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Brand Finance Nation Brands Forum: The Global Crisis of Leadership

09 October 2019, 18:00–19:30 UK Time

Join us at Brand Exchange as we announce the findings of our Brand Finance Nation Brands 2019 report.

The annual Brand Finance Nation Brands report is a study into the world’s 100 most valuable and strongest nation brands. For the past decade it has provided key benchmark for diplomats, tourism boards, trade agencies, and other nation brand consultants and managers.

The potential disruption to nation brands created by the UK’s deepening Brexit drama, among other issues in global politics, continues to confirm the scale of new challenges facing leaders across the world. The impact of those developments on stability and confidence is profound and possibly irreversible. There is a fast-changing ‘new normal’ of destabilisation.

We are delighted to be joined by Nik Gowing, foreign affairs specialist and former BBC World News and HARDtalk presenter, who will host a debate to discuss why leaders must be emboldened to thrive on change and how they can embrace new global challenges.

We will discuss the following questions:

  • Why do so many leaders in politics, C-suites and public service struggle to confront, and even embrace new leadership challenges?
  • Why do they find themselves increasingly out of touch with customers, consumers, shareholders and voters?
  • How do leaders who got to the top through conformity now shed it to create a new culture, mindset and behaviour appropriate for the new disruptions?
  • How is nation brand value and strength affected by the fast-evolving geopolitical landscape?
  • How much has the Brexit drama made this reality even more serious?

Join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking discussion as we explore these timely issues.  


18:00 - 18:30 Registration & Welcome Drinks
18:30 - 18:35 Opening Remarks
18:35 - 18:45 Presentation of the Brand Finance Nation Brands 2019 Report
18:45 - 19:15 'The Global Crisis of Leadership', Keynote Speech by Nik Gowing
19:15 - 19:30 Q&A Session
19:30 - 21:00 Networking & Drinks
09 October 2019, 18:00–19:30 UK Time
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Nik Gowing
Thinking the Unthinkable""

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 Festival.

Nik has extensive reporting experience over three decades in diplomacy, defence and international security. He also has a much sought-after analytical expertise on the failures to manage information in the new transparent environments of conflicts, crises, emergencies and times of tension. His peer-reviewed study at Oxford University is “Skyful of Lies and Black Swans”. It predicts and identifies the new vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space.  It can be downloaded free online after registration. The work follows an earlier study undertaken at the Kennedy School, Harvard.

In 2015 he co-authored initial findings of the “Thinking the Unthinkable” study. It is based on sixty top level confidential interviews of corporate and public service leaders, plus the new generation of millennials. The study is in partnership with CIMA. It reveals candidly the factors that explain why so many leaders face new difficulties identifying what looms in the disruptions of the “new normal” that have emerged since 2013. The findings are scary.

In 2014 Nik was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. He is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics.

He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Exeter University in 2012 and Bristol University in 2015 for both his ongoing cutting edge analyses and distinguished career in international journalism.


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Brand Exchange 3 Birchin Lane London EC3V 9BW

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