Thanh Nghiem

Writer, Teacher, and Public Speaker in Montreuil, France

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Explorer and accelerator, I've been engaging over the last 15 years with pioneers to develop solutions focusing on societal impact. Bridging sustainability, accelerated learning, sciences and open source models, I gained reputation as "pollinator of ideas".

First woman to be elected partner at McKinsey at 30 years old, I then launched ASEAN offices, Internet incubators, essential services in emerging markets, hence was described as a fast-track performer and a "serial innovator". But I didn't find enough meaning in my life. So I left the corporate world in 2002 to dedicate myself to higher ideals. Since then I've been helping all sorts of activists pushing for positive change in our society, eg global and local NGOs, researchers, Open Labs and collectives, Foundations, territories, governments. Most importantly, I've been helping people as a steward helping to reconcile skills, heart and meaning.

I do all this as volunteer, acting as an independent adviser - how can you pollinate ideas or inspire otherwise? My goal is not to earn money nor reputation. It is to deliver impact by inspiring people, helping communities and fellows to develop solutions fit to their needs (empowering innovations, Do-It-Yourself, Wikipedia style). I bring in expertise and where needed funding, partnerships or outreach. And also a touch of art and poetry. My deepest satisfaction: when people make their way and feel proud of it, and there is friendship, a feeling of gratefulness floating around as a result of having done the journey together.

Since 2012 my journey has turned into a leveraged approach to change: multiple TED talks and movie, entrepreneurship within collaborative communities, open research with interdisciplinary teams across Paris CRI, Stanford, MIT, China, ESCP, HEC, real-life experiments with Corporates, pilot cities or Vietnam as a large scale pilot for accelerated learning.

Since 2015 I engaged in writing, deep free-diving, high-mountain trekking, drawing and meditation.

"There are only three gateways to reach the Essential : Suffering, Beauty and Love" (J. Kelen)

  • Work
    • McKinsey & Company
  • Education
    • École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris
    • INSEAD