Florian Kaefer Speaker Profile


As the founder and editor of The Place Brand Observer, Florian has spent the last 10 years learning about the fascinating world of places – their identity, development and reputation. First as a doctoral researcher in New Zealand, then by interviewing and connecting with over 500 leading professionals worldwide (and counting). It’s their insights, stories, achievements – and also failures – which interest Florian the most, and which he shares via The Place Brand Observer and other platforms, including Sustainability Leaders United.

Benefit from Florian’s industry insights by having him contribute to your workshop, seminar or webinar – online or offline.

Florian obtained his PhD from the Waikato University Management School in New Zealand, for which he researched the country’s national image and its perceived brand credibility as a “clean, green” country-of-origin and tourist destination. He holds a masters degree in sustainable development (Exeter University, UK) and a bachelor in tourism management (Brighton University, UK). Most recently he completed professional courses in Sustainable Destination Management (Lucerne University HSLU / UNWTO), Leadership in the 21st Century (Copenhagen Business School) and Innovation Management (Rotterdam Management School).

He speaks German (native), English and Spanish, with a good understanding of Catalan and French.

Based near Zurich, Switzerland

Books & Podcast

Florian is the host of the Place Brand Leaders podcast.

Author of An Insider’s Guide to Place Branding: Shaping the Identity and Reputation of Cities, Regions and Countries (Springer, 2021).

His latest book is Sustainability Leadership in Tourism: Interviews, Insights & Knowledge from Practice (Springer, 2022)

Forthcoming: Sustainability Champions and Place Brand Leaders: Connecting the Dots (Springer, 2023)

How much?

Speaking fee from EUR 3k (virtual) to 7k (in-person). Special rates available for non-profits and TPBO Partner organizations.

Speaking topics:

  • Place branding and sustainability leadership: how to connect the dots
  • Destinations: from marketing to management
  • Destination sustainability: trends, pitfalls and how to succeed
  • How sustainability impacts place brands and soft power
  • Place branding trends and challenges
  • Insights and lessons from place brand leaders

Other topics might also be possible, please contact Florian.

Florian is…

#passionate #engaging #reflective #downtoearth #connectingthedots #curious #outside-the-box-thinker

Who has booked Florian as speaker:

  • Mad Stars Summit Busan, South Korea (July 2022, virtual)
  • Green Destinations Training (May 2022, online workshop)
  • Global Soft Power Summit, London UK (March 2022, conference presentation)
  • Tourism Conference Malaysia (2021, online presentation)
  • Incheon Urban Brand Forum (2020, virtual, keynote presentation)
  • City Nation Place Forum (2020, roundtable moderation)


“Incheon City invited Florian Kaefer as a keynote speaker for the Incheon World City Brand Forum because we felt he was the person who could give the most meaningful lecture on the topic of creating urban brands. At a time when strategies and priorities for city branding after Corona change, Mr Kaefer’s experience and access to a global network of specialists have greatly inspired not only Incheon but cities around the world. We would like to express our gratitude for his participation and hard work for INCBF2020 and we look forward to continuing our cooperation in the future.”

Jinwoo KIM, organizer of Incheon International City Brand Forum 2020

Interested in booking Florian as a speaker for your event? Get in touch!

Connect with Florian Kaefer on LinkedIn