LBS logo London experience. World impact.

The Wheeler Institute for Business and Development (Wheeler Institute) is a platform for business thinkers, policymakers, NGOs and academics to come together to share successes and find new solutions to some of the world’s most intractable development challenges.


At Institute events, business people, academics, NGOs and policy makers will forge new partnerships, learn from each other and identify how to adopt and scale up interventions that have been shown to improve lives.

London Business School (LBS) has a strong track record in this area. Recently, for example, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus told a London Business School audience that humans are all natural entrepreneurs; it’s the system that’s flawed.


Upcoming events

  • Upcoming events to be announced soon.

Supporting young researchers

  • PhD Conference with Daron Acemoglu – MIT Professor of Economics

    When: Wednesday 11 July 2018 / 10:00-15:00

    Open to: All LBS PhD students

    The Wheeler Institute for Business and Development was delighted to host a doctoral conference to honour MIT Professor Daron Acemoglu who is an expert in political economy and the author of "Why Nations Fail”, an influential best-selling book on the role that institutions play in shaping nations' economic outcomes. 10 selected LBS PhD students from different school departments were given the rare opportunity to present their research and receive invaluable feedback by Daron Acemoglu.

Supporting student initiatives

  • Entrepreneurial Leaders of Tomorrow: Ways to Make a Change
    With the African Leadership Academy
    Hosted by The Africa Club and the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development

    When: 14 November 2018 / 18:30-20:15
    Location: Sammy Ofer Centre / London Business School

    Africa’s greatest need is ethical and entrepreneurial leadership. On 14 November 2018, the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development and the LBS student-run initiative The Africa Club hosted a recruitment event featuring the African Leadership Academy (ALA) to give entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow the opportunity to learn more about ALA and to explore ways how to make a change.

    The African Leadership Academy (ALA) is the foremost pan-African leadership development institution and a unique potential employer to LBS students. Through a world-class program centred on entrepreneurial leadership, the Academy has trained nearly a thousand young people from 47 African countries in their flagship pre-university Diploma Program and now sits at the forefront of developing impactful young leaders with the mind-set, skills, and networks to have wide-scale social impact across the world.

Past events

  • Building Sustainable Enterprises
  • Yangon Global Business Experience

    with John Mullins and Antony Ross

    When: 5 December 2018 / 18:00-20:00

    Location: The Strand Restaurant / 92 Strand Street / Yangon, Myanmar

    Open to: Local business leaders, business mentors and entrepreneurs, friends and supporters of LBS and the Yangon GBE



    As part of the Yangon Global Business Experience (GBE), the Wheeler Institute accompanied 80 MBA students from London Business School on a weeklong experiential course that gave them a first-hand glimpse into the opportunities and challenges that arise when launching a new venture in a frontier market.


    This session was an opportunity for the faculty leaders of the Yangon GBE to share with those supporting the programme and LBS insights from their own professional experiences and academic research about how to build a sustainable venture. Drawing on the faculty leaders’ individual areas of expertise and current areas of interest, the speakers and guests looked at sustainability both from a business perspective and from an impact perspective.


  • Book launch Dance of the Trillions: Developing Countries and Global Finance by David Lubin
    When: 15 November 2018 / 17:30-20:30
    Location: Sammy Ofer Centre / London Business School

    International capital flows have played a major role in shaping the fortunes of developing countries. What makes money flow from high-income countries to lower-income ones, and what makes it flow out again? How do developing countries protect themselves from the volatility of these flows, and how is the rise of China affecting this market?

    On 15 November 2018, the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development hosted a book launch with David Lubin at Sammy Ofer Centre, followed by a panel discussion with Professors Hélène Rey and Elias Papaioannou, Academic Director of the Wheeler Institute.

    Lubin’s Dance of the Trillions: Developing Countries and Global Finance traces the evolution of ‘emerging markets’ as an organising concept in international financial markets and analyses the relationship between developing countries and global finance – which currently appears to be moving from one governed by the ‘Washington Consensus’ to one more likely to be shaped by Beijing.

    The video of the event will be available shortly.


  • Business and Fragile States
    When: 8-9 October 2018
    Location: London Business School / Sammy Ofer Centre

    State fragility drives some of the biggest problems in our world today: extreme poverty, mass migration, terrorism, trafficking, and more. Why are some countries ‘fragile’, chronically affected by insecurity and political and economic instability? How can private initiatives contribute to better outcomes?

    On 8 and 9 October, the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development provided a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of this complex topic by dedicating a two-day conference to the role of business in the context of conflict or substantial political instability, in post-conflict environments, and in weakly institutionalised regions of otherwise stable countries.

    High-profile business leaders, acclaimed academics and representatives of influential NGOs and policy organisations came together to involve in action-oriented discussions on the importance of business and good governance in fragile contexts.

    Read more about the conference and our outstanding speakers on our event website Business and Fragile States 2018.


  • Automation in Emerging Markets: Killing Jobs before They're Born?

    When: 11 July 2018

    Location: London Business School

    The Wheeler Institute for Business and Development had the pleasure to welcome Daron Acemoglu, MIT Professor of Economics and best-selling author of “Why nations fail”, to the Sammy Ofer Centre where he shared his ground-breaking research on the social impact of technological change with a captivated audience. How will automation change work and economic opportunities in the world? Acemoglu’s insights were followed by a high-profil panel discussion including

    - Stanley Pignal (Moderator) – The Economist, South Asia business and finance correspondent,
    Nieros Oyegun – CDC Group, Leader of The Africa List, and
    Andrew Scott – LBS Professor of Economics and co-author of “The 100-Year Life”.

  • In conversation with Commercial International Bank (CIB)

    When: Thursday 14 June

    Open to: by invitation only

    Rajesh Chandy, Academic Director, Wheeler Institute for Business and Development, joins Hisham Ezz El Arab, Chairman and Managing Director, Islam Zerkry, Chief Data Officer from CIB, Egypt’s leading private bank, and Professor Randall S Peterson, Academic Director of the Leadership Institute (LBS), to discuss how they implemented major transformation in the middle of huge economic and political turbulence. This event has been organised in partnership with LBS’s Leadership Institute.

  • Africa Business Summit

    When: 12 May 2018

    Open to: all

    Rajesh Chandy, Academic Director, was one of the speakers in the Human Capital Networking Session at the 2018 Africa Business Summit. Organised by LBS’s Africa Club, this year’s event focused on scaling for impact. Other speakers – politicians, bankers, business people, cultural leaders and entrepreneurs – included H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana.

  • Trans-Atlantic Doctoral Conference

    When: Thursday 10 May to Saturday 12 May

    Open to: PhD students

    The Wheeler Institute was a sponsor of the 2018 conference, which saw PhD candidates from top schools worldwide present and discuss their research at a three-day event hosted at London Business School

  • Net Impact Conference

    When: 1 March 2018

    Open to: all

    This year’s Tech for Good conference, organised by LBS’s Net Impact Club, focused on how companies are using technology in emerging markets to leapfrog traditional models – so that people who don’t have access to bank accounts can make mobile payments, for example. The Wheeler Institute and Prodigy Finance were co-sponsors.

  • 2017 Business for Development Summit

    When: 15 December

    Location: London Business School

    The Inaugural Business for Development Summit on 15 December will bring together industry, government, and civil society leaders from around the world – as we explore the frontier of cutting-edge business research to apply new insights and innovations to improving the lives of the world’s most underprivileged communities.

    Confirmed speakers include:

    Bill Winters CBE, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered

    Serpil Timuray, Chief Commercial Operations and Strategy Officer, Vodafone Group

    Rt Hon Lord Mark Malloch-Brown KCMG, Co-chair of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission

    Shoshana Stewart, CEO, Turquoise Mountain

    Sergei Guriev, Chief Economist, EBRD

    Helen Hai, CEO, Made in Africa Initiative and UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador for Industrialization in Africa

    Gail Klintworth, Partner at SYSTEMIQ, Business and Sustainable Development Commission

    Richard Leftley, CEO, MicroEnsure Holdings

    Alix Peterson Zwane, CEO, Global Innovation Fund

    Helen Hai, Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)


Business and Fragile States

Click here to find out more about the conference

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