Esteemed global leader and former Secretary-General of the United Nations BAN KI-MOON stopped by the HWA offices to discuss his ongoing projects and global advocacy work. Heralded for his leadership on a wide range of issues—from sustainability and world peace, to women’s rights and global health— Ban has brought his breadth of expertise from the United Nations to a series of new leadership roles. Recently named Chair of the International Olympic Committee’s ethics commission as well as the Global Public Leaders Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Ban is dedicated to furthering an equitable and sustainable global agenda. Having launched the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, he is also poised to impact the next generation of global leaders.
Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz MOHAMED EL-ERIAN discussed renewed market volatility, the global economic landscape, and how to interpret new tech and digital disruption at a recent visit to HWA. Shedding light on the developments and messages business audiences need to hear, El-Erian unpacked how blockchain technology will fundamentally impact companies across industries, why Amazon is so good at “disrupting itself,” and the global trends that are shaping markets and economies worldwide. Peppering his remarks with plenty of humor and personal anecdotes, El-Erian kept HWA staff thinking and laughing. A Former Chair on President Obama’s Global Development Council, and former CEO of PIMCO, El-Erian is an internationally respected economist and financier with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. A Bloomberg View columnist, and regularly sought-out for his shrewd market and economic policy analysis on CNBC, Bloomberg, and more, El-Erian’s commentary regularly makes headlines worldwide. Having worked exclusively with HWA for several years, participating in dozens of speaking engagements from Barclay’s Asia Forum to the SALT Conference, El-Erian provides audiences with genuinely engaging and substantive insights into what to expect from the global economy.
Editor-at-Large and Founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED UK DAVID ROWAN visited the HWA offices to share insights on the break-neck speed of technological advancements and how businesses and organizations can innovate to avoid disruption. A renowned journalist, Rowan reports on the major shifts, disruptions and advances in tech first-hand, decoding what is happening at the edges of our culture for a wider business audience. Having met, interviewed and spent time with titans of the tech and business world—such as Elon Musk, Niklas Zennstrons, Jack Dorsey, Larry Page, Reid Hoffman, and more—Rowan brings his readers and audiences in close proximity to the people changing the very nature of how we work, interact, and live. In his engaging presentation, Rowan shared with HWA the research he is doing for his new book, which examines and decodes real-world examples of true innovation—from a museum in London, to officials in Abu Dhabi, to a hospital in Switzerland—and what lessons they provide for the world at large. Having taken over 130 flights in the past year to see first-hand what’s happening at the world’s most influential tech hubs, Rowan has observed advances in research labs from Boston to Zurich, and reports from the frontlines of innovation.
STEVEN KOTLER, Co-Founder of the Flow Genome Project and New York Times bestselling author of books such as Bold and The Rise of Superman, visited the Harry Walker Agency to discuss the groundbreaking research behind his new book: Stealing Fire. Receiving rave reviews for its invaluable insights into how to "Do the Impossible," harness creativity, and send productivity sky-rocketing, Stealing Fire reveals the ultimate shortcut titans of their respective fields, whether at the Googleplex or the United Nations Headquarters, are using to solve critical challenges, outperform the competition, and lead richer, more productive, and more satisfying lives. The message of Kotler’s book is clear: if you are not aware of the revolution, prepare to be left behind. Engaging our staff with a riveting, behind-the-scenes look at his research following top human performers across industries—from Elon Musk to the Navy SEALs—Kotler left us inspired and empowered to tackle challenges in our own lives.
Renowned journalist and author PEGGY NOONAN visited the Harry Walker Agency offices recently, delighting our staff with her remarkable stories and commentary on her time working in the White House, the current political climate, and more. Famed for her work as a speech writer for President Ronald Reagan, and the recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Distinguished Commentary for her Wall Street Journal Column Declarations, Noonan drew from her wealth of experience in answering our questions about how she finds the right words at the right time, the need for bipartisanship, and her thoughts on the role of the media today. After a riveting (and at times hilarious) round table discussion with the full staff, Noonan also sat down for a special session of HWA Chats to discuss what it takes to report during tense political times, presidential speechwriting, today’s media climate, and more.
Chief International Advisor for President Barack Obama BEN RHODES visited the Harry Walker Agency offices to tell us about his new book, The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. From starting off as a 29 year-old working on Barack Obama’s campaign, to walking out the door of the White House on the president’s last day, Rhodes is one of the longest-serving members of the Obama administration, and The World as It Is takes readers behind-the-scenes of his remarkable career, providing a revelatory, and unique, account of Obama’s presidency. An aspiring novelist before he got involved in politics, Rhodes path to the White House was a unique one, and The World as It Is is filled with the vivid details and sharp language that showcase Rhodes’ writer’s-eye. Rhodes shared with HWA staff how the book provides a rare look into the most pivotal moments of Obama’s career—from waiting out the Bin Laden raid to secret (and never before detailed) negotiations with the Cuban government.
Mixing in plenty of humor with his sharp analysis, foremost conservative commentator and strategist KARL ROVE stopped by the Harry Walker Agency to share his candid perspective on today’s political climate and discuss his new book, due for release at the start of 2019. A history that will explore six major presidential decisions of the 19th and 20th centuries, Rove’s new book will provide powerful lessons on leadership and decision-making from the oval office that will resonate with readers regardless of industry. Drawing fascinating parallels between political partisanship today and divisive politics in our country’s history, Rove highlighted the resilience of America’s democracy and offered lessons on today’s political climate.
Emmy Award-winning journalist ANN CURRY stopped by the Harry Walker Agency to share updates on her latest projects and a powerful message on what people need to be reminded of in these politically divisive times. A former national and international correspondent for NBC, Curry revealed how her experiences covering war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa help inform her outlook today and dedication to continue unearthing stories of human resilience and generosity even in the direst of circumstances. Her new series on PBS We’ll Meet Again—for which Curry serves as a reporter and co-executive producer— is an example of exactly this kind of journalism, and reveals the human side of major world events such as the Vietnam War, 9/11, and Japanese internment during WWII. Engaging HWA’s staff with powerful anecdotes about the incredible people she’s spoken with over the years, Curry also provided crucial insights into journalism today and what can be done to address the public’s growing lack of trust in the press. Curry emphasized the need for integrity, humility and judgement in journalism, as well as what is lost when we fail to take time to listen to the other side. “Human beings are only because of each other,” Curry said, “… We’re different only because of our ideas.”
On a visit to the Harry Walker Agency offices, Commissioner WILLIAM BRATTON shared his unique experiences and take on what he called, “leadership as transformation.” Commissioner Bratton does not favor “leadership as maintenance,” as he said, but rather looks for ways to strategically engineer his team and be an optimistic and predictive leader that can anticipate and tackle issues head-on. With experience leading the police departments of America’s two largest, and at one point extremely violent, cities, Bratton is no stranger to crisis. “I seek out crises as both a challenge and opportunity,” Bratton said, maintaining that no matter how chaotic a situation gets the calmer you must be as a leader. “You never let them see you sweat.” He brings this philosophy to his current role as Executive Chairman of Taneo Risk, where Commissioner Bratton works on crisis management and consulting. Working on everything from cyber risk management to critical infrastructure, Bratton helps companies “address a constant evolution of threats.”