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Ranking & Distinguished Achievement Awards

2017 Thinkers50 Ranking & Awards

London, November 13, 2017

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2017 Ranking of Management Thinkers

#1 Roger Martin

Prolific researcher providing valuable insights in strategy, governance, democratic capitalism, & social innovation.  

#2 Don Tapscott

One of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business & society, pioneer in the advancement of the blockchain.  

#3 Clayton Christensen

The architect of disruptive innovation, twice topped the Thinkers50 rankings, in 2013 and 2011.  

#4 W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Inventors of the ground-breaking “blue ocean strategy”, paving the way for organizations to break out of fixed market boundaries, and create a whole new space.  

#5 Michael Porter

The father of modern business strategy, and the most cited scholar today in economics and business.  

2017 Distinguished Achievement Awards & Shortlisted Nominees

Breakthrough Idea Award Presented by Deepa Prahalad.

The Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award celebrates a Eureka moment in management. It is given for a radical idea, which has the potential to forever change the way we think about business. From Taylorism to the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, new ideas have challenged what we know about the world. This award is dedicated to the legacy of CK Prahalad, who proved there is nothing so practical as a great idea.


Susan David
David is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, and is co-founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital. She is the author of Emotional Agility (Penguin, 2016), which Harvard Business Review rated as one of its Management Ideas of the Year.


  • Aaron Hurst: The Purpose Economy
  • John Spence: Awesomely Simple
  • Joost Minnaar, Pim de Morree & Freek-Jan Ronner: Corporate Rebels
  • Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott: The 100-Year Life
  • Mark Esposito & Terence Tse: The DRIVE Framework
  • Marshall Goldsmith: 100 Coaches
  • Nilofer Merchant: Onlyness

Digital Thinking Award Presented by Tanyer Sonmezer, MCT.

Digital technology has transformed the world of work. It has also changed the way we understand ourselves as human beings. But which thinker’s research and insights shed the newest and most original light on the new digital reality? The Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award celebrates the thinker who has done the most to convert the digital language of the 0 and 1 into useful human insights.


Don and Alex Tapscott
Authors of The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World (Portfolio, 2016), an international bestseller. Canadian technology trailblazers, they are also co-founders of the Blockchain Research Institute. Don Tapscott is the author of The Digital Economy, Wikinomics and other global bestsellers.


  • Anindya Ghose
  • Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee
  • Hu Yong
  • Jose Esteves
  • Kate Darling
  • Martin Ford
  • Sherry Turkle

Ideas into Practice Presented by Andy Lockett, Warwick Business School.

There is nothing so practical as a great idea. At Thinkers50 we value new thinking that makes a meaningful contribution in the real world. Equally, we admire organizations that are open to new ideas no matter what their source. The T50 Ideas into Practice Award celebrates an organization putting new ideas to work.


Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez
The world’s leading champion of project management and founder of a global moment that has transformed a tactical topic such as project management, into one of the central issues in the CEO’s 2020 agenda. He argues that project management is the lingua franca of the business and personal worlds from the C-suite to managing your career or relationships.


  • Adele Sweetwood
  • Anita Krohn Traaseth
  • ofo
  • Louise van Rhyn
  • Mary C. Gentile
  • Peter Terium & Deborah Rowland
  • The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management

Innovation Presented by Tango Matsumoto, Fujitsu.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then innovation is its nurturing father. The word innovate comes from the Latin to “make new.” It has never been more pressing – in society or in organizations. The Thinkers50 Innovation Award recognizes the thinker who has contributed the most to our understanding of innovation over the last two years.


Scott Anthony
Managing partner of Innosight, the innovation and growth consulting firm, Anthony is the author and co-author of several books, including (with Clay Christensen) Seeing What’s Next (HBR, 2004) and The First Mile (HBR, 2014). His latest book, Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future, co-authored with Clark Gilbert and Mark W. Johnson, (HBR Press 2017), tackles how successful incumbent companies can counter the threat of disruption.


  • Christian Seelos & Johanna Mair
  • David Robertson
  • Howard Yu
  • Jeanne Liedtka
  • Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden
  • Soren Kaplan
  • Tendayi Viki

Leadership Presented by Alper Utku, European Business University.

Teams, corporations, and organizations of every kind, demand and require leadership. Yet the nature of that leadership and how we understand the role of the leader is constantly being reappraised. The Thinkers50 Leadership Award acknowledges thinkers who shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and still vital subject.


Hal Gregersen
Executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and a senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at MIT’s Sloan School, Gregersen is the author of 10 books. His question-centric research project to surface insights into how leaders can build better questions to unlock new solutions helped defined what Gregersen calls his Catalytic Questioning methodology.


  • Angela Duckworth
  • Heidi K. Gardner
  • John Mattone
  • Karl Moore
  • Margarita Mayo
  • Simon Sinek
  • Sydney Finkelstein

Lifetime Achievement Presented by Charles Handy.

The T50 Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledges an exceptional individual whose work has made an important contribution to global thought leadership over an extended period. This person has brought insights that challenge the way we think about management. Their work must be global, original and embraced by practitioners.


Tom Peters
Tom Peters has been credited with inventing the modern management guru industry. He is chairman of the Tom Peters Company, and has several best-selling business books under his name.

RADAR Thinker Award Presented by Bjarke Wolmar, City of Odense.

Which of the new generation of business thinkers is most likely to shape the future of business and business thinking? Whose work has the potential to challenge the way we think about management? With the Thinkers50 Radar Award we identify and celebrate the thinker-most-likely-to.


Amy Webb
Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of the Future Today Institute. Webb’s research focuses on the future of technology, business, governing and society, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, Guardian, BBC and elsewhere.


  • Alexander Betts
  • Katherine Milkman
  • Maja Korica
  • Mark Greeven
  • Mona Hammami Hijazi
  • Zoë Chance

Strategy Award Presented by Ricardo Vargas, Brightline Initiative.

Where you are going and how you intend to get there lie at the heart of management and leadership. Strategy is the intellectual and inspirational lifeblood of organizations. The Thinkers50 Strategy Award celebrates the very best of strategic thinking. If you were running a corporation, who would you turn to for strategic advice?


Richard DAveni
The Bakala Professor of Strategy at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, D’Aveni is the author of a number of influential books including Hypercompetition (Free Press, 1994), Beating the Commodity Trap (HBR Press, 2009) and Strategic Capitalism (McGraw-Hill, 2012). His book, When Titans Rule the World (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), builds on his HBR article “3-D Printing Will Change the World” and charts the rise of “panindustrial” manufacturers.


  • Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
  • András Tilcsik
  • Pankaj Ghemawat
  • Rita G McGrath
  • Roger Martin
  • W Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne
  • Weiru Chen

Talent Award Presented by Karen Beattie.

In ancient Greece, the talent was a unit of currency. Today, human talent has become the global currency, with organizations competing for the very best people from around the world. With the changing attitudes to work and new generations entering the workforce, the challenge now is to better understand how talented individuals work best and how they can effectively be attracted, motivated, and retained. Research into talent has never been so important and practically useful.


Amy Edmondson
Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. She teaches and writes on leadership, teaming and organizational learning, and her articles appear in management publications such as Harvard Business Review and California Management Review as well as in top academic journals. She is best known for her pioneering work on psychological safety, which helped spawn a large body of academic research in management, healthcare, and education over the past 15 years.


  • Ayse Birsel
  • Carol Fishman Cohen
  • Jennifer Petriglieri & Gianpiero Petriglieri
  • Lauren Noël & Christie Hunter Arscott
  • Sallie Krawcheck
  • Shane Cragun & Kate Sweetman
  • Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic