Nik Gowing

Founder & Director Thinking the Unthinkable

United Kingdom

In 2018 Nik Gowing co-authored (with Chris Langdon) “Thinking the Unthinkable” (published May 2018). It details the findings from hundreds of top level confidential interviews and conversations with corporate and public service leaders, plus hundreds more conversations with the new generation of millennials. In the era of a new disruption leaders reveal that they are ‘scared’, ‘confused’ and ‘overwhelmed’ especially by the new short termism.

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 was a board member for the Hay Literature Festival 2004-18 and is now a member of the Hay Festival Foundation.

His peer-reviewed study at Oxford University “Skyful of Lies and Black Swans” predicted and identified the new vulnerability, fragility and brittleness of institutional power in the new all-pervasive public information space. The work builds on his work initiated at Harvard. In 2014 Nik was appointed a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London in the School of Social Science and Public Policy. Since 2016 he has been a Visiting Professor at Nanyang University (NTU), Singapore focussing on deepening and widening the “Thinking the Unthinkable” research.

From 2014 he was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics. In September 2017 he was appointed an adviser on leadership challenges to the President of the UN General Assembly.

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

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