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Thought Leadership Events

London Business School is a place of ideas and our events provide a unique platform to showcase them.

We bring together international leaders from business, government and civil society to share their insights and debate the issues affecting society, the economy and the world of business.

Our events focus on four key areas of business thought leadership:


  • Academic Research – Showcasing the latest work of LBS' faculty and other internationally renowned academics
  • Global Leadership – Profiling leaders from across industries and sectors, sharing insights and best practice
  • International Business – Debating issues affecting and transforming the global business environment
  • Industry Insights – Exploring industry specific trends and examining their wider impact

In Conversation with His Excellency Dr Ahmad Belhoul

With His Excellency Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, UAE
Chaired by Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School


More than 200 students, alumni, and friends of London Business School celebrated the School’s 10th year anniversary in Dubai with His Excellency Dr Ahmad Belhoul. He is Chairman of the UAE Space Agency and Minister of State, responsible for developing higher education and advanced skills.

When speaking with Professor Andrew Scott, H.E. Dr Belhoul shared his insights into the UAE's journey towards a diversified sustainable economy – including the launch of the Hope Mars Mission and the approval of the Higher Education Strategy. He also talked about his role in ensuring the region develops a pool of talent that can tackle tomorrow's challenges.

In Conversation – Monitoring Financial Stability along Active Monetary Policies

With François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor, Bank of France

Chaired by Richard Portes, Professor of Economics, London Business School


Moving away from an overly-strict separation principle, today, central banks are called to play an active role in both monetary policy and macroprudential regulation.

François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France and a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, discussed with Professor Portes how central bankers and regulators can monitor both price and financial stability – in the current context of weak inflation and economic and financial recovery in the euro area.


In Conversation with Doug Gurr, Amazon

With Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon

Chaired by Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Deputy Dean (Programmes), London Business School



Technology is changing the way people communicate and enjoy life experiences. It’s also changing the way they shop for products and services. That’s why it’s always been ‘day one’ for Amazon.

At this event, Amazon's UK country manager Doug Gurr discussed the company’s unbound growth, customer-obsessed innovation and day-one culture with Professor Birkinshaw.

Leading Minds – Failure to Launch: The Challenges to Raising Interest Rates

With Kristin Forbes, Member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England
Chaired by Hélène Rey, Lord Bagri Professor of Economics, London Business School


Professor Kristin Forbes delivered her last public speech as a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, before returning full-time to her faculty post at MIT. One of the more hawkish members of the rate setting committee, she was the first to vote in favour of a 25 basis point hike in March 2017.

In her speech, she discussed the challenges faced by countries around the world in raising interest rates. Why are they still at – or below – the emergency levels adopted in response to the 2008 crisis? Why have so few countries been able to “launch” a series of interest rate hikes?

Leading Minds – Post-GE, Back to Brexit: What Happens Next?

With Sir Martin Donnelly, Former Permanent Secretary, Department for International Trade
Charles Grant, Director, Centre for European Reform
Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, Financial Times
L. Alan Winters, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex and Director, UK Trade Policy Observatory
Chaired by Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School


A panel of experts met to discuss how Brexit negotiations will likely unfold against the backdrop of the extraordinary General Election result. The event took place one year on from the EU referendum and the day after David Davis and Michel Barnier formally launched Brexit talks in Brussels.

In Conversation – Moving Forward: Driving a Global Infrastructure Business

With Rafael del Pino, Chairman, Ferrovial
In conversation with Karl Lins, Visiting Professor, London Business School and Professor of Finance, University of Utah


Rafael del Pino, Chairman of the global infrastructure conglomerate responsible for building the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Crossrail, shared his experience in driving the evolution and internationalisation of an infrastructure management business.

During his career at Ferrovial, Rafael transformed the company from a mostly domestic construction business to one of the world’s leading infrastructure operators and municipal services providers. Today, the US$11 billion conglomerate manages major transport infrastructures around the world including London's Heathrow Airport, the 407 ETR toll highway in Toronto, and the LBJ and NTE highways in Texas.

Leading Minds – Fast/Forward: Make Your Company Fit for the Future

With Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Deputy Dean (Programmes), London Business School
Jonas Ridderstråle, Visiting Professor, Ashridge Business School
Chaired by Jeff Skinner, Executive Director of the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, London Business School


The leading companies of the past 20 years have all harnessed the power of information to gain competitive advantage. But as access to big data becomes ubiquitous, it can no longer guarantee a leg up. Whereas the industrial age saw the rise of bureaucracy and the information age has been described as a meritocracy, we are witnessing the rise of adhocracy.

Discussing the ideas behind their new book, Professor Birkinshaw and business thinker and co-author Jonas Ridderstråle uncovered the emergence of adhocracy as a new way of working, showing how decisive action and emotional conviction are the hallmarks of successful companies in today's fast-changing business world.

In Conversation – Rethinking Leadership: The Story from Sky

With Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky
In conversation with Randall S. Peterson, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Academic Director of the Leadership Institute, London Business School


The chief executive of the media giant responsible for broadcasting the Premier League and Game of Thrones discussed how to lead in an age of uncertainty.

Sky, established as an industry disruptor, operated a successful pay-TV model driven by sports rights – until shifting consumer behaviours and the rise of on-demand entertainment options led the broadcaster to renew and reinvent its business and brand.

Under Jeremy Darroch, a former Procter & Gamble executive, Sky broadened the breadth and depth of its operations by investing in original drama production, creating new brands and products, and expanding internationally – to evolve into the FTSE30 entertainment and communications company it is today.

Leading Minds – Social Business: The Business Model of the Future?

With Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Chairman, Yunus Centre and Founder of Grameen Bank
Kamalini Ramdas, Professor of Management Science and Operations, London Business School


Known as the "Banker to the Poor," Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, is respected globally for his contributions toward eradicating poverty.

Driven by the idea that credit is a basic human right, Yunus founded the Grameen Bank in 1976 and developed his revolutionary micro-credit system, which has achieved phenomenal success in helping the 5.6 million poor people in Bangladesh gain a better quality of life.

A man who has successfully translated a single vision into tangible benefits for millions of people around the world, Professor Yunus shared his story and insights on how we can use business to overcome social challenges.

Leading Minds – Leadership below the CEO: What Drives Senior Marketers' Business Impact and Career Success?

With Thomas Barta, Marketing Expert and Author
Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Marketing, London Business School


Drawing on their new book The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader, former McKinsey partner Thomas Barta and LBS Emeritus Professor Patrick Barwise discussed 'leadership below the CEO' in the specific context of what drives senior marketers' business impact and career success.

Leading Minds – What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It

With David Pitt-Watson, Executive Fellow, London Business School

Stephen Davis, Senior Fellow, Harvard Law School

Jon Lukomnik, Executive Director, Investor Responsibility Research Center

Each year billions are paid in fees to those who run our financial system. The money comes from our bank accounts, our pensions, our borrowing, and often we aren't told that the money has been taken. The cost would be justified if the industry was doing a good job, but it too often fails us.

In discussion with London Business School’s Chris Higson, Davis, Lukomnik and Pitt-Watson shared the research in their latest book What They Do With Your Money and laid out an agenda for curtailing the misalignments that allow the financial industry to profit at our expense.

Leading Minds – The 100-Year Life

With Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice; Executive Education Faculty Director, London Business School
Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School
Chaired by Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School


Many of us have been raised with the traditional notion of a three-stage approach to our working lives: education, followed by work and then retirement. However with many babies born today expected to live for at least 100 years, this well established pathway is beginning to collapse and our current practices and institutional arrangements are far from prepared for this fundamental societal shift.

Drawing on the research in their new book, Professors Gratton and Scott offered a broad-ranging analysis on the implications for individuals, society and business, as well as a raft of solutions that will help prepare us for this change.

Leading Minds – The UK’s Place in the World and the EU Referendum


Address by the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP

Secretary of State for International Development


Justine Greening spoke at London Business School about the impact on generations of young Brits if voters opt to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum.

Greening, who is an LBS alumna, said: “The decision we make on 23 June will either open doors or close them on opportunity for Britain’s young people."

Leading Minds – The Internationalisation of the RMB

With Professor Richard Portes CBE FBA, Professor of Economics at London Business School

Chaired by Zheming Xing, Reporter, CCTV


Professor Richard Portes CBE FBA, spoke exclusively to an audience of 140 guests about the future of the RMB and shared his reflections on the global macroeconomic impact of Beijing's ambitious internationalisation plans for the currency.

In Conversation – China and the Global Economy

With Adam Keswick SEP55(2004), Deputy Chairman. Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited
In conversation with Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School
Opening remarks Savio Kwan MSc09(1976) Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner, A&K Consulting Co. Limited


The influence of China on the global economy has never been greater and despite the ongoing market rumblings, it is expected to remain at the forefront of global economic growth.

Savio Kwan, Alibaba’s former Chief Operating Officer, addressed the audience first offering his reflections on the economic transformation of the region over the last 50 years. Adam Keswick shared the Jardine’s story and his thoughts on China and the wider Asia Pacific region's increasing importance in the global business environment.

Brexit – The Business View

With Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, CBI
Rain Newton-Smith, Director of Economics, CBI

Leaving the EU would cause a serious shock to the UK economy, according to the CBI’s Director-General Carolyn Fairburn.

CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, warned that leaving the EU would cause a serious shock to the UK economy, with a potential cost to UK GDP of £100 billion and 950,000 jobs by 2020.

In Conversation – Making a Modern City

With His Excellency Mohamed Alabbar, Founder and Chairman
In conversation with Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School

The leader of one of the world's most successful real estate businesses and the man behind the development of iconic projects such as Emirates Hills, Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai, H.E. Mohamed Alabbar is regarded by many as one of the United Arab Emirates' most dynamic and influential global business leaders.

Speaking to an exclusive audience of 250 LBS alumni, students and friends, H.E. Alabbar shared his insights on Dubai's emergence as a modern international city and its place in the global economy.

In Conversation – Assuring Financial Stability: Managing Vulnerabilities, Tackling Legacies, Upgrading Policies

With José Viñals, Financial Counsellor & Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund
Richard Portes CBE , Professor of Economics, London Business School
Professor Lucrezia Reichlin, Professor of Economics, London Business School

José Viñals spoke at the School to provide further insights into the 2015 October IMF Global Financial Stability Report, which discusses managing vulnerabilities in emerging markets, tackling crisis legacies in advanced countries, and addressing fragilities in global financial markets. The report highlighted how an urgent policy upgrade is critical to reach the successful normalisation of monetary and financial conditions and to anchor financial stability in the medium term.


Leading Minds – A Radical Rethink of How Business Engages with Society

Lord Browne, Chairman, L1 Energy, Hauwei UK, the Tate Galleries and Donmar Warehouse
Dr Robin Nuttall, Partner, Regulatory and Government Affairs, McKinsey

lordbrowneIn conversation with Professor Lynda Gratton, Lord Browne and Dr Nuttall discussed their latest book Connect, which explores the recurring rift between big business and society and offers a compelling manifesto for reconciliation.

How can we break the centuries-old cycle of anti-business sentiment? Why should companies go beyond philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility? Is close engagement in society the secret to competitive advantage? What is the role of leaders in addressing the challenge?

  • About the speakers

    John Browne (Lord Browne of Madingley) was CEO of BP from 1995–2007, transforming it into one of the world’s largest companies. He was knighted in 1998, and made a life peer in 2001. He is Chairman of L1 Energy, Huawei UK, the Tate Galleries and Donmar Warehouse. John Browne advised five prime ministers, built a reputation as a visionary leader and was regularly voted the most admired businessman by his peers. He is the author of the memoir Beyond Business, popular science book Seven Elements That Changed the World and The Glass Closet, a commentary on the acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people in business. 

    Robin Nuttall is a Partner in McKinsey’s London office. He leads the firm’s Regulatory and Government Affairs Practice, serving regulators and regulated corporations on strategy and organisational issues across a range of sectors and territories.

  • Film
  • Speaker presentation

    Presentation by Lord Browne

Leading Minds – Insights from Global Leaders

Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson and Johnson

In conversation with Professor Kamalini Ramdas, Mr Gorsky, who has been at the helm of the company since 2012 reflected on a on a career spanning almost three decades and share his leadership insights.

What does it take to lead a global company in today’s global business environment?  What are the opportunities and challenges facing the industries Johnson and Johnson operate in and the wider international business community?

Leading Minds – Rebalancing the Unequal Financial System

With Thomas Philippon, Professor of Finance, Stern School of Business, New York University


Philippon has extensively studied the productivity of the US industry, specifically how well it performs its function of intermediating between savers and borrowers. Its role in performing this function is critical to our economy, to output and to the distribution of income and wealth.

After painstaking research, he concluded that over the past 130 years, there has been no productivity increase in finance and "the finance industry which sustained the railroads, steel and chemical industries...seem to have been more efficient than the current finance industry".


If this is true, we need to radically rethink how finance is practised.


Read the highlights of the event.

  • About Thomas Philippon

    Thomas Philippon is a Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business, New York University. Professor Philippon received his Ph.D. in Economics Massachusetts Institute of Technology(2003), M.A. in Economics Delta-Ehess (1988) and M.A. in Physics Ecole Polytechnique (1997). His research interests include macroeconomics, corporate finance, business cycles, corporate governance, earnings management, and unemployment.

    Learn more about Thomas Philippon

  • Financial innovation
  • Film
  • Speaker presentation

    Presentation by Thomas Philippon, Professor of Finance, Stern School of Business, New York University

Leading Minds – The Business of an Unequal Economy

With Thomas Piketty, Professor of Economics, Paris School of Economics


What impact has Thomas Piketty’s controversial book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, had on business leaders and policy makers? His argument focused on the problems caused by the inequality of capital and the wealth gap that has widened for the past 40 years. At the same time, business and wealthy individuals have increased philanthropic activity. Is it enough? What should the corporate response to Piketty’s challenge be?


Read the highlights of the event.

  • About Thomas Piketty

    Thomas Piketty is professor at the Paris School of Economics. He has published numerous research articles in top international journals (Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, etc.), and a dozen books. He is the author of historical and theoretical literature on the relationship between economic development and wealth distribution. He is the initiator of the recent literature on trends over a long period from the high income in national income (now available in the World Top Incomes Database). He is also the author of the "Capital in the 21st century". This work led to question radically the optimist Kuznets hypothesis on the link between development and inequalities, and to highlight the importance of political and fiscal institutions in the historical dynamics of the distribution of wealth.

    Learn more about Thomas Piketty

  • Wealth and income
  • Film
  • Speaker presentations

    Presentation by Thomas Piketty, Professor of Economics, Paris School of Economics

    Presentation by Gavyn Davies, OBE, Chairman, Fulcrum Asset Management

More information

Contact us

To find out more about our events please get in touch.

Speaking enquiries

Contact: Marta Federici


Tel: +44 (0)20 7000 7130

General enquiries


Tel: +44 (0)20 7000 7105