Why the long run matters

The Long Run Institute is a non-profit corporation led by its co-founders and directors: Prof. John Turner (UK)Dr. Laurence B. Mussio (Canada) and Dr. Michael Aldous (UK). The Institute began in 2018, inspired by the founders’ belief that there was a huge unfilled need to connect decision-makers with the deep historical context that shapes complex challenges facing government and business. They conceived the Institute as a forum to bring together people who don’t normally have space or time to interact with each other, and to create a dialogue that encourages insights from the long-run experience.

The Institute 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 grand challenges facing business and society.

Why we are different

The Value of History

In a world seeking foresight, the LRI looks to hindsight. We are committed to revealing the value of history and a long-run perspective in understanding the forces shaping the world’s current and future state. In a world where everything seems to be “unique”, the value of history as a corrective balance has never greater.

Reimagining the future by understanding how change happens

The LRI believes that a deeper knowledge of history allows us to positively reimagine the future by understanding how and why things change. We believe that a sensibility towards understanding historical change can motivate people to seek pathways of positive change when confronting the grand challenges of our world.

Connecting Decision-Makers and Deep Context

The LRI focuses on ways to effectively and efficiently connect decision-makers with deep historical context. We look to package rigorous historical research in formats that are accessible and meaningful to non-specialists.

What we do

The LRI achieves these aims through the organization of high impact events thematically focused on specific grand challenges facing business and society. The events bring together speakers and participants from a range of academic, corporate and policy backgrounds. The panels, conferences and briefings balance contributions from academic experts, business leaders and policy makers to highlight trends and parallels from the long-run experience and to reflect on their contemporary and future impact through dialogue and debate.

We run a range of in-person and online events including:

  • Briefings: One to two hours long, with one moderator and three to four experts in a dynamic conversational setting, all focused on a single theme, question or challenge
  • Roundtables: Two to three hours long, typically featuring two moderated panels with participants drawn from the ranks of senior scholarship, corporate leadership and public policy makers focusing on two angles of a single grand theme
  • Conferences: Half- or full-day meetings involving one or two keynote guests and two or more moderated panels connecting context with contemporary and practical perspectives
  • Solutions Workshops: working in conjunction with our corporate, government or university partners, the LRI is evolving an exciting design-thinking-based methodology to address complex contemporary challenges. We use multi-disciplinary teams convened from across universities, industry, government an civil society organizations to understand experiences, challenges assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to rapidly prototype and test.

The Institute publishes a range of engaging high-quality reports, briefing notes and op-eds that are both synopses of events and commentaries on the themes we engage with. These are underpinned by academic rigour while remaining fully accessible to non-academic audiences.

Who we are

The Institute operates globally as a not-for-profit corporation. We are headquartered in Canada.

The LRI was originally founded on 1 October 2018 through the auspices of the Queen’s University Belfast Centre for Economic History and SIERC. It brings together the capabilities of these two organisations to create a unique set of interests and expertise.

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.

SIERC is a boutique consultancy that specializes in deep research and analysis of organizational experience and memory, helping senior leaders transform these insights into actionable strategy. Based in Toronto, Canada, SIERC professionals focus on mobilizing context for organizations to unlock a deeper understanding of where they have been, how they got to where they are now, and where they are going. The company has produced extensive research and customized case studies for senior executives and policymakers on specific issues and challenges, in addition to a growing range of published corporate and economic histories of firms.

Our Board of Governors

The LRI’s Board of Governors is drawn from a spectrum of senior academic, corporate and government circles. The Institute is honoured to be able to draw on the strategic advice and support of the following governors in pursuit of its mission and vision.


Our mission is to deliver context, analysis and understanding of the long-run experience of firms, markets and governments to support better corporate and public policy decision making.


Our vision is to connect historians, policymakers and corporate executives to facilitate context-based, evidence-led discussions on critical contemporary challenges.