Impact and inspiration showcased at LBS

Ocean pollution, algorithms, the gender pay gap and immigration were some of topics explored at this year’s TEDxLondonBusinessSchool.


The all-day LBS-organised event at the Royal Geographic Society, London featured a mixture of faculty, student and outside speakers. The theme Order and Chaos showcased expert thinking on global concerns such as the environment, health and gender equality. Speakers took professional and personal perspectives on the issues, with a particular emphasis on ideas that are changing the world for the better.

Challenging perceptions

Niro Sivanathan, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at LBS, opened the day with a presentation on argument dilution. He talked about how people’s judgement can be skewed by the inclusion of less relevant information in a list of relevant facts, and the consequences when facts are lost – both in deal-making and in public health messages.
Big data expert Gah-Yi Ban, Associate Professor of Management Science and Operations, gave the subject a fresh perspective with her passion for algorithms. She likened them to recipes and busted myths around the public perception of them as a sinister force on the web.

In her talk LBS MBA candidate Andi Frkovich looked to set the record straight on what army and navy veterans can bring to businesses and society. She challenged assumptions about them being servile and rigid and instead portrayed their tough training as developing critical thinking and mental agility in chaotic situations.

Health and the environment

Matty Dixon, a chartered mechanical engineer and LBS MBA2019 candidate, gave a personal and powerful account of his ongoing battle with depression. He described carrying feelings of shame and contrasted it with the public’s understanding of depression and how conversations about mental health need to move forward for sufferers. The MBA student was followed by a departure from the usual format when UK-based musician Longy sang from his album The Illusionist.

Also on a health theme surgeon Sir Robert Lechler painted a picture from the cutting edge of organ transplants, the incredible breakthroughs being tested today and some of the critical challenges still ahead. From a public health perspective Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope spoke about the threat of superbugs and the measures that must be taken to prevent a post-antibiotic future.

Underwater photographer Jorge Cervera Hauser showcased some amazing images and his message of hope. He shared his personal experience of the power of oceans to regenerate biodiversity around ‘hope spots’.

Personal development

Pier Mannucci, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at LBS, spoke about how to promote creativity at different stages of your career.

Picking up some of his themes, CEO turned researcher and speaker Emilia Bunea explained how hobbies and pastimes can help leaders develop their skills and authenticity at the highest levels.

Writer and art historian Susan Moore spoke about her mission to promote slow art and change the way people see paintings and sculpture away from the hubbub of our busy lives and art appreciation’s more profound benefits.


Dr Joana Cook, senior research fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation, spoke about women’s role in Islamic State, the overlooked threat they pose and women's role in radicalisation and deradicalisation.

Eliot Sherman, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at LBS, gave a capsule view of the latest research into the gender pay gap. He highlighted shortcomings and advantages in legislation in different jurisdictions. He also suggested a number of measures organisations and individuals can take to practically make steps to address the problem and how research is informing the debate.

Transport and migration

Engineer Nikhil Sachdeva presented the future of flight and the role electrical propulsion could have on this essential element of the global economy and its impact on the environment through noise and atmospheric pollution.

The day concluded with a powerful talk from writer and editor Lucy Popescu. She spoke about the power of words and the use of words to describe the plight of immigrants and political prisoners as well as the hope they can represent to shift hardened attitudes.

TEDx videos from the day will be posted in the coming weeks.