In 2016, Nik Gowing co-authored (with Chris Langdon) interim findings of the “Thinking the Unthinkable” study. The work is currently scaling up because of global executive anxieties about the new pressures on leadership. It is based on hundreds of top level confidential interviews and conversations with corporate and public service leaders, plus hundreds more conversations with the new generation of millennials. Findings so far reveal candidly why so many leaders face new difficulties identifying what looms in the disruptions of the “new normal” that have emerged since 2014. New vulnerabilities are confirmed. The findings are scary.
Nik Gowing was a main news presenter for the BBC’s international 24-hour news channel BBC World News 1996-2014. He presented The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London, plus location coverage of major global stories.
For 18 years, he worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998–2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005–present), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014), the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy including vice chair (1996-2005), and the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-2012). In 1994, he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center in the J. F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is a board member for the Hay Literature Festival.
His peer-reviewed study at Oxford University “Skyful of Lies and Black Swans” predicted and identified the new vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space. The work builds on his work initiated at Harvard.
In 2014, Nik was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. Since 2016, he has been a Visiting Professor at Nanyang University (NTU), Singapore focussing on deepening and widening the “Thinking the Unthinkable” research. From 2014, he was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics. In September 2017, he was appointed an adviser on leadership challenges to the President of the UN General Assembly
He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Exeter University in 2012 and Bristol University in 2015. They recognise his ongoing cutting edge analyses and distinguished career in international journalism.