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Simon Anholt

travels from UK

Independent business and policy advisor on how to develop and implement strategies, and creator of The Good Country Index

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About Simon

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Simon Anholt’s two main TED talks are rated the third and sixth most inspiring TED talks of all time by TED viewers – an accolade that endorses the standing ovations he consistently gets for his original variety of talks to audiences around the world.

His life is full: he has advised over 53 world leaders and their cabinets, as well as dozens of CEOs of global corporations, on how to develop and implement strategies for their enhanced economic, political and cultural engagement with other countries and global publics. Simon also launched the Good Country movement with the first annual edition of the Good Country Index in 2014: the first ever study of what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away, relative to its size. A Good Company Index is on its way soon. His work focuses on discovering what a place, a country, a company or an individual are for in the world and why people should feel glad that they exist, and defining the courageous and imaginative new behaviours that will drive them forwards. The results of his work are often breathtaking in their ambition, originality and impact.

As one of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners on wide-scale human engagement over the last thirty years, he has created and led no less than three successful global fields that measure, understand and influence attitudes, culture and activity at the global scale. The likes of DreamWorks and Nike, Heads of State and monarchs have all been beneficiaries of his unique approach to leadership and entrepreneurship.

He is also the leading authority on managing national identity and reputation and is the founder and publisher of two major annual surveys polling over 20,000 people in 25 countries to monitor their perceptions of the world’s countries and cities.

He has served as Vice-Chair of the UK Foreign Office’s Public Diplomacy Board and has a Master’s Degree from the University of Oxford. He has been awarded the Nobels Colloquia Prize for Economics and the Prix d’Excellence du Forum Multiculturel pour un Développement Durable (Excellence in Sustainable Development). He holds an Honorary Professorship in Political Science at the University of East Anglia, is Chairman of the Anholt Institute in Copenhagen and is the author of six books including two best-sellers.

See keynotes with Simon Anholt

    Keynote by speaker Simon Anholt

    What’s gone wrong with the world?

    • Simon Anholt has advised the presidents, monarchs and prime ministers of 53 countries during the last 20 years, and he’s learned a thing or two about why the world doesn’t work as well as it should. In this keynote, he provides valuable insights for anyone interested in world affairs and the future of our businesses.
    • The audience will learn the real root causes of our troubled age as well as surprising ideas about how to fix them. With Simon’s expertise, this keynote provides a completely unique take on world affairs.

    Keynote by speaker Simon Anholt

    Why companies should act more like countries

    • In this eye-opening keynote, Simon Anholt shares some startling insights about how companies can dramatically improve their performance and their contribution to society and the planet.
    • The audience will learn that by adopting and upgrading old ideas like foreign policy, diplomacy, soft and hard power and grand strategy, companies can achieve a totally new and far more powerful vision of their place and role in the marketplace, and in the world. Oh, and countries and cities can learn a bit from companies and NGOs, too.

    Keynote by speaker Simon Anholt

    Culture: The rocket-fuel of creativity

    • In this keynote, Simon shares his insights into how stirring up cultural influences can deliver more true innovation, more creative ideas, more startling insights than you can possibly use in your lifetime.
    • Whether you’re a company, a country, a city or any other kind of organisation, or even just a single individual, the huge power of culturally-driven creativity can enhance your creative quality and productivity by orders of magnitude.

    Keynote by speaker Simon Anholt

    How showing, not telling, is the best kind of marketing: and it’s totally free

    • In this presentation, speaker Simon Anholt uses his 20 years of experience as a policy advisor to the Heads of State as well as dozens of multinational corporations, to show how businesses can achieve phenomenal global impact without spending a single cent on PR and advertising.
Simon Anholt - video

Simon Anholt - TED Talk

Watch his renowned TED Talk

See keynotes with Simon Anholt

Interview with Simon Anholt

What got you interested in global issues relating to culture, business and politics?

I’m really not sure – I think I was born that way. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always just assumed that people from other countries would be more interesting than people from my own country, and that their countries, culture, language, music, food, literature and landscapes would be more interesting than my own. It took me a long time to discover how many people assume the opposite, which is a bit depressing.

What inspired you to create “The Good Country Index”?

I wanted to start a new kind of global discussion about what countries are really for: are they there purely to serve the territorial and economic interests of their citizens, or do they also play a part in giving all of us a future on this planet? So the Good Country Index is designed to encourage people to start asking a new question about countries: instead of forever asking “how well are we doing?”, they have now started asking “how much are we doing?”.

If you could do one thing differently in your career, what would it be?

I honestly can’t think of a single thing I’d do differently. That doesn’t mean I planned it all, by any means: but the way it turned out seems to me just perfect.

What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?

I’d like the Good Country to reach its interim target of 760 million citizens.

Why do clients typically hire you to speak?  

Because they’re tired of hearing the same stuff over and over again, and they want to give their audience something new to talk about, not just for the rest of the event, but for weeks and months afterwards.

If you could give one advice to world leaders and people of power, what would it be? 

Well that’s actually my day-job. Among many other things, I usually ask them to ponder on the fact that when they become Head of State or Head of Government of their country, they join the team that runs the planet.

See keynotes with Simon Anholt
Non-binding request for Simon Anholt

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Keynote topics with Simon Anholt