No Ordinary Disruption: the four global forces breaking all the trends

Hosted by LSE and McKinsey Global Institute

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building,


Richard Dobbs

Jonathan Woetzel

Stephanie Flanders


Professor Silvana Tenreyro

Since the start of the new century, the world has started to change - and radically. The collision of four global forces means we are now living in an era of near constant discontinuity. Competitors can burst upon the scene in a blink of an eye. Businesses that were protected by large and deep moats find that their defences are easily breached. Vast new markets are conjured seemingly from nothing. Five years is an eternity.

In a new book, No Ordinary Disruption, the three leaders of the McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey's business and economics research arm, argue that the world is now roughly in the middle of a dramatic transition as a result of four fundamental disruptive trends: growth and urbanisation in emerging markets, technological disruption, increasing connectivity, and the ageing of populations. None of these disruptions, on its own, is a surprise. The unique challenge is that they are happening at the same time - and on a huge scale, creating second-, third-, and even fourth-order effects that are scarcely possible to anticipate. As they collide, they will produce change so significant that much of the management intuition that has served us in the past will become irrelevant, causing us to reset our collective intuition.

This event marks the publication of No Ordinary Disruption.

Richard Dobbs is a Director of the McKinsey Global Institute (@McKinsey_MGI), McKinsey & Company’s economics and business research arm, and a Director (Senior Partner) of McKinsey, based in London.  He joined the firm in 1988, and more recently from 2004 to 2009 co-led its Corporate Finance Practice. From 2009, Richard has co-led the McKinsey Global Institute, first from South Korea and then from London.  He is a co-author of Value, the Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance, published in November 2010, and his work has appeared in several books, including Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies, and Korea 2020 – Global Perspectives for the next decade. Richard received a B.A. in engineering, economics, and management at Oxford University, where he obtained a first-class degree.

Based in Shanghai, Jonathan Woetzel is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute and leads McKinsey research on China, Asia, and global economic and business trends. As leader of the firm’s Cities Initiative, he has conducted more than 60 projects for governments throughout China to support local economic development and transformation. He also supports the transformation of Chinese companies into global leaders.

Stephanie Flanders (@MyStephanomics​) is Managing Director and Chief Market Strategist for the UK and Europe, J.P. Morgan Asset Management.  Stephanie was previously the Economics Editor at the BBC.  Prior to this, she worked as a reporter at the New York Times, a speechwriter and senior adviser to US Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, a Financial Times leader-writer and columnist, and an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the London Business School.

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