New York Times Columnist & Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author
Bestselling author of The World is Flat and columnist for The New York Times, Tom Friedman is renowned for his direct reporting and sophisticated analysis of complex issues facing the modern world. According to Foreign Policy magazine, “Friedman doesn’t just report on events; he helps shape them.” Ranked #2 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of “influential business thinkers,” named to the 2011 Thinkers50, and considered one of “America’s Best Leaders” by US News & World Report, Friedman is a frequent guest on programs such as Meet The Press, Morning Joe, and Charlie Rose.
Winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, he has covered monumental stories from around the globe for The New York Times since 1981. Vanity Fair called him “the country’s best newspaper columnist.” His latest New York Times bestseller, co-written with Michael Mandelbaum, is That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back. Friedman’s The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century sold over four million copies; Kirkus Reviews called it “simply the best book written on globalization.”
Founder & Chairman, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
Isadore (“Issy”) Sharp opened the Four Seasons hotel in 1960 on Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto. After a decade of trial and refinement, Mr. Sharp created a single vision that today has made Four Seasons the leading luxury hotel operator exclusively focused on mid-size luxury hotels and resorts of exceptional quality.
The child of Polish immigrants, Mr. Sharp studied architecture in college and started out in the construction business working for his father. Over the years, his educational background combined with his design and construction expertise, his single focus on satisfying the customer and his leadership skills have allowed him to attract the capital sources and a loyal employee base to create the largest luxury hotel management company in the world.
He is a much admired Canadian business leader and was the first recipient of the Ruth Hartman Frankel Humanitarian Award for work on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society. Sharp and his wife, the former Rosalie Wise, live in Toronto. They have three sons, Jordan, Gregory and Anthony. The Sharps lost a fourth son, Christopher, to cancer in 1978.
Principal, Zeihan on Geopolitics
Peter Zeihan combines topography, economics, demographics, history and culture to chart the future. He approaches the world from his clients’ points of view, distilling global complexities into actionable items, leaving audiences with clear concepts of what cannot happen, what must happen eventually, and what will happen very soon. Prior to launching his own consultancy, Zeihan was part of the core team that built Stratfor into a geopolitical consultancy and publishing house. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio shows and is currently deep into his first book, The American Age.
Founder & Managing Principal, The Cross Partnership Ltd.