Co-founder of Fast Company to speak at Thunderbird Nov. 3

October 27, 2009

Fast Company co-founder and editor, author and columnist Alan Webber will speak at 1:10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Thunderbird School of Global Management. He will discuss his book, “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self,” to students, faculty and staff. The event is open to the media and general public.

Webber’s life has taken him from Portland, Ore., where he worked with the mayor to make the city “America’s Most Livable,” to Harvard Business Review, where he learned from legendary professor Theodore Levitt, to Fast Company magazine, which he launched with his friend, Bill Taylor, and was the fastest-growing and most successful business magazine in history upon launching. Fast Company focuses on uncovering best and next practices in industry; the magazine and Web site help a new breed of leader work smarter and more effectively.

“Rules of Thumb” is Webber’s answer to the questions: What are we going to learn from this economic meltdown and who will be our teachers? “Although we’ll certainly get through this current problem, will we arrive at the end having learned something that’s really worth learning?” he asks.

Some of Webber’s lessons date to 1989, when he spent three months in Japan at the height of the Japanese bubble interviewing a wide range of next-generation leaders and envisioning a future as it was emerging from companies, laboratories, and offices across the country. He returned to the United States with the perception that the world was profoundly changing and wrote about four transforming shifts that were about to shape the business landscape: Technology, globalization, generational and gender. Webber currently resides in Sante Fe, N.M.

After his presentation, there will be a book sale and signing until 3:30 p.m.

Webber’s visit is part of Thunderbird’s Global Issues Forum Speaker series, which brings speakers from diverse backgrounds to Thunderbird to share a wealth of experience with the Thunderbird community.

Members of the public interested in attending must RSVP to Barbara Stevenson at 602-978-7327 or

Members of the media are asked to contact Brian Camen at or 602-978-7922 if they are planning to cover the event. Thunderbird’s campus is on the southeast corner of 59th Avenue and Greenway Road. The presentation will be in Lecture Hall 53.