Richard Browning, founder of Gravity and creator of a flying suit that has earned him the nickname ‘Real-life Iron Man’, will take to the stage at The Superyacht Forum, held this November in Amsterdam.
Browning, who has recently spoken at a TED Talk in Vancouver, has attracted the keen interest of venture capitalists from the US, as well as the likes of Red Bull. “I’m not usually nervous speaking, but it was in front of Richard Branson and I was sandwiched between the Pope and Elon Musk,” he laughs. The Gravity ‘Daedalus’ suit allows its wearer to propel themselves into the air and control their personal flying suit for around 10 minutes.
Browning’s keynote presentation at The Superyacht Forum will explore the development of the flying suit and the technology advancements that led him to its construction, but he will also discuss his experiences of taking risks within the business world. Browning worked for many years as a trader within the corporate sector, specifically that of oil and gas. “This flying around in the suit hasn’t come out of nowhere, it is an extreme example of the behaviour I have tried to manifest in my corporate life,” he explains. He recalls an example of utilising existing automatic identification systems (AIS) on ships to accurately predict the paths of gasoline ships across the globe, a move that made his corporation over $50 million dollars in three months.
Therefore, in an effort to marry his two areas of interest (and expertise), Browning also works to bring together large, established businesses and connect them with innovative startups who need funding and exposure. “The spirit that I have observed, is that you need any big corporation to say, ‘Yes, keeping the big machine turning over’ but also make sure they have the door open to embrace ideas that - on face value - look insane,” he says. “That is the spirit that startups thrive off that corporates find difficult to run with.”
With fans including Tom Cruise, and Gravity’s popularity rocketing across the globe, Browning is in the midst of developing an updated edition of the Daedalus suit, “I’ve been working on the next version, which is now flying and is way better than the one that anyone has seen.” He reveals that he has received a number of orders from adrenaline junkies to have their own suit made, which begs the question: could this suit become the newest superyacht toy?
Richard Browning is one of many innovative, forward-thinking keynote speakers at this year’s event. The Superyacht Forum will take place from 13 - 16 November 2017. View the programme and click here to secure your place.