Niall Ferguson

Internationally Renowned Historian

Named by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Niall Ferguson’s work impacts industry, finance, government, and academia. Controversial, expansive, and eloquent, Ferguson’s talks explore themes that have urgent relevance to the present as well as the past―the costs and benefits of economic globalization; the interface between finance and politics; the lessons to be learned from the British experience of empire; and most recently, the strengths and limitations of American global power.

A Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Ferguson is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Ferguson has published 16 books, including: The Pity of War: Explaining World War One; The Cash Nexus; Empire; Colossus; The War of the World; The Ascent of Money; Civilization: The West and the Rest; and The Great Degeneration. He is currently writing a life of Henry Kissinger, the first volume of which—Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist—has been published to critical acclaim. His recent book, The Square and the Tower, was a New York Times bestseller, and was adapted into a three-part television series called Niall Ferguson’s Networld. His latest book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, was published in May 2021.

Ferguson is also an award-making filmmaker, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).

In addition to writing a weekly column for The Sunday Times (London) and The Boston Globe, he is the founder and Managing Director of Greenmantle LLC, a Cambridge-based advisory firm. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group and is a trustee of the New York Historical Society and the London-based Centre for Policy Studies.


Networks and Hierarchies: Society, Technology and Disruption from the Freemasons to Facebook

Niall Ferguson’s book, The Square and the Tower brilliantly anticipated the crisis that has gripped Silicon Valley since the 2016 election. To understand our modern world, he argues, you need an understanding of both network science and history. The networked age is turning out a lot less well than the techno-optimists foresaw. But why? And is there any way of stopping the trends towards polarization, extreme views, and fake news?

The Populist Challenge to Globalization: Brexit, Trump, and Beyond

The political events of 2016 in Britain and the United States came as a shock to many people. But to historians, this was just the latest of many populist backlashes against globalization. The question is how far populism poses a real threat to democracy, as some have argued. Niall Ferguson argues that, in each case, there was an urgent need for some kind of correction to the trends of the preceding decades, which had led to excessive levels of off-shoring, overseas investment and mass migration. The real question to ask is: What comes next after populism?

"Chimerica": What's Next for the Crucial Relationship Between the People's Republic and the United States?

The most important economic and strategic relationship in the world has, for at least the last ten years, been between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America: “Chimerica,” as Niall Ferguson called it in 2007. For a time it seemed as if the financial crisis might lead to a divorce between the two, but the relationship survived. Now a protectionist American president and more assertive Chinese president seem to be leading their countries towards some kind of collision on both trade and geopolitics. Can the two avoid sliding into the “Thucydides Trap” of conflict between an incumbent power and a rising power?

The Next Financial Crisis: What Lies Ahead for the Global Financial System?

As the author of The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson accurately foresaw the crisis of 2008-9. Ten years on, he asks what the next financial crisis will look like and how near to it we are. With rising interest rates, ever higher mountains of debt and increased risks of a trade war, he argues that trouble is coming soon. How should investors prepare themselves for a crisis that will be very different in nature from the last one? And are there any new opportunities to be found in innovations such as crypto-currency?

The Economic, Social and Political Consequences of the Plague: Putting COVID-19 in Historical Perspective

Niall will work with your team to identify and elaborate on specific areas of importance for your audience.