Our work is influenced by real ‘Thought Leaders’ and by this we mean more than charismatic people who share good ideas with their ‘followers’.

For us, ‘Thought Leaders’ are source thinkers in the same sense of a well-spring being the source of a stream: they are starting points of a journey.

Our ‘source thinkers’ are the beginning, not the destination: they start us on a line of thought that leads to our own development.

They come from various disciplines and points of views and are not about telling us what to think; rather, they are about raising our awareness about How We Think.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century, is our main source of inspiration. Although mostly known for his revolutionary economic theory, the Keynes that inspires us goes beyond a single discipline.He is a most important thinker about thinking in human affairs and business-related matters, particularly in a world of uncertainty.

Why Keynes?

For four decades, our director Professor Fanning has read Keynes’s major works closely and has been inspired by this great thinker’s way of thinking and by his developmental journey.

Keynes was a firm believer of the power of theories in guiding how we think and relate to other people. One of the unique things about humans is that we are a theory-using species: we use theories to think about the world. While many Leadership Programmes shy away from even using the word ‘theory’, for us ‘theory’ is powerful whether we are aware or unaware of it.

As Keynes, we believe that ‘theory’ should be used as an ‘apparatus of mind’ rather than a simplified description of the world.

Identifying, being aware of them and using them as a powerful tool of thought help us become more effective in what we do, as business leaders, as community workers, as human beings.

This great thinker is also a rare example of someone who escaped from powerful old ways of thinking about economic problems and developed for himself a new way of thinking.

This escape not only changed his life and his way of theorising, but it has also revolutionised Economic Thought and had a lasting impact on how government policies are made.

Keynes’s developmental journey provides an example of how changing the way we think cannot be found in concepts, symbols, hieroglyphs, frameworks, or mathematical formulas.

His journey illustrates what our Transformative Thinking approach stands for and accords with our guiding insight that to change our world intelligently we must first change ourselves by escaping from old ideas.

The Keynes Centre was established to integrate these aspects of Keynes’s thinking with frontier ideas from research on Adult Mental Development.

This unique combination enables individuals to move from using theory of others and thinking through the minds of others, to look inside for their own portfolio of theories and to create their own Leadership Minds, as Keynes did.

It provides the conditions for individuals to pursue transformational change – Growing Own Leadership Mind – to further their personal professional development and lead organisational change.

Who is Keynes?

Visit our award-nominee Interactive E-book John Maynard Keynes: The Lives of a Mind to explore the many facets of John Maynard Keynes’s life:

John Maynard Keynes

The Keynes CentreKeynes and Us