Announcing the Official Launch of the Long Run Initiative

New Global Forum Created to Bring Corporate Executives, Policymakers and Historians Together to Connect Long-Run Context to Contemporary Challenges

TORONTO, Canada and BELFAST, Northern Ireland, 1 October 2018Signal Influence Executive Research & Communications, Inc., (SIERC), Canada, and Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Economic History announced today the creation of the Long Run Initiative, (LRI) a new, not-for-profit global forum bringing together academic experts, business leaders and public policy makers to provide context and deepen understanding from history of the grand challenges facing business and government.

LRI analysis focuses on connecting where we have been to where we are now, and where we are going on a range of specific issues. We believe that by understanding the past we can better appreciate the forces that have created the present and how they will shape the trajectory of future business, economies and societies.

The LRI connects academic experts with business and policy decision makers to uncover how long-run forces connect to present and future challenges facing your organization.

Through the organisation of short, high-impact roundtable events, the LRI creates a dialogue to exchange knowledge and stimulate ideas, giving participants the opportunity to reflect on and discuss parallels from the past, and consider how these lessons apply to their own organisations. In May 2018, the LRI hosted its first event, at Queen’s University Belfast, on a grand challenge topic: information revolutions. Events are being planned in the UK, the United States and Canada in 2019 and 2020, with plans for expansion.


The Initiative is founded on three precepts:

  • To demonstrate the practical value of historical expertise to contemporary decision makers.
  • To create dialogue between academics, businesses and government.
  • To provide an independent and international perspective on the challenges facing business and society.

The LRI brings together the capabilities of two organisations to create a unique set of interests and expertise.


The Long Run Initiative is led by its co-founders and directors: Prof. John Turner (UK), Dr. Laurence B. Mussio (Canada) and Dr. Michael Aldous (UK). Their combined experiences as academics, senior consultants and advisors and historians led them to believe there was a huge opportunity to bring together people who don’t normally have space or time to interact with each other. They conceived the Initiative as a forum to build new connections and create a dialogue that encourages reflections on the long-run.


The LRI’s Board of Governors are drawn from the upper echelons of business, government and the academy in the North Atlantic World. The Board includes:

  • Sir Jonathan Stephen Day, CBE (former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, UK) (United Kingdom)
  • The Hon. Kevin Gordon Lynch, former Clerk of Her Majesty’s Privy Council for Canada and Chairman of the Board of SNC Lavalin (Canada);
  • William Arthur Downe, CM, Immediate and Past Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Montreal Financial Group (Canada);
  • Dr. Judy Stephenson, The David Richards Fellow in Economic History, Wadham College, Oxford (United Kingdom)
  • Dr. Geoffrey Jones, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard University (USA)


Professor Turner remarked on Queen’s University Belfast’s role in LRI’s foundation and development: “Queen’s University Belfast has been shaping a better world since its charter was granted by Queen Victoria in 1845. The university’s Centre for Economic History is recognised as one of the leading centres in the world for the study of business and economic history. The LRI is the next step in its evolution as it seeks to shape a better world by helping business and public-sector leaders understand the usefulness of the past to their decision making today.”

Policy makers and civil servants face numerous complex challenges. Whilst history cannot provide solutions to today’s problems, it does offer vital context to understand the processes and long-run trends that shape our world.

The LRI provides opportunities for experts from the worlds of academia, politics and business to discuss and learn from historical episodes and experiences, and consider how these lessons affect our responses to current and future challenges. I hope many decision makers can take advantage of this important forum.

– LRI Governor Sir Jon Day, CBE

SIERC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mussio remarked that the LRI is a “both an exciting and potentially important initiative. It’s exciting because this is among the first initiatives of its kind in the North Atlantic world. Our plans are to bring together some of the best scholars in the field to discuss some of the practical grand challenges executives and government policy makers must deal with. It’s potentially important because our vision is to apply ‘insight from hindsight’ so we can understand the challenges before us. SIERC is therefore delighted to partner with Queen’s University Belfast in the LRI. We are in it for the long run.”

Dr. Michael Aldous explains that “examining historical roots provides rich context, and understanding of patterns and trends. It is important to connect historians, policymakers and corporate executives, to facilitate evidence-led discussion on long-run trends to help make sense of critical contemporary challenges.”


Please visit our website for more information at


The Centre for Economic and Business History at Queen’s University Belfast

The Centre for Economic History at Queen’s University Belfast is one of the largest groups of Economic and Business Historians in the world. Amongst the group and its wider network, are academic experts working on a diverse range of issues including economic development, globalization, corporate governance, banking crises, bubbles, corporate failures, demography, and political economy. The Centre’s mission is to explain the past to understand the present by understanding the trajectory of the economy and drawing lessons from past experiences for present global challenges. Visit us at


Signal Influence Executive Research & Communications, Inc. (SIERC) is a boutique consulting firm specializing in the strategic application of organizational experience for senior leadership. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, we are connected to a global network of scholars, researchers and consultants. Together, we help transform insight into strategy. Since 2002, SIERC has served elite clients in financial services, telecommunications and information technology, as well as in the government and university sectors. Visit us at

For further information: SIERC Contact: Dr. Laurence B. Mussio, CEO, Signal Influence Executive Research & Communications, Inc.,, Tel: +001 416-729- 9173; QUB Contact: Dr. Michael Aldous, Queen’s Management School,, Tel: +0044 (0)28 9097 4549.

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