Alf Rehn’s Key Accomplishments Include . . .
Professor Alf Rehn is an accomplished academic who was awarded a chair in management and organization at the age of 31, an internationally active strategic advisor, renowned speaker, bestselling author and unabashed pop-culture geek. As a thought leader, he is a contrarian and provocative expert in creativity, innovation, strategy, trend spotting and taboo futures, who has challenged and delighted audiences all over the globe. In addition, he sits on corporate boards ranging from those of billion dollar companies to an advertising agency and early-stage startups.
As a business thinker, he has been called an “enfant terrible of organization studies”, while the venerable Times called him a “star of the future”. The 2011 Thinkers 50, included him on their “Guru Radar”, ranking him #13 among up and coming business thinkers. In the Finnish Thinkers 20-list, he was rated the #3 business thinker in Finland (#1 among academics). He is also listed internationally as a “Top Professor on Twitter.”
What Alf Rehn isn’t, is an average innovation pundit or creativity cheerleader. Rather than delivering the usual speeches about the importance of innovation or how creativity is a core competency, Alf challenges his audiences to think beyond the usual examples and buzzwords. Alf asks the questions about creativity, innovation and the future that others don’t want or dare to – helping his audiences to think in a more engaged way about the same.
Alf’s main interest isn’t to just state that innovation, or strategy, or creativity, or any of the other usual suspects is important. Instead, he is focused on why we still struggle with all these, even though we spend so much time and resources chasing for the same. By turning many of the assumptions of innovation inside-out, Alf Rehn has helped companies all over the world to go beyond generic talk about “thinking differently”, and instead finding opportunities by exploring beyond their comfort zones. This requires looking critically at what we believe creativity is, why we think innovation is important, what leadership means in an age of relentless talk about the same, and being prepared to question even those things that are most dear to us. As a thought leader and provocateur, Alf has done this on a regular basis, with companies ranging from bleeding-edge startups to transnational corporations – all to rave reviews.
Alf frequently works as a speaker at various events, ranging from keynoting major conferences or events for global corporations, to giving interactive sessions and workshops for smaller groups.
He was voted “Speaker of the Year” in Finland in 2010, and has gotten top marks and rave reviews at conferences around the world. Some claim it’s the jokes. Others, that it’s the take-aways. We think it is because he actually enjoys being on stage.
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More About Speaker, Alf Rehn . . .
Born in Finland, but raised in more than a dozen places, Alf Rehn stopped long enough to get a MSc in business studies, and later – even more improbably – got a doctorate in technology (Industrial Management) while reading and writing about anthropology and behavioral sciences. His thesis on gift economies and new organizational forms discussed piracy and collaboration long before it became fashionable, and got him enthusiastic about looking for the bleeding edge of economic developments. Despite this, he got a chair in management the aforementioned ridiculously early age. His “grown-up” research has focused on moralization, ideology and critique, as well as things such as haute cuisine, innovation, accidents, popular culture, cannibalism, creativity, philosophy, boredom, entrepreneurship, rap lyrics, project management and luxury. Surprisingly enough, this research has been published in top international journals and prestigious books. Even more surprisingly, he’s still curious about the world.
He currently lives in both Finland and Denmark, as well as in a range of hotel rooms and airport lounges around the world. He drinks too much coffee, not enough water, and is a devoted fan of Ethel Merman and the divine Patsy Cline.