Global Music Artist, Entrepreneur & STEAM Education Advocate
will.i.am has been recognized by seven Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a CLIO Award, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, and an Honorary Fellowship by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
In his role as a futurist and creative advisor to multinational corporations, NGOs and academic institutions, will.i.am has teamed with organizations including Accenture, Agility, Air Asia, Apple, Atom Bank, BEATS Electronics, BBC, Bertelsmann, Chivas, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Deutsche Telekom, Expo 2020 (Dubai), GE, Gucci, Honeywell, IBM, Intel, ITV, JPMorgan Chase, Majid Al Futtaim Group, Manpower Group, Marvel Comics, McDonald’s, Mercedes-AMG, Nestle, Nine Australia, Penguin Publishing, Pepsi, Salesforce, SpecSavers, Shenzen Grandsun Electronics, Sony Music/Epic Records, Twentieth Century Fox, and Universal Music Group.
Highlights of his work as a Futurist, problem solver and void & opportunity spotter started with Beats Electronics where will.i.am became a founding equity stakeholder in the company that transformed professional audio headphones into Beats By Dre™, a best-selling global consumer electronics and fashion accessory. Beats Electronics was purchased by Apple in 2014 for US$3 billion.
Leveraging his early experience in the consumer electronics industry, will.i.am has continued to launch a range of his own tech-based companies focused on software and operating systems incorporating AI, natural language understanding, voice computing, creativity & productivity, customer-service apps, as well as consumer-tech products.
At the outset of the COVID crisis, wearing a mask became unpopular and politicized in many parts of the world. Teaming with global technology leader Honeywell and Hollywood’s top superhero costume designer, will.i.am created XUPERMASK, a smart mask for the mid- and post-pandemic world. XUPERMASK wearable face technology offers an array of ergonomic face coverings for the modern lifestyle that feature fans, HEPA filters, noise cancelling, microphones, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, LED lights, earbud docking, scents, and personalization patches. The company debuted XUPERGEAR in December, 2021, a new clothing line modeled around modern technology that integrates mask protection inside streetwear. Designed and made in Los Angeles, XUPERGEAR is wrinkle-resistant, moisture-wicking neoprene and Lycra jersey.
He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Advisory Committee and its Global Artificial Intelligence Action Alliance (GAIAA) that monitors the impact of technology on society, people and work. He also co-chairs the World Economic Forum’s Generation AI working group that examines the interaction of AI and youth across education, play, data rights and privacy. In May, 2021, will.i.am chaired the World Economic Forum’s Smart Toy Awards, an international competition that recognizes AI-empowered smarter toys that help children learn and play.
Through his i.amMEDIA creative content unit, will.i.am is currently developing a slate of feature films, documentaries and television programs, including “Masters of the Sun-The Zombie Chronicles”, a graphic novel presented by the Black Eyed Peas and Marvel Comics, featuring Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and live concert experiences. He is also the co-author of a young adult sci-fi novel, “Wizards and Robots” with Penguin Publishing, now being adapted for the screen.
Among his key roles in the entertainment sector are: frontman of Black Eyed Peas; Judge on “ALTER EGO” reality competition show on FOX; Consulting Producer and guest on “The Age of AI” series/YouTube Learning with Robert Downey Jr.; Executive Producer, “Parkland Rising” documentary film with Katie Couric; Coach on “The Voice” (UK) for eleven seasons, and Coach on “The Voice Kids” (UK) for five seasons; Mentor on “The Voice” (US); Guest Recording Artist on NBC’s “Songland”; Executive Producer and Mentor on “Planet of the Apps”/Apple TV with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba; creator/performer, “Yes We Can” music video; voice actor and composer on “Madagascar”/(FOX); and actor in “RIO” and RIO2” (FOX) films.
His i.am Angel Foundation supports in-class and after-school STEAM education programs for over 12,000 Southern California area disadvantaged youth in grades K – 12. Major initiatives funded by the foundation include the i.am College Track after-school tutoring center and college scholarship aid program, and the Boyle Heights STEM Magnet High School, a public high school in East Los Angeles focusing on STEM education and work readiness. Working in collaboration with Los Angeles Unified School District, Robotics Club is now an official after-school activity in hundreds of middle and high school locations across the city.
As a member of the FIRST Robotics organization’s board of directors, will.i.am also serves as a global advocate regarding the vital importance of STEAM skills development as the basis of an educated workforce that can fill the jobs of today, and tomorrow.