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 Noreena  Hertz, Ph.D Image

Noreena Hertz, Ph.D

Visionary Thinker and Economist; Leading Academic and Best-selling Author; Named "one of the world's most inspiring women" by Vogue; Honorary Professor, Center for the Study of Decision-Making, University College London

Travels From:
United Kingdom
Fee Range:
$40,000 - $60,000


An influential economist on the international stage whose career has spanned Europe, the United States, Russia, the Middle East and Africa, Professor Noreena Hertz advises some of the biggest organisations and most senior figures in the world on strategy, decision-making and data, global economic and geo-political trends, millennials/Generations Y and Z and corporate social responsibility.

Her best-selling books, “Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World” (2013), “IOU: The Debt Threat” (2004), and “The Silent Takeover” (2003), are examples of her own prescient thinking, and have been published in 22 countries.

Noreena has been described by the Observer as “one of the world’s leading young thinkers” and Vogue as “one of the world’s most inspiring women.” She is Honorary Professor at the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making, University College London.

Speech Topics

In an uncertain world, businesses need to become comfortable with probabilistic outcomes rather than certainties and to learn how to incorporate qualitative data into decision making. This is especially true in the increasingly complex interconnected and global world in which companies now operate. Hertz demonstrates how industries in which intricate decision-making and processing complexity are daily tasks, such as the CIA, police squads, trial attorneys or weather forecasters, can teach businesses how to successfully handle their own complex streams of data and decisions.

Everyone understands an application married to a Google map. The next evolution of this is to “mash up” management and business principles with those from other disciplines: strategy with complexity theory, finance with psychology, marketing with neuroscience, and human resource management with anthropology. As Hertz elucidates in this compelling discussion, taking a mash-up approach to thinking offers the opportunity for fresh profound insights and robust new strategies as well as provides the ethos from which radical new product design and problem solving can spring. Hertz provides audiences with effective tools and process for which to undertake this ground-breaking approach.

We have been living in an Age of Conformity in which inordinate faith has been accorded to financial and economic models, too much deference given to what experts say, and too much emphasis put on not rocking the boat. This has proven highly problematic; some of the biggest crises and failures in recent times have largely occurred due to excessive conformity and playing by the rules. Hertz argues that in a world of complexity and data overload, it’s time to radically rethink how we plan, act and do. In this provocative presentation, Hertz not only lays out what has gone wrong and why but also enlightens audiences on practical and effective tactics for deeper, smarter insights for themselves and for their companies.

The financial crisis that began two years ago but whose ramifications are more acute than ever cannot be solely explained by problems at particular banks, flawed financial products, or structural issues within the sector.

At its heart, the crisis exposed a deep fault line at the industry’s very core: the way it viewed itself and the world was fundamentally flawed. The judgment errors prevalent in that sector engendered catastrophic consequences. But it would be unwise to consider these lapses confined to one industry; the same mistakes can easily be made in many other sectors as well.

Leveraging insights from the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, behavioural economics and the philosophy of science, Hertz is an expert in revealing thinking gone awry. Using the financial crisis as a case study, Hertz identifies key judgment errors for all businesses to be cognizant and cautious of and highlights the most important deliberation strategies for businesses to urgently and actively embrace.

The tipping point is upon us: prices of energy and building materials are poised to skyrocket, consumers are increasingly shunning favorite products due to their environmental impact, and the negative effects of climate change are being experienced all around the world, from Moscow to Madagascar, Kansas to Karachi.

The case for sustainability is no longer a moral one; it is now a strategic business decision. Defensive attitudes must be thrown aside to adopt a totally new mindset: recognizing sustainability not as a business cost, but as the driving force of innovation, cost savings, and opportunity, as well as an integral part of analyzing and understanding risk.

This new mindset not only understands the value of cooperation, vision and foresight but also the roles that all of us – individuals, businesses, governments and local authorities, must play. An ardent advocate of how every contribution counts, Hertz motivates audiences to appreciate and apply this new mindset to leave a lasting legacy that can change the world. History is not an army on a forward march; each of us can and must be a driver for change.

We are emerging from a multifaceted, historic era: an Age of Gucci Capitalism – super- individualistic and selfish, in which we bowled alone and winners kept all; an Age of Hierarchy, where experts knew best and employees knew their place; and an Age of Conformity, following and trusting blindly, and others doing the same.

We are now entering a new era in which the business of business will still be, to paraphrase Milton Friedman, business. But what will be valued and what will determine success is wildly divergent from the past: collaboration, cooperation, heterogeneity, authenticity, truthfulness – these principles and attributes are the new signposts for prosperity.

As private becomes public, organizational borders increasingly ebb, and consumers are ever more aware and engaged, issues of credibility, perspective, ethics and values are more critical to business success than ever. Organizations that understand this and and revise their modus operandi accordingly will reap rewards; organizations that don’t will atrophy at their peril. In this riveting, illuminating discussion, Hertz explains the opportunities and obstacles of this new environment and how to effectively navigate its intricacies with skill, savvy and success.

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