Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus featured as one of the most influential business thinkers in a new ranking compiled by The Wall Street Journal.
Others in the list are Joseph Stiglitz, Bill Gates, Michael Porter, Thomas Friedman, Eric Schmidt, Richard Branson, Malcolm Gladwell, Robert Reich, Jack Welch, Niall Ferguson, Michael Dell, Howard Gardner and Jimmy Wales.
The results based on Google hits, media mentions and academic citations ranked the economists, according to a Yunus Centre press release.
Tom Davenport, professor at Babson College and author of the 2003 book, “What’s the Big Idea?” who compiled this year’s ranking with Jeffrey Cronin, of Harvard Business School, said business and management topics have fallen out of favour, thanks to a shortage of mega-trends like Six Sigma and business process re-engineering, which swept the nation in the 1980s and 1990s. “I call the new list the invasion of the celebrity economists,” Davenport said.
Meanwhile, the financial crisis has made economic insight valuable to businesses and consumers alike, he said. “People are casting about for what caused the crisis. That’s one of the reasons economists did so well in the rankings.”
In separate news, Prof Yunus just joined the B Team, as a Founding Member, of a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeit, CEO of Puma, which was launched on June 13, 2013.
Prof Yunus along with other big names like Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, UN Foundation, Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-chief, Huffington Post, Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Celtel, Guilherme Leal, Founder, Natura, Strive Masiyiwa, Founder, Econet Wireless, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, Nigeria, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman, Kering, Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, Ratan Tata, Tata Group, Zhang Yue, Broad Group have been selected by a global network of advisors to be part of the B team.
They will work together to deliver a new way of doing business that prioritizes people and planet alongside profit – a “Plan B” for businesses the world over and use their collective voice to help engage other leaders to help deliver “Plan B”.
The B Team will address three initial Challenges: “The Future of Leadership”, “The Future Bottom Line” and “The Future of Incentives” to help focus business away from short term gain and to balance the long term benefits for our people and our planet.