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Thinking quick and fast on this occasion is Dan Pontefract (, 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. 

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