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IDE Director Sinan Aral Wins Thinkers50 Award; Other IDE Leaders Top 2021 List


Thinkers50, the premier ranking of global business thinkers, has announced its 2021 ranking of management thinkers and the winners of its 11 Distinguished Achievement Awards. 

IDE Director, Sinan Aral has won the Digital Thinking Award, presented to the thinker who has done the most to convert the digital language of 0’s and 1’s into useful human insight. Says Thinkers50: “Sinan Aral is a clear and persuasive guide to the realities of the new tech reality.”

The new Thinkers50 ranking is the most diverse and global to date. It features a majority of women for the first time and includes thinkers from more than ten countries (including the U.S., China, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, the U.K., Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and France). The new entrants to the ranking are: Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic , Chen Jin, Erica Dhawan, Frances Frei & Anne Morriss, Hubert Joly, Katy Milkman, Tsedal Neeley, Paul Polman & Andrew Winston, Navi Radjou, Megan Reitz, Laura Morgan Roberts, Sanyin Siang, and Amy Webb. 

For the first time only the top ten are placed in ranking order with the remaining 40 listed alphabetically. “Events over the past two years really led us to question what we do and why we do it. Arranging the Thinkers50 in this way fits more readily with our belief that collaboration and community lie at the heart of the Thinkers50—and organizational success,” says Thinkers50’s Stuart Crainer. 

Also announced at Thinkers50 2021 were the recipients of the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of Management Thinking”. The award winners included: the father of modern marketing, Philip Kotler; Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix), and Hubert Joly (former CEO of BestBuy). Among the Thinkers50 landmarks were the first Australian award winner (Amantha Imber, winner of the Innovation Award), the Trinidadian duo, Leon Prieto and Simone Phipps for their work on cooperative advantage, and two Africa-based winners: Louise van Rhyn (Ideas into Practice) and Nankhonde Kasonde-van den Broek (Coaching). 


Founded in 2001, Thinkers50 identifies, ranks, and shares the very best management ideas globally. Every two years, the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards recognize individual achievement across a range of management categories, and the definitive global ranking of the 50 most influential business thinkers is published. The previous winners are W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne, Roger Martin, Clayton Christensen, CK Prahalad, Michael Porter, and Peter Drucker. 

Thinkers50 partners include the Business Ecosystem Alliance, Brightline Initiative, Fujitsu, the Haier Model Research Institute, the Haier Group, 100 Coaches,, Executive Networks, India’s Institute for Competitiveness, ECSI Consulting, and Management Centre Turkey. 

For more information on Thinkers50 please visit thinkers50. com/about 

Also topping the 2021 Thinkers50 list are IDE Visiting Scholars, Geoffrey Parker and Marshall Van Alstyne, and IDE Co-Director, Andrew McAfee, alongside former IDE Director, Erik Brynjolfsson.