Soumitra Dutta

Dean, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University

Global perspective on technology-enabled innovation, online social networking, and the knowledge economy.

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Soumitra Dutta is an authority on all aspects of innovation in the knowledge economy, with a refreshing global perspective. Throughout his distinguished career, he has focused on how to drive business innovation and growth through the right combination of innovative people and technology. This is particularly relevant in the current crisis when innovation is the best answer for both thriving today and emerging stronger in a post-crisis world.

Soumitra has co-written several important books on technology-enabled business innovation:

Ask, Measure, Learn: Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer Behavior (with co-author Lutz Finger), explains how to extract significant business value from big data. The Ask-Measure-Learn system, originally designed to help governments and NGOs sift through volumes of data, shows you how to ask the right questions, measure the right data, and then learn from the results. The authors demonstrate specific ways to apply social media analytics to to marketing, sales, public relations, and customer management, using examples and case studies.

The Bright Stuff: How innovative people and technology can make old businesses new, (with coauthors Arnoud De Meyer and Sandeep Srivastava) shares secrets of successful innovation so that you can learn the skills and attitudes of the digital economy innovators.

Innovating at the Top distills proven ways that senior executives can improve innovation performance from interviews with the CEOs of nine highly-innovative international corporations.

Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom reveals how online social networking is transforming our personal lives, our organizations, and our behavior as consumers and citizens.

Soumitra has also co-edited eight annual reports for the World Economic Forum on the impact of information technology on development and national competitiveness, the most authoritative and comprehensive assessments available.

He is one of the very few faculty members around the world and across all disciplines who has been invited to Davos for more than 10 years. He is amongst academics of the privileged "Davos Circle" group of participants, only two others have been invited to more meetings.

Soumitra Dutta is the eleventh Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. This appointment becomes a first for a major business school in the U.S. to hire a dean from a business school outside the country. Previously, Dutta was the Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology and Founder and Academic Director of ELab at INSEAD, named the #1 international business school in the world by BusinessWeek.

Soumitra is a dynamic, charming and confident speaker with strong executive education experience.

Expertise and Presentation Areas

  • Technology and Innovation Strategies
  • CIO Leadership strategies
  • Talent Management & Leadership Development
  • Technology and competitiveness
  • Off-shoring and Outsourcing Strategies (special focus on India and China)
  • Knowledge Economy in Europe


  • Dean, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University
  • Founder and Academic Director, eLab@INSEAD
  • Former Dean of External Relations at INSEAD and Roland Berger Professor of Business and Technology at INSEAD
  • Visiting professor, UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business; Solvay Business School (Brussels); Athens - Laboratory for Business Administration
  • Fellow, World Economic Forum
  • Member of Advisory Board, Center for CIO Leadership, New York
  • Adviser, Government of Qatar


Soumitra tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Innovation and Competitiveness in a Dynamic World

We are at the cusp of major changes in the business world. Emerging markets are becoming important sources of innovation. Due to the ubiquity of the Internet, the world is becoming more global, open, transparent, interactive and real time — all very important shifts for businesses and governments. Customers and citizens are self-organizing thanks to social networks and becoming important forces of change and influence. Leaders from private and public sectors have to understand these trends to leverage them for enhancing innovation and competitiveness. Is there another choice?


Soumitra is the co-author of Innovating at the Top, which offers proven ways to improve innovation performance distilled from interviews with CEOs at nine highly innovative international corporations—Bosch, Genentech, Infosys, Nokia, Research in Motion, SAP, 3M, Toyota, and Unilever. Based on the insights of senior executives who have successfully encouraged and supported innovation in their organizations, Soumitra offers audiences the take-aways from his book: 10 Key Drivers of Innovation.

Overcoming the current economic crisis

Soumitra has co-edited eight annual reports for the World Economic Forum that are the most authoritative and comprehensive international assessments of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations. The 2009 Report underlines that good education fundamentals and high levels of technological readiness and innovation are essential engines of growth needed to overcome the current economic crisis. Under the theme "Mobility in a Networked World", the Report places a particular focus on the importance of mobility and broadband technologies.

Online social networking

Soumitra is the co-author of Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom, which examines how online social networking is changing the way we interact with each other informally (in terms of identity), the inner dynamics of organizations (in terms of status), and our behavior as citizens and consumers (in terms of power). Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom has received rave reviews and has been picked up enthusiastically by the online community.