Announcing the Thinkers50 2023 Talent Award Shortlist

Between August and October we announce the Shortlists for each of the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards. Here we highlight the Shortlist for the Thinkers50 2023 Talent Award.

In ancient Greece the talent was a unit of currency. Today, human talent has become the global currency, with organisations competing for the very best people from around the world. Given the fast-changing nature of the way we work, the challenge to attract, motivate, and retain talented individuals is more pressing than ever.

The recipient of the 2023 Talent Award will be revealed at the prestigious Thinkers50 Awards Gala in London, 5-6 November. We hope to see you there!

The Thinkers shortlisted for the 2023 Thinkers50 Talent Award are:

1. Modupe Akinola
for her research on how stress can affect performance

Modupe Akinola is a professor of business at Columbia Business School, and the director of the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics. A former business consultant, Modupe examines how organisational environments – with the pressures of deadlines and multitasking – can lead to stress and how this stress can spill over to affect performance. Her work uses physiological responses, behavioural observation, and time measures to examine cognitive outcomes of stress. Modupe also studies the strategies organisations can use to increase the diversity of their talent pool, and the biases that affect recruitment and retention of women and people of colour. Her research has been published in multiple academic journals, as well as mainstream media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal. She is the host of the ‘TED Business’ Podcast and is a member of the Thinkers50 Radar class of 2022.

2. Amy Gallo
for Getting Along

An expert in conflict, Amy Gallo is the author of Getting Along: How to Work With Anyone (Even Difficult People) (HBR Press, 2022), which was named a September Book of the Month by the Financial Times. Amy combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships, communication, and workplace dynamics. A contributing editor to the Harvard Business Review and a member of the Thinkers50 Radar class of 2023, Amy has contributed to numerous books on feedback, emotional intelligence, and managing others. She is co-host of HBR’s ‘Women at Work’ podcast and author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict (HBR Press, 2017). Amy has taught at Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania.

3. Ravin Jesuthasan
for Work Without Jobs

Futurist and bestselling author on the future of work and human capital, Ravin Jesuthasan has led multiple research efforts on the global workforce, the emerging digital economy, the rise of artificial intelligence, and the transformation of work. He is a regular participant and presenter at the World Economic Forum and a frequent guest lecturer at Oxford University, Northwestern University, University of Southern California and New York University. He is an adviser to – and featured prominently on – PBS’ documentary series, ‘Future of Work’. Ravin’s 2022 book, Work Without Jobs: How to Reboot your Organization’s Work Operating System (co-authored with John W. Boudreau, MIT Press) addresses the need for better organisational agility to reflect the fluidity of work and workers. He is also co-author of Reinventing Jobs (HBR Press, 2018) and Lead the Work (Jossey-Bass, 2015). Ravin is global leader of transformation at Mercer.

4. Michelle P. King
for How Work Works

Michelle King is the founder of The Culture Practice consultancy. Her latest book, How Work Works: The Subtle Science of Getting Ahead Without Losing Yourself (Harper Collins, 2023), draws on her 20 years of research into inequality and organisational culture. We need to learn how workplaces work, Michelle argues, so we can make them work for everyone. Michelle is also the author of The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers That Are Holding Women Back at Work (Atria Books, 2020) and host of a weekly podcast, ‘The Fix.’ As a senior adviser to the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, she leads the NexGen Leadership Development Program, which enables young women to overcome the barriers to their success. Previously, she was director of inclusion at Netflix and head of the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change.

5. Gorick Ng
for The Unspoken Rules

Harvard career adviser, Gorick Ng is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right (HBR Press, 2021). The Unspoken Rules is listed in the Thinkers50 2022 Best New Management Booklist and is used by organisations around the world as the foundation of their talent development and diversity and inclusion efforts. The book serves as a guide for early career professionals – especially those from unrepresented backgrounds – to navigate the transition from school to work and ascend to positions of leadership. Gorick is a member of the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2022 and a faculty member at University of California Berkeley. Previously he worked in management consulting at Boston Consulting Group and in investment banking at Credit Suisse.

6. Zeynep Ton
for The Case for Good Jobs

Professor of the practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management and president of the nonprofit Good Jobs Institute, Zeynep Ton explores how companies can design and manage their operations in a way that satisfies customers, employees, and investors simultaneously. Her latest book, The Case for Good Jobs: How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone’s Work (HBR Press, 2023), has been described as “essential business reading for executives and boards” by Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. Zeynep delivers a compelling argument for high-quality jobs being essential for competitive advantage and company success and provides practical steps for organisations to implement the necessary changes. She is also the author of The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits (Harper Business, 2014).

7. Ruchika Tulshyan
for Inclusion on Purpose

Ruchika Tulshyan is the bestselling author of Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creating a Culture of Belonging at Work (MIT Press, 2022). The book centres the workplace experience of women of colour and debunks self-help theories such as the “level playing field” and “leaning in.” To promote inclusion and diversity meaningfully, Ruchika argues, we need to identify, expose, and dismantle structural bias. A former international business journalist, Ruchika is the founder of Candour, an inclusion strategy practice, and is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Harvard Business Review. She is also the co-author (with Jodi-Ann Burey) of one of’s top 100 most read articles: ‘Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome’ (2021).

8. Liz Wiseman
for Impact Players

Thinkers50 Ranked Thinker, Liz Wiseman is CEO of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. Her latest book, Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact (Harper Business, 2021), shows leaders how they can raise the level of play for everyone on their team. Impact Players was listed in the Thinkers50 2022 10 Best New Management Books and serves as a sequel to Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (Harper Business, 2017). Liz was the recipient of the Thinkers50 2019 Leadership Award and was also shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2015 Leadership Award. She has featured in the Thinkers50 Ranking since 2013. Liz is a frequent guest lecturer at Brigham Young University and Stanford University and is a former executive at Oracle Corporation.


Recipients will be announced at the Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2023 on 5-6 November 2023.


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