Maria Bothwell

CEO at Toffler Associates


Education: Virginia Tech - Virginia Tech
Washington D.C., DC, USA


Futurist and Strategic Advisor, is a sought-after speaker who helps Fortune 5000 and Government clients anticipate and prepare for many plausible futures in a world full of uncertainty. The extraordinary speed of change and disruption hurtling towards every industry is causing businesses and government sectors to question and rethink their entire strategic planning approach. Maria brings clarity to how organizations can capitalize on the opportunities that change and future disruptions bring. She is an energetic and insightful speaker who delivers practical know-how for leaders to understand, plan, and adapt to their potential futures.

Maria is CEO of Toffler Associates, a future-focused strategy advisory firm. Tofler Associates’ approach is rooted in the ideas and methodologies of world-renowned futurists Alvin and Heidi Toffler, whose work foreshadowed the sweeping effects of rapid technology development on people, businesses, and government.


I love seeking to understand drivers of future change and exploring how leaders can plan for uncertainty from climate change, supply chain disruptions, shifting societal behavior, geopolitical power shifts, and technology innovation. Leaders perform better with the ability to reduce organizational anxiety. This involves exploring blind spots, risks and opportunities.
Also, I'm passionate about young women in STEM fields and how they can build amazing careers with a balanced and happy life.

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

Everything is negotiable


futurist strategic foresight innovative methods for addressing uncertainty leading in uncertainty scenarios climate disruption climate change adaptation women in tech process engineering organization change strategy engineering innovation risk hospitality climate scenarios woman ceo ceo strategic growth women in stem sustainability resiliency leveraging societal and cultural trends retail future of workforce the future of leadership tcfd wargame interactive workshops table top exercises future market of x esg future trends leading from the emerging future

Best Story

As a burned-out working mom, I resigned from my job as managing director in a global management consulting firm, temporarily separated from my family, and traveled to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu. Some called it a mid-life crisis - I called it my mid-life retirement and rewiring.

Origin Story

I have always been curious, loved learning about how things were made, and solving challenges. Through my career I've worked with clients across sectors and functions to understand future uncertainty, innovate, transform, build resiliency and sustainability. Now as CEO of a strategic advisory firm, I get jazzed about future scenarios and how organizations have the ability to shape their future and influence disruption.

Example talks

Prospering as a result of Climate Scenario Analysis

The goal of this keynote and or flash futures climate scenario exercise/workshop is to understand implications of climate change across an organization's ecosystem (including customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers/partners, regulators, geographies, etc.) How will climate change impact your operations, values and reputation? With extreme weather is becoming more volatile and frequent globally how will your organization beyond crisis planning/response and determine how to build sustainable and resilient operations? What happens when carbon is monetized and how will that affect ROI? What is the future power of your decisions today? This talk and workshop were created for board, c-suite and leadership audiences with intent to create curiosity and alignment, and can also address TCFD requirements.

Maximizing Opportunities and Mitigating Challenges of an Uncertain Future

“Nobody knows the future with certainty. We can, however, identify ongoing patterns of change.” - Alvin Toffler The keynote objective is to spark ideas for future growth and risk mitigation by understanding uncertainty, identifying signals to watch, and exploring possibilities. Signals explored included: human behavior shifts, intersecting cyber and physical security, climate change, and work in the future. This talk was the Keynote for both the Pharma Forum and Professional Conference Management Association (PCMA) annual Leadership and Partner Conference and included an accompanying Flash Future Scenario Workshop.
Key take aways:
1) Key drivers of future change and uncertainty
2) There is a method to understanding future uncertainty and preparing the leadership team for decisions
3) Leaders have the ability to direct create future through decisions today to address risks and innovation opportunities

Business Resilience is Vital to Success and Survival

Today’s dynamic risk environment demands we ingrain resilient behaviors into our culture and how we work.
Resiliency was rarely a consideration of traditional risk management and business continuity. Given the complex threat environment, increased probability of viral events, and speed of market changes, organizations must be proactive in maintaining their own viability – creating a new type of enterprise resilience. This talk was originally created as an executive presentation for leaders in the federal government and private industry.

Dealing with Variability in Supply Chains

Futures teaches leaders that the best defense against unpredictable disruption is to think about it, to imagine different scenarios, and try to avoid being taken by surprise. ​This talk explores forces of change included conflict and warfare, globalization, infrastructure adaptation, and shifting cultures, values and behaviors.
This talk was originally created for Baruch College Executive MBA seminar.

Future of the Digital Society and Consumer

Understanding how the future shifts in digital society and consumer behavior impacts engineering design and problem solving today. Talk explores environmental, geo-political, societal, psychological, technological, and informational shifts. Originally created for the Mid Atlantic Conference of Institute of Industrial Engineers and included a Flash Futures scenario exercise with the student audience.