Martina Olbert Speaking

Martina Olbert Keynote Speaker

  • The Meaning Expert™ recognized by Forbes as the global authority on brand meaning
  • Founder and CEO of Meaning.Global: Reimagining The Future Of Business With Meaning
  • Humanist, futurist, author, advisor and social scientist unlocking the social power of business to create a humanistic future and new sustainable economy

Martina Olbert's Biography

Dr. Martina Olbert is a leading expert on meaning in business, recognised by Forbes as the ‘global authority on brand meaning’. She is a global thinker, business visionary, humanist, futurist, advisor, social scientist and consumer psychologist redefining how we see brands and what brands can do in the world if used strategically for a common good. She believes that brands and organizations led with meaning will become powerful forces for good in society.

She is an inspiring speaker with a bold vision on the future of business as a force for good and meaningful growth. She views commerce as the most potent force for good in society. Her vision is to shape a better world with brands by using business as a catalyst of social, cultural, economic and environmental growth that can lead the transition to a more humanistic future and a new sustainable economy. She believes that commerce – if used right and at scale – can become the leading force in shaping a better future for people and the planet.

Martina is the Founder and CEO of Meaning.Global, a global business imagination consultancy shaping a better future with brands. Since 2017, it has been accelerating brands’ and organizations’ adaptation to the new meaning economy. She helps companies make the evolutionary step-change to a reimagined future. She advises brand and business leaders on insight, strategy and innovation and works alongside organizations to uproot their legacy beliefs and mindsets and shift their perspective to see the world anew: as a space of infinite possibility to create new forms of human value that can serve our complete humanity.

Her core question is: What is good for people? What is good for people is good for brands, but what is good for brands isn’t always good for people. The key to meaningful business growth and a new sustainable economy is to create things that are good for people – things that tap into our essential human needs, add meaningful value to our lives and elevate human wellbeing.

She has advised some of the world’s top consumer, corporate, luxury and lifestyle brands on the topics of meaning, insight, strategy, innovation, trends, consumer behaviour, societal shifts, value creation and sustainable growth.  She has spoken for clients globally at conferences in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia. Her clients include LVMH, Rolls-Royce, Facebook, Estée Lauder, Unilever, King’s Business School London, Trinity College Dublin, Brand Week Istanbul, FashionTech Week Italy, Internal Communications Conference in Berlin, and more.

Martina is the author of ‘Reimagining Consumerism As A Force For Good’ and the globally acclaimed ‘The Luxury Report: Redefining The Future Meaning Of Luxury’. Her upcoming book, ‘Humanistic Realignment In Business’, will be published 2023/24.  Her insights are regularly featured in leading global media publications such as Forbes, BBC, Newsweek, El País, WARC, Vogue Business, Luxury Daily, Jing Daily, amongst others.

She was named “Business Thinker On Sustainability, Ecosystems and Marketing To Watch In 2022” by Thinkers360 and is ranked as the #3 Global Thinker on Ecosystems.

Her education includes Political Journalism at Georgetown University, The Science of Wellbeing at Yale, and Media and Consumer Cultures at the University of Glamorgan in the UK. She holds a doctorate in Media Studies from Charles University in Prague.

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Martina Olbert's Speaking Topics

Purpose versus Meaning: Which Way Into The Future?

In this talk, Martina explores the existential and ideological divide in business today and explains why the only real way to achieve purpose leads through meaning. We need to abandon the idea of aspirational brand purposes and come back to reality – creating human meaning that can add real meaningful value to people’s lives. To make purpose anything more than greenwashing, corporate smoke-and-mirrors and virtue signalling without any real social impact in the world, we need to finally understand that people don’t buy your why – they buy their own why. This customer’s purpose isn’t purpose to brands and organizations, but the meaning they add to people’s lives. This mindset shift will put brands on more solid ground to build a more meaningful, sustainable and humanistic future.

Power Of Diversity: From Social Representation To Diverse Value Creation

In this talk, Martina explores how our wrong framing and inaccurate understanding of diversity in business – what it means and what it’s supposed to do – are stopping us from making real that is costing organizations millions of dollars annually in the new value they are NOT creating. This is simply because our outdated mindset is blocking us from moving forward in a new direction since we cannot see it. We can unlock the immense power of diversity in business with a simple yet powerful reframe: when we stop seeing diversity as a social representation tool that is supposed to check boxes and start seeing it for what it truly is: an engine for more diverse value creation and meaningful business growth. Using diversity the right way in business can create a better, more meaningful and sustainable future for us all. This is because the highest expression of diversity is our humanity.

Better Future With Brands: How Brands Can Build A New Shared Future

How can we use brands as a force for good and as catalysts to drive a global social, cultural, economic and environmental change in the world? Business is the most powerful creative force in the world. It won’t be the governments or capital markets that drive a positive change in the world – it will be commerce. Brands hold the emotional connections with people that are a part of our everyday life fabric and are nimble enough to adapt to changes in policies, global markets and demand. In this talk, Martina explores the changing dynamic between brands and people post-COVID and what this can mean for our collective future. This talk is inspired by her latest study Reimagining Consumerism As A Force For Good.

Humanistic Realignment: Bridging The Gap Between Business And Humanity

Business and humanity are badly misaligned today. Business looks at people as workers and consumers instead of human beings whose interests it is supposed to serve. We are now hitting the limits of this old business narrative. We are standing at the edge of a new Humanistic paradigm, in business and society, and need to conceive a new way forward that is more aligned with our own humanity. We need to shift our perception of business from people serving brands as consumers to brands serving people as human beings to add meaningful value to our lives that elevates our human well-being. Business has immense social power: it is the most potent force for positive change in the world. To use this power strategically, we need to bridge the gap between business and people and come back to the core of business as the creative expression of our collective human potential. This way, business can become a real force for good – to serve our complete humanity and the planet.

Sustainability Post-COVID: From Environmentalism To Creativity And Innovation

The pandemic has changed the Sustainability conversation since it has served as a portal from one business reality into another. Before COVID, Sustainability was a dreaded subject that took away from maximizing short-term profits at the expense of long-term value for people and the planet. But what if it could do both? What if Sustainability could directly grow your business while doing good for the environment? Thanks to our experience of oneness – how the action of one individual somewhere has vast consequences for all of us everywhere – we now see how interconnected the world is. This universal law can be equally used with a positive effect in business since we now see how the collective sum of our individual actions can make a real difference in the world. This reintroduces Sustainability as the natural extension of our own humanity – not just the matter of supply chain, ethical sourcing, raw materials and human rights, but equally, as the matter of ethics, respect, value integrity, longevity, conscious creation, meaning, and awareness of the world we live in, the value we create, for whom, through what means and why. To use Sustainability in its full effect, we need to reframe it from a threat to an opportunity: from environmental efficiency to human creativity and humanistic innovation. We need to move beyond the product, supply chain, global compliance and regulation and see Sustainability for its creative potential also: as the new business consciousness – a new shared philosophy – to be embedded at the core of brands and organizations to produce new forms of meaningful human value.

The New Meaning Of Luxury: How Is Luxury Changing Today?

The very meaning of luxury is quickly changing today from the tangibles to the intangibles. We don't crave material objects of desire anymore as much as we crave the staples of the new luxury: time, space, peace, serenity, meaning, human connection and experiences. What has caused this sudden change in our perception of luxury and what does this mean for the future of luxury brands and how we consume? Listen to this talk by Dr. Martina Olbert, author of the globally acclaimed The Luxury Report: Redefining The Future Meaning Of Luxury, as she explores the five cultural shifts disrupting how we experience luxury today and what they mean for the future of luxury brands, hospitality, leisure, and private equity.

The Meaning Metric™: From Data To Measuring What Actually Matters

We are drowning in data today while we desperately lack sense and meaning. We have all the data in the world, but if we don’t know what it means and what is important to customers to make their lives better and more meaningful while looking to increase profitability, it’s useless to us. In this talk, you'll learn why having more data isn’t necessarily better, why cultivating human understanding is key, and how shifting our perspective from data measurement to meaning measurement and the new Meaning Metric™ can help brands and organizations finally see their efforts in the real human context. To make this a reality, we need to adopt a new humanistic framework in business that will allow us to augment data from the human perspective to interpret the real meaning of the information at hand. If organizations monitor what actually matters to people and what they care about, brands and media buyers alike can unlock new knowledge and insight that now hides in plain sight.

The Great Resignation: How It’s Reshaping The Future Of Business

We are in the midst of The Great Resignation. But are we? What we are witnessing isn’t the great resignation but the great human awakening. We are hitting the collective pause button on our lives lived autopilot under the mantra of brand aspiration, economic growth, dreams and desires, status-seeking and virtue signalling. This is the end of sacrificing our lives for the cultural hypnosis of "success" and the notion that it's out there and not within, to be determined by other people and how they perceive us based on our economic value in society. We are awakening to the greater reality of our lives: who we are, what we want, what makes us happy, why we’re here and how to self-actualize to live fulfilled lives with more meaning. This is the beginning of our real aspiration: to live life on our terms in a way that elevates individual and collective well-being. This societal change has a profound impact on the future of business, how we work, what we want out of work, what value we create and for whom. It has powerful implications for the future of business, future of work, leadership, management, the way organizations work and how they create value. Want to know more? Let's explore what the great resignation means for your business's future.

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Videos of Martina Olbert

EXPO Dubai 2022 Global Goals Week: How Brands Can Accelerate The Transition To A Sustainable Future
EXPO Dubai 2022 Global Goals Week: How Brands Can Accelerate The Transition To A Sustainable Future
The Meaning of Luxury Panel | Frame Awards 2020 in Amsterdam | February 2020
The Meaning of Luxury Panel | Frame Awards 2020 in Amsterdam | February 2020
The Great Resignation | HRreview Podcast with Dr. Martina Olbert, Founder and CEO of Meaning.Global
The Great Resignation | HRreview Podcast with Dr. Martina Olbert, Founder and CEO of Meaning.Global
Purpose vs. Meaning in Brands | Leveraging Thought Leadership Podcast with Dr. Martina Olbert
Purpose vs. Meaning in Brands | Leveraging Thought Leadership Podcast with Dr. Martina Olbert

Articles, Media & Podcasts

Books by Martina Olbert

Reimagining Consumerism as a Force for Good
The Luxury Report: Redefining the Future Meaning Of Luxury

Comments & Testimonials

“Martina presents a clear roadmap for how brands can ensure they are not engaging in purpose-washing, but rather authentically engage with consumers as humans. The thought leader we need for the '20s and beyond.“
Dr. Giana Eckhardt Professor of Marketing at King's Business School, King's College London
“Martina is one of the marketing leaders shaping a better world through brand. She brings a unique and highly valued perspective to the discourse on brands today.“
Derrick Daye Publisher, Branding Strategy Insider
"Astonishingly valuable."
Rory Sutherland Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, TED speaker, Author of Alchemy, UK
"Martina is a vibrant and unapologetic breath of fresh air. Her passion for branding, semiotics and the future of business is unparalleled. She has made me think in new ways and has elevated my own brand work."
Hilton Barbour Marketing, Culture & Change Management Consultant, Canada
"Martina is a true visionary. Fiercely intelligent, deeply spiritual and possessing a 360-degree view of humans, she is able to see the fundamental nature of human motivations for consumption. She is a revolutionary thought leader whose comments, ideas and insights are one of the few sources that actually matter."
John Hays Ataraxia Living

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