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:

To be announced soon

Supporting young researchers

  • Masterclass: Introduction to GIS Methods in Economics
    With Giorgio Chiovelli and Sebastian Hohmann
    When: 13-15 May 2019 / 16:00 - 20:00
    Location: Sammy Ofer Centre / London Business School
    Open to: LBS PhD students

    This three-day course organised by the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development introduced researchers in Economics and related disciplines to Geographic Information System (GIS) methods. The course placed emphasis on “doing GIS” for economics – i.e., turning geographic data, such as satellite images on light density at night, google-data, and road networks into datasets that can be analysed with economists’ statistical and econometric techniques.

  • 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

  • AI for Sustainable Development – In Conversation with Ángel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
    Moderated by Rajesh Chandy
    When: 9 September 2019 / 11:00-12:30
    Location: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

    Artificial Intelligence has the potential to transform our lives – in areas such as education, health, transport, communication and energy. But it is also fuelling anxieties and ethical concerns, Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, told at an event organised by the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development. “To realise the full potential of this promising technology, we need one critical ingredient. That critical ingredient is trust. And to build trust we need human-centred artificial intelligence that fosters sustainable development and inclusive human progress – and I stress the word inclusive,” he said.

    Ángel Gurría who was speaking on the topic "AI for Sustainable Development" has been the Secretary-General of the OECD since 2006. Under his leadership, the OECD’s reach, impact and relevance has expanded in many policy areas, delivering on the OECD’s mandate to design, develop and deliver better policies for better lives.

    Watch more

  • In Conversation with Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia
    Moderated by Rajesh Chandy
    When: 17 June 2019
    Location: London Business School / Sammy Ofer Centre

    The Balkans are used to disruption, and Serbia is no exception. But the huge upheavals that the current state of Serbia has seen over decades – and indeed centuries – could actually be to the country’s advantage, said Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić at a gathering hosted by the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development on 17 June 2019. Speaking at the event “Winning in the 4th Industrial Revolution”, Brnabić said: “We are used to disruption… We have been living for decades with disruption.” The fourth industrial revolution – robotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and much more besides – is bound to cause disruption in economies, societies and employment, she said. “Institutions are being questioned… Processes are going to be rethought completely.”

    Ana Brnabić has served as Prime Minister of Serbia since 2017 and is President of the Serbian government’s Council for Innovative Entrepreneurship and Information Technologies. She holds an MBA from the University of Hull and has worked for more than ten years with international organisations, foreign investors, local governments and the public sector in Serbia.

    This event was moderated by Rajesh Chandy, Professor of Marketing and Academic Director of the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development.

  • One of the Best Investments a Country Can Make: Educate Girls
    With Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director, Educate Girls
    When: 14 May 2019 / 18:30-21:00
    Location: Sammy Ofer Centre / London Business School

    India holds the largest share of the global out-of-school girl population. In the last ten years, Educate Girls has designed a sustainable and scalable approach to finding and enrolling girls, and then ensuring they stay in school and learn. To date, with deep community engagement and advanced analytics, they have enabled 380,000 girls to enter the classroom and pursue an education. Educate Girls now has an audacious plan to find and enrol 1.6 million of India’s girls in just 5 years.

    On 14 May 2019, the Wheeler Institute hosted Safeena Husain, founder of Indian NGO Educate Girls, in conversation with Professor Rajesh Chandy to learn about the challenges and opportunities of education for all children, especially young girls in India.

  • Landmine Contamination and Clearance – Policy and The Way Forward
    When: 9 April 2019 / 14:45-19:30
    Location: Sammy Ofer Centre / London Business School

  • On April 9th 2019, the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development hosted a conference on Landmine Contamination and Clearance – Policy and the Way Forward. The event, held at London Business School, brought together a range of distinguished speakers from the United Nations Mine Action Service, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, leading NGO’s involved in humanitarian demining, and academic institutions.


    The speakers and the audience that included policy makers, students, journalists, and business leaders discussed problems, successes, challenges and proposals to better deal with an issue that blights the lives of millions of people in scores of countries. Industrially-produced mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and unexploded ordnance continue to kill and maim.


    IEDs are currently used en masse in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Previously valuable land and transport links are rendered useless when they have been contaminated by mines or communities fear that they may be contaminated: that hampers efforts to restore livelihoods and spur development.


    Our Speakers


    • Paul Heslop
      Chief of Operations and Planning – United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS)
    • Hector Guerra 
      Director – International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
    • Stefano Toscano
      Ambassador, Director – Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)
    • Anna Bouchier
      Swiss Foundation Director – APOPO
    • Olivier Cottray
      Head of Information Management – Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)
    • Aleema Shivji
      Executive Director – Humanity & Inclusion UK
    • Richard Scott
      Head of Regional Strategies– The HALO Trust
    • Ekaette Ikpe
      Senior Lecturer – King’s College London
    • Jamie Barras
      Fellow – King’s College London
    • Elias Papaioannou
      Professor of Economics – London Business School
    • Giorgio Chiovelli
      Research Fellow of Economics – London Business School

  • 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.


Business and Fragile States

Click here to find out more about the conference

See More

Doing business in a war zone

Mo Ibrahim on the role business can play in strengthening fragile states

Read More

How data is focusing efforts to educate girls in India

Research finds educating girls has surprising effects in deprived communities.

By Ben Laurance

Read More

Social mobility and the fading American Dream

15 Jun 2018

Where you grow up matters, says Stanford professor Raj Chetty

Read now