with clarity, humour and optimism, offering practical tips on how to circumnavigate a new era where we’re trusting strangers and bots more than established authority.

The trust we used to put in institutions – government, banks, media, charities, churches – has hit an all-time low. Welcome, instead, to the age of ‘distributed trust’, spurred on by new technologies and playing out between individuals, who now have more credibility than institutions. Customers have become social ambassadors who define brands.
But when all the traditional rules of trust change, the crucial question is: How can you remain competitive when every old wisdom about how trust is built, managed, lost and repaired, is being turned on its head?
Rachel Botsman guides us through this uncharted landscape with enlightening anecdotes – and explores what lies ahead for business, and human relationships.

  • What the great ‘trust shift’ means for leaders, companies and start-ups
  • How do industries critically reliant on trust – from banking and the media to travel and tourism – adapt to survive?
  • Which companies have successfully applied the new rules of trust to set themselves up for competitive advantage – and how are they doing it?
  • How to rebuild trust when it has been dented
  • How trust is essential for innovation
  • The consequences of our increasing trust in robots, algorithms and machines
  • Who can you really trust? What can you do to build trust?

The Collaborative Economy: A Transformative Lens, Not A Start-Up Trend

The collaborative/sharing economy is creating entirely new ways of doing business that are significantly impacting the way we live, work, bank and consume. We’re now more likely than ever before to trust strangers more than established authorities: we’re opening our homes and our cars to them.

Rachel takes audiences deep inside the ventures that are challenging the status quo – from Airbnb to Lyft, TaskRabbit to Transferwise – and identifies common reasons that make a sector ripe for disruption. She guides us through how start-ups think differently about value, trust and scale.

She leaves audiences inspired by the scale and growth in the collaborative economy and provides clear insights on how organizations can think like an entrepreneur to respond to some of the most revolutionary changes we’ve seen in business and society in centuries.


We engaged Rachel Botsman to be our keynote speaker at our C-level global thought-leadership roadshow, Cognizant Community. Rachel delivered keynote presentations in Auckland and Sydney this year, addressing the themes of collaborative consumption and crowdsourcing. The ratings from our audience for Rachel were the amongst the very highest we have ever received. Rachel’s presentation was both motivating and energizing, seasoned with critically important cases studies from companies that are transforming industries and lives.

From the moment we spoke about what I was trying to achieve with the conference to the feedback received it was evident that Rachel is a genuine world class speaker who knows how to stir thinking and encourage an audience to open their minds. Her polished but warm style coupled with her relevant and clever stories leave an audience with a genuine sense of wonder and awe but most importantly it leaves them curious and hungry for more!
~ Commonwealth Bank

The feedback from her session on trust has been wonderful! All of our delegates really felt they could take a lot away and actually apply it, which of course is our ultimate goal.
~ Xero

Not one single day has gone by since the event without external & internal commendations on her engagement with our audience. Her message really connected and impacted the entire audience. It was also evident via our social engagement metrics.
~ Adobe

Her talk at Microsoft Research both provoked and inspired, setting off an active conversation that continues to this day and world-wide within the company.
~ Microsoft Research

Rachel Botsman was a brilliant speaker at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. She captured imaginations when speaking about how collaborative technologies are reshaping our relationships and reinventing the world around us in life-changing ways. Rachel is on the vanguard of an extraordinary movement and is sweeping us up with her as she creates new paths into the future.
~ Clinton Global Initiative

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