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We won't stop talking

In Challenging Times, Be Challenged by Great Ideas and New Thinking

In just a few short months, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the global economy. Everyone has been affected. Across the world, conferences, summits and events have been cancelled en masse. Businesses, large and small have had to close their doors, some for the last time.

Most organisations and leaders want to know what is going to happen next. What does our future look like? How do we plan? How do we move forward?

To help answer these questions, we are launching a series of initiatives. These began on 15th April with our “We Won’t Stop Talking” virtual summit, in collaboration with some of our top speakers, Tina Schneidermann, an independent event expert and our partners, Hub Culture and Mediactive.

At the event, attendees gained a sneak preview of the latest thinking from eight incredible speakers, asked questions and engaged with our experts in real time.

Scroll down to learn about who spoke, the topics we covered and to watch the presentations from each speaker.

Organising Partners



Alex Osterwalder

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch Alex’s presentation

Managing under uncertainty

In this short session Dr. Alex Osterwalder outlines how the rules of the game change when managing under uncertainty. He highlights how leaders can minimise risk and maximise impact by moving fast and following the right processes and metrics.


Dr. Alex Osterwalder is one of the world’s most influential innovation experts, a leading author, entrepreneur, and in-demand speaker whose work has changed the way established companies do business and how new ventures get started.

Ranked No. 4 of the top 50 management thinkers worldwide, Osterwalder is known for simplifying the strategy development process and turning complex concepts into digestible visual models. Together with Yves Pigneur, he invented the Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas, and Business Portfolio Map – practical tools that are trusted by millions of business practitioners from leading global companies.

Strategyzer, Osterwalder’s company, provides online courses, applications, and technology-enabled services to help organizations effectively and systematically manage strategy, growth, and transformation.

His books include the international bestseller Business Model Generation, Value Proposition Design, Testing Business Ideas, and The Invincible Company, to publish in a couple of weeks.

Strategy/Strategic Inflection Points

The question on everyone’s mind is, what happens next?  Rita McGrath will offer some ideas from her new book “Seeing Around Corners” on ways to organize your thinking on this topic. There will be plenty of opportunities for dialogue.


Rita Gunther McGrath is a best-selling author, a sought-after speaker, and a longtime professor at Columbia Business School. She is widely recognized as a premier expert on leading innovation and growth during times of uncertainty. Rita has received the #1 achievement award for strategy from the prestigious Thinkers50 and has been consistently named one of the world’s Top 10 management thinkers in its bi-annual ranking. As a consultant to CEOs, her work has had a lasting impact on the strategy and growth programs of Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

Rita is the author of the best-selling The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013). Her new book is Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). She has written three other books, including Discovery Driven Growth, cited by Clayton Christensen as creating one of the most important management ideas ever developed. She is a highly sought-after speaker at exclusive corporate events around the globe, such as the Global Peter Drucker Forum.

She received her Ph.D. from the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and has degrees with honors from Barnard College and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

Rita McGrath

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch Rita’s presentation

Howard Yu

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch Howard’s presentation

How Temporary Work Tools Will Become Permanent

Working remotely is here to stay. But it’ll upend how corporate decisions are made, and in some ways, forever.

The inevitable experiment due to travel bans and social distancing is that companies of all sizes are now forced to try out work-from-home en masse and to avoid almost all face-to-face meetings. Many of us are suddenly dependent on digital tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Videoconferencing services like Zoom or WebEx are witnessing an upsurge in usage as businesses face a new reality.

In this conversation, Prof. Howard Yu will explore how frontier companies have been deploying digital work tools in achieving not only autonomy and resilience but also upending corporate bureaucracy and changing the organizational design. We are now producing a staggering digital library on how managerial decisions get made. And that library, or the digital footprint of corporate decisions, is making work processes more transparent. Decisions that are historically based on managerial intuition will soon be automated. Some companies, even in the traditional economy, have already done so.


Professor Howard Yu is the author of the award-winning bestseller LEAP: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied, he is the Director of IMD’s signature Advanced Management Program (AMP), a three-week executive education course. He delivers customized training programs for major global companies, including ASML, Mars, Maersk, Electrolux, Daimler, Sanofi, Novartis and others. A native of Hong Kong with a doctoral degree from Harvard Business School, he writes regularly for Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review and the South China Morning Post.

Living and Working in a Connected World

Our modern day working life is in a state of crisis. Rahaf will share the root causes at the heart of our complicated relationship with work and will show how our current technological context (distraction driven, never-ending, data-hungry) are influencing – and hurting – our perceptions of performance.

Backed with extensive research and case studies, Rahaf pushes past common solutions to these problems to tackle the deeper cultural questions. From the dark side of the American Dream to the idolisation of entrepreneurship culture in the media, audiences will uncover the hidden forces influencing our beliefs about work and learn practical tips to making impactful and long lasting changes to their organisational culture and how to manage their own Hustle and Float in a world that’s constantly connected.


Rahaf Harfoush is a strategist, digital anthropologist, and best-selling author who focuses on the intersections between emerging technology, innovation and digital culture. She is the Executive Director of the Red Thread Institute of Digital Culture and teaches “Innovation & Emerging Business Models” at Sciences Politique’s Masters of Economics and Finance program in Paris. Her third book, entitled “Hustle & Float: Reclaim Your Creativity and Thrive in a World Obsessed with Work,” was released in 2019.

Formerly, Rahaf was the Associate Director of the Technology Pioneer Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva where she helped identify disruptive-startups that were improving the state of the world. She is the co-author of “The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know your Customers” which explores how big data is providing an unprecedented opportunity for organisations to dramatically improve their decision making, increase their performance and most importantly, intentionally create happy and vibrant work cultures.

It was on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won the 2015 Gold Axiom Award for Best Business Technology Book.

Rahaf Harfoush

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch Rahaf’s presentation

Thimon de Jong

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch Thimon’s presentation

The Trust Pendulum – during and after the Corona Pandemic

Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, ‘trust’ has made a sudden 180 degree turn, marking the end of more than a decade long trend. The 2010s were a decade where trust kept moving away from ‘the formal & institutional’ and shifted towards ‘the personal & informal.’ But now the trust pendulum is rapidly swinging the other way. What are the up- and downsides of this rapid change? What does this mean for organisations? Is there a difference between generations? And: is this a long-term shift or will trust bounce back once the pandemic is under control? 


Over the past ten years Thimon de Jong has worked as a keynote speaker and leadership trainer for organisations like Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, HP, Ikea, Vodafone, Tetra Pak, Novartis, Kellogg, Merck & Luxottica.

After studying cultural studies and international business, Thimon wrote his Master’s thesis on subcultures and started his working career in journalism.

In his role as editor-in-chief of a youth platform (magazine & website) he discovered his passion for interdisciplinary people research and started working as a youth and media researcher for Science of the Time and FreedomLab Future Studies. In 2007, de Jong took the role of Insights and Strategy director for TrendsActive, an international trend interpretation agency. In this role, he travelled the world consulting and presenting to numerous multinational companies. In 2010 he starred as a jury member in Holland’s Best Idea – a primetime TV-show. In 2011 he co-produced an executive programme for decision makers at Utrecht University on the topic of using sociocultural trends for strategic decision making.

Extraordinary Times Demand Extraordinary Leadership

Well it has eventually arrived, the time that is truly unprecedented. Our rock solid experience and years climbing the ladder are actually not that useful in today’s crisis.

It really is VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) times, and if ever there was a time for decisive and inspiring leadership, this is it.

But where are these leaders when you really need them? Well, “We are the ones we have been waiting for”.

René will share how a global crisis and the pressure to fix it, can bring the world together. Great communicators with vision, courage and the ability to influence and persuade a ‘band of believers’, can change these troubled times for the better.


These days, through speeches and his writing, René Carayol focuses on provoking and inspiring his audiences to be the best leaders they can be. Based on his leadership philosophy, SPIKE, he leads the Strengths-based Revolution.

He is also a Visiting Professor at the Cass Business School in London where he lectures on their MSc in Management.

He has written three books, SPIKE – What Are You Great At, Corporate Voodoo (now in its third edition) and My Voodoo.

René has been a regular broadsheet columnist, and columnist writer for The Sunday Telegraph supplement ‘Business Reporter’.

René’s television and radio career has seen him become a regular voice on BBC Radio 5 and present the Channel 4 film The Man From The Met. He is also a press reviewer on Sky Breakfast News and has been an expert witness on Mind of a Millionaire. René was also the presenter of BBC2’s business program, Pay Off Your Mortgage in Two Years.

He has been Chairman, CEO and MD of blue chip businesses. René spend 10 years at Marks and Spencer in various roles and then moving to Pepsi. He was on the board of directors for 3 years.

René Carayol

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch René’s presentation

Mark Ritson

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch Mark’s presentation

Brands Do Best in Times of Trouble

All too often we assume brands are about growth and acquisition. In truth, while brands do speak to positive times, they really come into their own in times of crisis and recession. Mark Ritson explores what a brand is and how it works In times of trouble. 


Mark Ritson is a brand consultant and former marketing professor. He has a PhD in Marketing and taught on the MBA programmes of leading business schools including London Business School and MIT. He has written a column on marketing for almost 20 years, winning the PPA Business Columnist of the Year three times. He teaches the Marketing Week Mini MBAs in Marketing and Brand Management.

He has also worked as a global brand consultant for clients that include Baxter, Loewe, McKinsey, Subaru, Donna Karan, Westpac, Shiseido, Flight Centre, Johnson & Johnson, De Beers, Sephora, Benefit, Amgen, Ericsson, Jurlique, Cloudy Bay and WD40.

For thirteen years Mark served as the in-house professor for LVMH.

He writes a weekly column for Marketing Week. On three occasions he has won the Business Columnist of the Year at the PPA Press Awards, the highest award for magazine journalism in the UK. He was also the British Society of Magazine Editors Business Columnist of the Year in 2018. Mark’s more scholarly publications include articles in the Sloan Management Review, Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Advertising and the Journal of Consumer Research.

Mark was a Thouron Scholar in 1995 and spent a year at Wharton. I was the recipient of the Ferber Award in 2000 for his doctoral thesis. In 2018 AdNews rated him one of their “Power 50” and he made SmartCompany’s top ten business thinkers list for Australia. The AMI gave Mark the Sir Charles McGrath Award, the highest honour for marketing in Australia. And in 2019 he delivered the 30th Anniversary Levitt Group lecture for the Chartered Institute of Marketing in London.

How to Survive and Thrive in Crazy Times

“The best companies of tomorrow are being created right now. Now is the time for business leaders to step up, to have the courage to look ahead, with more purpose and passion, to create a better business for the future.

57% of today’s largest companies were created in a downturn. A crisis accelerates change, it disrupts the old codes of business, it forges new ideas and loyalties. Consumer priorities change and new behaviours emerge. Now is not just the time to survive, but to thrive. As Intel’s Andy Grove said “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, great companies are improved by them.”

Now is the time to recode your business – to refocus your people on a more inspiring purpose, to reimagine how value is created and shared, to reinvent your market as well as your business. The top quartile performers in a downturn typically outperform their markets 3 times more than in normal times. Now is not the time to be average, now is the time to be extraordinary.”


Peter Fisk is an inspiring business thinker, author and speaker, whose career was forged in a superconductivity lab, accelerated by supersonic travel, evolved in a digital start-up, and formalised as CEO of the world’s largest marketing network. His 8 books in 35 languages fuse the brains of Einstein and Picasso, explore the world’s most innovative companies, and include the new “Business Recoded”.

He now leads GeniusWorks, an innovation accelerator based in London, working with business leaders from Adidas to Aeroflot, Cartier and Coca Cola, Mars to Microsoft, P&G and Pfizer. He is Thinkers50 Global Director, and founder of the European Business Forum, and a professor of leadership, strategy and innovation at IE Business School in Madrid, where he leads their flagship executive programs.

Peter Fisk

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit

Watch Peter’s presentation


Edie Lush

Alex Osterwalder virtual summit


Executive Editor and Co-host Hub Culture and Global Goals podcast, United Kingdom/United States.

Ms. Lush, a British-American Journalist, is an Executive Editor of Hub Culture, a Communication Trainer and MC. She is a co-host for the CBS distributed Global Goals podcast which is part of the ‘We Are All Human Foundation’, an organization devoted to promoting radical inclusion and diversity and fights racism and discrimination.

In her role as Executive Editor at Hub Culture, she is responsible for creating impactful social media content around the globe, from events in Davos to the UN General Assembly in New York to the COP Climate Summits.

Ms. Lush also runs her own communication training business. Edie published a book on speaking in public with Macmillan and is creating an online Communications Course with the How To Academy.

Ms. Lush was a political analyst for UBS in London and New York-based hedge fund Omega Advisors. In addition, she was an International Relations specialist for both the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States and Hungarian political party SzDSz.

Edie studied Political Science at UCLA and holds a Master’s in International Relations from Yale University.


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In discussion with Alex Osterwalder

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In discussion with René Carayol

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Scale The Future

Scale The Future

Terence Mauri is an Inc. Top 100 keynote speaker and best-selling author, click through to watch his ‘Scale the Future’ keynote address video.

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