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Gardner Named Leading Business Thinker and Public Intellectual

Posted: May 13, 2008

On May 5, The Wall Street Journal named Professor Howard Gardner one of the top five influential business thinkers. Gardner also placed in the May/June issues of Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of the world’s top 100 leading public intellectuals.

Gardner ranked fifth on the Journal’s list which included business consultant Gary Hamel, journalists Thomas Friedman and Malcolm Gladwell, and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. Babson College Professor Thomas Davenport compiled the rankings based on Google hits, Lexis Nexis media mentions, and academic citations for 110 business “gurus” ranked in the 2003 survey.

“Dr. Gardner’s popularity beyond academia reflects managers’ desire to understand what makes workers, peers, and bosses tick,” the Journal piece reads. “Many companies, for example, are trying to boost employees’ ‘engagement,’ or emotional commitment to their jobs. Dr. Gardner says managers often ask him how to change minds ‘since that is something that they have to do a lot.’”

This is the second time that Gardner placed on Foreign Policy and Prospect’s Top 100 Public Intellectual lists, which includes some of the “world’s most introspective philosophers…[and] thinkers who are shaping the tenor of our time.” Gardner ranked among fellow thinkers such as activist and politician Al Gore, linguist Noam Chomsky, and Harvard University President Drew Faust.

The magazine selects candidates whose active public life and distinction in their fields of study influence ongoing debates around the globe.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory — in which he posits that all human beings possess numerous autonomous intelligences rather than a single intelligence that can be measured through a tool such as the IQ test. Today, Gardner’s theory continues to significantly impact the structure of classroom education and psychology, as well as find new applications throughout the world.

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