50 Second Q&A: Dan Pontefract

dan pontefract

Thinking quick and fast on this occasion is Dan Pontefract (danpontefract.com), author of Open to Think, The Purpose Effect and Flat Army.  Dan is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria in Canada and is a Thinkers50 Radar thinker.

What book are you currently reading?

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance — re-reading it 25 years later in an Internet-fuelled, “always on” world to see how I’m interpreting it differently.

How do you describe what you do?

Trying to make the world a better place. 

What is your big idea?

Open Thinking: dream, decide, do, repeat. 

Why does it matter now?

People are addicted to busyness and are constantly distracted. The societal and human consequences have become far reaching. 

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

Roger L. Martin

What does success look like?

When that one person reaches out to me and says, “Thank you for pushing my thinking, for helping me see things differently.”

What is your competitive advantage?

I’m Canadian. We say sorry when someone else bumps into us. 

How much time do you spend travelling?

Seasonal peaks and troughs, but on average eight nights per month. 

What is the secret of a great presentation?

Tailor to the needs of your audience. 

What is your next goal?

Publish my 4th book in 2020. 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Truth, trust and transparency are the columns of purpose. Fake, inauthentic and self-serving thinkers are the new snake oil.

What is the biggest issue for business in the next decade?


Describe yourself in three words.

Curious. Empathic. Bald. 

Share this article:

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest ideas in business, management, and thought leadership.

*mandatory field

Thinkers50 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide news, updates, and marketing. Please confirm that you agree to have us contact you by clicking below:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at . We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2023

Join us in celebration of the best in business and management thinking.