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


Ask, Measure, Learn

Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer Behavior

Lutz Finger and Soumitra Dutta

You can measure practically anything in the age of social media, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, collecting mountains of data won’t yield a grain of insight. This non-technical guide shows you how to extract significant business value from big data with Ask-Measure-Learn, a system that helps you ask the right questions, measure the right data, and then learn from the results.

Authors Lutz Finger and Soumitra Dutta originally devised this system to help governments and NGOs sift through volumes of data. With this book, these two experts provide business managers and analysts with a high-level overview of the Ask-Measure-Learn system, and demonstrate specific ways to apply social media analytics to marketing, sales, public relations, and customer management, using examples and case studies.

O'Reilly Media (February 14, 2014)

The Bright Stuff

How Innovative People and Technology Can Make the Old Economy New

Arnoud De Meyer, Soumitra Dutta and Sandeep Srivastava

All industries are changing dramatically. Innovation is now critical for survival. Incumbent leaders are fighting back to retain their positions in the emerging marketplace — they are becoming innovative. The Bright Stuff lays out the framework and action agenda for Internet-enabled innovation in your business. With this book you can create business models that exploit the true potential of the technologies available. You will learn from detailed research carried out by INSEAD's eLab, looking at how traditional businesses were attacked by more innovative start-ups and how they have fought back. Detailed case studies of GM, Auto-by-Tel,, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart, Charles Schwab, E*TRADE and Merrill Lynch give sound evidence of how you can take advantage of The Bright Stuff.

Pearson Education; 1st edition (January 11, 2002)

Innovating at the Top

How Global CEOs Drive Innovation for Growth and Profit

Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger, Tobias Raffel and Geoffrey Samuels

This book is a collection of eye-opening interviews with CEOs from major international corporations- Nokia, Unilever, Toyota, Bosch are just some of the many included. The CEOs discuss their innovative approaches to new challenges and opportunities in their business. A fascinating insight into the minds of global leaders.

Palgrave Macmillan (November 25, 2008)

Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom

How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World

Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta

The rise of social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo is changing the way we see ourselves, how we interact with each other, how we work and how we do business on a daily basis. Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom explores the powerful forces driving the social networking revolution, the impact of these profound changes, and the far reaching consequences of social networking.

Detailing the way social networks affects both individuals and societies as a whole, the book offers a detailed focus on the ways social networking affects the world of business and work. The generation entering the workforce today - and entering boardrooms everywhere - is fully engaged with social networking and its uses. Rather than feeling threatened and paranoid, today's business leaders need to understand this phenomenon, accept that it won't go away, and embrace its power in the world of business.

Wiley (December 31, 2008)

The Global Information Technology Report 2004-2005

World Economic Forum Reports

Soumitra Dutta, Bruno Lanvin, and Fiona Paua, (Editors)

The use and application of ICT continues to be an important factor driving economic growth. The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with INSEAD and CISCO, is pleased to announce the release of its fourth edition of the annual Global Information Technology Report — a comprehensive tool for measuring the progress of and identifying the obstacles to ICT development in over 100 countries worldwide. The Networked Readiness Index of the Report provides the most comprehensive assessment of how prepared an economy is to capture the benefits of technology to promote economic growth and productivity. This study explicitly considers the roles played by the major stakeholders — individuals, businesses and governments, in relation to three dimensions: the environment for the development and use of ICT, the readiness of stakeholders to leverage the potential of ICT, and the degree of usage of ICT. The selection of essays, detailed country profiles for 104 economies and data tables on over 70 different ICT indicators presented in the Report provide a useful guide for the design and structure of policy measures for the key ICT stakeholders, individuals, businesses, and governments, in order to capture the benefits of ICT.

The Information Society in an Enlarged Europe

Soumitra Dutta, Arnoud De Meyer, Amit Jain, Gerard Richter, editors

Soumitra Dutta

Europe enlarged its boundaries in 2004 with the accession of ten new member states to the European Union. The creation of an effective information society is seen as critical to the global competitiveness of Europe. Based upon detailed data collection and rigorous analysis, the book presents a benchmarking study of the 10 new member states and 3 candidate countries of the European Union as compared to the 15 incumbent countries with respect to the development of their information societies. Using a framework based on the Europe 2005 benchmarking framework, the 28 EU members and candidate countries are ranked according to their level of information society development, and then classified into 4 categories. The results presented in this book are of importance to all managers and companies doing business in the IT sector in the European Union.

Springer; Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2006 edition (November 19, 2010)


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.


Future of Education: Innovation and Technology | NAIS


— Bloomberg Businessweek
— Cornell Chronicle
— Knowledge@Wharton
— Financial Times
— Knowledge@Wharton

Published in collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent, Booz and Company, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the World Intellectual Property Organization (a specialized agency of the United Nations), this research presents a novel assessment of innovation that covers 125 economies accounting for 93.2% of the world’s population and 98.0% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (in current US dollars).

— World Economic Forum

This is a study on issues related to online privacy, trust, security and freedom of expression based on a survey of over 5400 individuals from 14 countries. Conducted in collaboration with Oxford Internet Institute, Comscore and the World Economic Forum. Download for free.


This year marks the 10th anniversary edition of the report which presents a detailed assessment of technology and competitiveness for 138 economies. Co-authored with Irene Mia and published by the World Economic Forum. Download for free.