The LRI holds short, intensive conferences focused on specific key challenges facing business and society. The events bring together speakers from our different constituencies, balancing contributions from academic experts, business leaders and policy makers, to highlight trends and parallels from the long-run experience, and reflect on their contemporary and future impact. Organised as roundtables, the events are purposefully designed to foster dialogue and debate.

In pre-COVID times, the symposiums were full-day invitation-only events designed to maximize the opportunity for the sharing of ideas among the participants. In the current work-from-home environment, we are harnessing the powerof online platforms to deliver panel discussions and in-depth interviews with leaders in their fields.


We are currently working on several ideas for future events. Please check back soon for details or join our MAILING LIST to receive updates as they become available.


Please explore our previous events to see who attends and read summaries of the discussions:

May 2018, Belfast UK, Information Revolutions Roundtable

The beginning of the 21st Century has become known as the Information Age. An information revolution is generating momentum for a 4th Industrial revolution creating a knowledge-based economy and society. These changes bring myriad opportunities and threats for organizations and governments. Whilst this process is broadly understood as a historical transition, less interest has been paid to understanding how these challenges have been addressed in earlier periods. This is a missed opportunity as information and information technologies have remained a constant source of advantage and friction in business. Read how our speakers think trends and parallels from the past will influence the response of firms, markets and governments to the current challenges of information revolutions.

November 2019, Belfast UK, Confronting the Productivity Challenge

For 250 years, consistent improvements in productivity have created an engine for economic growth, greater prosperity and better standards of living. Since the Global Financial Crisis, that two-and-a-half century winning streak has stalled: productivity has flat-lined. Productivity – how to generate it and sustain it – constitutes one of the most complex and serious challenges facing both enterprise and public policy.
For businesses, productivity is a driver of profits and a catalyst of scale and growth within businesses. The lack of strategic focus on productivity improvement holds back many companies: repeated failure to invest, or to deploy technology are two of the most serious problems. Yet, the challenge is not only about investment and technology deployment: commentators also point to the need to develop managerial culture and practices as equally important in delivering productivity improvements. How can business leaders ensure that their managers are suitably equipped for this task?
For policymakers, a different but complementary set of considerations are at play. A broad range of policy factors relating to investment, innovation, technology, enterprise, and skills are linked to productivity growth. How can policymakers stimulate innovation ecosystems, whilst enabling businesses to leverage subsequent breakthroughs? Read how our speakers think trends and parallels from the past will influence the response of firms, markets and governments to the current challenges of productivity.

June 2020 Covid19 Masterclass Series: Precedents in an Unprecedented World; Insights for Pandemic Era Leaders

In this webinar presented jointly by The William J Clinton Leadership Institute and the Long Run Initiative, Canadian business historian Dr. Laurence B. Mussio, hosted a panel of business and economics historians, in a discussion about how a long-run perspective helps them think about how Covid-19 will affect businesses, the financial system, inequality and globalization. The panel debated what leaders can learn from past pandemics, economic depressions and national crises. Featuring Professor John Turner, Dr. Michael Aldous and Dr. Chris Colvin, Senior Lecturers from Queen’s Management School at Queen’s University Belfast.

To view the discussion please click here


Big Tech: Monopoly’s Second Moment?

The Evolution and Trajectory of Government Policy and Corporate Strategy

Date: Friday, October 2, 2020

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (ET)

Co-sponsored by Long Run Initiative (LRI) and the Wilson/Currie Chair in Canadian Business History, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

This free half-day conference focuses on one of the great public policy challenges of our time: the power of Big Tech. Across the North Atlantic world, governments and publics are coming to grips with the implications of just how large and powerful the FAANG companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (Alphabet) – have become.

Bringing together academics, policy makers and corporate executives for evidence-led discussions on this key 21st century challenge, the conference also explores how our experience with historical monopolies can provide meaningful insight.

We are pleased to welcome as our keynote guests Hon. Dr. Kevin Lynch, former clerk of the Privy Council, and Dr. Richard Langlois, Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut, who will each feature in a virtual fireside conversation.

The event will also include two panel discussions with participants drawn from the senior ranks of government and business. The first panel will address the international perspective on Big Tech and anti-trust. The second panel will address possible Canadian responses, in both public policy and corporate strategy. Each session will include time for audience questions.

For more details on the program and to register please go to Website & Registration


The Long Run Initiative acts a forum to make connections between the long-run experience and contemporary challenges. It brings together leaders in the public, corporate, and academic sectors. In designing events and other activities we consult with members of our network to understand the challenges they are facing, and to identify contributors and content.

If you would like to be part of the network and conversations, and are interested in participating in LRI’s events, which are by invitation only, please complete the form below. We will contact you with details of future events when they become available.

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    The LRI connects academic experts with business and policy decision makers to uncover how long-run forces connect to present and future challenges facing your organization.