20 September 2022 - Helsinki, Finland

Rutger Bregman

Historian, Author of the Bestsellers Humankind and Utopia for Realists

Rutger Bregman is a historian and author. He has published five books on history, philosophy, and economics.

His books Humankind (2020) and Utopia for Realists (2017) were both New York Times Bestsellers and have been translated into more than 40 languages. Rutger has also been nominated twice for the prestigious European Press Prize for his work at The Correspondent. 

The ROI of an Optimistic View on People

A keynote by Rutger Bregman

During his keynote at Nordic Business Forum 2022, Rutger Bregman will talk about issues such as:

  • Why an optimistic view on people creates a foundation for success
  • How to shape a creative organization through the right mindset
  • How a cynical view can downspiral into a self-fulfilling prophecy

Insights on His Keynote

We asked Rutger about his thoughts on the upcoming keynote and the event theme future-focused leadership. Find out what he answered here.

Why Should You Listen to Him?

Successful Journalist

Rutger writes regularly for the online journal De Correspondent, and he was actually nominated twice for the European Press Prize for his work there. Rutger thought of becoming an academic historian but began working as a journalist instead.

Optimistic Mindset

In his book Humankind, Rutger aims to convince that most people are good. He begins the book with what he calls this “radical idea” that most people deep down are pretty decent. 

Acknowledged Thinker

Rutger has been described by The Guardian as the “Dutch wunderkind of new ideas” and by TED Talks as “one of Europe’s most prominent young thinkers”. His TED Talk, “Poverty Isn’t a Lack of Character; It’s a Lack of Cash”, was chosen by TED curator Chris Anderson as one of the top ten of 2017. 

More From Rutger Bregman

Article, Podcast Episode, Interview


He Took Down the Elite at Davos. Then He Came for Fox News. The New York Times


Are humans fundamentally good? – Vox Conversations on Apple Podcast and Spotify


Utopia for Realists” and Big Ideas for an Equitable Economy – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Meet the other NBF2022 Speakers

Yuval Noah Harari

Historian, Philosopher, and Bestselling Author

The Most Important Skills for the Future of Work

Amy Edmondson

Professor at Harvard Business School

Creating a Fearless Organization

Rutger Bregman

Historian and Author of the Bestsellers Humankind and Utopia for Realists

The ROI of an Optimistic View on People

Erin Meyer

Co-author of the NYT Bestseller No Rules Rules and Professor at INSEAD

Developing a Culture of Innovation, Speed and Agility

Martin Lindstrom

Branding Expert and Bestselling Author

Building a Brand for 2030s

Jitske Kramer

Corporate Anthropologist, Keynote Speaker and Entrepreneur

Building a Future Proof Corporate Tribe

Petter Stordalen

Investor, Hotel Owner, Property Developer, and Environmentalist

How I Lead My Brands Through Crisis

More information

Zoe Chance

Professor of Marketing at the Yale School of Management and Bestselling author of Influence Is Your Superpower

Matching Behaviors and Intentions

More information

Duncan Wardle

2022 Speaker Contest Winner, Former Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney

Embedding a Culture of Innovation into Everybody's DNA

More information

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