Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021


15-16 November 2021

Join us this year to celebrate 20 years of identifying, ranking, and sharing extraordinary management and business thinking

About Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first ever Thinkers50 Ranking and will see business and management thinkers from around the world sharing two days of ideas, inspiration, and celebration. The anniversary as well as the current disruption caused by the pandemic gave us the opportunity to re-think our biennial event.

Read on to learn more about what we have in store for you this autumn!


This year’s Awards Gala is set to be a two-day virtual event,
hosted from our studio in London.


Virtual Event

Whether our 20th anniversary celebration could be hybrid or should be completely virtual has been a vexing issue for us. Being natural optimists, we left the hybrid option on the table for as long as we could, hoping that the picture would become clearer and it would be possible to meet safely and celebrate in person. But we always knew we would have to make a hard decision at some point, and, after consulting widely with you, the Thinkers50 community, we have decided that for 2021 the virtual option makes most sense and is the safest and most inclusive way for us to all get together. Obviously we are sad that we cannot welcome you all to London this year of all years, but the great news is that you can join the celebration from anywhere in the world!

Our purpose

Thinkers50 2021 is an opportunity to recognise the very best in management thinking. It is also your chance to participate in a curated conversation with your fellow Thinkers50 community members to shape a more humane and sustainable future for the world – and make a difference through ideas with purpose.

Curated audience

To guarantee the intimacy and exclusivity you have come to expect from what the Financial Times describes as the “Oscars of management thinking”, we are offering our extended Thinkers50 community a limited number of premium tickets.

In order to access premium tickets, please submit your application by filling out the form below. We will select the participants who will then be able to join us on 15 and 16 November. Curating the audience in this way will provide the best networking opportunities for you and other Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021 participants.

If your application is approved, the invitation to the event is extended to you and one guest of your choice.

To see who has already secured their ticket, please visit our attendees list.



Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021 Attendees List

Abhishek Kumar

Abraham Khoureis

Aishwarya Rindhe

Alex Osterwalder

Alice Vincent

Alison Roberts

Alf Rehn

Alisa Cohn

Alison du Toit

Allison Liddle

Alwin Magimay

Alyson Meister

Amanda Wikman

Amantha Imber

Amit Kapoor

Amy Bradley

Amy Edmondson

Anders Indset

Andries Breytenbach

Andries Celliers

Anil Gupta

Annika Steiber

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

Antonios Kouroutakis

Ashraf Garda

Ashwini Bakshi

Asuka Takaoka

Atchara Juicharern

Bin Ma

Bongi Ndimande

Brantlee Underhill

Brenda Bence

Cali Yost

Carlo Bozzoli

Caroline Webb

Chenyang Guo

Chris Klopper

Christian Rangen

Christopher Fenning

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

Clifford Sheldon

Colleen Leclerq

Connie Dieken

Cristina Cruz

Dan Pontefract

Dane Jensen

Daniel Blake

Daniel Pink

Darren Menabney

Dave Ulrich

David De Cremer

David Nour

David Burkus

David Duncan

David Gentle

David Kasperson

David Lancefield

Deb Harrity

Deepa Prahalad

Delphine Dubuet

Diane Hamilton

Dipankar Chowdhury

Dorie Clark

Elizabeth Altman

Ellen Snee

Elmien Solms

Emanuele Quintarelli

Emil Andersson

Engelbert Pelster

Enrique Dans

Erica Dhawan

Erika Lucas

Erin Meyer

Ernest Adams

Eugene van Rensburg

Fabienne Astier

Fabrizio Salvador

Federico Fernández de Santos Ortiz

Fons Trompenaars

Francesca Gino

Francis Hintermann

François Candelon

Francois Cyril

Frederic Etiemble

Gena Cox

Geoff Parker

Geoff Tuff

George Yip
Imperial College and Northeastern University

Gianpiero Petriglieri

Grant Kelly

Guido Bartalena

Haiyan Wang

Hal Gregersen

Helen Bevan

Henry Stewart

Herminia Ibarra

Hiroshi Nishikawa

Hubert Joly

Ian Daley

Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes

Jacob Chacko

Jeffrey Kuhn

Jennifer Petriglieri

Jill Totenberg

Joan Bigham

Johan Nel

Jon Fraser

Joost Minnaar

Jose Pinto

Josef Hoeckner

Joseph Cahill

Julia Hautz

Kachi Teruko

Kaihan Krippendorff

Kaisa Snellman

Kamalesh Agarwalla

Karen Christensen

Karen McKenzie

Karim Harbott

Karina Garcia

Karl Moore

Karlheinz Schwuchow

Kim Korn

Kriti Jain

Kumar Mahadeva

Kurt Matzler

Laney Liu

Laura Gassner Otting

Laura Watkins

Leon Prieto

Liezel van Arkel

Lina Zhu

Linda Brimm

Linda Hill

Lindsey Pollak

Liz Morrison

Liz Wiseman

Louise van Rhyn

Luyao Wang

Luz Rello

Lynda Gratton

Lynda Smith

Manbir Kaur

Mandeep Sethi

Marc Silvester

Mariaan Uys

Marietjie du Toit

Marshall Van Alstyne

Martin Lindstrom

Martina Pasquini

Matt Gitsham

Matteo Malito

Mel Tomlinson

Michael DePrisco

Michael Jacobides

Michael Watkins

Michael Stanier

Michelle Duplessis

Mike Dulworth

Mike Lee

Morten Hansen

Nankhonde Kasonde-van den Broek

Nathan Furr

Navi Radjou

Neil Davis

Nikitas Konstantinidis

Nilofer Merchant

Ninez Piezas-Jerbi

Noah Askin

Oleg Konovalov

Olivier Terrée

Patrice Louvet

Peter Bregman

Peter Ilyes

Peter Lorange

Philip Kotler

Pim De Morree

Pradeep Jethi

Rachael Ballard

Radoslava Anguelova

Rahaf Harfoush

Rahul Agarwal

Rashmir Balasubramaniam

Rebecca Zucker

Renée Mauborgne

Rita McGrath

Rita Pinto

Rita Vanhauwenhuyse

Robert C Griffin

Robin Speculand

Rocío Bonet

Roger Martin

Ron Carucci

Rudy Buys

Sally Ashworth

Sami Carouba

Sanyin Siang

Sarah Green Carmichael

Scott Anthony

Selim Oktar

Sheree Atcheson

Simone Ahuja

Simone Cicero

Sinan Aral

Stefanie K. Johnson

Stephen M R Covey

Steven Goldbach

Stew Friedman

Subir Chowdhury

Susan David

Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Sylvia Guan

Tahirou Assane

Tammy Erickson

Tasha Eurich

Tendayi Viki

Terence Mauri

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg

Tilly Kgatla

Tim Moody

Todd Cherches

Tom Kolditz

Tsedal Neeley

Vinod Jain

W. Chan Kim

Wen Yang

Whitney Johnson

William Cornellius Zeeb J

William Fischer

William Malek

Xiaotong Gu

Xin Fu

Yavnika Khanna

Yoshikuni Takashige

Yuying Shen

Yves Pigneur


Event Theme: Ideas with Purpose

This year is the 20th anniversary of the first ever Thinkers50 Ranking, and we are marking the occasion by instigating a dialogue about the role and value of management in society. Our theme is Ideas with Purpose

The Thinkers50 mission is to be the world’s most reliable resource for identifying, ranking and sharing the leading management ideas of our age: ideas that can make a real difference in the world.

The second part is significant. Ideas are all well and good for their own sake, but what we value most are ideas with a practical application, which create value in the real world.

‘There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory,’ Kurt Lewin said, and we agree. The best theories are those with a clear purpose, which encourage us to apply them, but also to challenge them to ensure they are robust and remain relevant.

Ideas with a Purpose can make a difference by informing practice. But only if we are prepared to constantly seek out new and better theories. That requires attributes such as curiosity, humility, and inclusivity – which we are proud to curate in our program.

It also means questioning outdated assumptions, challenging arrogant leaders, and demanding fairer working practices. Above all it takes a restless desire to have a positive impact on the lives of real people.

Join us in our pursuit of Ideas with Purpose!

Ideas Premiere Pre-Event on 13-14 October

Welcome to our Ideas Premiere, a foretaste of what’s to come in our Awards Gala.

Over two days we will be curating some of the world’s leading business thinkers as they set the scene for the post-pandemic business world by questioning outdated assumptions and challenging the status quo.

From calling out arrogant leaders and the damage they do, to exploring the customer and employee experience imperatives, and from reimagining capitalism to a long overdue reappraisal of management history, we shine a light on the latest ideas and offer a vision of business that is joyful, open to ecosystems thinking and able to embrace a state of permanent transformation.

We are joined by business leaders including Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS Group, and leading thinkers including Amy Edmondson, Michael Jacobides, and Philip Kotler, the man who invented and continues to reinvent modern marketing, and go in search of deeper meaning with Leadership and Literature with Subir Chowdhury and a panel of acclaimed novelists and poets.

Premium tickets

A premium ticket to the Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021 is £500 (*20% VAT applies only to purchases in the UK).

Premium ticket holders will enjoy several exclusive benefits:


Interactive event participation

Interactive participation in live events and breakout rooms throughout the two days, including the Gala announcement of the new Thinkers50 Ranking and winners of the 2021 Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Access to Thinkers50 Community Platform

Your ticket includes access to our brand new platform launching in October 2021, where you’ll be able to connect with your fellow Thinkers50 community members. It will enable you to share ideas, collaborate, and learn – throughout the year.


Co-creation of the Thinkers50 Declaration of Purpose

A unique opportunity to co-create the Thinkers50 Declaration of Purpose – a message about the role and purpose of management in a challenged world and a declaration of our beliefs as a community, which will be announced at the Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021 and promoted across global media.

Inclusion in the 20th Anniversary Thinkers50 Yearbook

For Thinkers50 2021 we are producing a unique, high quality ebook to celebrate 20 years of extraordinary ideas and the latest Ranking and Award Winners. As a premium ticket holder, you will be featured.

Join us – apply for your ticket now!

To escape the Covid crisis and tackle the wicked problems facing the world, we need fresh ideas more than ever: support the work of Thinkers50 and the role of thought leadership in the business world by joining us at Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2021.

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More Information

Stay tuned as we release more information about the event. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.


If you would like to explore a potential partnership, we would love to hear from you. Contact Thinkers50 co-founders Stuart and Des.


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Business Ecosystems Alliance
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Executive Networks
Business Ecosystems Alliance
ECSI logo
Ralph Lauren logo
Johnson and Johnson
ECSI logo
Business Ecosystems Alliance
ECSI logo
ECSI logo
ECSI logo