Simon Anholt is one of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners on ultra-widescale human engagement. His work over the last thirty years has focused on creating and leading new fields that measure, understand and influence attitudes, culture and activity at the global scale.
He is regarded as the leading authority on managing national identity and reputation.
His first company was an international strategy firm which he founded in London in 1989, ran until its sale in 2002, and is still the world leader in its sector today. Here, he developed Culture Mapping, a revolutionary approach to international marketing strategy based on anthropological analysis of global consumer values and attitudes, for more than 100 companies including Nike, Timberland, Emirates, Benetton, HSBC, DreamWorks, IBM, Unilever, Shell, Levi’s, BBC Worldwide, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Vodafone, Sony, DuPont and Samsung.
In 1996 Anholt created the field of Nation Brands and City Brands. As the leading authority in this field, he has worked with the Heads of State and Heads of Government, and the civil society and business leaders of more than 50 nations, as well as numerous cities and regions, to develop and implement strategies for enhanced economic, political and cultural engagement with other countries and cities.
These strategies are typically in the areas of economic competitiveness, public diplomacy, cultural relations, national identity and reputation, tourism, travel, export promotion, foreign direct investment, educational policy, international events, security and talent attraction. Nearly half the world’s countries now have dedicated resource for this practice and the field continues to grow rapidly.
As the leading figure in the measurement of national reputation, Simon Anholt is also the founder and publisher of one of the largest annual social surveys ever conducted, the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands IndexSM. Since 2005, together with the Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands IndexSM, this study has tracked and analysed the perceptions of a sample representing nearly 70% of the world’s population and has a cumulative database of nearly one billion data points.
In 2014 he started the Good Country movement, and the Good Country Index: the world’s first study of how much each country on earth contributes to the rest of humanity and to the planet. The Good Country was launched in June during Anholt’s TEDtalk and is currently rated by viewers as the most inspiring TEDtalk of all time. This started a global discussion about how countries, cities and companies and their leaders can balance their duty to their own people with their responsibility to the wider world, and has already established huge following and momentum for the movement, across 162 countries.
A trilingual UK national, Professor Anholt has a Master’s Degree from the University of Oxford and is a Parliamentarian of the European Cultural Parliament. He was awarded the Nobels Colloquia Prize for Economics by a jury of 25 Nobel Economists in Trieste in 2009 and the Prix d'Excellence du Forum Multiculturel pour un Développement Durable (Award for Excellence in Sustainable Development), at the 7th Multicultural Forum at the Palais de la Découverte, Paris, in 2010.