Simon Anholt

Simon Anholt is one of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners on ultra-wide scale 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 widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on managing both corporate and 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, Samsung. In 1996 Anholt created the field of Nation Branding.

As the leading authority in this field, he has worked with the Heads of State and Heads of Government, civil society and business leaders of more than 50 nations, cities and regions, to develop and implement strategies for enhanced economic, political and cultural engagement with other countries. 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 analyzed the perceptions of a sample representing nearly 70% of the world’s population. In 2014 he launched the Good Country project, 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. Here he leads youth, corporations, NGOs, global associations and institutions, and ambitious world leaders, to help the world work ‘gooder’, and in doing so gain impressive rewards.

The Good Country project was launched in June during Anholt’s TEDtalk which had one of the fastest growing viewing figures of all time – a million views in little more than a week. This started the global discussion about how countries and companies can balance their duty to their own people with their responsibility to the wider world. Simon Anholt is Director of the Anholt Institute in Copenhagen which supports this movement through policy development, international events, academic research, and links with governments, corporations, NGOs and civil society worldwide. Professor Anholt was Vice-Chair of the UK Foreign Office’s Public Diplomacy Board between 2000 and 2009.

He has also advised institutions including the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, NATO, the United Nations, the UN World Tourism Organisation, WIPO, the International Trade Centre, the International Olympic Committee, the International Security Assistance Force, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies and the World Technology Network. Anholt is the author of the best-selling marketing book, Another One Bites the Grass, and Founder and Editor Emeritus of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, now in its ninth volume.

His book on the role of brands in economic development, Brand New Justice, was published in 2003 and is now in its second edition. He is also a co-author of Beyond Branding (Kogan Page 2003), Brands and Branding (The Economist 2003), Heritage and Identity – Shaping the Nations of the North (Donhead 2002) and Destination Marketing (Butterworth Heinemann 2001/2003). His more recent books include Brand America, which charts the rise and fall of America’s reputation (Cyan Books 2004/2010), Competitive Identity: the New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions, the standard text on place branding (Palgrave Macmillan 2007/2013), and Places: Image, Identity and Reputation (Palgrave Macmillan 2010).

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. He is a member of the organising committee of the Anglo-Dutch Apeldoorn Conference. He was appointed Professor of Political Science by the University of East Anglia in 2013.