Gillian Tett is an award-winning financial journalist and anthropologist with an unparalleled track record at predicting important trends that impact the world. She called the credit crunch crisis three years ahead of anyone else and is one of the first to recognize and chronicle the developing importance of ESG in business. In both her talks and her columns at the Financial Times, she covers a wide range of subjects, speaking frequently on the intersection of politics, populism, and financial markets.
Though majority of business leaders look to economic models and algorithmic data for solutions to the ills that plague their industry, Gillian offers uniquely astute insights through an anthropological lens. By understanding the cultures of a business and an industry, analyzing the human biases of consumers at large, and applying it all to financial markets and the economy, she presents a holistic and multi-dimensional view of what’s really going on to those unknowingly enfeebled by tunnel vision. She also highlights the golden data found in a culture or organization’s “social silences,” also known as the issues that aren’t being given much thought or attention. She explores these concepts in depth in her bestselling book, Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life. Tett’s background as an anthropologist also opens the door to unique perspectives on artificial intelligence and tech at large, born from her passion for blending social and computer sciences.
Gillian Tett is a pioneer in the coverage of the continued expansion of sustainable and ethically responsible business practices. In 2019, she founded Moral Money, a journalism vertical at the Financial Times documenting and analyzing the new world of socially responsible business, sustainable finance, impact investing, environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends, and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Rich in varied and valuable content, Moral Money is a trusted destination for comprehensive assessments of developments in ESG and holds the distinction of winning a SABEW Best in Business award twice in a row.
Tett has held many positions throughout her tenure at the Financial Times, including Chairman of the US Editorial Board and America Editor-at-Large. Her twice-weekly column earned her recognition as Columnist of the Year, Journalist of the Year, and Business Journalist of the Year by the British Press Awards. In 2004, Gillian began building a team at the Financial Times to cover capital markets, correctly anticipating the need to watch an industry growing uncommonly fast. By 2007, a year ahead of the curve, she began issuing her news breaking warnings of a looming financial crisis. For this prescient work, she received the President’s Medal from The British Academy.
Tett is the author of The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers and the New York Times bestseller Fool's Gold, the gripping tale of how a team of Wall Street bankers led by J.P. Morgan's CEO Jamie Dimon created the world of 'shadow banking,' and then lost control of their creation. Fool's Gold is a vital contribution to our understanding of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. She also wrote Saving the Sun, about Japan's financial collapse in the 1990s, following her stint as the FT’s Japan bureau chief during the country’s “lost decade.” Gillian's next book will be about why every CEO (and investor) needs their “inner anthropologist” to make informed decisions.
In October 2023, Gillian assumed the role of Provost at King’s College Cambridge with a mission to promote an interdisciplinary view of life while championing British intellectual capital.
In recognition of her work, Gillian has won several awards, including the 2021 Presidents' Award from the American Anthropological Association, the 2014 Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award, the UK Speechwriters’ Guild Business Communicator of the Year in 2012, and the Wincott Prize in 2007. Gillian has a PhD in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, based on research conducted in the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s. She speaks French and Russian and has studied Japanese and Tajik.
Anthro-Vision: A New Way to See in Business and Life
When there are problems in business, leaders typically run straight to the data for answers. It’s a fine place to start, but the answers discovered can be limited at best and misleading at worst. The next time you’re faced with a Big Question, Gillian Tett invites you to adopt the perspective of an anthropologist to discover the answers that truly speak to real life. While most people associate anthropology with the study of ancient civilizations and newly discovered artifacts, modern anthropology is more likely to study things like workplaces, consumer behavior, and policy effectiveness. When you study human culture, you not only discover what is happening with your business, but also the intricacies of why it’s happening which opens a new world of possibilities for problem solving. In this talk based on her book of the same name, Gillian Tett gives you a new way to view and understand the people, organizations, and markets impacting our daily lives.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of ESG: An Anthropologist’s View
Gillian Tett founded the Moral Money column at Financial Times in 2019 to monitor the growing importance of ESG and socially responsible business, making her uniquely situated to provide insight on the space. She positions ESG not just as corporate “do-gooding” but also as risk management. We’ve seen the destabilizing backlash that can erupt when companies pay no mind to the communities impacted by their work. We’re now beginning to see what happens when companies commit to more conscious business practices but don’t follow through. With little to no movement on climate pledges, evidence of greenwashing coming to light, and diversity commitments lagging, those working in the realm of ESG are under intense scrutiny and pressure to deliver. As we move to create a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive economy, Gillian calls upon her background as an anthropologist, using cultural analysis to shed light on what lies beneath the successes, failures, and outright disasters in the space as well as what needs to happen to transform empty ESG promises into fully realized advances benefitting society at large and minimizing risk for companies.
Silo-Busting: The Secret to Success in Business
What sets apart a thriving organization from a struggling one? Many will point to varying degrees of expertise in the hard skills necessary in their respective industries. But as Gillian Tett will explain, an accumulation of geniuses does not success make. True and lasting success is born from the ability to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and effectively communicate across silos to minimize blind spots. In this talk based on her critically-acclaimed book "The Silo Effect" and supported by her background as an anthropologist, Gillian reveals the debilitating tunnel vision that occurs when organizations are composed of disconnected silos, as is common in the modern workplace where labor is increasingly specialized and separated. Citing case studies of infamous failures and enviable successes, she helps both organizations and individuals avoid becoming blind to their own blindness and work collaboratively to fill the gaps in their knowledge before disaster strikes. Gillian also offers insight on the benefits of breaking demographic silos, explaining how leaning into the many faces of diversity is essential to the health of any organization. She provides prime examples of where the lack of diversity—in thought, in process, and beyond—led to catastrophic yet avoidable mistakes as well as instances where the choice to acknowledge and value diverse ideas and voices led to improved thinking and decision-making.
Dear Gillian — I herewith wish to express our gratitude for having contributed to making the “diversity matters” session
Gillian gave a really interesting talk and you couldn’t hear a pin drop whilst she was speaking. The content was really
Gillian was informative, delightful and captivating. Our agents loved her! Her knowledge and expertise on multiple topic
Dear Gillian, Thank you for coming to our conference in Boca and making it an absolute success. I cannot tell you how ma
Gillian was terrific. I think she gave the audience a lot to think about and we received many compliments after the fact
Your contribution to the overall success of the event was the difference between a very good event and an excellent one.
Tett really wowed them, she talked about the present and the future of the markets. It's clear that she's interviewed le