Sheena Iyengar

Leading expert on choice, studying the factors that influence the choices we make and how choice and meaning are intertwined.


Ranked #6 in 2023.

Previously featured:

In 2021, #42 (2019), #48 (2011).


Recipient of the Thinkers50 2023 Innovation Award.


Think Bigger: How to Innovate was featured on the Thinkers50 Best New Management Booklist in 2023.


Sheena examines the many facets of choice: how and why people make choices; how other factors and powerful forces – such as bias and culture –  influence the choices we make; how we can minimise those influences; and how choice and meaning are intertwined. Her latest book, Think Bigger: How to Innovate, asks the timeless question, “How can I get my best ideas?” By debunking some of the popular concepts surrounding creativity, including brainstorming, Think Bigger provides a step-by-step framework for entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators – and everyone – to think more effectively and grow their ideas. As a roadmap for innovation and guide to creative thinking, Think Bigger lays the groundwork for addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems. 


Sheena is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. While at Stanford University, she received the Best Dissertation Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology for her dissertation, ‘Choice and its Discontents.’ In 2002, she received the Presidential Early Career Award. She also won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Core Teaching from Columbia Business School in 2012 and was named one of the World’s Best B-School Professor by Poets & Quants. 


Think Bigger: How to Innovate (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2023); The Art of Choosing (Twelve, 2010), which received the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2010 award. Sheena’s TED Talks have collectively received almost four million views. Her research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Economist as well as in popular books, such as Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. Sheena has also appeared on television, including the Today Show, the Daily Show, and Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN. 

NATIONALITY: Indian-American

Media picks


“Iyengar inspires the creative problem solver in all of us.”

Michael Bloomberg

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