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  • Public Discussion with Henry Timms
    Public Discussion with Henry Timms
  • A Lincoln Center concert hall's half-billion-dollar facelift
    A Lincoln Center concert hall's half-billion-dollar facelift
  • Giving Tuesday Is an International Success. Creator Henry Timms Shares How They Did It
    Giving Tuesday Is an International Success. Creator Henry Timms Shares How They Did It
  • Henry Timms
    Henry Timms
  • ASAE 2019 | Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms
    ASAE 2019 | Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms
  • New Power | Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms | Talks at Google
    New Power | Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms | Talks at Google
  • How Is New Power Shaping Our World?
    How Is New Power Shaping Our World?
  • HENRY TIMMS welcomes the Social Good Summit crowd with inspiring words
    HENRY TIMMS welcomes the Social Good Summit crowd with inspiring words
  • How Henry Timms was inspired to create Giving Tuesday
    How Henry Timms was inspired to create Giving Tuesday
  • Welcome from the 92Y #GivingTuesday Team with Henry Timms
    Welcome from the 92Y #GivingTuesday Team with Henry Timms

Learn More About Henry Timms

We all sense that power is shifting in the world. Upstart businesses are upending traditional industries; unexpected leaders are rising to the top; catalytic ideas coupled with savvy digital marketing tactics are delivering surges of action from the public.

But how do you navigate these seismic shifts? What determines the success or failure of organizations in the 21st century? According to Henry Timms, the answer lies in harnessing what he has described as “new power,” unlocking the creativity, passion and agency of your employees, customers and wider communities.

Timms is a leading global expert in building digital movements and transforming organizations. His interactive speeches decipher the nuances of the new economy, demonstrate how to transition from the “old power” world, and explain how to channel the strength of crowds in an ultra-competitive marketplace.

Often described as “wonderfully entertaining” and “an ideal keynote speaker,” Timms’ compelling perspective – and actionable insights – on power and influence have recently garnered critical acclaim and intense interest in the worlds of business and academia. With Jeremy Heimans, he co-authored the the international best-selling book “New Power: How Anyone Can Persuade, Mobilize and Succeed in our Chaotic, Connected Age” (US version, Penguin Random House, Feb, 2019), which was described by David Brooks in The New York Times as “the best window I’ve seen into this new world” and named a finalist for the 2018 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year. The book was also named as one of the best business books of 2018 by Fortune, Bloomberg, Financial Times, and CNBC.

Originally featured as the Big Idea in the Harvard Business Review chosen by CNN as one of the 10 top ideas to change the world, their thinking on “New Power” describes the modern nature of influence in a changing world.

Timms unpacks the biggest stories of our time – the extraordinary rise of businesses like Facebook, Airbnb and Uber; the out-of-nowhere victories of Obama and Trump; the unexpected emergence of movements like #MeToo. He offers a fresh lens and effective strategies for organizations of all types on how to spread ideas, build movements, transform workplaces and drive revenue.

Changing the world is not a task for Timms; it’s a way of life. He understands first-hand what new power means to established organizations – and how they can be transformed. The former President and CEO of the 92nd Street Y, he revolutionized the 144-year-old institution, leading to it being named to Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list, and being shortlisted three times for the prestigious Drucker Prize honoring organizations that deliver “a new dimension of performance”. Currently, Timms is the President and CEO of New York City’s iconic Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In the summer of 2024 he will take on the role of CEO of Brunswick Group.

As a “new power” practitioner, Timms knows how to build dynamic movements. He is the co-founder of #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to philanthropy and community that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Mobilizing tens of millions of people and raising hundreds of millions of dollars in over 60 countries, it has become the world’s first global day of giving. The campaign has won a wide range of honors, including a Cannes Lion at the International Festival of Creativity.

Timms is a highly sought-after and trusted personal advisor to senior leaders across sectors, including the C-suite of the world’s largest companies, university presidents, government ministers and philanthropic visionaries. He serves as a Hauser Visiting Leader at Harvard Kennedy School, Visiting Fellow at Stanford University and has served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils.

Henry Timms is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Henry Timms was last modified: April 5th, 2024 by Whitney Jennings

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Building the Skills Necessary to Lead in the New World of Autonomous AI Agents

Much has been written and said about rapidly advancing artificial intelligence systems from the perspectives of technologists and engineers, but the strategic applications of these powerful programs can’t be ignored by leaders, regardless of industry. In this eye-opening, highly customized presentation, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, two of the world’s top experts on power dynamics and co-authors of the paradigm-shifting bestseller, “New Power: How Anyone Can Persuade, Mobilize, and Succeed in Our Chaotic, Connected Age,” outline the concrete leadership skills necessary in a new age where managers must compete and work alongside sophisticated AI systems that function as actors, not simply tools. Drawing from their fascinating article in the January-February 2024 issue of Harvard Business Review, “Leading in a World Where AI Wields Power of Its Own,” Heimans and Timms explain that these autonomous “autosapient agents” will have enormous impact on all areas of society, including the economy, culture and organizational dynamics. Through this hyper-relevant presentation, Heimans and Timms not only help leaders decode and understand this new world in a way that is truly novel and highly applicable, but they also empower audiences to adapt and become strategic, active leaders in the highly charged AI debate.

Building an Effective, Practical AI Governance Scaffolding

As artificial intelligence systems continue to autonomously learn and become actors in and of themselves, a scaffolding for practical governance has become of vital urgency. In this enlightening, highly customized, cross-industry applicable presentation, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, two of the world’s top experts on power dynamics and co-authors of the paradigm-shifting bestseller, “New Power: How Anyone Can Persuade, Mobilize, and Succeed in Our Chaotic, Connected Age,” explain why multistakeholder AI governance must be applied as soon as possible. They outline how a technology as transformative as AI is being used right now to make major decisions that impact businesses and customers in a world where only ad hoc governance has been implemented to this point. Heimans and Timms reveal the essential tension at the heart of AI – is it going to be designed in the interest of humanity but then become corporatized? Audiences will gain an understanding of the urgency of building real-world multistakeholder governance that can apply practical society-first guardrails and ensure effective cross-industry participation.

How to Navigate and Harness New Power

The digital age has turned the nature of power in our economy, politics and society upside down. New digital platforms and dramatically increased connectivity have given ordinary consumers and citizens unprecedented influence over how leaders and institutions behave, while eroding the authority of more established organizations. So how do those “old power” organizations – corporations, media, governments – survive and flourish in this new era? Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, who literally wrote the book on new power, offer in this presentation a guide to understanding and capitalizing on this seismic shift. Crucially, Heimans and Timms have worked with startups and social movements on one hand and with established institutions and Fortune 100 companies on the other, giving them a unique insight into how old and new power are successfully blended and combined. They argue how old power – that of formal authority, expertise and exclusivity – still offers important benefits to those organizations which wield it. But new power – the energy and enthusiasm of digitally organized crowds and communities – must be integrated into all aspects of how organizations behave internally and present themselves to the public. This keynote provides concrete examples of how to navigate the changing nature of power and harness its enormous opportunities.

Unlocking Consumer Engagement in a New Power World: How the Combination of Purpose and Participation is Supercharging Brands and Transforming Marketing

Twentieth century marketing – a world of slogans and jingles delivered from on high by big advertisers – is approaching extinction.  But what will replace it, and how can brands truly engage and build a connection to their consumers beyond increasingly commoditized Facebook pages and paid social media influencers? In this presentation, Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms lay out three key elements of the successful new power brand, one that is built to thrive in the 21st century:

(Product + Purpose) x Participation = New Power Brand

Heimans and Timms show examples, from multi-billion dollar companies, to craft breweries and video game developers, who have figured out how to create a sense of higher purpose among their consumers – and then turn that purpose into action and participation. This presentation equips innovators, whether startup founders or large corporations, with the tools they need to create a Participation Premium that generates funding for ideas and builds a passionate customer base at the same time.

Leadership in the Age of Mass Participation

In the U.S. presidential elections of 2008 and 2016, two very different candidates broke through the political establishment to score upset victories. Though Barack Obama and Donald Trump have little else in common, they both utilized new power – the capacity to mobilize and inspire participation in our hyper-connected world – to overcome the old power of party machines, protocol and reliance on donor rolodexes. In politics and beyond, including the corporate world, leaders must learn how to not only survive in a world where digital connectivity challenges their influence but also use it to their advantage. Some of today’s most successful corporate leaders understand that the capacity to mobilize beyond their payrolls, and to build a larger crowd that will show up for them, has become crucial. New power, says experts Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, is a current, not a currency – “and works best when it surges.” Whereas previous leaders may have sought to contain the crowd, successful leaders in the digital era channel it into popular support and brand building. They understand that intensity is now more important than favorability. But as Heimans and Timms argue, the tools of old power are still necessary to help leaders shape and direct the energy they unleash. In this presentation, they reveal a whole new way to think about leadership – one that relies less on formal authority, and that can inspire unprecedented participation and creativity among employees, consumers and stakeholders.

The Future of Work in a New Power World

The 20th century model of work prized employees’ ability to know their place within an elaborately structured and managed organization. In exchange, workers were rewarded with job security and a pension. But in a world guided by the “new power” values of disruption and mass engagement, managers are increasingly finding they must contend with workers who offer frank feedback, demand to be heard and want to feel – and participate – like start-up founders. The companies promoting such engagement tend to outperform those that stick to rigid hierarchy. Navigating the challenges of new power in the workplace has become a critical issue for corporate executives, especially those trained in the era of old power. But Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms offer specific examples of firms that deliver recognition and opportunity to workers hungry for feedback and participation while maintaining sensible structures of decision-making. By combining these elements of old and new power, managers can effectively attract and retain young talent in a fast-changing world. This presentation can also look at the broader picture of how the shift to new power and the rise of the gig economy will impact the job market and the social safety net, as workers face not only greater recognition but less security.

The Future of Online Engagement: Building the “Full Stack Society”

The internet was supposed to be a decentralized, democratic space where people could share ideas. This idealistic vision has been tempered by the rise of giant digital platforms that extract value from consumers while often limiting their alternative options. Conversely, the idea of internet freedom itself has become tainted by the rise of “fake news” and online hate speech. How do we get back to the original optimistic notions of the internet’s founders? Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms offer hope in the form of real stories of how individuals, nonprofits and companies alike are using crowd-sourcing to mobilize popular engagement for good rather than negative purposes, and how we might reimagine the internet in a way that truly democratizes and brings us together, not drives us further apart. In this presentation, the experts provide guidance to organizations of all types on how to recapture the inherent good in digital cooperation – and help build a better world.

Praise for "New Power"

  • Shortlisted for the 2018 FT/McKinsey Business Book of the Year.
  • Named as one of the best books of 2018 by Fortune, Bloomberg, Inc. FT, CNBC.
  • Nominated as one of the most essential books of the year by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant and Dan Pink.
  • Selected by the World Economic Forum for their global book club.

“A wonderfully incisive contribution that not only explains how the dynamics of power are changing, but also provides the tools—and the confidence—to harness those changes to build businesses, spread ideas, and make a better world.”

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

“The networked age has revolutionized the way the public engages with institutions and organizations. ‘New Power’ is an essential and extremely insightful guide for anyone who wants to maximize the opportunities for progress and impact in today’s new tightly connected world.”

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers “The Alliance” and “The Startup of You”

“This book will inform and inspire all those wanting to make change . . . and achieve a goal against all odds.”

Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace

“A useful lens to use when thinking about how business has changed, how to spread ideas or start a movement, or create change. This book challenges all of us to think about the values we hold and how we can all be part of building a more open, equitable, and participatory world.”

Richard Branson

“The surest sign that I’ve encountered a big idea isn’t what that idea does to my brain. It’s what it does to my eyes. When an idea is sufficiently compelling, it changes the very way I see. That’s what happened to me when I read New Power.”

Daniel Pink, author of Drive

“A must-read, ‘New Power’ is a gift to our movements. It’s not just about going viral—it’s about connecting millions of people to roll up our sleeves and create the changes we long for.”

Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter

“This fascinating book will transform your understanding of how to gain power—and how to use it for good.”

Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

“A manifesto for a more humane world”


“Fascinating… Cogent… Will intrigue anyone who wants to channel the new power of the crowd.”

Kirkus Reviews

“You couldn’t wish for two better people to write this explanation and exploration of new power than Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans. It is the detail in this book that really excites… its optimism and practical advice. And, unexpectedly, it is funny. I’d encourage you to participate in purchasing.”

The Guardian

“This is the cool, clear guide we all need to navigate the Trump era.”

Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU

“The nature and use of power is changing rapidly, distributing broadly in unexpected channels.’New Power’ provides the practical tools to help us all understand this shift. But it also draws out the big battle of our times—whether all this new power will end up being used for good or bad.”

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist

“Power is shifting as never before, so ‘New Power’ is addressing a vital issue for our times: how to make the voices and choices of all, not just a few, count for something. Plaudits to Heimans and Timms for their determination to help shape the future, not just complain about it.”

David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee

“’New Power’ is a tour de force by two of the great mobilizers of the first global generation.”

Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and former Chair of the Democratic National Committee

“’New Power’ is both a practical guide and a much needed dose of optimism, helping us understand that the future is ours for the making. A must-read for today’s leaders in any field.”

Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance