Apollo Robbins is a speaker, consultant, performer, and a pioneer in the application of deception to real world environments.
Formerly known as “The Gentleman Thief,” Robbins first made national news as the man who pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining U.S. president Jimmy Carter. Forbes called him “an artful manipulator of awareness,” and Wired Magazine reported that “he could steal the wallet of a man who knew he was going to have his pocket picked.”
For those who know Robbins only from the mischief of his signature pickpocketing & sleight-of-hand abilities, his thought-provoking presentations – which take the audience on an immersive journey where their attention is hijacked and their foundation of reality is called into question – can be a pleasant surprise. Robbins expands the roles of misdirection and magic beyond entertainment, using their underpinning in deception design and attention management as an effective tool to covertly teach critical thinking and perception.
Frequently sought after as a thought leader, Robbins has lectured at a diverse range of institutions, including the Harvard Kennedy School of Business and the Society of Neuroscience. He has been profiled by The New Yorker and featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. Robbins’ entertainment credits include the long-running TNT series Leverage and the Warner Brothers blockbuster Focus with Will Smith. He produced and co-hosted the National Geographic program Brain Games, which was nominated for an Emmy as an Outstanding Informational Series. His popular appearance on The Today Show is a YouTube favorite at more than 8 million views. The TED editors described Robbins’ presentation at TED Global 2013 (among its 20 most-viewed talks) as a revelation in the flaws of human perception.
"Robbins’ will entertain and inform you in a memorable way. There is no one better or more knowledgeable then Apollo in what he does and the way he does it. I recommend him enthusiastically as an expert and star in the field of deception and perception awareness."- Abraxas Corporation
"Apollo was a great closing keynote for an awesome Day 1. Our attendees just loved him and his content was very relevant to the work they do. Apollo also joined us for the opening night party at the Aquarium and last I saw him there he was still surrounded by attendees with tons of questions and he was so good about speaking with everyone. Thank you, Apollo, for being so pleasant and just all around awesome! "- Adaptive Path
"I have hired Apollo for many marketing events over the years, and I never failed to be amazed by his talent. Most of all, I’m most impressed by Apollo’s 100% professionalism. He works hard for his clients, understanding their business needs, and delivering on his promises."- Senior Director Client Services, AFFINA
"We could not be happier with Apollo’s value to our organization. He does significant due diligence on our offerings and effectively integrates them...”"- LexisNexis, NYPD
"Apollo is absolutely, utterly amazing. Engaging, entertaining, witty, funny--full of surprises. If you want to understand how we know what we don’t know and how blind we are to biases he is your man."- Forbes / Lux Capital