Updates

What is the new normal? Nik Gowing explains the key findings of his research with co-author Chris Langdon in 120 seconds.
Unthinkable or Unpalatable? Watch here to find out.

(Video Courtesy of APCO, 10 April 2017.)

Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon gave the keynote address on thinking the unthinkable opening the Spring Seminar of the Arthur W Page Society in New York City to 400 senior communications executives, on 6 April 2017.

The Society is the leading international professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives.

Credit: Arthur W Page Society

With foresight the frog might not croak: The World Today, April 2017

"In June last year The World Today carried an article – ‘The Lost Art of Leadership’ – on how government and corporate leaders were failing to cope with an increasingly unpredictable world. The authors, Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon, opened with the almost unthinkable ideas that Britain might vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump could be sitting in the Oval Office. Both those events came true, and Britain and the EU are now faced with a challenge that few policy-makers had taken seriously. So what has been learned in recent months about overcoming the barriers to effective foresight – groupthink, institutional conformity, risk aversion and short-termism – which Gowing and Langdon identified?"

Authors: Cat Tully, Alun Rhydderch and Peter Glenday

Published on April 2017

View Publication

Time For An Open Discussion About Leadership Fears

We are delighted that PWC has joined us in recognising the challenges faced by world’s leaders and the leadership system today. Their excellent new research released on Monday supports our message on thinking the unthinkable. When we first started to speak of these concerns, which had been confided to us by several hundred people in... (Read more)

Thinking The Unthinkable for Davos Wo/Man ( 17 January 2017)

Read our article on the stuggle for credibility for leaders meeting in Davos for the World Economic Forum from 17-20 January 2017. They are facing a huge new struggle for credibility. It is of a scale and speed none have ever had to confront. Most are quietly overwhelmed and scared. In recent months, public anger and scepticism have confirmed that the old assumptions are obsolete. Will the leaders at Davos take this on board - or not? (Read more)

Sir Ivan Rogers’ resignation is not unexpected. 2 years of research on thinking the unthinkable has revealed the intense pressures to conform that British civil servants feel they are under. Nik Gowing reveals the reasons.

Nik Gowing was interviewed by Peter Dobbie of Al Jazeera English on 23 December 2016 about the interviews done for Thinking the Unthinkable.

Leaders at the highest levels of business and the public sector are frankly scared, Nik said. “It is more than Brexit or Trump. This is only the beginning of the end of the normal”.

Video: Copyright Al Jazeera.

Watch two sessions of The Atlantic Dialogues in Marrakesh from 14 – 16 December 2016. The Dialogues engage emerging, young leaders from the worlds of business, policy-making and academia from the Middle East and North Africa. “No old guy’s blah blah,” promised one participant at the start of the Closing Session on 16 December. Nik Gowing moderated the intensive session, joking that he was “disguised as an unruly teenager”

Watch what then happened from 1 hour 22 minutes into this fascinating video from The Atlantic Dialogues: http://www.atlanticdialogues.org/multimedia/videos-2016/

Themes including “the demise of democracy”… “globalisation in flux”, “failure of governments and states” and “disintegration of the EU” were among those raised at this short, Issues Session of the Atlantoc Dialogues moderated by Nik Gowing.

Videos courtesy of The Atlantic Dialogues.

Watch this video of Nik Gowing’s lecture: Thinking the Unthinkable: Brexit? Trump? Migration? Russia? Why leaders have lost the plot on multiple issues, given on 23 November 2016, at the University of Kent…

Video courtesy of the Politics and International Relations Department at Kent University.