For over 20 years, Thinkers50 has been identifying, ranking, and sharing the very best in management thinking.


About the Thinkers50 Ranking

Published every two years, the Thinkers50 Ranking is the definitive list of the most influential management thinkers in the world and answers one simple question: who is the world’s most influential living management thinker?

Nominations for the Thinkers50 Ranking are open from May to July in the years that the ranking takes place (odd-numbered years). The public is invited to participate in the online nomination process by submitting the names and qualifications of thinkers they wish to put forward for consideration. Nominations are accepted and encouraged from individuals and organisations across the globe.

All nominations for the Thinkers50 Ranking are considered by the Thinkers50 Panel of Advisors. Each new ranking is announced at the Thinkers50 Awards Gala held in November every other year, culminating in a countdown of the top 10.

The Thinkers50 Ranking uses a proprietary methodology for evaluating management thinking. Thinkers50 founders Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove lead the process, with input and review from the Thinkers50 advisors. The criteria are evaluated on a weighted basis taking account of the thinker’s performance over the long term, as well as over the two years since the previous ranking.


Thinkers50 Ranking: The Selection Process

The methodology is organised by two broad concepts: Viability – the quality and relevance of ideas; and Visibility – the influence and impact of ideas in the world. These concepts are quantified using 10 criteria.


  • Relevance (applicability to current issues and management practice)
  • Rigour (quality of research and theory)
  • Reach (international reach and reach across sectors)
  • Resilience (the durability of ideas in a rapidly changing global economy).


  • Influence (a measure of citations and references)
  • Media coverage and profile (traditional and social media)
  • Presence (public speaking profile and popularity)
  • Communication skills (image, accessibility, and dissemination)
  • Affiliations (associated networks and institutions)
  • Tools and techniques (practical applications).

Nominations are accepted between 15 May and 31 July in odd-numbered years.

Selection & nominations timeline

  • Every odd-numbered year
  • Nominations open to public15 may
  • Nominations close31 july
  • Announcement at the Thinkers50 Awards Gala6 nov
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Every odd-numbered year
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Nominations open
    to public
    15 may
  • Nominations
    31 july
  • Announcement at the Thinkers50 Awards Gala6 nov

Thinkers50 Ranking 2023

#1 Amy C. Edmondson

Pioneer and champion of psychological safety, studies people, projects and organizations to uncover the secrets of successful teaming.

Edmondson’s work on psychological safety has been groundbreaking. Her blueprint on creating a fear-free culture is essential, she argues, for organizations to be able to thrive in today’s knowledge economy in which new ideas and critical thought are essential to success. She has also explored the concept of teaming in dynamic work environments, and demonstrated how cross-organizational teaming can impact the building of smart cities.

#2 Adam Grant

Grant studies how we can find motivation and meaning and lead more generous and creative lives. He has identified three groups of people …

#3Andrew Winston & Paul Polman

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

#4Amy Webb

Best-selling author and quantitative futurist researching emerging technology, business and society…

#5W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Inventors of the ground-breaking “blue ocean strategy”, paving the way for organizations to break out of …

#6Sheena Iyengar

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

#7 Rita McGrath

Globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship; champion of harnessing disruptive influences for competitive advantage.

#8 Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

Osterwalder and Pigneur created the Business Model Canvas, an innovative strategy management …

#9Scott Anthony

Leading adviser on innovation and champion of “dual transformation” strategy, helping businesses to turn disruption into advantage.

#10Tsedal Neeley

Answers the question of how leaders can scale their organizations by developing and implementing global and digital strategies…

Marshall van Alstyne & Geoff Parker

Developed the concept of two-sided markets, which is used extensively in platform business models, and delivered the first comprehensive analysis of platform technology.

Sinan Aral

Forensically and persuasively gets to the reality inside social media and tech.

Rachel Botsman

World-renowned expert on the explosive new era of trust and technology and what this means for life, work, and how we do business.

Tiffani Bova

Top influencer in customer experience, digital transformation, business model innovation, and the future of work…

Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee

Launched into the thought leadership stratosphere in 2014 with The Second Machine Age, their work continues to provide a road-map for success in a digital economy…

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

International authority in people analytics, talent management, leadership development, and the Human-AI interface.

Jin Chen

One of China’s premier thinkers on innovation and pioneer of holistic innovation…

Dorie Clark

Self-reinvention and branding expert, showing others how to take control of their professional lives and make an impact on the world…

Susan David

Award-winning psychologist who applies her knowledge of emotions, human motivation, and change to individuals and organizations…

Erica Dhawan

Connecting the dots for leaders as they seek to break team silos, drive exponential growth and innovate through teamwork…

Kirstin Ferguson

Helping modern leaders leave a positive legacy with head and heart leadership.

Frances Frei & Anne Morriss

Leadership isn’t about you, it is about the people you work with…

Heidi K. Gardner

Champion of cross-silo collaboration, breaking barriers, and transforming work.

Heidi Grant

Neuroscience-based talent strategist – teaching us the science of human performance, motivation, and decision-making…

Lynda Gratton

Psychologist, with a unique focus on organizational change, and the movement of business from a competitive to a more collaborative work space…

Mark Greeven

Ecosystem specialist and Mandarin-speaking authority on innovation in China…

Hal Gregersen

Catalytic questioner and global innovator, exploring how asking the right questions builds leadership and innovation, and drives purposeful change…

Ranjay Gulati

Putting purpose at the heart of management, Ranjay explains, delivers game-changing results for both companies and society alike…

Linda Hill

Top expert on leadership and innovation, focused on global strategies, and how to harness creativity and engagement for strategic implementation.

Herminia Ibarra

Distinguished authority on leadership and career development, advocating the importance of strategic networks, and the value of collaboration…

Michael Jacobides

Champion of business ecosystems and digital platforms, collaboration and partnership; specialist on corporate turnarounds and organizational transformation…

Whitney Johnson

Expert on the powers of disruption, and the ways to grasp the opportunities of change, starting with the personal.

Hubert Joly

Helping leaders put purpose to work and unleash human magic.

Martin Lindstrom

International branding expert, who has led deep research into the minds of buyers, applying insights from neuroscience to develop the concept of “buyology”…

Roger L. Martin

Martin’s influence on business strategy and thinking has been immense. He championed the idea of integrative thinking, arguing that …

Nilofer Merchant

Prominent thought leader and strategist on the future of work in the social era, advocating for people in a technology-driven workspace…

Erin Meyer

Specialist on cross-cultural management, her evaluation of different cultures has resulted in a strategic framework for organizations seeking international success…

Katy Milkman

Making business sense of human behaviour and the decisions we make…

Tina Opie

Founder of Shared Sisterhood™, Tina explores the connections between diversity, inclusion, and equity …

Gianpiero Petriglieri

Expert on leadership and learning in the workplace, notably leadership in the age of “nomadic professionalism”, and broadening and strengthening…

Dan Pink

Recognized expert on the science of motivation, the science of timing, and the business zeitgeist; writes and creates at the intersection of work, psychology, and society.

Navi Radjou

How we can expand our awareness and tap into abundant inner resources — love, ingenuity, wisdom — to direct human evolution towards a healthier…

Megan Reitz

Explorer of the theory, practice and importance of speaking truth to power…

Laura Morgan Roberts

Making workplaces fairer…

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

The world’s leading champion of project management; creator of concepts including the Project Economy and the Hierarchy of Purpose.

Sanyin Siang

Educator and executive coach, passionate about helping champions grow, adapt, and give back so they can keep on winning…

Simon Sinek

Leadership visionary with the intent to change how business leaders think, act, and operate, to create environments in which people work at their natural best…

Zeynep Ton

A leading voice on the case for good jobs, Zeynep explores how companies can satisfy their customers, employees, and investors simultaneously.

Liz Wiseman

Best-selling author, proponent of talent development through leadership, advocates the power of harnessing collective intelligence…

Howard Yu

A future-ready strategist, Howard specialises in technological innovation, strategic transformation, and change management.

Thinkers50 Ranking 2023

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Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2023

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