Thinkers50 2013 - What Speakers Corner Thinks


Everyone at Speakers Corner is a fan of the Thinkers50 list. There are some in particular who have a special resonance for each of us, and unique insights and thought processes which make them stand out for us. 


Sophie’s pick is Liu Chuanzh - a pioneer and visionary in the development of technology in East Asia. Mr. Liu, as leader of Lenovo, challenges traditional concepts and has enabled the business to move forward into an exciting era of technological advancement.


In his current position at Legend Holdings, Mr. Liu maintains a strict code of business ethics which has earned him recognition and respect. He champions social justice and never compromises his values, always guaranteeing that “good people, good deeds, and good examples” resonates through each new generation in business.

erik-brynolfsson-70x70-jpg.JPG Debbie chose Erik Brynjolfsson as her favourite. He is the Schussel Family Professor of Management Science, a Professor of Information Technology, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Brynjolfsson explores how organisational change and business performance can be enhanced by advances in information technology. His contributions and research of IT Productivity has been awarded 9 "best paper" accolades by the world of academia. Brynjolfsson founded two companies and has 5 U.S. patents. Most recently, he explores the concept of business process replication; information worker productivity; intangible assets and the Long Tail in digital goods. His post at MIT involves teaching "The Economics of Information: Strategy, Structure and Pricing". His blog is called Economics of Information.

wang-shi-70x70-jpg.JPG Rhona admires Wang Shi. A highly impressive businessman, he is the founder and chairman of China Vanke, a Chinese based company principally engaged in the property development business. The company mainly develops commodity housings and provides property management services. 

In addition to his success as a businessman, Wang is the oldest person to have climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Mt Everest and to have trekked both poles. His adventures have turned him green, he stated once “Global warming is my personal experience.”

He is increasing the installation of solar panels 10-fold every year and hopes to use wave power on projects near the coast.

Wang is considered to be one of the ‘Fifteen Business Leaders Who’ve Changed China’. He hopes to help Vanke connect with the world and to help people to continue challenging their horizons!

edmondson-amy-70x70-jpg.JPG Louise chose Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management Amy Edmondson, whose research is focussed on leadership and innovation in teams and organisations. Her latest work shows how organisations can succeed or fail based on how well the various small teams within organisations work and how it is vital to have effective leadership across these teams.  


 Nick’s pick is Kai-Fu Lee. With the supersonic speed of change in society and technology and the rapidly increasing rise of China alongside the US as the dominant industrial country in the world, Kai-Fu Lee’s resume as part of Apple, Microsoft and Google alongside Dr Lee developing the first continuous speech recognition system has positioned him as one of the leading figures in Chinese Internet.

His dedication to the continual evolution of innovation while also using his blog and twitter to communicate with a world wide audience is something that inspires a generation who understand that knowledge should be shared in order to encourage and stimulate development and new innovation.

Helena took an interest in Cynthia Montgomery, the Timken Professor of Business Administration and immediate past Head of the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, who maintains that strategy is crucial to the success of any business.

In an interview with the, Cynthia stresses the importance of clear thinking and intellectual honesty. Her thoughts are reflected in her most recent publication 'The Strategist - Be the Leader Your Business Needs'. Her advice to women is invaluable – she urges them to find a place in business where they can truthfully be themselves, and to make sure they are doing something that is really important to them.

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