Roger Martin, Institute Director

Roger Martin is the Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management and the Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness. From 1998 to 2013, he served as Dean. Previously, he spent 13 years as a Director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he served as co-head of the firm for two years.

His research work is in Integrative Thinking, Business Design, Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Country Competitiveness. He writes extensively and is a regular contributor to: Harvard Business Review’s The Conversation blog, the Financial Times’ Judgment Call column, and the Guardian Sustainable Business. He has written 24 Harvard Business Review articles and published 10 books: Getting Beyond Better (with Sally Osberg); Harvard Business Review Press (HBRP), 2015); Playing to Win (with A.G. Lafley) (HBRP, 2013); Fixing the Game (HBRP, 2011); The Design of Business (HBRP, 2009); The Opposable Mind (HBRP, 2007); The Responsibility Virus (Basic Books, 2002); Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be (with Jim Milway, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2012); and Diaminds (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, University of Toronto Press, 2009), and The Future of the MBA (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, Oxford University Press, 2008). In addition, he co-edited Rotman on Design (with Karen Christensen, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2013).

In 2013, Roger placed 3rd on the Thinkers50 list, a biannual ranking of the most influential global business thinkers, moving up from 6th in 2011 and 32nd in 2009. In 2010, he was named one of the 27 most influential designers in the world by Business Week. In 2007 he was named a Business Week ‘B-School All-Star’ for being one of the 10 most influential business professors in the world. Business Week also named him one of seven ‘Innovation Gurus’ in 2005.

He serves on a number of public service boards: Skoll Foundation, Canadian Credit Management Foundation, Tennis Canada (past chair), and Bridgespan Group (academic advisory board chair).

A Canadian from Wallenstein, Ontario, Roger received his AB from Harvard College, with a concentration in Economics, in 1979 and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1981.

The Infrastructure of Democratic Capitalism project, an initiative of the Martin Prosperity Institute under the direction of Roger Martin, is an inquiry into the infrastructure that lies beneath Democratic Capitalism. Infrastructure comes in many forms, but the ones of principal interest to us are physical, transactional, and knowledge infrastructure. Most familiar is physical infrastructure: the shared, built resources that meaningfully enable and advance our standard of living. More abstract is transactional infrastructure: the set of rules, decision-making institutions and mechanisms that allow a society to exchange goods and services. Lastly, is knowledge infrastructure: the set of systems and institutions, like education, media, and the Internet, that enable the reliable transfer of information from person to person, group to group.

It is our hypothesis that Democratic Capitalism faces a little understood threat from within – that the infrastructure that is vital to its robust existence is fraying, as a result of abuse and neglect. Infrastructure is not eternal; it decays and breaks down. Without the mindful redesign of the very infrastructure that supports Democratic Capitalism, the system will deteriorate and prosperity will decline.

To bolster the infrastructure that supports Democratic Capitalism, we must first understand the nature of that infrastructure, the challenges facing it and some potential remedies. It is through exploring the issues related to various forms of infrastructure that we hope to better understand and examine implications for Democratic Capitalism.

Democratic Capitalism