Speakers Bios & Abstracts

Platzhalter Speakers
Roger L. Martin

Academic Director,
Martin Prosperity Institute,
Rotman School of Management


Roger Martin is Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness and Academic Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management.  From 1998 to 2013, he served as Dean.  Previously, he spent 13 years as a Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as co-head of the firm for two years.

His research work is in Integrative Thinking, Business Design, Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Country Competitiveness. He writes extensively and is a regular contributor to: Harvard Business Review’s The Conversation blog, the Financial Times’ Judgment Call column, and Washington Post’s On Leadership blog. He has written fifteen Harvard Business Review articles and published eight books: Playing to Win (with A.G. Lafley) (Harvard Business Review Press (HBRP), 2013), Fixing the Game (HBRP, 2011), The Design of Business (HBRP, 2009); The Opposable Mind (HBRP, 2007); The Responsibility Virus (Basic Books, 2002); Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be (with Jim Milway, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2012); and Diaminds (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, University of Toronto Press, 2009), and The Future of the MBA (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, Oxford University Press, 2008). In addition, he co-edited Rotman on Design (with Karen Christensen, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2013).

In 2013, Roger placed 3rd on the Thinkers50 list, a biannual ranking of the most influential global business thinkers, moving up from 6th in 2011 and 32nd in 2009. In 2013, he placed behind only Clay Christensen and Chan Kim. In 2010, he was named one of the 27 most influential designers in the world by Business Week. In 2007 he was named a Business Week 'B-School All-Star' for being one of the 10 most influential business professors in the world. Business Week also named him one of seven 'Innovation Gurus' in 2005.

He serves on a number of public service boards: Skoll Foundation, Canadian Credit Management Foundation, Tennis Canada (past chair), and Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress (chair).

A Canadian from Wallenstein, Ontario, Roger received his AB from Harvard College, with a concentration in Economics, in 1979 and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1981.


Talent and the Future of Democratic Capitalism

In an accelerating fashion, democratic capitalism is producing a problematically different outcome than it has traditionally. Historically, democratic capitalism came to prominence as a political and economic combination because it generated a beneficial positive-sum game featuring rising standards of living for the vast majority of its citizens.
More recently, especially in but not confined to America, top end talent has garnered so much of the fruits of economic growth that the vast majority of the populace has stopped advancing economically. Given that top-end talent – corporate executives, lawyers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers, buy-out specialists, etc. – represents such a small proportion of the electorate, there is likely to be a challenge to the current form of democratic capitalism from the vast majority of the electorate who will become increasingly disenchanted with their prospects for economic advancement.
Talent itself, pension and sovereign wealth funds and governments must collaborate to right the ship of democratic capitalism to ensure that it remains the dominant form of political/economic organization in the years and decades to come.