Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021

IDEAS WITH PURPOSE

Thinkers50 Awards Gala

Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021 Program

Celebrating 20 years of great ideas with our
first all-virtual event

 

IDEAS PREMIERE:

Two days of pre-events exclusive to premium ticket holders,13-14 October
Day 1   Day 2

AWARDS GALA:

Interactive for premium ticket holders on
15-16 November 2021

Day 1   Day 2

15-16 November 2021

THINKERS50 AWARDS GALA 2021

DAY 1 — 15 November

10:30 am UK / 5:30 am EST

VIRTUAL NETWORKING

Thinkers50 events have always been the place to rub shoulders with the world’s top management thinkers and this year is no exception. This is a chance to meet your fellow Gala-goers and members of the Thinkers50 community in an exciting virtual networking space. Reconnect with old friends and meet new ones in an informal and safe environment.

11 am UK / 6 am EST

WELCOME TO THINKERS50 AWARDS GALA 2021

Hosted by:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Amy Edmondson

Stuart Crainer

Co-founder of Thinkers50

 

Session #1 12 pm UK / 7 am EST

IDEAS WITH PURPOSE

Des and Stuart introduce the Ideas with Purpose theme, and set the scene with highlights from Thinkers50’s 20th Anniversary year, and a stellar line-up of speakers.

As well as our exciting program, world-leading management thinkers, including some surprise guests, will be joining us over the two days for a series of purposeful conversations to help shape the future agenda of management.

Q

WELCOME TO THINKERS50 AWARDS GALA 2021

Session description

Thinkers50 founders Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer open the proceedings for the Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first ever Thinkers50 Ranking. The intervening years have been thrilling – building purpose and momentum in the company of remarkable business and management thinkers from around the world. This year’s Awards Gala will once again see great minds sharing two days of ideas, inspiration, and celebration, in the most global gathering yet. 

We are looking forward to a high level of energy and insight following the last 18 months we have all endured. We consider the disruptive times we live in to be the perfect opportunity to practice what we preach and apply innovative ideas to a challenging and changing situation!

Thinkers50 biennial gatherings are always an opportunity to celebrate the very best in management thinking. The Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021 is also a chance to participate in a curated conversation with your fellow Thinkers50 community members to shape a more humane and sustainable future for the world. We hope to spark momentous dialogue and inspire you to make a difference through Ideas with Purpose.

In Conversation Part I 1 pm UK / 8 am EST

The first of our Purposeful Conversations about the future of management

Guests to be announced

Led by:

Megan Reitz

Megan Reitz

Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Hult International Business School

Session #2 2 pm UK / 9 am EST

TRUTH, TRUST & TECH

Speakers:

Frances Frei

Frances Frei

Professor of Technology and Operations Management at Harvard Business School

Anne Morriss

Anne Morriss

Leadership coach and executive founder of The Leadership Consortium

Marshall van Alstyne

Marshall van Alstyne

Professor of information systems at the Questrom School of Business, Boston University, co-author of Platform Revolution

 

Moderator:

Erica Dhawan

 

Erica Dhawan

Founder and CEO of Cotential, author of Get Big Things Done and Digital Body Language

Q

TRUTH, TRUST & TECH

Session description

We live in a paradoxical age: one in which there appear no limits to the potential for technology and yet one in which, partly thanks to tech, some of the basics of organizational and individual behaviour are being undermined and questioned as never before. Welcome to the confusing, contradictory and conflicting age of truth, trust and tech.

Along with the tremendous benefits new technologies bring, they are accompanied by dark sides. Always. Technology is a tool that can be used for good or ill. Social media brings people together, but it also polarises them. Artificial Intelligence can help us address wicked problems facing humanity, but it can also be used in unethical ways. One person’s truth is another’s fake news. Yet, this fundamental duality is rarely discussed. Instead, we like to slap our own label on it depending where we stand. But is there a way to align truth, trust and tech?

In this one-hour session we will help you navigate a way through this moral, ethical and technological morass.


Speakers

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss are the authors of Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You. They are shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Leadership Award. 

Anne is a leadership coach and executive founder of The Leadership Consortium. She has spent the last twenty years building and leading mission-driven enterprises, serving most recently as CEO and founder of GenePeeks, a computational genomics company developing breakthrough ways to identify genetic risk. 

Frances is a professor of technology and operations management at Harvard Business School. Her firsthand experience in Silicon Valley, as Uber’s first Senior Vice President of Leadership and Strategy, gives her a unique lens on the urgent topic of trust. In May 2018, Frances delivered a widely-viewed TED talk on “How to Build (and Rebuild) Trust”.

Marshall Van Alstyne is coauthor of Platform Revolution. One of the world’s experts on network business models, he is the Questrom Professor of Management at Boston University and a Digital Fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. A Thinkers50 ranked thinker and previous winner of the Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award, Marshall’s research over the last year has looked at honesty in political advertising and customer lifetime value in network markets. 


Moderator

Erica Dhawan is the author of Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence  and Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance.  She is the founder and CEO of Cotential, a global organization that helps companies leverage 21st-century collaboration skills and behaviours to improve game-changing performance. Erica is shortlisted for the 2021 Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award.

In Conversation Part II 3 pm UK / 10 am EST

PURPOSEFUL CONVERSATIONS

Guests to be announced

Led by:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Session #3 4 pm UK / 11 am EST

EQUITY INCORPORATED: THE URGENCY OF DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY

Speakers:

Laura Morgan Roberts

Laura Morgan Roberts

Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and author of Race, Work, and Leadership

Laura Huang

Laura Huang

Professor at Harvard Business School and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage

Moderator:

Ruchika Tulshyan

Ruchika Tulshyan

Author of The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Q

EQUITY INCORPORATED: THE URGENCY OF DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY

Session description

We’ve theorized about workplace inclusion for far too long. Now is the time for action. Making diversity and equality a reality in the workplace takes intention and commitment. Organizations, leaders, teams, and communities all benefit when everyone has a seat at the table, but in most workplaces it remains an aspiration at best.

For some, working at home during the pandemic has been a respite from bias at work. But as we start to return to the office, the danger is that it reverts to business as usual — which means back to the bad old days of simmering tension and unrecognised exclusion. So, what can and should organizations be doing to turn the rhetoric into reality? Which organizations are already ahead of the pack? What obstacles should leaders watch out for?


Speakers

Laura Morgan Roberts is Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and author of Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience..

Laura Huang is a Professor at Harvard Business School. She has spent her academic career studying interpersonal relationships and implicit bias in entrepreneurship and in the workplace. She is the author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage. She is also founder of Project Emplify, which seeks to address inequality and disadvantage through personal empowerment.


Moderator

Ruchika Tulshyan is a former journalist and New York Times and Harvard Business Review contributor. Through her company, Candour, she advises companies on diversity, equity & inclusion strategy and communications. Her book, The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality in the Workplace focuses on leadership strategies to advance women at work. She is currently working on her second book Inclusion on Purpose. In 2019, Ruchika was named to the Thinkers50 On the Radar list.

In Conversation Part III 5 pm UK / 12 pm EST

PURPOSEFUL CONVERSATIONS

Guests to be announced

Led by:

Des Dearlove

Stuart Crainer

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Session #4 6 pm UK / 1 pm EST

ACTIVISTS@WORK

Speakers:

Megan Reitz

Megan Reitz

Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Hult International Business School

Hubert Joly

Hubert Joly

Former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, and author of The Heart of Business

Christian Sarkar

Christian Sarkar

Founder of marketing consultancy Double Loop Marketing LLC and co-founder of The Marketing Journal

 

Moderator:

Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark

Teaches executive education for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and author of The Long Game

Q

ACTIVISTS@WORK

Session description

From the Black Lives Matter (#BlackLivesMatter) and Me Too (#MeToo) movements, to reducing greenhouse gases and promoting LGBTQ rights, social activism is on the rise and making its voice heard in corporate boardrooms. Whether it is pressure from employees, customers or shareholders, business leaders will increasingly have to take a position on public issues and controversies. 

How activists influence and organizations engage with them is a function of personalities, individual and collective experiences, perceived pressures and an organization’s political and social culture. It is also a matter of how in-touch leaders are with experiences outside of their own, often privileged perspective. 

Activism includes a vast range of change efforts. What to one person is activism, even rebellion, is, in the eyes of another, an issue of fundamental human rights — something they have no choice but to pursue. How can business respond to and drive social change?


Speakers

Hubert Joly is the former Chairman and CEO of Best Buy. He has been recognized as one of the 100 ‘Best-Performing CEOS in the World’ by HBR, one of the top 30 CEOs in the world by Barron’s, and one of the top ten CEOs in the US by Glassdoor’s annual Employees’ Choice Awards. He is now a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and sits on the boards of Johnson & Johnson and Ralph Lauren. 

Megan Reitz is Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Hult International Business School. Her research with John Higgins on ‘Speaking truth to Power’ has been featured in five HBR articles, and is the subject of their book Speak Up. Megan has featured in the Thinkers50 Radar and is shortlisted for the 2021 Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award for her work on employee activism. 

Christian Sarkar is the founder of the marketing consultancy Double Loop Marketing LLC, and co-founder (with Philip Kotler) of The Marketing Journal. His work (with Vijay Govindarajan) on the $300 House won the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award. Working with Kotler, Sarkar identifies an ‘ecosystem of wicked problems’ and advocates a new approach to solving the world’s seemingly intractable problems based on his work on brand activism.


Moderator

Dorie Clark teaches executive education for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She was named to the Thinkers50 list in 2019. Her latest book is called The Long Game: How to be a Long-term Thinker in a Short-term World.  She is shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Award for Talent.

Session #5 7:30 pm UK / 2:30 pm EST

NETFLIX: BEYOND RULES

Speakers:

Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings

Co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix, co-author of No Rules, Rules

Erin Meyer

Erin Meyer

INSEAD Professor and co-author of No Rules, Rules, and the Culture Map

Moderator:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Q

NETFLIX: BEYOND RULES

Session description

Since it was founded in 1997, Netflix has revolutionized the entertainment business, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue and capturing the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people in 190 countries. But to reach those heights the company has had to reinvent itself repeatedly. This unprecedented flexibility is only possible because of the counterintuitive and radical management principles co-founder Reed Hastings established from the start.

Rejecting conventional wisdom, Hastings defied tradition to build a culture focused on freedom and responsibility. In this session, Reed and co-author Erin Meyer discuss the famous Netflix culture, warts and all, and explain what makes the company tick.


Speakers

Reed Hastings is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix. As well as serving on the boards of Microsoft and Facebook, from 2000 to 2004 he served on the California State Board of Education and is an active educational philanthropist. He received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983 and an MSC in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University in 1988. Between degrees, Reed served in the Peace Corps as a volunteer teacher in southern Africa. He is the co-author, with Erin Meyer, of No Rules, Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention.

Erin Meyer is the author of the Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business and a professor at the famous international business school, INSEAD. Her work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and Forbes.com. In 2019, she was selected by Thinkers50 as one on the fifty most influential business thinkers in the world. In 1994 and 1995, she also served in the Peace Corps as a volunteer teacher in southern Africa.

Erin and Reed were shortlisted for the 2021 Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Award for Talent.


Moderator

Des Dearlove is the co-founder of Thinkers50. A former columnist for The Times, he is the author, with Stuart Crainer, of The Financial Times Handbook of Management, Gravy Training, and Generation Entrepreneur. He is a visiting professor at IE Business School and an Associate Fellow at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

8:30 pm UK / 3:30 pm EST

VIRTUAL NETWORKING

An opportunity to network virtually with your fellow Gala-goers. Join us to discuss the ideas from the day’s sessions and purposeful conversations or catch up with friends old and new.

DAY 2 — 16 November

11:30 am UK / 6:30 am EST

VIRTUAL NETWORKING

Another chance to meet your fellow Gala-goers and rub virtual shoulders with members of the Thinkers50 community in an exciting virtual networking space.

12 pm UK / 7 am EST

WELCOME TO DAY 2 OF THINKERS50 AWARDS GALA 2021

Hosted by:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Amy Edmondson

Stuart Crainer

Co-founder of Thinkers50

 

WHERE NEXT FOR MANAGEMENT? Thinkers50 founders Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove welcome participants back and introduce Day 2 of Ideas with Purpose.

In Conversation Part IV 1 pm UK / 8 am EST

More top thinkers from the Thinkers50 community join us in conversation

Guests to be announced

Led by:

Megan Reitz

Megan Reitz

Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Hult International Business School

Session #1 2 pm UK / 9 am EST

BUSINESS EDUCATION: TIME FOR CHANGE?

Speakers:

Amy Edmondson

Santiago Íñiguez

President of IE University, the former Chair of the AACSB, and author of the Learning Curve

Susan Fournier

Susan Fournier

Dean of the Questrom Business School at Boston University, Massachusetts

Moderator:

Des Dearlove

Maja Korica

Associate professor of management and organization at Warwick Business School, Warwick University

Q

BUSINESS EDUCATION: TIME FOR CHANGE?

Session description

If the pandemic has taught us one thing it is that we need to learn faster and in new ways. Nowhere is that truer than in business. Yet, despite the availability of virtual technology and digital learning tools for over a decade, it took a crisis to shake traditional business educators out of their comfort zone. As Covid-19 ravaged the global economy, business schools and corporate training and development departments scrambled to put their learning online and create virtual campuses. 

It’s a revolution that’s been a long time coming — one that until now has promised much and delivered little. But we can’t go back to the old ways. So, what does the future of business education hold? In a hybrid work environment, where should we look for the new models — and what will become of the old ones?

Global business education experts lay out their grand designs for business education that’s fit for purpose in a post-Covid-19 world.


Speakers

Susan Fournier is the Dean of the Questrom Business School at Boston University, Massachusetts. She served on the faculty of Harvard Business School for ten years and was a visiting professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. 

Santiago Íñiguez is the President of IE University, Spain’s leading global university, the former Chair of the AACSB, and author of the Learning Curve: How Business Schools are Reinventing Education.


Moderator

Maja Korica is associate professor of management and organization at Warwick Business School, Warwick University.

In Conversation Part V 3 pm UK / 10 am EST

PURPOSEFUL CONVERSATIONS

Guests to be announced

Led by:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Session #2 3:30 pm UK / 10:30 am EST

CREATING A CURIOUS CULTURE

Speakers:

Scott Anthony

Scott Anthony

Senior partner at the growth strategy consulting firm Innosight and co-author of Eat, Sleep, Innovate

Diane Hamilton

Diane Hamilton

Founder and CEO of Tonerra and creator of the Curiosity Code Index

Anurupa Ganguly

Anurupa Ganguly

CEO of Prisms of Reality, which utilizes immersive virtual reality technologies

 

Moderator:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Q

CREATING A CURIOUS CULTURE

Session description:

“Curiouser and curiouser!’ Cried Alice.’ Lewis Carrol’s depiction of a young girl who couldn’t resist following a white rabbit down a rabbit hole and embarking on a series of remarkable adventures is a reminder of the power of both the human imagination and curiosity.  Children are born with an innate interest in the world around them, which goes hand in hand with imagination and creativity. 

Yet, in business, curiosity is often frowned upon. It may not actually kill your career, but it isn’t nurtured — or understood as it should be as a primary influence on innovation. So how can we create cultures of curiosity and wonder? How can we raise the bar in organisational nosiness and creativity?

Two global experts on curiosity each invite a special guest to follow them down the rabbit hole to discover how a child-like fascination with the world around us can boost innovation and make work more productive — and more fun.


Speakers

Scott Anthony is a senior partner at the growth-strategy consulting firm Innosight and author of Dual Transformation, The Little Black Book of Innovation, and The First Mile, among others. His latest book is Eat, Sleep, Innovate How to Make Creativity and Everyday Habit Inside Your Organization. He is shortlisted for the 2021 Thinkers50 Innovation Award. 

Diane Hamilton is the founder and CEO of Tonerra, a US-based leadership and management consulting company. Creator of the Curiosity Code Index, an assessment tool for the factors that inhibit curiosity, she is the author of Cracking the Curiosity Code, and hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, Take the Lead. In 2020, she was featured on the Thinkers50 Radar list. 

Anurupa Ganguly is the CEO of Prisms of Reality, which she founded to transform the math learning experience and close the STEM opportunity gap. Prisms utilizes immersive virtual reality technologies to support a pedagogy aligned to how we learn best — experiencing versus memorizing. Prior to Prisms, Anurupa led STEM Education reform efforts across large diverse K-12 school systems in the US and Asia.


Moderator

Des Dearlove is the co-founder of Thinkers50. A former columnist for The Times, he is the author, with Stuart Crainer, of The Financial Times Handbook of Management, Gravy Training, and Generation Entrepreneur. He is a visiting professor at IE Business School and an Associate Fellow at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

In Conversation Part VI 4:30 pm UK / 11:30 am EST

PURPOSEFUL CONVERSATIONS

Guests to be announced

Led by:

Des Dearlove

Stuart Crainer

Co-founder of Thinkers50

 5 pm UK / 12 pm EST

VIRTUAL COCKTAILS

It wouldn’t be a Thinkers50 Awards Gala without an opportunity to mingle at the bar. But this is a cocktail party with a difference.

Ever wondered what management ideas would taste like if they were cocktails? What would go into a Blue Ocean Shift, a Jim Collins, or an Invincible, for example? And how many Long Game Iced Teas would it take to make you start Seeing Double Around Corners?

In the spirits of innovation, we asked the authors what they’d want to see in their drinks. It could be the start of something new — the Drinkers50! Check out our menu of management thinker-themed cocktails.

There’s plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from, but this year you’ll have to mix your own!

• Blue Ocean Shift
• Long Game Iced Tea
• An Invincible
• A Marshall Goldsmith Wallbanger
• Eat, Drink, Innovate
• Seeing Double Around Corners

More details to come! 

 6 pm UK / 1 pm EST

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS & 2021 RANKING

Presented by:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Amy Edmondson

Stuart Crainer

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Megan Reitz

Megan Reitz

Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Hult International Business School

 

In this very special celebration, we salute the best of management and business thinking as Stuart Crainer, Des Dearlove, and Megan Reitz present the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards and the 2021 Thinkers50 Ranking.

This year, Thinkers50 Awards recognize Distinguished Achievement in eleven categories:

• CK Prahalad Breakthrough Idea Award
• Coaching & Mentoring Award in partnership with 100 Coaches
• Digital Thinking Award
• Founders’ Award
• Ideas into Practice Award
• Innovation Award in partnership with Fujitsu
• Leadership Award
• Lifetime Achievement Award
• Radar Award
• Strategy Award in partnership with Brightline
• Talent award in partnership with Executive Networks

Thinkers50 2021 Ranking

The 20th Anniversary Thinkers50 Awards Gala culminates with the announcement of the 2021 Thinkers50 Ranking.

CELEBRATION: VIRTUAL AFTER-PARTY

Thank you for joining us and participating in our 20th anniversary celebrations. Enjoy the virtual after-party. We look forward to continuing the conversation to make the world a better managed place.

More guests and program updates to be announced

13-14 October 2021

IDEAS PREMIERE: PRE-EVENTS

Two days of pre-events exclusive to premium ticket holders

DAY 1 — 13 October

Session #1 2 pm UK / 9 am EDT

ARROGANT LEADERS AND THE DAMAGE THEY DO

in partnership with Executive Networks

Speakers:

Amy Edmondson

Amy Edmondson

Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Chief Talent Scientist at ManPowerGroup and professor of business psychology

Introduced by:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Q

ARROGANT LEADERS AND THE DAMAGE THEY DO

Session description

Most of the world’s problems can be attributed to bad leadership. Human beings aren’t very good at assessing true leadership qualities and gravitate towards arrogant confidence in those in charge. Unfortunately, arrogance is often a sign of weakness; arrogant leaders create toxic workplaces and make decisions that put others at risk. As the Covid-19 pandemic confirms, even natural disasters are exacerbated by inept leadership. Instead, we need to reframe leadership to look for signs of actual competence in developing others and enabling groups to pursue challenging goals. 

But how can we choose wisely to identify and develop leaders who engender psychological safety and create the conditions for their people to act fearlessly? Two world-leading leadership experts offer an antidote to arrogant leadership.


Speakers

Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. She has written numerous books and articles and is best known for her research on psychological safety, summarized in her recent book, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is an international authority on leadership assessment, people analytics, and talent management. He is the Chief Talent Scientist at ManPowerGroup and a professor of business psychology at University College London and Columbia University. His most recent book is Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It).


Moderator

Des Dearlove is the co-founder of Thinkers50. A former columnist for The Times, he is the author, with Stuart Crainer, of a number of books including Gravy Training, and Generation Entrepreneur. He is a visiting professor at IE Business School and an Associate Fellow at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

Session #2 4 pm UK / 11 am EDT

THE X-FACTOR: CUSTOMER X + EMPLOYEE X

Speakers:

Rita McGrath

Rita McGrath

Best-selling author and professor at Columbia Business School

Tiffani Bova

Tiffani Bova

Global growth evangelist at US cloud-based software giant, Salesforce

Ben Whitter

Ben Whitter

Founder and Chief Experience Officer of the World Employee Experience Institute

 

Moderator:

Kaihan Krippendorff

Kaihan Krippendorff

Strategy, growth and transformation expert and founder of Outthinker

Q

THE X-FACTOR: CUSTOMER X + EMPLOYEE X

Session description

Is your customer call centre a cost centre or a growth engine? Do your employees live and breathe your brand? The answers to these questions speak volumes about the organisation’s attitude to the X-Factors – customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX). EX goes beyond engagement and determines how committed employees are; CX is the cumulative impact of  the total customer experience. More and more organizations recognize these X-factors as the true measure of their brands. 

So, which of the X-factors comes first: employees or customers? And what combination produces the best results?


Speakers

Rita McGrath is a best-selling author, a sought-after speaker, and a long-time professor at Columbia Business School. She is widely recognized as a premier expert on leading innovation and growth during times of uncertainty. A recipient of the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Award for Strategy, she is consistently in the world’s Top 10 management thinkers in the Thinkers50 Ranking. 

Tiffani Bova is global growth evangelist at the US cloud-based software giant, Salesforce. Previously a research fellow at Gartner, she is the author of Growth IQ, and is currently working on a global research study on the correlation between EX+CX. In 2019, she was named among the top 50 management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50.

Ben Whitter is the founder and chief experience officer of the World Employee Experience Institute (WEEI). Known globally as Mr Employee Experience, he is recognised as one of the leading figures in EX and has pioneered and popularised the concept worldwide. He was named among the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2021, the up-and-coming thinkers to watch.


Moderator

Kaihan Krippendorff is a strategy, growth and transformation expert, keynote speaker, author, and consultant. He began his career with McKinsey & Company before founding the consulting company Outthinker. A best-selling author of five books, most recently the Edison Award nominated, Driving Innovation From Within, Kaihan is a member of the prestigious Thinkers50 Radar group.

Session #3 7 pm UK / 2 pm EDT

REIMAGINING CAPITALISM

Speakers:

Andrew Winston

Andrew Winston

Co-author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take with Paul Polman

Kate Daly

Kate Daly

Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners

Moderator:

Nina Montgomery

Nina Montgomery

Author of Perspectives on Purpose and Perspectives on Impact, and teacher at Stanford University

Q

REIMAGINING CAPITALISM

Session description

Climate change, pandemics, and persistent inequality are just some of the wicked problems facing humanity.  The failure of political leadership to solve these problems is apparent for all to see. But can business help lead us to a better future? At this critical time in history, the imperative to reimagine our economies, and companies could not be more urgent. 

To many outside of business, the need to embrace sustainable solutions and collaborative practices is self-evident.  Fortunately, many in the business community are showing a new determination to solve our most profound challenges through long-term, purpose-led business models that put people and the planet first. 

Is there still time to create a more humane and sustainable form of capitalism?


Speakers

Andrew Winston is one of the world’s most widely read writers and thinkers on sustainable business. With Paul Polman, he is the author of Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take. His previous books include Green to Gold and The Big Pivot. He was selected for the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2020.

Kate Daly is Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, a New York City-based impact investment firm focused on the circular economy. The Center is a hub for research, innovation and collaborative initiatives that advance the transition from a linear take-make-waste economy to one that is regenerative and circular. Kate previously served as Senior Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she oversaw job-creation initiatives in sectors including advanced manufacturing, smart cities, cleantech, fashion, and tech. Prior to NYCEDC Kate served as the Executive Director of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.


Moderator

Nina Montgomery is an archaeologist-turned-designer. By day, she works at IDEO; by night, she is a PhD candidate at Oxford. The author of two books — Perspectives on Purpose and Perspectives on Impact, Nina teaches at Stanford University and interviews executives and scholars for her LinkedIn newsletter, Reimagining Capitalism. She is a member of the 2021 Thinkers50 Radar community.

Session #4 9 pm UK / 4 pm EDT

MAKING MANAGEMENT HISTORY

in partnership with Haier Model Institute

Speakers:

Todd Bridgman

Todd Bridgman

Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Stephen Cummings

Stephen Cummings

Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Victoria University of Wellington

Simone T.A. Phipps

Simone T.A. Phipps

Associate Professor of Management in the School of Business at Middle Georgia State University

Leon Prieto

Leon C. Prieto

Associate Professor of Management at Clayton State University

 

Moderator:

Stuart Crainer

Stuart Crainer

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Q

MAKING MANAGEMENT HISTORY

Session description

History allows us to make sense of the present. But what if the history we were taught was incorrect or tainted by prejudice or bias? What if history only told part of the story?

In the last two years many societies have begun to engage with a radical reassessment of their histories. Questions have been asked of many once portrayed as heroes. Statues have fallen. History is being re-evaluated in a more inclusive way relevant to modern values and behaviour.

Organizational and management history is no exception to this. It, too, is being re-examined. Research by Todd Bridgman and Stephen Cummings has uncovered enduring myths about famous theorists from Adam Smith to Mary Parker Follett, and Abraham Maslow to Kurt Lewin. Elsewhere, Simone Phipps and Leon Prieto have championed long overlooked African American pioneers of management.

To understand what this means for our global understanding of management and organizations, Todd, Stephen, Leon and Simone join us for a unique discussion, Making Management History.


Speakers

Todd Bridgman is an Associate Professor at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Todd’s research and teaching is located at the intersection of Critical Management Studies (CMS), management education and management history. He specializes in exploring the origins of management theories and challenging their representation in best-selling textbooks.

Stephen Cummings is Professor of Strategy and Innovation and Director of Entrepreneurship Programmes at the Victoria University of Wellington where he is also co-director of the University’s innovation space ‘The Atom’ (Te Kahu o Te Ao). Stephen’s research focuses on how history can limit innovation and creativity. He is the author of Strategy Builder (Wiley, 2015).

Todd and Stephen are the authors of The Past, Present and Future of Sustainable Management (Palgrave, 2021) and A Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap book about Management Theory (Sage, 2020). They are also the authors (with Michael Rowlinson and John Hassard) of A New History of Management (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Simone T. A. Phipps is an Associate Professor of Management in the School of Business at Middle Georgia State University, and Associate Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Social Innovation.

Leon C. Prieto is an Associate Professor of Management at Clayton State University, and Associate Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Social Innovation.

Simone and Leon are the authors of African American Management History: Insights on Gaining a Cooperative Advantage (Emerald, 2019).


Moderator

Stuart Crainer, co-founder of Thinkers50 and author of The Management Century and the Financial Times Handbook of Management.

DAY 2 — 14 October

Session #1 10 am UK / 5 am EDT

MAKING BANKING JOYFUL

Speakers:

Amy Edmondson

Robin Speculand

CEO of Bridges Business Consultancy Int.

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Piyush Gupta

Chief Executive Officer and director of DBS Group

Introduced by:

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Q

MAKING BANKING JOYFUL

Session description

In 2014, DBS set the audacious goal of being recognized as the best bank in the world by 2020. The company’s leaders acknowledged that ‘money lubricates life’ was a powerful statement, but one which could quickly become prosaic—too ordinary. People tend to take banking for granted or even see it as a negative in their lives. So, DBS’s leaders strived to identify what ‘banking with a sense of purpose’ would be like.

The question they addressed was not ‘what did the bank want to do?’ but ‘how do we make dealing with DBS easy, fun, convenient, and meaningful?’ People would be able to see the kind of good the bank did for businesses and individuals as well as the value it added to society. The result? DBS Bank, with the mission of ‘making banking joyful’, has undergone one of the most inspiring transformations the business world has ever seen. Along the way it has been rated as the best bank in the world.


Speakers

Piyush Gupta has been Chief Executive Officer and director of DBS Group since 2009. Prior to joining DBS, Piyush had a 27- year career at Citigroup, where his last position was CEO for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. A member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals, he was named one of the world’s top 100 best-performing chief executives in the Harvard Business Review – 2019 edition of “The CEO 100”.

Robin Speculand is a pioneer and expert in strategy and digital implementation. The founder of three companies and three business associations, he is the CEO of Bridges Business Consultancy Int. and co-founder of the Strategy Implementation Institute and the Ticking Clock Guys. Robin is also a TEDx presenter and facilitator for IMD, Duke CE, and Singapore Management University. He is the author of  World’s Best Bank: A Strategic Guide to Digital Transformation (2021).


Moderator

Des Dearlove is the co-founder of Thinkers50. A former columnist for The Times, he is the author, with Stuart Crainer, of a number of books including Gravy Training, and Generation Entrepreneur. He is a visiting professor at IE Business School and an Associate Fellow at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford.

Session #2 12 pm UK / 7 am EDT

ECOSYSTEMS THINKING

in partnership with Business Ecosystem Alliance

Speakers:

Cristina Caffarra

Cristina Caffarra

Expert in competition economics and thought leader in regulation of the digital economy globally

Monika Dernai

Monika Dernai

Team Lead of Urban Mobility, BMW Corporate Strategy

Curator and moderator:

Michael G. Jacobides

Michael G. Jacobides

Sir Donald Gordon Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at London Business School

Q

ECOSYSTEMS THINKING

Session description

Business ecosystems, both enabled by and resulting from big changes in the ways we consume and produce, are developing at remarkable speed. A McKinsey report suggests that by 2025, today’s 100-plus industries and value chains will have collapsed into a dozen or so multi-trillion-dollar ecosystems accounting for some $60 trillion in revenues — one third of the global total.

Covid-19 has accelerated this trend. The crisis has led to the creation of new webs of relationships. Pharma giants pooled immunity know-how and shared with researchers worldwide to speed up the development of promising new vaccines. The Big Tech companies also received a boost. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon in the West, Tencent and AliBaba in China have become stronger than ever. But what does the rise of ecosystems mean for our long term futures?


Speakers

Dr. Cristina Caffarra is an expert in competition economics who has led for several years the antitrust and regulatory team at Charles River Associates in Europe. She has directed economic analyses in multiple competition investigations on some of the landmark mergers and antitrust matters of the past 20 years, before the EC and the competition agencies of the UK, multiple Member States, and across the globe. She has provided expert economic evidence in multiple litigated cases before the courts (from the General Court in Luxembourg to the High Court and the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London, and many more). Dr. Caffarra is recognised as a thought leader in the regulation of the digital economy globally, advising both companies and regulators. She is sought after as a public speaker and regularly presents at top events on competition, regulation and digital policy. She has advised both corporate clients and government enforcers in multiple cases concerning digital companies, media, telecoms, and more. Dr. Caffarra is a CEPR member and Deputy Director of the CEPR Competition Policy RPN.

In her current role with BMW Corporate Strategy, Monika Dernai leads the company’s Urban Mobility Team. She is responsible for urban intelligence, and data analytics, as well as monitoring urban mobility ecosystems for the deduction of strategic premises. She is also entrusted with the strategy and implementation of Smart City projects. Monika joined BMW Group in 2007 and has an extensive background regarding BMW Group vehicles and Mobility Services. As head of product research she was responsible for BMW’s vehicle and urban research projects, including in-depth insights about BMW’s electric fleet and associated services as well as Urban Mobility topics.


Curator & Moderator

Michael G. Jacobides is the Sir Donald Gordon Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School. His recent work focuses on the emergence and development of digital platforms and ecosystems and examines the strategic and policy issues this raises. In 2019, he was named among the top 50 management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50.

Session #3 2 pm UK / 9 am EDT

PERPETUAL TRANSFORMATION

in association with the Brightline Initiative

Speakers:

Joe Cahill

Joe Cahill

Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of the Project Management Institute

April Rinne

April Rinne

World Economic Forum Young Global Leader

Kalina Nikolova

Kalina Nikolova

Vice President of Business Operations and Strategy at Yahoo

Mike Wade

Mike Wade

Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD

 

Moderator:

Susie Kennedy

Susie Kennedy

Senior partner of KBA Solutions Limited

Q

PERPETUAL TRANSFORMATION

Session description:

Tinkering at the edges of organizational behaviour and performance is no longer enough.  The challenges of the last decade make that clear.  Global financial meltdown. A world changing pandemic.  And, all the time, the relentless and unstoppable forward progress of technology is reinventing industries, companies, markets and jobs in all corners of the world.

Transformation is no longer a nice-to-have — in the way so many of the change programmes of the past were — it is essential for survival.  Nor is it a programme, project or initiative, it is a permanent state of mind, a philosophy, a part of organizational DNA.  But what does a world of perpetual transformation mean in practice? 

Timed to coincide with the publication of a new Thinkers50/Brightline book, Perpetual Transformation, global transformation experts explain what it takes to make a transformation mindset the ultimate competitive advantage. 


Speakers

Joe Cahill is the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of the Project Management Institute. Responsible for all of PMI’s Global Customer Group, he oversees the Global Customer Engagement Team, the Global Customer Experience Team and PMI’s eight geographic regions. He has over 20 years of senior leadership experience and serves as a UN Global Compact Network USA board member. 

Kalina Nikolova is Vice President of Business Operations and Strategy at Yahoo.  Previously she held the same position at Verizon Media and before that senior executive roles at Viacom and Deloitte Consulting.

April Rinne is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and an advisor to startups, companies, financial institutions, nonprofits, and think tanks worldwide, including Airbnb, Nike, Intuit, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, NESTA, Trōv, AnyRoad, and Unsettled, as well as governments ranging from Singapore to South Africa, Canada to Colombia, Italy to India. April is the author of Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change.

Michael Wade is a Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD and holds the Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation. He is the Director of IMD’s Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. Previously, he was the Academic Director of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA Program.


Moderator

Susie Kennedy is senior partner of KBA Solutions Limited, which she founded in 1993. KBA specializes in change leadership consulting and executive development. She is Program Director for KBA’s Institute of Leadership and Management Strategic Leadership program for senior managers, with programs in the University of Cambridge, Premier Foods and nationally for UK local government at King’s College London.

Session #4 4 pm UK / 11 am EDT

IN CONVERSATION WITH PHILIP KOTLER

Speaker:

Philip Kotler

Philip Kotler

Author, consultant, and professor, the father of modern marketing

Moderator:

Christian Sarkar

Christian Sarkar

Co-founder with Philip Kotler and Enrico Foglia of the Regenerative Marketing Institute

Q

IN CONVERSATION WITH PHILIP KOTLER

Session description:

Modern marketing was laid out by Philip Kotler in his seminal 1967 book, Marketing Management.  The push to look at marketing came from being taught by Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson at the University of Chicago. “I concluded that if those two great minds couldn’t agree on economic issues, I probably wasn’t going to make a difference in that field,” he observed, later studying under a third Nobel Laureate, Robert Solow, at MIT, before joining the faculty of Kellogg.

“I was attracted to very tangible problems that economists don’t deal with, such as: how much do you spend on advertising? What’s a sensibly sized salesforce? How do you really set prices intelligently? I got into the mindset of a market.”

Kotler has dominated marketing over the last half century and remains an energized force. His latest work, with collaborator Christian Sarkar, examines how brand activism can tackle the wicked problems facing the world. Join us to celebrate the story of marketing with the man who wrote it.

Session #5 6 pm UK / 1 pm EDT

LITERATURE AND LEADERSHIP

in association with the Chowdhury Prize of Literature at USC

Speakers:

Subir Chowdhury

Subir Chowdhury

Chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group

Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender

Novelist and professor at the University of Southern California

David St John

David St John

Award-winning poet and professor at the University of Southern California

Christopher Merrill

Christopher Merrill

Essayist, poet, Director, International Writing Program at University of Iowa

 

Introduced by:

Des Dearlove

Stuart Crainer

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove

Co-founder of Thinkers50

Moderator:

David Ulin

David Ulin

Former book critic at the LA Times and Associate Professor of the Practice of English at the University of Southern California

Q

LITERATURE AND LEADERSHIP

Session description

From Homer to Shakespeare and from Atwood to Mantel, literature exerts a compelling influence on the field of leadership and business management. As we seek to prepare current and future international leaders to confront, address, and resolve the growing complexities of global thinking and strategies of leadership, what is the place of the great literature of the past as well as the many powerful recent works of our present? 

Why is it that stories and poems have a unique ability to challenge injustice, inspire performance, build bridges, and heal divisiveness and misunderstandings?

Four prominent writers, scholars and academic leaders join Thinkers50 ranked business thinker Subir Chowdhury in a conversation to consider these issues alongside their urgent relevance as we look to create leaders for the future. 


Speakers

Aimee Bender is Professor and Director of the PhD Program in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. She is the author of six acclaimed novels, and her work has been translated into 16 languages.

David St. John is an award-winning poet and Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Chair of English at the University of Southern California. St John has been honoured with many prizes over his career, including The Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. 

Christopher Merrill is Director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. His writings have been translated into nearly forty languages; his honours include a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French government.

Subir Chowdhury is a globally recognized expert on quality. Chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group, he was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and is the author of 15 books. Along with his work on quality and processes, Subir champions the power of literature to improve the practice of leadership. The University of Southern California has established the Chowdhury Prize, an annual international mid-career prize for writers.


Moderator

David L. Ulin, former book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times and Associate Professor of the Practice of English at the University of Southern California, moderates the session.

Partners

Executive Networks
Business Ecosystems Alliance
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Ralph Lauren logo
Johnson and Johnson
ECSI logo
Business Ecosystems Alliance
ECSI logo
ECSI logo
ECSI logo
Executive Networks
Business Ecosystems Alliance
ECSI logo
Ralph Lauren logo
Johnson and Johnson
ECSI logo
Business Ecosystems Alliance
ECSI logo
ECSI logo
ECSI logo