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A biennial gathering of the leading management thinkers of our era. Every two years, Thinkers50 hosts a unique event in central London: A gathering of great business minds for a day of debate, discussion and networking, followed by an elegant Gala evening celebrating the very best in management thinking.

2017 Ranking of Management Thinkers

2017 Award Winners

Video and Photo Gallery


Every two years, Thinkers50 hosts a unique event in central London: A gathering of great business minds for a day of debate, discussion and networking, followed by an elegant evening celebrating the very best in management thinking.

Highlights of this gala event, dubbed “The Oscars of Management Thinking” by the Financial Times:

  • Announcement of the newest Thinkers50 ranking of the world’s leading management thinkers, and presentation of the coveted trophy for the #1 ranked thinker for 2017.
  • Announcement of the winners of eight Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards. Award categories for 2017 are:
    • Breakthrough Idea
    • Digital Thinking
    • Ideas into Practice
    • Innovation

    • Leadership
    • Radar
    • Strategy
    • Talent

    Award descriptions and 2017 award shortlists are here.


“Who knew management gurus could be so noisy – or so emotional? Gather business academics together in one place and they are more likely to exchange views on core competences or quietly debate the legacy of Peter Drucker. Put them in a banqueting hall and offer them the chance to win an award, though, and they go as mad as a group of middle managers at the Regional Salesperson of the Year gala luncheon!”

– Andrew Hill, Financial Times


These and other thinkers and guests will be joining us for Thinkers50 2017.

Rabi Abouchakra, Crown Prince’s Court, Abu Dhabi
Mohi Ahmed, Fujitsu Open Innovation Gateway
Jamie Anderson, Antwerp Management School
Mary Appleton, Editor, Changeboard
Noah Askin, INSEAD
Parminder Bahra, Wall St. Journal
Julian Birkinshaw, London Business School
Ayse Birsel, Birsel+Seck, New York
Linda Brimm, INSEAD
David Burkus, Oral Roberts University
Dan Cable, London Business School
Sarah Green Carmichael, Harvard Business Review
Subir Chowdhury, CEO, ASI Consulting
Dorie Clark, author, Stand Out
Clay Christensen, Harvard Business School
Chris Clearfield, co-author, Meltdown
Carol Fishman Cohen, iReLaunch
Alisa Cohn, Alisa Cohn & Associates, Inc.
Shane Cragun, SweetmanCragun
Enrique Dans, IE Business School
Richard D’Aveni, Tuck School of Business
Susan David, author, Emotional Agility
Erica Dhawan, Cotential
Sir Duffield, Yorkshire terrier
Amy Edmondson, Harvard Business School
Tammy Erickson, London Business School
Mark Esposito, Harvard School of Continuing Education
Jose Esteves, IE Business School
Federico Fernández de Santos Ortiz, Executive Excellence
Syd Finkelstein, Tuck School of Business
Alessandro di Fiore, ECSI Consulting
Peter Fisk, author, Gamechangers, director, Thinkers50 Global
Yuri van Geest, author, Exponential Organizations
Pankaj Ghemawat, Stern School

Anindya Ghose, Stern School
Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Educator/Coach
Jeff Gothelf, author, Sense & Respond
Lynda Gratton, London Business School
Mark Greeven, Zhejiang University
Hal Gregersen, MIT
Anil Gupta, University of Maryland
Charles Handy, author/philosopher
Morten Hansen, University of California at Berkeley
Margaret Heffernan, author, Willful Blindness
Loizos Heracleous, Warwick Business School
Andrew Hill, Financial Times
Shirley Hill, founder, InterArch
Vernon Hill, Metrobank
Vlatka Hlupic, University of Westminster
Herminia Ibarra, London Business School
Anders Indset, author, Wild Knowledge
Pradeep Jethi, founder, Social Stock Exchange
Whitney Johnson, author, Disrupt Yourself
W Chan Kim, INSEAD
Maja Korica, Warwick Business School
Peter Lees, Director, Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management
Karen Tiber Leland, Sterling Marketing Group
Marianne Lewis, Dean, Cass Business School
Jeanne Liedtka, Darden School
Andy Lockett, Dean, Warwick Business School
Rita McGrath, Columbia Business School
Roger Martin, Rotman School of Management
Tango Matsumoto, CTO, Fujitsu
John Mattone, John Mattone-Global, Inc.
Renee Mauborgne, INSEAD
Margarita Mayo, IE Business School
Nilofer Merchant, author, Onlyness
Erin Meyer, INSEAD

Joost Minnaar, Corporate Rebels
Karl Moore, McGill
Pim de Morree, Corporate Rebels
Wenjing Niu, HBR China
Alex Osterwalder, Strategyzer
Bobby Parmar, Darden School
Tom Peters, writer
Gianpiero Petriglieri, INSEAD
Jennifer Petriglieri, INSEAD
Yves Pigneur, Strategyzer
Daniel Pink, author, Drive
Joseph Pistrui, IE Business School
Dan Pontefract, author, The Purpose Effect
Alf Rehn, University of Southern Denmark
Megan Reitz, Ashridge, Hult Business School
Louise van Rhyn, Partners for Possibility
Antonio Nieto Rodriguez, head of projects, GSK
Freek Ronner, Corporate Rebels
Deborah Rowland, author, Still Moving
Andrew Scott, London Business School
Josh Seiden, author, Sense & Respond
Linda Sharkey, author, The Future Proof Workplace
Dil Sidhu, Columbia Business School
Danny Stern, Stern Speakers
Stefan Stern, co-author, Myths of Management
Henry Stewart, CEO, Happy
Kate Sweetman, SweetmanCragun
Don Tapscott, co-author, Blockchain Revolution
Andras Tilcsik, Rotman School of Management
Cosimo Turroturro, Speakers Associates
Ricardo Vargas, The Brightline Initiative
Tendayi Viki, Benneli Jacobs
Janice Vogtle, CITP
Amy Webb, Future Today Institute
Liz Wiseman, Wiseman Group
Tim Van Zandt, INSEAD


November 13, 2017

09.00-09.45 Registration Opens
09.45-10.00 Grand Hall
Welcome to Thinkers50 2017: Des Dearlove & Stuart Crainer
10.00-11.00 Grand Hall
Merchants of WOW!
A unique opportunity to hear Tom Peters, one of the pioneers of modern management thinking, in conversation with Nilofer Merchant, the author of The Power of Onlyness. Facilitated by Stuart Crainer.
11.00-11.30 Thinkers50 Tea and Networking
11.30-12.30 Grand Hall: Panel Discussion #1
There’s nothing so practical as a great idea. But what do companies and leaders need to understand to put ideas into practice and get things done? Hosted by the Brightline Initiative, chaired by Loizos Heracleous of Warwick Business School and featuring Rita McGrath, Alex Osterwalder and Liz Wiseman.
11.30-12.30 Edinburgh Room: Panel Discussion #2
Ethics in a post-truth world
Should we expect business leaders to champion values or simply deliver profits? How do changing ideas about morality and ethics impact on the business world? Featuring Hal Gregersen, Roger Martin and Herminia Ibarra. Chaired by Bobby Parmar of the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
12.30-13.30 Networking lunch
13.30-14.30 Grand Hall
Idea Hunting Session #1
Invited T50 Shortlisted and Radar thinkers present their big ideas in quick-fire 8-minute sessions. Chaired by Erica Dhawan. Featuring Ayse Birsel, Carol Fishman Cohen, Mark Greeven, Margarita Mayo, Pim de Morree, David Robertson & Deborah Rowland.
13.30-14.30 Edinburgh Room
Idea Hunting Session #2
Invited T50 Shortlisted and Radar thinkers present their big ideas in quick-fire 8-minute sessions. Chaired by Kate Sweetman. Featuring Jose Esteves, Anindya Ghose, Maja Korica, Jeanne Liedtka, Johanna Mair, Megan Reitz and Louise van Rhyn.
14.30-14.45 Thinkers50 Tea and Networking
14.45-15.35 Grand Hall: Panel Discussion #3
What price ideas?
What is the role of the management thinker in society? And will they be replaced by robots any time soon? Featuring Whitney Johnson, Gianpiero Petriglieri and Daniel Pink.
15.35-16.25 Grand Hall
The Ideas Bazaar
Industry briefing on the ideas business. What are the trends impacting on the thought leadership market? Featuring Sarah Green Carmichael from, Danny Stern of the Stern Strategy Group, and Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out. Chaired by futurist Amy Webb.
18.30-19.15 Balmoral Room: Welcome Drink
19.15-22.15 Grand Hall: Gala Dinner
Awards ceremony compered by Thinkers50 founders Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove
22.15-24.00 Balmoral Room: Drinks at the Thinkers50 Bar


Thinkers50 attracts media coverage from throughout the world. In 2015, journalists from China, Korea, Germany, France, the US and the UK attended the event. Among many others, the ranking and awards have been featured by:

  • BBC, UK
  • Business Insider, US
  • China Daily, China
  • China National TV News, China
  • Chosun Biz, Korea
  • Conference Board Review, US
  • Executive Excellence, Spain
  • The Economist, UK
  • Financial Times, UK
  • Forbes, US
  • Globe & Mail, Canada

  • Harvard Business Review, China
  • Harvard Business Review, US
  • Les Echos, France
  • Manager Seminare, Germany
  • Smart Manager, India
  • The Times of India, India
  • The Times, UK
  • Vedomosti, Russia
  • The Wall Street Journal, US
  • Washington Post, US


Thinkers50 2017 will be held at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms, at Covent Garden, in the heart of London. Originally the Freemasons’ Tavern, the Grand Connaught Rooms combines baroque and art deco styles in a dramatic historic space. The AntiSlavery Society was founded at the site and the rules of football were first agreed to here by the Football Association.


Our recommended hotel for elegance, comfort and proximity:

10 Monmouth Street
Tel +44 (0)20 7806 1000

If you need immediate proximity to the venue, this hotel is just next door:

66 Great Queen St
Covent Garden, London
Tel +44 (0) 20 7309 0909

Hotel Discount Codes for Kingsway Hall:

  • GCRRO – Room Only
  • GCRBB – Bed & Breakfast


It’s the Oscars of Management Thinking. Period. Exclamation point.

Whitney Johnson

bestselling author, Disrupt Yourself!

I want to thank Des and Stuart for creating this whole movement that Thinkers50 represents. As they have said, ideas truly do change the world. I have seen that with my own eyes all throughout my career. I also believe that management thinking unlocks value in every field, not just business.

Michael Porter

Harvard Business School

I love the Thinkers50. And the reason is increasingly in the world of business academics the enforced culture is to speak exclusively to other academics. Thinkers50 rewards business academics and other business thinkers for speaking to the world of practitioners. We need more of that. Without Thinkers50 the academic/practitioner imbalance would be much greater so it plays a very important role.

Roger Martin

former dean, Rotman School of Management

What excites me about Thinkers50? It is a group looking for new approaches and celebrating the novel, the ways we are pushing forward the leading edge of our organizations today. We spend more of our time in our companies than anywhere else in our lives. If we can find better approaches to managing these organizations, that’s going to change lives and ultimately change the world. Organizations are the most powerful force on this planet and if we can manage them better we can do a lot of good in the world. Organizations like this that are pushing that edge and celebrating advances inspire me.

Brian Robertson

Founder, HolacracyOne

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If we have ideas, but no one uses them or finds value in them, do they matter? Thinkers50 is a validation that ideas are at least heard by and maybe help others.

Dave Ulrich

HR guru


Daytime events require business attire. The Thinkers50 Gala in the evening is a formal event.

Thinkers50 2015 Gallery


To learn more, contact the Thinkers50 founders: Stuart Crainer or Des Dearlove.