Opening Keynote: The Digital Imperative

How Networks and Platforms are Transforming HR’s Agenda

Event Link
Wednesday 05 October
8:45 PM – 10:00 PM

Digital networks — such as those created by Amazon, Google, Uber and Airbnb — are changing what we do, how we do it and how rewards get distributed. They are at the helm of a rapid shift in the way business is done today and produce unprecedented returns with less investment. The problem, however, is that 98% of today’s organizations are neither truly digital nor networked. Consequently, it is not a question of whether they need to change, but rather how much and when. As a longtime advisor to businesses of all sizes, Barry Libert has seen what works and what doesn’t when it comes to digital transformation. Drawing from his extensive experience, he’ll not only explain why change is necessary, but more importantly, what kinds of changes are needed, and the increasingly important role HR and HRIT leaders are going to need to play to help bring them about.


Barry Libert

Open Matters LLC


photo of BarryLibert CEO Open Matters LLC
BarryLibert, CEO
Open Matters LLC

Barry is a digital board member, CEO and board advisor and angel investor. He is also a senior fellow at Wharton. Barry has spent the last decade pursuing several ventures: advising organizations on how to benefit from digital technologies to drive value, revenues and profits; assisting CEOs pivot their business to capture the value of adding or converting to a digital model; and founding and investing in social, mobile, cloud, and big data startups. His investment portfolio companies collectively manage more than 15,000 customer and employee networks with more than 40 million users for 350 brands with more than 100 million fans. Barry also sits on a number of for-profit and not-for-profit boards. Prior clients include many large organizations, such as Microsoft, GE Healthcare, Sun Life, the US Army, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, and ESPN. Currently, Barry is working on his 6th book, called The Network Imperative: How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models. It will be published in June, 2016, by Harvard Business Review Press (HBR) in partnership with Wharton’s e-publishing arm, Knowledge@Wharton, . This book, along with his others – including We Are Smarter than Me and Social Nation – focus on the value of going digital and why digital business models outperform all other organizations. Mr. Libert has delivered more than 400 keynote speeches at company, industry and private events to audiences of 30,000+ globally. He has been published in 1100 articles in such periodicals as Harvard Business Review (HBR), The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Barron’s, and The New York Times. He has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, FNN and NPR. Barry began his career with McKinsey & Company, holds an MBA from Columbia University (Beta Gamma Sigma) and is a graduate of Tufts University (Magna Cum Laude). He currently resides in Dover, Massachusetts, with his wife and has two grown sons he adores.