Martina Olbert Keynote Speaker

  • Business visionary, global thinker and social scientist reimagining business and brands as the driving force for a humanistic future and the new sustainable economy
  • Founder and CEO of Meaning.Global, recognised by Forbes as the ‘global authority on brand meaning’
  • • Author, 'Reimagining Consumerism as a Force For Good', TOP 10 Global Thought Leader On Sustainability, Marketing and Ecosystems by Thinkers360

Martina Olbert's Biography

Dr. Martina Olbert is the world’s 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. Her clients include banking, finance, investment fund, private equity, social enterprises, NGOs, start-ups, a presidential candidate, technology, media and entertainment, luxury and fashion houses, professional services, medical, pharma, and consumer goods.

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 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.

Martina has spoken for clients globally at conferences in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia. Her talks and guest lectures include King’s Business School London, Trinity College Dublin, Brand Week Istanbul, FashionTech Week Italy, Internal Communications Conference in Berlin, and more.

She was named the “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.

“Seeing beyond the problems of today”, “reframing and refocusing world views for better understanding”, “exceptional and highly valued perspective”, “real depth made accessible”, “astonishingly valuable”, “revolutionary thought leader”, “giving us a road map forward” are some of the reactions she received for her talks and published work.

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Martina Olbert's Speaking Topics

• Reimagining The Future of Business As A Force For Good

Brands and business are the most powerful force for change in the world and can act as catalysts to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future. That is if we learn to harness their unique social power consciously, at a global scale and for a common good. This is how we can use business as a strategic vehicle for social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental change to shape a better future.

• Rethinking Business: Why We Need A New Framework

We are now in the midst of a social and cultural transformation post-COVID that drives an immense transformation of the business landscape. Everything that we’ve known so far is up for question. This global rethinking gives us a unique opportunity to redesign the business matrix in a way that makes our humanity flourish. We need a new framework in business that leaves the old ideology of exploitation behind. Instead, we need to focus on creating win-win-win scenarios in a larger world context – for the business to drive profit, for the collective to elevate human wellbeing, and for the planet to find new solutions on how to better coexist with nature.

• Business And Humanity: Business At The Crossroads And The New Normal

People around the world are now awakening to their long-forgotten humanity post-COVID. What we call a Great Resignation is actually the Great Awakening. Our preferences, values and behaviours are changing as we regain our footing and a collective shared understanding of who we are, what we value, what is important, and how we want to live our lives to make them worth living. What role does business have in the new normal? What does this huge societal shift mean for the future of organisations? How can businesses help us connect to our neglected human needs? What is the opportunity that lies in the midst of this global chaos?

• Purpose and Meaning: Which Way Into The Future?

We need to move beyond the infatuation with purpose, purpose-washing and declarative statements to a human meaning that adds real value to people’s lives.

• Humanistic and Conscious Capitalism: The Emerging Consumer Behaviour

Humanistic business is a business that not only makes a profit but proactively creates new forms of human value that can elevate human wellbeing. How? By tapping into not what we “want” but what we “need” to truly prosper and flourish. Instead of businesses looking at people as consumers who are here to serve their bottom line, we need to flip the script and see businesses as powerful vehicles that are here to serve our complete humanity and the planet.

• Sustainability

Sustainability goes far beyond ESG and CSR – it is not just about “what we do” and “how we do it” but “the intention with which we do it”. Sustainability is the opposite of exploitation – it is the ability to sustain itself and generate an optimum level of growth by keeping itself in a perpetual state of balance between value extraction and value production. It is a business done with respect, moral conscience, value integrity, consciousness and self-awareness that allows us to see all our efforts holistically, in the real-world context, with responsibility for their consequences. Sustainability isn’t a badge of honour to claim; it is the new normal of any business operating in the twenty-first century. Getting there will require an evolutionary jump in consciousness.

• Diversity in Business

We need to reframe the very meaning of diversity so that organisations can flourish. The real meaning of diversity in business isn’t in being just the tool for a better social representation but in being the engine for diverse value creation and meaningful growth so businesses can better understand, anticipate, innovate and future-proof.

• Measuring What Matters: Meaning and Context in Business

Business today fundamentally lacks context and meaning. We are drowning in data yet fail to understand what all this data means. How can we design better metrics and develop real human understanding to measure not just what is there but what truly matters? We need a new humanistic framework that measures not data but the human meaning behind it – to serve as a valuable matrix for businesses to grow and evolve in a relevant way, both for the organisation and for people as human beings.

• How Do You Sell A Multi-Billion Dollar Idea?

How do you sell a billion-dollar idea to organisations and make them do the right thing when the idea lies in their blind spot? Million-dollar ideas are easy to sell as they are based on research, interested in variations of things that are already there. Billion-dollar ideas require vision and understanding of what is hidden and invisible and thus are impossible for organisations to see. Yet this is where the biggest value lies. If you know which way the society is headed, how can you make that vision real to give people just the kind of value, products and services they need to get there.

• Meaningful Ecosystems: Radical Innovation and New Forms Of Human Value

Businesses aren’t static entities that evolve only in response to trends and culture. They are most powerful as the active agents of change ¬– dynamic ecosystems of meaning that can expand based on new ideas to bring more human value to people.

• What Is Luxury?

The very meaning of luxury is changing today from excess, rarity and opulence toward essentialism: embracing our humanity, experiences and the intangibles. This shifts what we perceive as luxury today and opens up a new space for brands to create the next frontier of luxury value in the emerging new luxury paradigm.

• Value Creation and Growth

Meaningful value creation is an engine for sustainable and humanized growth. How can your brand and organisation use it as such to make your future more human?

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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

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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