Noreena Hertz Profile

  • For over 20 years, leading corporations, nonprofit organizations, and national governments have sought out Hertz's cutting edge insights and forecasts regarding economic, geopolitical, and demographic trends.

  • A multiple best-selling writer, Hertz is the author of Eyes Wide Open, The Silent Takeover, and IOU: The Debt Threat.

  • Hertz is one of the world's leading researchers on the process of decision-making as well as the economic influence of "Generation K" - the demographic group born between 1995 and 2001.
  • Economic expert Noreena Hertz’s track record of predicting financial, political, and business trends is second to none. For over 20 years Hertz has been advising national governments, global corporations, and nonprofit organizations, helping them to expand their vision and make smarter decisions in an increasingly complex world.

    An honorary professor at University College London, Hertz is one of the world’s leading researchers on decision-making as well as “Generation K,” people who were born from 1995 to 2001. She has presented her findings at the World Economic Forum in Davos and the Women in the World Economic Summit in New York City, while her best-selling books, Eyes Wide Open, The Silent Takeover, and IOU: The Debt Threat have spread her insights and research to millions of readers in 22 different languages.

    After years of academia and consulting work, Hertz became an overnight celebrity in 2001 with the release of The Silent Takeover, a study of how multinational corporations were taking over government roles, crossing ethical boundaries, and driving the world towards financial crisis. Branding herself as a “campaigning academic,” she has used her fame to raise awareness and funds on several social issues, including canceling the debt of the world’s poorest countries, battling HIV and AIDS in Africa, and raising nurses’ wages in the U.K.

    Currently, Hertz acts as the economic editor of ITV news.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      A renowned economist and strategic thinker with an impressive track record in predicting global trends, Noreena graduated from university at the age of 19. By 23, Hertz was advising the Russian government on its economic reforms and investors on M&A transactions as the Russian economy opened up to capitalism. At the age of 29, Hertz was working with the governments of Israel, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan on the role economics could play in The Middle East Peace Process.

      Hertz’s thinking was the inspiration for Product (RED), which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. Most recently she has been exploring the world of today’s teenagers, who she has coined “Generation K”, with articles published in the UK, US, Europe and China.

      The Observer has named Hertz as “one of the world’s leading thinkers.” Vogue has described her as “one of the world’s most inspiring women’. In 2013, Hertz was the Cover Feature of Newsweek.

      Noreena’s best-selling books, The Silent Takeover, IOU: The Debt Threat and Eyes Wide Open, are published in 22 countries. She has given Keynote speeches at TED, The World Economic Forum and Google Zeitgeist sharing platforms with President Bill Clinton, James Wolfensohn and David Beckham amongst others. From 2014-16 she served on the Board of Warner Music Group.

      Noreena has a PhD from Cambridge University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is Visiting Professor at University College London. She has held professorships at Erasmus University and Utrecht University and fellowships at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics.

    Noreena Hertz Speaking Videos

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    Noreena Hertz's Speech Descriptions

    Economist, Noreena Hertz challenges audiences to jumpstart their critical thinking skills and question the status quo as she reveals the most common factors that derail our decision-making. Whether spotlighting how to connect with Generation K or future-proof your business, Hertz addresses the complexities of competing and operating in an ultra-transparent digital world where there is no such thing as certainty. Her presentations will help you navigate through an era of data overload, optimize your decision-making ability, and spark new ideas across your organization.

    Some of the topics she has spoken on most recently include:

    A world in flux: global trends & challenges & how to manage them.

    In this Keynote Speech Noreena Hertz lays out what she sees as the key Global Trends of our times, identifies the challenges this means we face, and provides a series of insightful and counterintuitive steps we need to take if we are to successfully manage them.

    How to make smart decisions in a complex world.

    Here Noreena Hertz lays out concrete and counterintuitive steps we all can take to become much smarter and wiser decision makers ourselves. Steps that include hiring a Challenger-in-Chief, becoming a Digitally-Attune Information-Hunter-Gatherer, encouraging Dissent and Difference and Tapping into your Organisation’s Wisdom Within.

    Truer faster: to succeed in the super-transparent world of Twitter, Facebook and Wikileaks.

    This Keynote Speech reveals how successful corporations use the 3Cs to their advantage and lays out how new technologies can be deployed to deliver a competitive advantage. She also challenges her audience to think anew about what they can do differently, who they should join forces with, and how they can become truer, faster themselves so as to succeed in this super-transparent new world.

    Doing business in the post financial crisis era: how to front run regulation and gain a competitive advantage.

    Noreena Hertz identifies the key socio-political forces that every business leader needs to monitor in order to be able to triumph in this new post financial crisis environment, as well as the concrete steps to take so as to be able to front run regulation and gain competitive advantage.

    Generation K: What you need to know about today’s teenagers, tomorrow’s consumers.

    Based on her cutting edge proprietary research on this demographic Noreena Hertz shares in this Keynote Speech who this generation are, what they care about, how they behave, what they want, how they consume. Shaped not only be technology but also the worst recession in decades and also a world of heightened geopolitical threat, this generation is manifestly different to previous generations. Whether you are an employer, marketer or politician if you want to future proof your organisation, it’s essential you get to grips with Generation K.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Noreena Speak

    Rating Entries

    “On behalf of all at UCL, thank you so much for your expert hosting of our Campaign launch event. It really could not have been done better, and we were all overwhelmed by how brilliant you were.”

    UCL, Campaign Launch in London

    “Most highly rated speaker by our clients in 20 years.”


    “Noreena was excellent at our event yesterday evening. I’ve received many comments from employees and colleagues about how insightful she was – drawing from examples that really helped stretch our employees’ thinking and challenge what we perceive doing the right thing to mean…definitely delighted with our choice.”

    RBS, London

    “Thank you for doing a fantastic job. The feedback on you has been all positive. We so much appreciated how much time you put into understanding who we are and coming prepared. Both the session and breakout were wonderful and I am not obligated to say that, I promise.”

    GS1, 40th Anniversary Event, Los Angeles

    “Thank you for an excellent, lucid and fresh talk at the WIRED event. You were a hit.”

    WIRED 2011 Conference

    “Thank you for your outstanding opening address… Your intervention and the ensuing ‘Questions and Answers’ set the appropriate tone for the day … the executives present found your contribution both challenging and stimulating. Your description of the challenges that we face as an iconic global company set the scene and created an atmosphere ripe for the harvesting of new ideas… many thanks for your willingness to share your ideas with us.”

    McDonalds Europe, Brussels

    “Professor Hertz’ contribution touched all the participants. Professor Hertz makes every single person feel his or her responsibility towards this world and give everybody the energy and belief they can contribute to a more sustainable future. We’ve received many very positive responses on her contribution and it has been a pleasure and honour working with her.”

    Green Spring Festival (Neprom), Rotterdam

    “Having heard you speak yesterday there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are the ‘shining light of your generation’. Your knowledge and erudite speaking around such a relevant and pertinent topic set the tone for the whole event. The feedback has been tremendous, thank you so much for making it such a success.”

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    Books by Noreena Hertz:

    Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World

    Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World is Noreena Hertz’s practical, cutting-edge guide to help you cut through the data deluge and make smarter and better choices, based on her highly popular TED talk.

    In this eye-opening handbook, the internationally noted speaker, economics expert, and bestselling author of IOU: The Debt Threat and Silent Takeover reveals the extent to which the biggest decisions in our lives are often made on the basis of flawed information, weak assumptions, corrupted data, insufficient scrutiny of others, and a lack of self-knowledge.

    To avert such disasters, Hertz persuasively argues, we need to become empowered decision-makers, capable of making high-stakes choices and holding accountable those who advise us.

    In Eyes Wide Open, she weaves together scientific research with real-world examples from Hollywood to Harry Potter, NASA to World War Two spies, to construct a path to more astute and empowered decision-making in ten clear steps. With a razor-sharp intellect and an instinct for popular storytelling, she offers counter-intuitive, actionable guidance for making better choices—whether you are a business-person, a professional, a patient, or a parent.

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