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John Gerzema (MSA87)

John Gerzema is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help companies anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands.

He credits his time at Medill for instilling his passion for curiosity, storytelling and insight.

After graduating from Medill, Gerzema began his ca­reer at Campbell-Mithun and Fallon advertising agen­cies in Minneapolis, before being named Global Chief Insights Officer for Young & Rubicam Group. He is now Chairman and CEO of Y&R’s BAV Consulting.

As chairman of BAV Consulting, he oversees the global management consultancy which has expertise in cor­porate, brand and marketing strategy and innovation. His group administers BrandAsset® Valuator, the world’s largest consumer survey with data on over 16,000 con­sumers quarterly and 50,000 brands in fifty countries.

A frequent analyst on television and radio Gerzema’s TED talks have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. He has written for publications including Harvard Business Review, Inc. magazine, WIRED and Forbes. Gerzema’s writing was included among “The Fifty Classic Management Articles of The Decade” by Strategy & Business. And his research has been presented at The World Economic Forum and cited in publications like The Journal of Consumer Psychology and Marketing Management textbook.

In 2014 he was named to “The Top 100 Thought Lead­ers in Trustworthy Business”, and “Must-Follow Mar­keting Minds on Twitter” by Forbes magazine.

His books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

His first book, “The Brand Bubble”, predicted changes in consumer attitudes that preceded the financial cri­sis. His second book, “Spend Shift”, was co-authored by Pulitzer-Prize winner Michael D’Antonio and explored consumerism and the evolution of consumerist values after the Great Recession.

His most recent book, “The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And The Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future,” explores the rise of feminine com­petencies and values and their impact on leadership, policy and innovation. Gerzema and his co-author surveyed 64,000 people and conducted interviews 18 countries as part of their research for this book.

He is a board adviser to several NGO’s including University of The People, The Rainforest Alliance and The United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign. Proceeds of his book, The Athena Doctrine support the “Girl Up” campaign.

John is married to Mary Gerzema, an executive at The Estee Lauder Companies. They live in New York with their daughter, Nina.