Gerd Leonhard's social media risks keynote illustrates the disadvantage people put themselves at when they are not engaged in social media. Today's society is characterized by its vast networks, in which people are constantly watching and learning from each other. In this type of society, hierarchy in business becomes increasingly flatter. While this is nerve-wracking for businesses and brands who are hesitant to implement a social media policy, it also carries consequences for individuals looking for employment, and who lack social networking capabilities. Companies today will not hire individuals who can't understand social media because these people are perceived as broken and useless.
To put things into perspective and to help his audience truly grasp the importance of social media today, he shares the following quote: "A kid in Africa with a smartphone has more information today than the President of the United States did 15 years ago." The world is changing, and at a very rapid pace. Businesses and brands must keep pace and learn to adapt if they are to succeed.