What is an idea?

We go for inventions, innovations, social movements and legal and financial instruments – anything that helped make business what it is, writes Michael Skapinker


Airlines have changed the world – but profits remain firmly earthbound. By Kevin Done

The management revolution

Theories of management go in and out of fashion, but its most innovative exponents recognise the constantly changing nature of organisations

Industrial process

The drive towards greater flexibility and reduction of waste continues, writes Robert Wright

50 Ideas: Foreword

The list will inform the crucial, continuing debate about how the world of business can become more effective, efficient and relevant, says Lionel Barber

Banking and finance

The quest for financial innovation has seen the introduction of the ATM but also gave birth to synthetic debt instruments, says Patrick Jenkins


The most innovative thinking on how to run organisations recognises the constantly changing nature of business, says Andrew Hill

Opinion: The devil in the data

There is no doubt that faster processing of masses of information will transform business and society, but that power must not be concentrated in the hands of a few

The urban dream lives on

Huge influxes of people can put any city’s housing and infrastructure under strain, but the potential for innovation and creativity will always be there


A world of increasingly well-informed and wealthy consumers is driving a revolution in how goods are made, marketed and sold, writes Louise Lucas

Technology: applications

Faster, smaller and smarter electronic technologies have dramatically redefined time and distance for businesses, writes Clive Cookson

Technology: computers

Computerised information processes have become an essential part of a company’s operation, regardless of its size, creating a digitally savvy population of employees as well as customers, says Richard Waters

Future ideas

Our judges’ pick of the ideas most likely to shape tomorrow’s world of business


The rapidly increasing diversity of society has filtered through to the workplace and to how businesses relate to the public, writes Sarah Neville


For all its benefits in spreading wealth, globalisation has not come without drawbacks, making the process one of the most complex forces of modern times, writes Martin Wolf