Long-time journalist for The Economist, Adrian Wooldridge speaks on a wide range of subjects from management to politics to globalisation and the economy.
He writes The Economist’s Bagehot Column and is Management Editor. Adrian was previously the "Schumpeter" Columnist. He also has served as the magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Correspondent, and Social Policy Editor (specialising in education and health care).
Adrian is the coauthor or coeditor with fellow Economist journalist
John Micklethwait of six books on globalisation and business, including, The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State, The Right Nation, The Company, God is Back, the bestseller The Witch Doctors.
His newest book, The Great Disruption: How Business is Coping with Turbulent Times explains the forces that are disrupting today's business world.
The age of big government is over; the age of smart government has begun.
As leaders everywhere around the world face a dual crisis of political legitimacy and political effectiveness, dysfunctional government has become a cliché — something most of us are resigned to. As Adrian and his co-author John argue, this is a seriously limited view. There have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world. Now we’re in the midst of a fourth — and the West is in danger of being left behind.
His previous book, Masters of Management: How The Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed The World—For Better and For Worse is revised and expanded edition of The Witch Doctors. This book is an entertaining yet serious guide to today's management theories and gurus.
"Read it before buying any other business book."
— Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Adrian has written Economist surveys on entrepreneurship, the global search for talent, as well as on telecommunications, education, multinational companies and management consultancy.
He’s also written public policy papers on education, on meritocracy and classless society, and a book on American politics.
With his writing partner John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge has written three books on business and one book on American politics. Adrian’s next book will explore the role of religion in political and social issues worldwide.
A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization is the first comprehensive examination of the most important revolution of our times. Adrian Wooldridge and his coauthor have gathered evidence from all over the world to illuminate the true character of the global economy and they offer an optimistic assessment of its real and potential impact. A Future Perfect was shortlisted for the 2000 Lionel Gelber Award.
In his book, God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World, John looks at the rise of religious sentiment around the world and how it is affecting politics, culture and economics both globally and in specific countries and regions around the world.
Masters of Management: How The Business Gurus and and Their Ideas Have Changed The World — For Better and For Worse is a revised and expanded edition of The Witch Doctors, updated to include the rise and fall of the Internet boom, the Great Recession of 2008, and the more recent developments in management theory.
In The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, Wooldridge charts the rise of one of history’s great catalysts for change, and argues that the company has become the basic unit and most powerful institution of modern society. The Company was named one of the ten best books of 2003 by BusinessWeek.
In The Witch Doctors, Wooldridge analyzes the problems that plague the modern corporation (and why they seek outside help) and the effectiveness of the solutions that management gurus have offered.
Wooldridge’s last book, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America, is a portrait of America and of ‘American exceptionalism’ that combines the fresh perspective of an outsider with the knowledge and insight of a journalist who has been translating the American experience to the world for years and who traveled all over the country to research the book. The Right Nation profiles the radical conservative movement in America — the forces that have shaped it, the constituencies it represents, and the power that it wields in the world today.
China vs. India
Adrian Wooldridge is an expert on globalisation, with two books on the subject and ongoing interest as a business journalist. Audiences have found his remarks on China and India especially valuable. China often seems more attractive to investors in pure economic terms, but political risk changes the equation. India’s stable democracy trumps China’s autocracy and her more mature regulatory environment serves business better than China’s corruption. Adrian has more insights and more details.
The Search for Talent
Adrian has written a major piece for The Economist that examines the dynamics of the new global war for talent. There has always been a talent shortage in the hi-tech industries, but now the trend is broadening to new sorts of industries. Several factors are driving these changes: the shift toward a knowledge-based economy, demographics (fewer workers), changes in worker attitudes. The implications for business are enormous: companies now need people more than people need companies. So far, businesses are better at bringing people on-board than at keeping them for the longer term. And very few companies — or countries — have done anything to prepare for the massive exit of senior talent to retirement, even though they know it’s coming. Few people understand this issue better than Adrian Wooldridge.
The Talent Economy and the Competition of Universities
Adrian has also written a long research piece on the talent economy and the central role universities play in it. Universities are in the talent business and, until now, the United States has been the clear leader. But competition is growing abroad and between universities the competition is intensifying. This is a topic in which individuals and families, companies and countries, and, of course, the universities themselves, have a huge stake.
- Washington Bureau Chief & columnist, The Economist
- Author of several public policy papers and of several Economist surveys
- Prize Fellowship and Doctorate, All Souls College, Oxford
- Harkness Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
The Great Disruption: How business is coping with turbulent times (2015)
The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State (2014)
Masters of Management: How The Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed The World — For Better and For Worse (2011)
The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America (2004)
The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea (2003)
A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Promise of Globalization (2000)
The Witch Doctors: Making Sense of the Management Gurus (1996)
Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England 1860-1990 (1994)
A human resources group:
Adrian was a hit. I sincerely appreciated the time he invested to understand our audience. We heard from many people that the conference which just ended an hour ago was the best ever, so his lead into was perfect.
A large consulting firm event:
Adrian was very personable, and I know that the partners who were hosting the conference were very impressed with his presentation and the information he shared with the attendees.
A leading global business process outsourcing company:
Adrian did a terrific job – our audience sensed a great degree of credibility from his delivery, his style and his content. He was a good fit for our kick off speaker.
A global human capital provider:
I am happy to provide a reference for Adrian Wooldridge as a speaker. I've seen Adrian speak at two different large conferences (he was so successful at the first that I personally recommended him for the second).
The first conference was our annual global partners meeting. It was a room of about 500 senior partners from around the world and Adrian spoke on globalisation and the war for talent. He was engaging, insightful and best of all — extremely funny. His humour was sophisticated and had global appeal — the European and Asian partners enjoyed him as much as our North American partners. He has a wonderful, sly, dry British wit and sensibility, and the depth of his intelligence is impossible to miss. He was one of our highest rated speakers at the conference.
The second conference he spoke at was a gathering of the Chief Communications Officers of the Fortune 500. It was a crowd of about 200, he spoke on globalisation, and he was again rated as one of the best speakers.
I personally think he will make an excellent speaker and will absolutely not disappoint.
On a final note, I would add that I am a "tough customer" and do not share this kind of praise or recommendation lightly.