Wheeler Institute for Business and Development

Welcome to our conference

We would like to extend a warm welcome to you all – to all our speakers, participants, guests and faculty members, and to Tony and Maureen Wheeler, without whom this conference wouldn’t have been possible.

We would also like to express our gratitude to former LBS Governor Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim – philanthropist, telecommunications pioneer and influential entrepreneur – who is a source of inspiration for the entire School community.

Why are we all here today? Because we believe that together we can help tackle the world’s major challenges. Many countries are affected by conflict or mass displacement; others are recovering from those issues, often with weak institutions that are unable to satisfy the basic needs of their citizens. Despite the difficulties, many of our participants show that, with a good understanding of the situation and a focus on solutions, private initiatives can not only survive but thrive in these environments – to the benefit of themselves and of the communities around them. How can business initiatives and governance be aligned in order to have a positive impact on development?

How can business directly address social issues when the state doesn’t provide services such as health, education or access to electricity? Questions such as these can help us to understand the potential and constraints of business in fragile environments – and hopefully support us in developing actionable initiatives.

Thank you for coming today, and for your interest in the Wheeler Institute. We look forward to working with you on this path to change.

Rajesh Chandy, Elias Papaioannou and Amelia Whitelaw


Our mission

The Wheeler Institute for Business and Development is our response to the world’s most urgent economic and social problems.

Established with the support of Lonely Planet founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler, the Wheeler Institute is committed to bringing about positive change through sharing and applying business expertise.

We aim to act as a platform to identify innovative and sustainable solutions and share evidence-based insights with a network of local, national and global organisations, harnessing the power of business for good.


Our insights

We bring our joint research to bear on the challenges faced by some of the world’s most underprivileged communities – from poverty to illiteracy, disease to pollution. We’re ambitious for change and will continue to make a demonstrable impact on people’s lives in the developing world.

We apply a business lens to development challenges as diverse as the delivery of life-saving medicines or the access of farmers in developing countries to market information about their crops.

Driving solutions from rigorous business insights, we aim to see global challenges from a different perspective – that of people and communities affected on the ground. Our world-class faculty works in the field, often in remote places, to talk to people, gather data, and run pilots, trials and experiments to share expertise with and learn from local business.


Our people