Will Hutton – Keynote Speaker

Political Economist, Author, Columnist, Academic, Non-Executive Director

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Specialist Subjects

  • Future of Work
  • Globalisation
  • The Knowledge Economy?
  • Harnessing Creativity and Innovation
  • Learning Organisations
  • Liberating Leadership


  • English


Will Hutton is a political economist, author, think tank and academic leader and columnist. He is currently President of the Academy of Social Sciences ( since 2021) regular columnist for the Observer ( since 1996) and co-chairs the Purposeful Company ( since 2015) – a think tank who argues that companies’ intrinsic purpose should drive their strategy, values and ultimately profit. He also chairs the advisory board of the Fairness Foundation, is trustee of the National Institure for Economic and Social Research, a member of the Progressive Economic Forum and editorial advisory board of Prospect magazine.

His now fifty year career spans a period in the City as an investment banker, the Economics editorship of the Guardian and BBC2 Newsnight , the editorship of the Observer, the chief executive of the Work Foundation and Principal of Hertford College Oxford. Along the way he has won awards for his journalism and as a thought leader in Human Resources.

Will Hutton has written six major books on political economy including 1995’s The State We’re In, a critique within the Keynesian tradition of the impact of free market fundamentalism on growth, equality and social cohesion and advocacy of stakeholder capitalism in its stead that became the best selling political economy book since 1945. Other best selling books include The Writing on the Wall ( 2007), the World We’re In( 2002), Them and Us ( 2010) , and How Good We Can Be ( 2015) . “ How the right broke Britain – and how to put it back together again “ is planned for publication in 2024.

Will Hutton has chaired two government Commissions – one on Public Sector Pay for the Coalition government in 2011 and one on the Creative Industries for the Labour government in 2007. He helped instigate the creation of the Catapult network in 2011 and served on the board of the Satelllite Applications Catapult for nine years to 2022. He was rapporteur for the EU’s Kok Commission in 2004, and was one of “ twelve wise men and women” to reflect on the future of Europe at the request of President Prodi in 2002. He has chaired/directed and/or founded four think tanks ( The Employment Policy Institute, The Purposeful Company, The Big Innovation Centre, The Work Foundation). He holds a degree in Economics and Sociology from Bristol University and an MBA from INSEAD.

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