Jonas Ridderstrale

Prominent Business Thinker and Best-Selling Business Author

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Jonas Ridderstrale Speaker Biography

Prominent Business Thinker and
Best-Selling Business Author

Dr. Jonas Ridderstråle is one of the world’s most influential and respected business thinkers and speakers. Since bursting onto the international scene with the bestseller Funky Business in 2000, Jonas has remained at the forefront of the new generation of management gurus.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ridderstråle is a presenter with a difference who makes a difference. He has spent the last ten years giving people the competence, confidence and courage to think, feel and do things differently. In keynotes and workshops, Jonas conveys his message with passion and energy, adding not only improved skill but also inspiring the will and thrill necessary for change. His forceful blend of academic rigor, imagination, humor and highly dynamic presentation style has inspired audiences from Moscow to Mumbai and San Francisco to Shanghai. Jonas’ diverse client list includes Fortune 500 companies, major government bodies, sports teams as well as trade unions.


Jonas has an MBA and a PhD in international business and was recognized as Sweden’s outstanding young academic of the year. In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Italian Nobels Colloquia award for “Leadership in Business and Economic Thinking”. Jonas is currently a visiting professor at two internationally acclaimed business schools: Ashridge in the UK and IE Business School in Spain. His research has been published in leading academic journals.


In business, those who can’t often teach. Dr. Ridderstråle also practices what he so persuasively preaches. He is co-owner and chairman of the Swedish Management Group – Mgruppen – one of Scandinavia’s leading and most successful providers of management training and development. In addition, he acts as a trusted advisor and consultant to a number of multinational corporations.


Jonas’ original claim to fame Funky Business: Talent makes capital dance quickly became an international success, selling more than 300,000 copies. The book was recently ranked at number 16 in a Bloomsbury survey of the best business books of all time. The sequels, Karaoke Capitalism: Management for mankind and Funky Business Forever: How to enjoy capitalism, also became globally celebrated manifestos for how to make it in the new world of commerce. (All three books were co-authored with Kjell A. Nordström.)

In 2008, Wiley published Jonas’ latest bestseller Re-energizing the Corporation: How leaders make change happen (co-written with Mark Wilcox) which explains how to combine the why and how of leading change. Jonas’ books have been translated into more than 30 languages and published in more than 50 countries worldwide.


Dr. Ridderstråle’s ideas and work have attracted huge media coverage throughout the world. He has appeared on CNN’s “Global Office” in an extended interview exploring the ideas behind his books. Elsewhere, he has been featured in Fortune, Fast Company, Time Magazine, Financial Times, The Times, Stern, Newsweek, Paris Match, and many other publications worldwide.

When he is not on the road, Jonas is based in Stockholm, Sweden, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Jonas Ridderstrale Speaking Topics

Forces of Funk: What drives change?

Only by truly understanding why the socio-economic lanscape is changing so rapidly can you respond to the new challanges in a constructive way. The best leaders have always been business sociologists. They understand that by analyzing the context, you can see opportunities while those who not do so only spot threats. ​ ​ Dr. Ridderstråle has written and thought extensively about the seismic impact of changes in; Technologies Institutions Values In his speeches, Jonas talks about the how we can benefit from advances in IT and telecommunications – as an individual or a leader of a corporation. Dr. Ridderstråle also discusses the implications of institutional deregulation - on capitalism, nations states, political parties, companies, families, etc. Finally, he outlines the shift from a geographically structured world to one dominated by global biographical tribes and how this will influence life inside and outside our organizations.

Life in the Funky Village: Business megatrends

Today, most people live, work and have to do business in a deregulated global economy. More and more individuals enjoy the freedom of choice. In effect, a number of trends with a direct impact on what it takes to succeed in the new world of commerce are arising. Among other things, Dr. Ridderstråle discusses how we can capitalize on these freedom movements by understanding the shift toward increased calls for: Democratization: Information available at your fingertips Meritocratization: Why talent makes capital dance Migration: Winning the great global attraction game Customization: The customer as a co-designer/producer Feminization: The new world of Shenomics Personalization: When one size no longer fits all MANipulation: Nip/Tuck and why 80 is the new 60 Fragmentation: Why we are Bowling Alone Tribalization: Profiting from the Peoples Republic of Paris Hilton Polarization: Get ready for the double economy

The Holy Grail of Business: Compete on fitness and sex-appeal

We remember the likes of Dell and Dylan for their ability to innovate and then continuously re-invent themselves. Successful corporations and individuals perfect the art of creating imperfections – monopolies in time or space - the Holy Grail of commerce. In a deregulated world, the new business reality is a “double-economy” with increasing differences between the rest and the best – between countries, within countries and in business. ​ Forget about normal. Think abnormal. Now, instead of appealing to the average, success is a question of exploring the extremes . Those staying in the middle-of-the-road will be run over by modern monopolists. ​ Using examples from some of the most successful contemporary business organizations, Dr. Ridderstråle describes two ways in which to build sustainable competitive advantages: Adapt to the new business environment by developing business models that are incredibly fit – exploiting the imperfection of markets. Compete on sex-appeal through taking advantage of the imperfections of man by competing on moods.

Re-energize!: Making Change Happen

In today’s topsy-turvy times, a company is either quick or dead. A function of mass and energy determines velocity – the lower the mass and the greater the energy the faster an object moves. Since the early 1990s, most companies have been more or less obsessed with processes focused on de-massification. Managers have out-sourced and off-shored, downsized and rightsized. ​ At the same time, many organizations have neglected the other variable of the function – energy. The new challenge is the one of re-energizing the corporation. The 1990s gave us a competence-based view of the firm. Now, the time has come to move on and profit from a new perspective that boosts the energy level of the enterprise. ​ Dr. Ridderstråle talks about how you can lead change by: Envisioning the future: use your competence to analyze the context and challenge the organization Engaging people: build confidence by managing all critical relationships individually and commitment will follow Executing strategies: combine personal courage with an uncanny ability to secure both the capacity and capabilities necessary to make change happen.

Leading leadership: Developing a corporate religion

People can be extraordinarily courageous and take tough decisions only when they have something to believe in. The most successful organizations on our planet are all systems of faith. Securing the capacity and capability to produce change therefore requires a “corporate religion”. This overall purpose guarantees a clear direction and co-ordinated action. ​ Dr. Ridderstråle outlines the key elements that you should find in a great business bible and poses a series of questions with a patented impact on the competitiveness of any organization: Ideological – Your Dream: Do you have a dream, or just five year plans? Mythical – Your Stories: Do you have a CSO – a Chief Storytelling Officer? Ritual – Your Ceremonies: Do you hold ceremonies for triumphs and tragedies? Ethical – Your Values: Do you tolerate mistakes and failure? Emotional – Your Experience: Do you have personalized EVPs – Employee Value Propositions? Material – Your Things: Do you have a place enabling talent to play at work? Organizational – Your Structures: Do you have arrangements ensuring collective intelligence?

The +Factors: New recipes for success

To stand a chance of truly turning up after the downturn, we must radically rethink the traditional recipes for business success. The best leaders apply a positive logic of PLUS – moving beyond the person, the present and the existing paradigm of management. ​ Using examples from some of the most successful contemporary corporations, Dr. Ridderstråle presents four key ideas to help us turn up the volume and expand our businesses: The enterprise+: ​How your corporation can effectively mimic the principles of self-organizing systems – compete on we rather than me. The entrepreneurial+: What it will take in terms of re-inventing management practices to be able to lead a corporation that is as good at innovation as the organization of the past was at exploitation. The evolutionary+: How successful competitive strategies must evolve to reflect new customer requirements in a world where most people feel stressed, bored, lonely and anonymous. The emotional+: What you need to do to effectively deal with the challenge of utilizing the full potential of also the emotional capital of the firm.

Jonas Ridderstrale Books

Karaoke Capitalism: Management For Mankind
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Funky Business Forever: How to Enjoy Capitalism
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Re-energizing the Corporation: How Leaders Make Change Happen
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Jonas Ridderstrale Videos

Jonas Ridderstrale Speaker Testimonials

”We had an excellent performance from Dr. Ridderstråle. A real added-value!”

- | Airplus (Lufthansa Group)

“Jonas brought new insights to the issues facing businesses and challenged the participants to think outside the box. The interactions were very useful and will help us to look at challenges facing us differently.”

- Infosys Technologies Ltd. | Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO and Managing Director

“Swedish academics Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell A Nordstroem are something of a phenomenon in Europe.”

- | Fast Company

“Thank you for contributing in such a remarkable way to the success of Ascent 2009. The Business Leadership Forum is a platform that thrives on original and stimulating ideas. Your keynote not only delivered amply on that score, but managed to connect with our audience on a personal level and leave behind many fruitful lines of discussion.”

- Siemens IT Solutions and Services | Maria Reinisch, Vice President Marketing Communication

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Recent Books

Karaoke Capitalism: Management For Mankind
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Funky Business Forever: How to Enjoy Capitalism
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