Paul Polman and Andrew Winston

Proving that organizational and personal success need not be at the expense of the world.


Ranked #3 in 2023.

Previously featured: 

In 2021.


Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2021 Breakthrough Idea Award.


Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More than They Take was featured on the Thinkers50 Best New Management Booklist in 2022.


Paul Polman and Andrew Winston developed the concept of ‘net positive.’ They define net positive as a company improving the wellbeing of everyone it touches through its operations, products, and services, including the planet, and thriving as a result. Corporate sustainability goals fall to the wayside too often, they say, as victims of a false choice between pursuing profits and ‘doing good.’ But companies that adopt net positive principles, they explain, deliver better results. In their 2021 book, Net Positive, Paul and Andrew provide compelling evidence and show how companies can profit by fixing the world’s problems instead of creating them.


Andrew Winston is a globally-recognized expert on megatrends and how to build companies that thrive by serving the world. His early career included advising companies on corporate strategy while at Boston Consulting Group and management positions in strategy and marketing at Time Warner and MTV. Paul Polman is a business leader and campaigner. He works to accelerate action by business to tackle climate change and inequality. As CEO of Unilever (2009-2019), Paul demonstrated that business can profit through purpose, delivering shareholder returns of 290% while the company consistently ranked 1st in the world for sustainability. Today he works across a range of organisations to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which he helped develop. 


Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take (HBR Press, 2021) – a Financial Times Business Book of the Year; The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World (Andrew Winston, HBR Press, 2014); Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage (Andrew Winston and Daniel C. Esty, Wiley, 2009).


Media picks


“The most important issue of our time is tackled with imagination rooted in practice and research by Polman and Winston.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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