Lawrence Wilkinson is Chairman of Heminge & Condell (H&C), an investment and strategic advisory firm, and Co-Founder of Global Business Network (GBN). Through H&C, Lawrence is involved in venture formation work, and as a director and counselor to a number of companies that he helped create. At the same time, Lawrence continues to offer strategic counsel to a number of corporate clients and governments around the world. Named a “Jedi Knight of Innovation” by Fast Company, Lawrence is a widely consulted and cited authority on strategic issues; he is a frequent speaker in academic, industry, and corporate settings, and is active in a variety of not-for-profit organizations.
Lawrence co-founded Global Business Network (GBN), a strategic consulting firm (now part of Deloitte), in 1987 and served as President through 1998. Lawrence and GBN have been central to the development and spread of the Scenario Planning technique, an approach to addressing very large decisions and very long time horizons that has become a critical component of organizational and project planning worldwide. Today, Lawrence concentrates on strategic positioning issues and on product, service, and market development. His clients have included UPS, Ford Motor Co., Apple, IBM, Publicis, Omnicom, Intel, Microsoft, ATT, Verizon, BT, The Walt Disney Co, The Capital Group, Proctor & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Co., Google, Nissan, Toyota, Wiley, O’Reilly Media, Bodleian Library/Oxford University, University of California/UC Press, PBS, NPR, CPB, BBC, the World Bank, The World Trade Organization, the World Economic Forum, and the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Mongolia, and Singapore. Lawrence has authored several of the GBN Scenario Books, led GBN’s work on the Future of Advertising, The Future of Media, The Future of Brands, the Future of Design, The Future of Transportation and Logistics, and the Future of R&D, and has designed and directed or co-directed a number of GBN’s major meetings—most recently The Future of Money and The Future of Risk.
Lawrence serves as Director and Advisor to Ealing Studios, Ltd. Ealing, which celebrated its Centennial in 2002, is the oldest continuously operating film studio in the world. Lawrence served as Vice-Chairman of Oxygen Media, Inc., a cable television programming service that he co-founded in June of 1998 with partners including Geraldine Laybourne, Oprah Winfrey, Carsey-Werner, and Disney, providing a cable television service reaching over 70 million households in the U.S. and award-winning web services (www.oxygen.com, www.oprah.com). He co-conceived the company, and led Oxygen's planning and formation. Oxygen was sold to NBC-Universal. Lawrence also helped form, then served as Director and Chief Architect of Wired Ventures, the partnership that built and managed Wired Magazine, Wired Digital/HotWired, and other ventures; the Wired properties are now part of Advanced/Newhouse Communications- Conde-Nast. And he helped form and served as a director of retailers Design Within Reach (DWRI, NASDAQ, then acquired by Herman Miller) and Mercantila (now part of Google).
From 1984 to 1990, Lawrence was President of Colossal Pictures, an award-winning film, television, and digital entertainment and commercial production company. Lawrence oversaw all activities of Colossal, its USFX division and Big Pictures subsidiary, and its affiliated companies (e.g., Pixar and Konnick) globally. Prior to joining Colossal, Lawrence was the managing partner of Wilkinson and Associates, a consulting firm offering counsel on business strategy and venture formation to such clients as Sony, W. H. Freeman & Co./Scientific American, and COMSAT/STC. Lawrence was instrumental in founding Business Times, a pioneering cable and radio financial news service that spawned such “children” as CNN/fn and The Wall Street Journal Report. In 1983, he partnered with Tom Peters to create Excel/Net, a multimedia management program still in use at companies around the world.
From 1979 through 1981, Lawrence was Senior Vice President of KQED, Inc., San Francisco (KQED-TV and FM, KQEC-TV, and San Francisco Focus, the area's largest "city" magazine), where he directed all planning, production, marketing, and publishing activities. From 1976 to 1979, he was director of planning and marketing for the Educational Broadcasting Corporation (WNET-TV, New York City).
Lawrence has authored and edited numerous publications and Harvard Business School case studies ranging from Public Broadcasting in the U.S. (Harvard Business School Press) to The Cambridge Milton (Cambridge University Press). He is the author of How To Build Scenarios (Wired, 1995) and of The Future of Shopping (forthcoming). He has produced and executive-produced numerous television programs, multimedia titles, and feature films, including the award-winning Crumb (Sony Pictures Classics). He also has contributed regularly to general and business periodicals and national television, cable, and radio business news programs, including Wired, Backstage, Business Times, Nightly Business Report, and The Wall Street Journal Report. His articles and essays have been anthologized in a number of collections, most recently in Strategy Bites Back (edited by Henry Mintzberg, et al., Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2006). Lawrence is a frequently featured speaker at business and industry meetings, has taught on the faculties of The World Economic Forum’s annual Davos Summit, the Microsoft CEO Summit, the Salzburg Global Seminar, and at various business and graduate schools, and has served as a McKinsey Prize judge.
Lawrence graduated with honors from Davidson College, Oxford University, and Harvard Business School. In addition to serving as Chairman of Heminge & Condell, Lawrence is a Director of Ealing Studios, Ltd., Public Bikes, Character, and Row Eleven Wine Co.; he is an Advisory Director of Particle Therapeutics Ltd, Expo-TV, and MindSwarms. He has served on the boards of Oxygen Media, Wired Ventures, Brøderbund Software, GBN, Direct Medical Knowledge, Design Within Reach, Mercantila, Lieberman Productions, and Colossal Pictures. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Visitors of Davidson College and member of the College’s Board of Trustees; chairs the Boards of; is co-founder and Vice-Chair of Common Sense Media; and serves as a director of Landesa/The Rural Development Institute, Global Lives, Public Radio International, Public Interactive/NPR (the not-for-profit that provides web services for public broadcasters nationwide), Public Architecture, The Pacific News Service/New America Media, and The Institute for the Future and Global Lives. He is an advisor to The Dalai Lama Fellows Program and The Library of the Future Project at The Bodleian Library, Oxford, an advisor and Visitor at the Harvard University Library, and is a Fellow of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics.