Ideas have the power to transform – industries, economies, communities and lives. It’s a mantra that propels organizations and individuals alike to innovate, push boundaries, and stimulate change and progress. It’s also a mission shared by all of the thought leaders and speakers Stern Strategy Group exclusively represents. And it’s why seven of them were honored among the most influential global leadership and management thinkers of 2015.

Michael E. Porter, a renowned economist widely recognized as the father of modern business strategy and competition, was named the most influential living management thinker in the world by Thinkers50. The organization, which issues its definitive global ranking every two years, wrote: “Porter’s influence on business strategy has been immense.”

For decades, Porter’s Five Forces Framework was the definitive approach to business strategy and it is still taught in every business school worldwide. His Shared Value theory – co-created with Mark Kramer – has propelled a re-evaluation of the role and expectations of capitalism. And most recently, Porter has applied his ideas to show how smart, connected products are creating a technological revolution that will transform competition and have profound implications for both business and society.

“Management thinking and a new conception of how corporations relate to society is one of the most powerful tools we have in addressing society’s pressing challenges,” commented Porter, a Harvard Business School professor. “Ideas truly do change the world, and management thinking unlocks value in every field, not just business.”

Social innovator Rachel Botsman also received Thinkers50 top honors with a Distinguished Achievement Award for Breakthrough Idea. Botsman, highly regarded as the guru of the sharing economy, has been helping define the collaborative consumption movement since she coined the concept in 2010. She currently teaches the world’s first MBA course on the subject at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, and is influencing how industries and individuals alike leverage the power of collaboration to transform the way we live, work and consume.

Other distinguished Stern speakers recognized by Thinkers50 include:

  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter, renowned Harvard Business School professor and one of only six 2015 inductees into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame. Through more than 35 years of research, work and teaching, she continues to inspire cutting-edge innovation, strategy, leadership and culture across a broad spectrum of for-profit and non-profit industries while arming executives with the tools needed to tackle social change.
  • Clayton Christensen, the foremost authority on innovation and originator of the disruptive innovation theory, ranks number two on this year’s list. His work, and also that of The Clayton Christensen Institute, the nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank he founded, offer a unique framework for understanding, and addressing, many of society’s most pressing problems – health care and education among them.
  • Pankaj Ghemawat, leading economist and globalization guru. Director of the Center for the Globalization of Education and Management at the Stern School of Business at New York University, he specializes in globalization, business strategy and emerging markets.
  • Tammy Erickson, a global authority on organizations and the changing workforce, specifically the shifting relationship between individuals and corporations. Her work, based on decades of extensive research, is centered on enhancing innovation, productivity and collaboration.
  • Hal Gregersen, a global authority on building innovative leaders and companies. Executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and co-author of “The Innovator’s DNA,” he challenges organizations and individuals to question the way we think and act to make our world a better, more creative place.