Here is our 2017 speaker line-up!

  • Reinier Zeldenrust – Elon Musk will take us to Mars – but can we make it our home?

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    Reinier Zeldenrust – Elon Musk will take us to Mars – but can we make it our home?

    Reinier Zeldenrust – Elon Musk will take us to Mars – but can we make it our home?

    Biography: Reinier Zeldenrust is an astrophysicist and former management consultant who now works at the cutting edge of building systems, whether that is finding new ways for teams to collaborate on construction, designing radical new solutions for buildings to save energy, or using robotics to push the limits of building on earth and in space.

    Talk Description: If we are to believe Elon Musk (and we all want to), we will move to Mars en masse in the next 10 years . But it’s not a very hospitable place – it’s cold enough for air to freeze and you won’t be able to grow potatoes under a sunroof (like Matt Damon does in ‘The Martian’). So can we make Mars our new home? What engineering challenges do we need to solve? Reinier Zeldenrust will highlight some recent developments in this field and consider the technical, financial and moral implications of living on Mars.

    Reinier Zeldenrust – Elon Musk will take us to Mars – but can we make it our home?
  • Randall S. Peterson – Do narcissists have a role in bettering organisations?

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    Randall S. Peterson – Do narcissists have a role in bettering organisations?

    Randall S. Peterson – Do narcissists have a role in bettering organisations?

    Biography: Randall S. Peterson is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Academic Director of the Leadership Institute at London Business School. He is a highly-experienced researcher, teacher and consultant. His expertise is in all aspects of organisational behaviour and he is an internationally-recognised authority on developing high-performance and multinational teams, conflict resolution, assessing leadership, leader personality, and developing interpersonal skills.

    Randall obtained his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in social psychology. He teaches the leadership week on both the flagship Senior Executive and Accelerated Development Programmes, as well as for the leadership degree programmes. Randall has also worked with a wide range of executives and leading organisations worldwide, ranging from consulting, to banking, energy, and retail.

    Randall is also a regular contributor to a wide range of academic journals, book publications, industry outlets and conferences. His research has featured in a wide variety of outlets from the Journal of Applied Psychology to HR Magazine and Harvard Business Review.

    Talk Description: Narcissist leaders represent a conundrum for organisations. On the one hand, they can be huge assets, maintaining impressive drive and vision and enacting sweeping change through the power of their charisma. On the other hand, they can be volatile leaders, exploding at any suggestion that their rosy view of their own competence is inaccurate. In this talk, Randall Peterson will explore the various dimensions of narcissism and discuss how companies can best leverage it to optimally benefit organisations and teams.

     

    Randall S. Peterson – Do narcissists have a role in bettering organisations?
  • Julia Hobsbawm – Social health: Surviving & thriving in an age of overload

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    Julia Hobsbawm – Social health: Surviving & thriving in an age of overload

    Julia Hobsbawm – Social health: Surviving & thriving in an age of overload

    Biography: Julia Hobsbawm is an expert on connectedness in modern working life. A prominent entrepreneur, media commentator and international speaker for corporate audiences, she has emerged as a leading voice on the future of the workplace, Social Health and behavioural networks: how to best use social network science to enhance productivity, engagement and talent management. She was made the world’s first professor in Networking in 2011 and is Honorary Visiting Professor at Cass Business School in London and at the University of Suffolk.

    Talk Description: Has technology made us healthy as a society and at an individual level, or has it led humans to outsource fundamental behaviours, making us less productive, happy and healthy? In this talk, Julia will explore these topics in great detail and lay out her blueprint for ‘Social Health’ – the ability to balance connection to technology and its opposite (actual disconnection) – with managing KNOT: Knowledge, Networks and Time.

    Julia Hobsbawm – Social health: Surviving & thriving in an age of overload
  • Adrian Wooldridge – A future imperfect: why globalisation went wrong

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    Adrian Wooldridge – A future imperfect: why globalisation went wrong

    Adrian Wooldridge – A future imperfect: why globalisation went wrong

    Biography: Adrian Wooldridge is the political editor and Bagehot columnist of The Economist. He has also worked as the Economist’s Schumpeter columnist and management editor, Lexington columnist and Washington bureau chief, and Los Angeles bureau chief. He is the author or co-author of nine books.

    Talk Description: After WWII it was promised and hoped that globalisation would produce massive benefits for the masses. However Adrian will explore the deeper problems with globalisation and the backlash we are feeling from hyper-globalisation over the past several decades.

    Adrian Wooldridge – A future imperfect: why globalisation went wrong
  • Julian Birkinshaw – The costs of complexity – Why we need to reinvent management

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    Julian Birkinshaw – The costs of complexity – Why we need to reinvent management

    Julian Birkinshaw – The costs of complexity – Why we need to reinvent management

    Biography: Julian Birkinshaw is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Deputy Dean for Programs, and Director of the Deloitte Institute at the London Business School.
    Professor Birkinshaw’s main area of expertise is in the strategy and organisation of large multinational corporations, and on such specific issues as subsidiary-headquarters relationships, corporate entrepreneurship, innovation, the changing role of the corporate HQ, organisation design, and knowledge management. Professor Birkinshaw was ranked 43rd in the 2015 “Thinkers 50” list of the top global thinkers in the field of Management. He is regularly quoted in international media outlets, including CNN, BBC, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, Bloomberg Business Week and The Times. He speaks regularly at business conferences in the UK, Europe, North America and Australia.

    Talk Description: There is a large cost associated with the problem of corporate complexity, and this problem is getting worse. Julian will discuss his solution – a new way of organising based on adhocracy not bureaucracy, and what it means on practical basis for people working in large organisations.

    Julian Birkinshaw – The costs of complexity – Why we need to reinvent management
  • Yutaka Kunita – Take the ‘B’ Train

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    Yutaka Kunita – Take the ‘B’ Train

    Yutaka Kunita – Take the ‘B’ Train

    Biography: Yutaka Kunita is a dexterous IT strategist with a Ph.D in Mathematical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration. After her 15-year career in Research & Development at leading media technology companies, she has decided to restart her life by focusing on the art of transitions through life and human-centric technologies in the start of the era of 100-year lives and artificial intelligence.

    Talk Description: A “life changing experience” is a marketing buzz-phrase adopted by most business schools. But believe it — that kind of experience could happen at London Business School. This speaker will talk through how he made a decision to change his life from a successful but straightforward life in Japan to a chaotic but exhilarating opportunity in London.

    Yutaka Kunita – Take the ‘B’ Train
  • Panos Athanasopoulos – Multilingualism: Living Life in High Definition

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    Panos Athanasopoulos – Multilingualism: Living Life in High Definition

    Panos Athanasopoulos – Multilingualism: Living Life in High Definition

    Biography: Panos Athanasopoulos’ research is guided by two questions: Do speakers of different languages think differently? Do bilinguals think differently from monolinguals? He pursued these questions during his PhD at the University of Essex, where he developed and implemented a novel framework for studying the bilingual mind using a mixture of verbal and non-verbal tasks. This earned him a Graduate Student Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics. During his first full time post at Bangor University in Wales he built on his multidisciplinary methodological expertise, and with colleagues, pioneered a novel experimental paradigm to study unconscious perception. He is now the Chair in Applied Linguistics at Lancaster University, where he directs the Perception and Learning Laboratory (PERLL). In the past 5 years, his projects have focused on the cognitive flexibility that learning new languages confers on the human mind.

    Talk description: We don’t actually need two eyes to see, one will do the job just fine. But binocular vision expands your visual field and allows you to see in 3-D, making you much better at judging the distance and size of objects. Languages also work the same way. In his talk, Panos Athanasopoulos will explain how multilingualism empowers us, as humans, to become attuned to perceptual dimensions that we weren’t aware of before, allowing us to live in high definition.

    Panos Athanasopoulos – Multilingualism: Living Life in High Definition
  • Tiiram Sunderland – Is business school failing my generation? Why sustainability is central to business education

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    Tiiram Sunderland – Is business school failing my generation? Why sustainability is central to business education

    Tiiram Sunderland – Is business school failing my generation? Why sustainability is central to business education

    Biography: Tiiram Sunderland is a current MBA student at London Business School. Prior to LBS, he completed MAs in Public Policy and International Politics and spent 5 years working for the Australian Government developing climate policy and programmes to improve economic and social outcomes for the poor in the Asia-Pacific. Tiiram is passionate about sustainability, education and inclusive development, and his career has taken him from the United Nations Environment Programme in New York, to the board of the youth education not-for-profit, CISV International. 

    Talk Description: Business schools train the future leaders of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies. But are they preparing students for the challenges and opportunities ahead? Former climate change policymaker and current student at London Business School, Tiiram Sunderland believes business schools are at risk of failing to equip their students for one of the world’s biggest challenges. Advocating that sustainability in business education is a win for all, Tiiram outlines what’s in it for students, for business schools, and for the planet.

    Tiiram Sunderland – Is business school failing my generation? Why sustainability is central to business education
  • Weijie Kong – You don’t need talent to dance

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    Weijie Kong – You don’t need talent to dance

    Weijie Kong – You don’t need talent to dance

    Biography: Before enrolling as an MBA candidate at London Business School, Weijie Kong was an engineer in the solar energy industry in Singapore. Ever since he picked up hip-hop dancing as an undergraduate, he has straddled the two seemingly contrasting realms of engineering and dance. By day, Weijie worked as an engineer, and devoted the remainder of his time to dancing with the contemporary dance company RAW Moves, creating and performing in multiple performances by local and international choreographers.

    Talk description: What is dance? Can you dance? Weijie Kong challenges us to think beyond mainstream dance genres, and makes a case that dance is for everyone – no talent required.

    Weijie Kong – You don’t need talent to dance
  • Lucy Kellaway – I’m becoming a teacher at 58 – this is why you should join me

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    Lucy Kellaway – I’m becoming a teacher at 58  – this is why you should join me

    Lucy Kellaway – I’m becoming a teacher at 58 – this is why you should join me

    Biography: Lucy Kellaway has spent the last three decades at the Financial Times writing columns that poke fun at corporate life, business jargon and management fads. She is the newspaper’s office agony aunt and inventor of the insufferable fictional character, Martin Lukes. In September 2017 she is leaving all this to be a maths teacher in an inner city school in London. In November 2016 she co-founded Now Teach, a charity designed to persuade high-flying fifty somethings from the corporate world to train alongside her. For nine years she was a non-executive director of Admiral plc.

    Talk description: After 31 years as a prominent and well-respected Financial Times columnist, Lucy Kellaway has made the decision to leave – to be a maths teacher. There are many programmes encouraging fresh graduates to enter the teaching profession, but what about seasoned professionals? In her talk, Lucy will reframe the way we think about being an educator and why it’s more important than ever to be one now.

    Lucy Kellaway – I’m becoming a teacher at 58 – this is why you should join me
  • Rafe Offer – Making music history… one living room at a time

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    Rafe Offer –  Making music history… one living room at a time

    Rafe Offer – Making music history… one living room at a time

    Biography: Rafe Offer started his career with roles in advertising across a variety of sectors, taking on senior marketing positions with Coca-Cola, The Walt Disney Company and Diageo where he gained a broad, unparalleled view of the ever-changing world of business. Internationally hailed for turning multiple major brands into what they are today, Rafe has since left the marketing world to pursue his passion for music by building Sofar Sounds, now a worldwide movement. A cutting-edge music company and worldwide promoter of new bands, his creation has been described by the Guardian as ‘a quiet revolution’ and New York Magazine as ‘one of the top new brands in America’.

    Talk Description: It’s funny how inspiration strikes. For Rafe Offer and co-founder Rocky Start, it happened one night at a bar in Soho, London. From this flash of inspiration grew a worldwide musical movement. In his talk, Rafe will discuss how a passion for music propelled him and his friends to reimagine how music should be listened to. Breaking a few rules along the way, what started out as a hobby became a significant disruption to the music industry.

    Rafe Offer – Making music history… one living room at a time
  • Jasper Jackson – Fake news and alternative facts: what went wrong and how to fix it

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    Jasper Jackson – Fake news and alternative facts: what went wrong and how to fix it

    Jasper Jackson – Fake news and alternative facts: what went wrong and how to fix it

    Biography: Jasper Jackson is a media and tech journalist focusing on how digital disruption has challenged established organisations and opened up new opportunities. Most recently, he has been the digital editor at the New Statesman, overseeing and writing extensive coverage of the UK and international media industries, with a particular focus on new models and strategies for adapting to change and how journalism has evolved to take advantage of digital structures and new technology. He has also spoken on issues such as the lessons the media can learn from Brexit and the changing digital advertising ecosystem. He has an undergraduate degree in Politics and Social Policy from Edinburgh University and a Master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from City University.

    Talk description: Fake news and disinformation have grown into increasingly thorny problems for democracy, something the public has become ever more aware of following the US presidential election. At the same time the institutions and tools used to keep people well informed have been weakened. As digital editor of the New Statesman responsible for overseeing and writing extensive coverage of international media industries, Jasper has seen first-hand the impact on the journalism industry and public discourse. His talk will explore how advancing technology and the evolution of journalism and the media have led to our current situation, and how the industry, and wider society, can respond.

    Jasper Jackson – Fake news and alternative facts: what went wrong and how to fix it
  • Alex Edmans – From post-truth to pro-truth

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    Alex Edmans – From post-truth to pro-truth

    Alex Edmans – From post-truth to pro-truth

    Biography: Alex Edmans is a Professor of Finance at London Business School, specialising in corporate governance, executive compensation, and corporate social responsibility. He has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, testified in the UK Parliament, written for the Harvard Business Review, and presented to the Bank of England, Federal Reserve, HM Treasury, IMF, SEC and more.

    Talk description: We seem to live in a post-truth world now, with the use of anecdote over evidence, the disdain of experts that we saw in the referendum, and social media leading to people only paying attention to articles that they agree with. Alex Edmans’s talk will explore the ramifications of acting on impulse before thinking through whether or not information is reliable, and offer tools for us to survive in a post-truth society.

    Alex Edmans – From post-truth to pro-truth
  • Katy Portell – Tissue donation: The conversation that saved my life

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    Katy Portell – Tissue donation: The conversation that saved my life

    Katy Portell – Tissue donation: The conversation that saved my life

    Biography: Katy Portell graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Portland, Oregon, USA with a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication. She has worked for 2 ½ years as Volunteer Program Coordinator for Southwest Transplant Alliance, one of the largest of 58 federally-designated Organ Procurement Organizations in the United States. She is currently the recipient of an International Postgraduate Scholarship and is completing her Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at Kingston University, London, UK. Katy is determined to combine her passion and talent to promote the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation and the impact one person can have.

    Talk Description: Katy Portell was not expected to live. Born with several heart defects, she underwent several minor procedures in the first few months of her life, until at age 4 she received the gift of a donor heart valve transplant and survived open-heart reconstruction surgery. More than 20 years post-transplant, Katy set out in search for information about her donor and his family, learning about the young boy who chose to save her life.

    Katy Portell – Tissue donation: The conversation that saved my life
  • Sile O’Modhrain – Unnatural selection: The survival of the fittest in the digital age

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    Sile O’Modhrain – Unnatural selection: The survival of the fittest in the digital age

    Sile O’Modhrain – Unnatural selection: The survival of the fittest in the digital age

    Biography: Sile O’Modhrain is developing “the Holy Braille”, a full-page refreshable braille device that aims to increase Braille literacy among blind people worldwide. In over 30 years there have been few significant changes to Braille display technology, and the existing options are expensive and complex to manufacture. The goal: a high-density refreshable tactile array at a much lower cost.

    Talk description: The advent of the digital age was a boon for many, but left the blind and visually-impaired struggling to adjust. Sile O’Modhrain found herself at the same crossroads, working as the first blind sound engineer at BBC Network Radio, when the network shifted from analogue to digital operations. Sile will take you on her journey in developing “the Holy Braille”, a full-page refreshable braille device aimed to make the digital age an inclusive era for all.

    Sile O’Modhrain – Unnatural selection: The survival of the fittest in the digital age
  • Baillie Aaron – What if being ‘soft on crime’ is good for society?

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    Baillie Aaron – What if being ‘soft on crime’ is good for society?

    Baillie Aaron – What if being ‘soft on crime’ is good for society?

    Biography: Baillie Aaron is the founder and CEO of Spark Inside, a London-based charity providing professional coaching in prisons to promote rehabilitation and desistance from crime. She believes all people, even former prisoners, can lead meaningful lives and should be given an equal opportunity to succeed. To date, Spark Inside has coached 400+ participants through its programs, enabling former prisoners to become law-abiding citizens who are economically self-sufficient and personally fulfilled.

    Talk description: In a time of austerity, we remain invested in an expensive prison system that has little impact on reducing crime. In this talk, Baillie Aaron explores the unsettling possibility that harsher prison conditions may have the unintended consequence of increasing crime; and that if we truly want a safer society, we need to rethink the role of punishment in our prison system.

    Baillie Aaron – What if being ‘soft on crime’ is good for society?