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

  • Business in Fragile States

    When: 8/9 October 2018

    Location: London Business School

On 8 and 9 October, the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development will dedicate 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 will come together to engage in a meaningful discussion placing emphasis on the necessity of business in the circumstances of state fragility.


On the first day, the Wheeler Institute will be hosting a symposium for leading academics with around 8 papers alongside discussions.


On October 9, our Business and Policy Day, we are delighted to welcome:


Mo Ibrahim – Mo Ibrahim Foundation / Founder of Celtel

Donald Kaberuka – Former President, African Development Bank Group / Former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda

Jean-Baptiste Richardier – Co-Founder of Handicap International / Humanity & Inclusion / International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997

Martin Barber – Former Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) / OBE

James A. Robinson – University of Chicago / Professor of Economics / Co-author of best-selling book "Why Nations Fail"

Sir Tim Besley – London School of Economics and Political Science / Professor of Economics

Christopher Blattman – University of Chicago / Professor of Economics

Nathan Nunn – Harvard University / Professor of Economics

- Nick Hughes – Strategy Director and Co-founder of M-KOPA and “Father” of M-PESA


… and many more.

Closer to date we will share details on how to register for the event.

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

The Wheeler Institute has already supported several student initiatives in 2018. More information coming soon.

Past events

  • 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)

Social mobility and the fading American Dream

15 Jun 2018

Where you grow up matters, says Stanford professor Raj Chetty

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Improving Equality of Opportunity

Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, spoke at a London Business School Wheeler Institute for Business and Development event. He shared big-data insights to inform the pressing issue of social mobility.

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