Ian Goldin Profile

A world expert in economics, finance and global affairs as well as innovation and social issues, Ian Goldin is currently Director of the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, as well as being a Professorial Fellow at Oxford’s Balliol College.

Prior to his current position at Oxford, Goldin was a vice president at the World Bank. He was a member of the Bank’s Executive Committee with responsibility for relationships with global partners including the United Nations. Prior to this he was chief executive and managing director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, leading the Bank into commercial independence and making it the primary source of finance for more than 500 public and private entities. Goldin had the honor at this time to be an adviser to President Mandela. Other experiences in a distinguished career have included working as principal economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and as a Program Director at the OECD Development Centre.

Holder of a BSc and BA (Hons) degree from the University of Cape Town, an MSc from the London School of Economics, an AMP from INSEAD and an MA and DPhil from the University of Oxford, Goldin has had his achievements recognized with numerous awards and prizes. He is a Chevalier (knight) of France and the World Economic Forum nominated him as a Global Leader of Tomorrow.

He has published many articles and thirteen books, including Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance; The Pursuit of Development: Economic Growth, Social Change and Ideas; Globalization for Development (“essential reading” – Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz) and Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped our World and Will Define our Future.

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    Ian Goldin is a leading global thinker and exceptional speaker. After a career which included being CEO of a bank and vice president of the World Bank, he is now at Oxford and serves on a variety of boards. His most recent and widely acclaimed books are Globalisation for Development and Exceptional People.

    Goldin is the director of the Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School which aims to provide solutions to some of the great challenges of our time. The School covers the frontiers of physical, environmental and medical science change and as well as population, migration, ageing, food and natural resources and the associated global governance challenges. Goldin is a Professorial Fellow at the University’s Balliol College.

    Goldin previously was at the World Bank, where he served as vice president with wide-ranging responsibilities. These included being a member of the Bank’s Executive Committee and having responsibility for all major shareholder relations and relations with the UN and other global partners. From 1995 to 2001, Goldin was chief executive and managing director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Under his leadership, the Bank was transformed to become commercially independent and the leading agent of infrastructure development in the fourteen countries of Southern Africa, becoming the primary source of finance to over 500 municipalities and developing public private partnerships in the region. During this period, Goldin was an advisor to President Mandela and accompanied him on many state visits. Previously, Goldin worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London, as principal economist, and prior to that at the OECD Development Centre in Paris, where he directed the Programs on Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development.

    Goldin holds a BSc and BA (Hons) degree from the University of Cape Town, a MSc from the London School of Economics, an AMP from INSEAD and an MA and DPhil from the University of Oxford. He has received numerous awards and prizes, and has been knighted (Chevalier) by France and was nominated Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He has published over fifty articles and thirteen books, three of the most well-known being The Economics of Sustainable Development (Cambridge University Press), Globalisation for Development (Palgrave MacMillan), which Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz has recommended as “essential reading”, and his most recent Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped our World and Will Define our Future (Princeton) which Ned Phelps, Nobel Laureate has said will “will change, if anything, the way governments and organisations view migration policy.”

Ian Goldin Speaking Videos

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Ian Goldin's Speech Descriptions

Ian Goldin brings a wealth of academic research from his distinguished career at Oxford and elsewhere and combines it with his real-world experience in the World Bank and other prestigious institutions to provide a unique insight into the changes in economics, global affairs and innovation that lie ahead.

By examining population and demographic trends and the implications of migration across the globe for different countries, Goldin identifies the opportunities and progress available to humanity through societal and technological changes. He also considers the threats to this progress and whether humanity has entered its best or its worst century ever.

The World In 2020

Ian Goldin has a unique insight into the future. Drawing on the frontiers of research at Oxford and elsewhere, he provides illuminating perspectives on the major changes in society and technology which are likely to take place over coming decades. His presentations focus on the big picture, looking at the implications for businesses, governments and individual choice.

Professor Goldin explains the connection between social and technical change, and draws out the lessons of the past thirty years of unprecedented globalisation. He discusses whether the tidal wave of globalisation will continue and whether past trends are sustainable.

He examines first population and demographic trends, considering the implications for pensions, retirement, dependency and migration patterns to the Year 2050. Next, he considers economic trends, considering whether the current dramatic instability in the market is likely to be a short-term deviation from longer term trends. He considers the rise of Asia and emerging markets, providing perspectives on economic growth and opportunities over the coming 10+ years. The connections between social, technical and economic change and market growth and consumer behaviour are unpacked. Professor Goldin provides fresh insights into the future of computing, biotechnology, nano-technology, genetics and the likely implications of frontier technologies.

Ian Goldin is a leading global thinker on the future. He has extraordinary wide ranging knowledge and an ability to combine the latest in research with insights from the inside of global politics and business.

Globalization and Systemic Risk: Lessons from the Financial Crisis

Goldin is a world leading expert on the new forms of systemic risk which he identifies as arising from turbo charged globalisation associated with sharply increased levels of connectivity and technical change. He shows how the opportunities created by closer integration simultaneously create risk and instability. Goldin considers the causes and lesson of the recent financial crisis. He provides fresh insights into the risks associated with the rapid integration of global risks and provides a framework for businesses and governments to meet this challenge. 

Humanity at the Crossroads

Goldin shows how this could be our best century ever. Or our worst, in which we may even destroy our centuries of progress. Professor Goldin identifies the major opportunities and progress which may be expected in coming years. He then draws out the ethical and social implications raised by the major shifts and advances in society and technology. He considers the public policy issues associated with the threats posed, including by climate change, pandemics and terrorism and identifies the measures necessary to ensure that society ensures that this is a century of shared opportunity, not destruction.

Goldin shows how our societies are created by a rich tapestry of migrants from different backgrounds. He identifies the vital role that migrants play in economic, social and technical development. He considers the implications of migration for the sending societies, the countries which receive migrants and the also the costs and benefits for the migrants themselves. In highly original analysis which goes far beyond the rhetoric of current debates on migration, Goldin provides long term perspective and shows how they inform future trends in migration and their implications. Drawing on a comparative historical and global perspective he provides principles and pragmatic insights for countries and communities dealing with this seemingly intractable issue.

Ian Goldin on Speaking

For me to get the maximum satisfaction from a presentation it must add value and ensure that the participants feel that it is something that is not only interesting but of use.

SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn, to take away from your presentations?

GOLDIN: I get very encouraged by the feedback I receive from audiences about how the presentation has helped them to deal with key challenges in a very wide range of areas. My talks tend to surprise audiences by telling them things they didn’t know about the world, about industries, about trends. I think people find that stimulating, so I do try and bring it back to the audience and say, ‘Okay, so these are the global trends happening in particular areas, and particular countries. What does it mean to you in your jobs?’

I work with a wide range of industries and sectors, and at different levels within organizations. Typically, I engage with top leadership teams and Boards, but also works with experts and other staff.

In addition to focusing on strategic questions, I also at times examine what the trends mean for careers and the choices individuals and teams are making. For me to get the maximum satisfaction from a presentation it must add value and ensure that the participants feel that it is something that is not only interesting but of use. The people attending the event must find it effective in their own personal lives as well.

SPEAKING.COM: How do you prepare for speaking engagements?

GOLDIN: I really try and understand the client’s needs. The typical process would start with an extended conference call with the organizers of the event to understand why they’re hosting it, who’s going to be there and what they want to get out of it. I explain the range of things I can do to ensure that what I finally select to speak on meets the particular needs of the event organizers. I also ask them to send me any materials that could be of use. I sometimes meet with clients in person here in London, or in Oxford. I travel extensively for events so in many cases the preparatory discussions are telephonic or via skype.

After I’ve got everything I need I decide what I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it. I’ll often have a final telephone briefing just before an event so I can run through what I am going to say with the clients. They can then add the latest information about the event and the participants, and discussing the details, such as who is going to chair the session. Only then would I finalize my presentation.

On the day of or the night before I do a dry run at the venue, often with the organizers present. It’s an opportunity to fine-tune the presentation, if needed.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of audiences would most benefit from your message?

GOLDIN: I have spoken at many different places to audiences of varying sizes. For example, I’ve worked with small groups, such as boards of directors and executive committees, to define strategies to take their organizations forward. I also speak to huge groups, an example being this coming July when I’m going to speak at an event with 3,500 participants. So it varies. I’ve given TED talks and spoken to Microsoft’s CEO Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and for many years have been speaking at the Davos meetings of the World Economic Forum.

Sometimes I speak to a big audience and then have breakout sessions. I’m doing an event in a few weeks’ time, in the US, that includes three different types of interventions; a plenary, a breakout, and then a mentoring session where people will have the opportunity to book an appointment with me one-on-one. My aim is to be as flexible as possible to maximize the value of my engagement for the client.

SPEAKING.COM: What types of people are in these groups? Are they CEOs? Or are they front-line employees, the associates?

GOLDIN: It varies, this week I am going to Paris to address a group of government ministers, and those are very senior people. I did an event last week with presidents and prime ministers. I often speak to boards of directors, CEOs and chairmen. But I also speak to middle managers, and give motivational talks to whole organizations. And then I do non-business events like trade associations and non-governmental organizations

For the past 9 years I have been an academic at the University of Oxford, which gives me the freedom for the first time to speak on my own behalf.

SPEAKING.COM: What inspired you to start doing speaking engagements? How did you get started doing this?

GOLDIN: I’ve been in leadership roles for over 30 years. I’m very used to speaking. After I finished my doctorate I lectured at Harvard and Oxford and at other universities around the world. I’m used to public speaking, often in different contexts. For example, when I was working with President Mandela the two of us spoke to business or other audiences together. I did similar things when I worked at the World Bank and elsewhere.

After a career in which I have also been part of private and public sectors, for the past 9 years I have been an academic at the University of Oxford, which gives me the freedom for the first time to speak on my own behalf, not having to represent an organization. In all my previous roles I spoke for, or on behalf of, my employer or the government or World Bank.

But I discovered as dean of this incredible faculty at Oxford that I could speak, drawing on the work of academics but also my own experience, and that the university was very comfortable with me doing these sorts of activities. As a result of my experience and unique insights I am gaining, my speaking career has developed over the time I have been at the University of Oxford. Exclusive Interview with Ian Goldin
Globalization, Migration and the World Economy with Ian Goldin
In this extensive interview, Ian Goldin discusses:

  • How human migration is shaping the world.
  • The main opportunities and challenges of globalization.
  • Important future trends in demographics, the economy, fragmentation of politics and the pressure on natural resources.
  • Tips on navigating systemic risk associated with technological change.

    Read the Full Interview

  • ""If you look at the Noble Prize Winners, the Academy Award Winners, it is very evident that disproportionate shares of the winners are migrants. This is not an accident.""
    - Ian Goldin

    What People are Saying about Seeing Ian Speak

    Rating Entries

    ” Professor Ian Goldin is a true orator. Apart from his obvious wealth of knowledge about global trends and its impact on societies, he is a master at keeping an audience entertained and engaged throughout his entire presentation. He was particularly good at making the content relevant to our business, which is no mean feat. If you are looking for a speaker with stature, who can deliver thought provoking content in a relatable, engaging manner, Prof Goldin comes highly recommended.”

    Your keynote received rave reviews. Our partners and leadership were extremely pleased with the decision to have you open and moderate the program. You truly took our event to the next level. You did a splendid job throughout – shaping the agenda, identifying speakers, delivering the keynote, and connecting the entire two-day event. It was wonderful to have you on board with us again. The feedback from clients and partners has been fantastic.”
    Baker&McKenzie LLP

    Incredibly thought provoking. Spurred many fruitful discussions and framed future for Board.”
    Teach for All

    Your presentation really helped expand the thinking of 3M leaders and get them thinking about the future in pragmatic and insightful ways. Your facilitation was excellent. Thank you for making such a positive impact on our summit!”

    Brilliant, enlightening and articulate. A tremendously engaging speaker. Excellent. A marvelous feat! Outstanding speaker.”
    International Monetary Fund

    Fantastic! Really made you think. An excellent speaker – hugely inspiring. Truly a global perspective on important issues. Super high quality. The most interesting person I have ever listened to! Grateful to have had the chance to listen to Ian. Star struck and overwhelmed. One of the best performances ever.”

    Ian is absolutely phenomenal. Brilliant ideas. Brilliantly delivered. Extremely impactful. Set the stage.”
    World Economic Forum

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    Books by Ian Goldin:


    The Butterfly Defect:
    How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do about It

    Global hyperconnectivity and increased system integration have led to vast benefits, including worldwide growth in incomes, education, innovation, and technology. But rapid globalization has also created concerns because the repercussions of local events now cascade over national borders and the fallout of financial meltdowns and environmental disasters affects everyone. The Butterfly Defect addresses the widening gap between systemic risks and their effective management. It shows how the new dynamics of turbo-charged globalization has the potential and power to destabilize our societies. Drawing on the latest insights from a wide variety of disciplines, Ian Goldin and Mike Mariathasan provide practical guidance for how governments, businesses, and individuals can better manage risk in our contemporary world.

    Goldin and Mariathasan assert that the current complexities of globalization will not be sustainable as surprises become more frequent and have widespread impacts. The recent financial crisis exemplifies the new form of systemic risk that will characterize the coming decades, and the authors provide the first framework for understanding how such risk will function in the twenty-first century. Goldin and Mariathasan demonstrate that systemic risk issues are now endemic everywhere–in supply chains, pandemics, infrastructure, ecology and climate change, economics, and politics. Unless we are better able to address these concerns, they will lead to greater protectionism, xenophobia, nationalism, and, inevitably, deglobalization, rising conflict, and slower growth.

    The Butterfly Defect shows that mitigating uncertainty and systemic risk in an interconnected world is an essential task for our future.

      Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future

      Throughout history, migrants have fueled the engine of human progress. Their movement has sparked innovation, spread ideas, relieved poverty, and laid the foundations for a global economy. In a world more interconnected than ever before, the number of people with the means and motivation to migrate will only increase. Exceptional People provides a long-term and global perspective on the implications and policy options for societies the world over. Challenging the received wisdom that a dramatic growth in migration is undesirable, the book proposes new approaches for governance that will embrace this international mobility.

      Order Here

      Globalization for Development: Trade, Finance, Aid, Migration, and Policy

      Globalization and its relation to poverty reduction and development is not well understood. The book identifies the ways in which globalization can overcome poverty or make it worse. The book defines the big historical trends, identifies main global flows – trade, finance, aid, migration, and ideas – and examines how each can contribute to undermine economic development. By considering what helps and what does not, the book presents policy recommendations to make globalization more effective as a vehicle for shared growth and prosperity. It will be of interest to students, researchers and anyone interested in the effects of globalization in today′s economy and in international development issues.

      Order Here


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