Keynote Speaker Category: Business, Female Speakers, Management, New World of Work, Organisational Change, Organizational Health, Trust,


Shalene Gupta is an acclaimed Journalist, Researcher and Corporate Advisor Whose Work is at the Intersection of Diversity, Technology, Trust and the Workplace. She is the Co-author of  “The Power of Trust” (2021). She is a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School. A Former Reporter at Fortune Magazine and Former Financial Analyst for the U.S. Treasury Department. She has also been named to the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2022.  For her Full Bio see below.


The Power of Trust


Trust as a Path to Business Growth

Trust isn’t merely a nice-to-have. It impacts everything from the economy and customer loyalty to workplace productivity and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). “The Power of Trust” co-author and Harvard Business Review researcher Shalene Gupta helps firms tackle their biggest problems by putting trust at the center of their decision making. Confronting high-stakes scandals like the Boeing crashes and the Volkswagen emissions scandal, Gupta helps organizations move from vague notions of trust toward an applicable framework. Citing case studies, including Japan’s Recruit Holdings, which rebounded from massive scandal in the 1980s to achieve over 20 billion in profits without layoffs, Gupta explains what it takes to strengthen or repair reputations and enlist the trust of stakeholders so organizations and their employees can flourish.

How Boards Play a Key Role in Building Trustworthy Organisations

According to “The Power of Trust” co-author  and corporate advisor, Shalene Gupta, the only way for leaders to build or regain trust is to first acknowledge that it’s important, then give it a place in the decision-making process. The role of board members is particularly critical to trust building since values come from the top. In this presentation, she outlines key steps board members can take to become moral role models such as ensuring their board has the right members, that it is structured correctly, and that members are able to have intentional, open, honest and timely conversations where issues of accountability can be fully addressed.

How Trust Strengthens a Diverse Workplace

As racial tensions rise and inevitably enter the workplace, leaders must be willing to open the door to conversations so employees can voice their concerns. In light of a 150% spike in hate crimes and research showing that 68% of Americans expect corporations to take a stronger stance on social issues, “The Power of Trust” co-author and Harvard Business Review researcher Shalene Gupta outlines a trust-based framework for making workplaces safer and more just. Citing examples from companies like Etsy and Coca-Cola, she teaches participants how they can leverage similar initiatives so employees come to trust the organization and each other more, which ultimately leads to better communication, cooperation and productivity.


Shalene Gupta is an advisor, writer, researcher and Keynote Speaker. She addresses issues around trust, diversity, equity and inclusion, technology, smart cities, big data and the Internet of Things. Her work has been published in Harvard Business Review, ESPN, Fortune, Kirkus Reviews, The New Straits Times, The Jakarta Post and Mint. She previously served as an editor at MIT Horizon, an MIT-owned start-up which seeks to advance knowledge within the business community about cutting-edge technologies.

She is the co-author of “The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It” (Public Affairs, July 2021) with Harvard Business School Professor Sandra J. Sucher. Soon after its release, it was named among the best business books in July 2021 by The Financial Times. She has also been Named to the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2022.

Her expertise lies in the intersection of technology, diversity, trust and the workplace. She has seen firsthand how a lack of trust can create a barrier to productivity, communication and innovation in the workplace, eroding both business and personal relationships.

In her talks, she advises on Leaders using practical frameworks on how they can build trust within their organisations, she advises on how to address the behaviours and policies that may be inadvertently causing people to mistrust them or their company. She stresses the importance of letting people speak their minds. According to her, the only way for leaders to build or regain trust is to 1) first acknowledge that it’s important and 2) giving it a place in the decision-making process. She even recommends putting a person in charge of trust, someone tasked with deciding whether certain decisions may positively or negatively affect trust.

In “The Power of Trust,” the co-authors examine the science behind trust and reveal how customers, employees, community members and investors decide whether an organisation or a person can be trusted. They show that creating and sustaining trust does not come from “reputation building” and PR, but by being the “real deal,” creating products, services and technologies that work, having good intentions, treating people fairly, and taking responsibility for all the impacts an organisation creates, whether intended or not. The in-depth stories they share, based on twenty years of research, shine a bright light on the business, economic and societal importance of trust.


Monika Bielskyte

Monika Bielskyte


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