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How will the gig economy change the world of professional services?

Professional services firms have a vital role to play in today’s business world, and are generally admired for their integrity and stability.

But they are facing new challenges to their traditional way of working, including new competitors, changing attitudes to globalisation and the threat of technology taking jobs away.

Join us for this free, one day conference to hear from renowned thought leaders and executives running traditional and challenger firms as they debate these important issues.

Gig economy Register now

Date: 8 June 2017


09.00 start

12.30 lunch

16.30 close

The full agenda for the day will follow shortly.

Location: London Business School

What to expect on the day

This conference focuses on one specific challenge: how the rise of freelance work (the gig economy) is changing the business models, ways of working and career structures in professional services firms.

Much of today’s debate about the gig economy focuses on low-end work – with firms such as Uber, Deliveroo and Upwork. But there are equally important changes afoot in high-end professional work. Increasingly, lawyers, doctors, management consultants, accountants and media professionals have the means, motive and opportunity to work for themselves, rather than for a large integrated firm. And research shows freelance professionals are often more satisfied and better off financially than they were when they worked for someone else.

As the world of professional services becomes part of the gig economy, important questions arise: what is the future of the traditional professional service firm? Who will be the winners and losers? How will freelance work be managed in the future, and through what networks? And what are the smartest career choices people should make?


A detailed line-up of the day will follow shortly. Confirmed speakers and panellists include:

  • Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School

    Julian Birkinshaw

    Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Deputy Dean (Programmes) and Academic Director of the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, London Business School

    Professor Birkinshaw has written thirteen books, including Becoming a Better Boss and Reinventing Management. His most recently published book is Fast/Forward: Make Your Company Fit for the Future. His research focuses on how large companies can become more innovative and agile in today’s turbulent business environment. He came 43rd in last year’s Thinkers50 ranking of the top global business thinkers.

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  • Rob Biederman, Co-founder and CEO, Catalant

    Rob Biederman

    Co-founder and CEO, Catalant

    Catalant’s innovative human capital solution connects top independent professionals with enterprises to tackle projects flexibly, quickly and efficiently. Based in Boston, Catalant serves thousands of clients, including Fortune 1000 companies like GE, Pfizer and Staples, as well as countless others on a confidential basis. Prior to founding Catalant, Biederman was a private equity investor at Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital, where he focused on the healthcare and high-tech industries.

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  • Laura Empson, Professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms, Cass Business School

    Laura Empson

    Professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms, Cass Business School

    Professor Empson established the Centre for Professional Service Firms at Cass in 2008. She has spent the past two decades dedicated to researching professionals and professional service firms and teaches the Cass MBA elective "Succeeding in Professional and Financial Services". Her current research study focuses on leadership dynamics in professional service firms.

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  • Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School

    Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

    Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Adecco Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School

    Dr Fernandez-Mateo studies how firms and individuals can use relationships to create and capture economic value. Her current research projects focus on understanding the organisational and social barriers that prevent women’s access to top management positions. She is especially interested in the role that executive search firms play in increasing female representation in senior management jobs.

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  • Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School

    Lynda Gratton

    Professor of Management Practice, Executive Education Faculty Director, London Business School

    Professor Gratton is the founder of The Hot Spots Movement and for over five years has led the Future of Work Research Consortium which has brought executives from more than 80 companies together both virtually and on a bespoke collaborative platform. She has written extensively about the interface between people and organisations. Professor Gratton was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by HR Magazine, in 2013, and was amongst the 15 top thought leaders in the Thinkers50 ranking.

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  • Herminia Ibarra, Visiting Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

    Herminia Ibarra

    Visiting Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

    Professor Ibarra is the Charles Handy Visiting Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School and the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning at INSEAD. Her most recent book, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader explains how to step up to a bigger leadership role. Her best-selling book, Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career describes how people reinvent their careers. Thinkers50 ranked Ibarra #8 among the most influential management thinkers in the world.

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  • Emma Jacobs, Work & Careers Columnist, Financial Times

    Emma Jacobs

    Work & Careers Columnist, Financial Times

    Emma Jacobs’ new column Working Lives takes a look at thriving and dying jobs amid the economic downturn. She also writes features and interviews across the paper, including for Weekend and UK news, but with a particular focus on Business Life, exploring business culture and entrepreneurship.

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  • Dena McCallum, Founding Partner, Eden McCallum

    Dena McCallum

    Founding Partner, Eden McCallum

    Dena McCallum co-founded consulting firm Eden McCallum in 2000, seeking to take the best of traditional strategy consulting and freelancing to create a new consulting model. She works closely with clients in the retail, financial services, media and business to business services sectors.

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  • Tim Morris, Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School

    Tim Morris

    Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School

    Professor Morris’s research and teaching activities mainly focus on professional service firms in which he is acknowledged as a leading international expert. His other research, conducted with colleagues at Saïd Business School, has been concerned with the role and development of CEOs in large corporations based on data from interviews with a large sample of CEOs around the world.

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  • Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD

    Gianpiero Petriglieri

    Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Academic Director, Initiative for Learning Innovation and Teaching Excellence, INSEAD

    Gianpiero Petriglieri’s interests bridge the domains of leadership, identity, and learning. His work focuses on how and where people become mindful, effective and responsible leaders. He is particularly concerned with the development of leadership in the age of "nomadic professionalism," in which authenticity and mobility have replaced loyalty and advancement as hallmarks of virtue and success.

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  • Richard Punt, CEO, Peerpoint, Allen & Overy

    Richard Punt

    CEO, Peerpoint, Allen & Overy

    A strategy consultant, Richard Punt leads Peerpoint, which enables Allen & Overy to access a broader range of high quality talent. Its primary focus is developing a placement business for contract lawyers both into A&O and to meet more of clients’ high value resourcing needs.

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  • Ian Sanders, Author and Consultant

    Ian Sanders

    Author and Consultant

    Ian Sanders has worked in the creative industries for over thirty years. He is a consultant, coach, storyteller and author on a mission to make the world of work more human. He founded The Ian Sanders Company in 2006 and has a broad client mix, ranging from global organisations to growing businesses.

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  • Michael Smets, Associate Professor in Management and Organisation Studies, Saïd Business School

    Michael Smets

    Associate Professor in Management and Organisation Studies, Saïd Business School

    Dr Smets’s research focuses on professional service firms, especially their internationalisation, innovation and regulation. He focuses especially on the management of global law, consulting and reinsurance firms. His research focus on changing career systems and innovation capacity in PSFs is attracting growing industry attention.

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  • Matt Trinetti, Director of Education, Escape the City

    Matt Trinetti

    Director of Education, Escape the City

    Matthew Trinetti is a former IBM consultant turned writer, wanderer, and education designer. He joined Escape the City in 2014 to launch The Escape School and design programmes to help unfulfilled corporate professionals pursue more meaningful work, start businesses and build careers on their own terms.

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There is no registration fee for this event.

Please note spaces are limited and on a first come first served basis: sign up now. If you can no longer attend please cancel your reservation.

For any enquiries please contact the events team: