Zachary Karabell is Head of Global Strategy at Envestnet, a publicly traded financial services firm where he works with the board on corporate strategy and with the investment committee on overall investment approaches for the firm. He is also President of River Twice Research. Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Chief Economist, and Head of Marketing at Fred Alger Management, a New York-based investment firm. He was also President of Fred Alger & Company and Portfolio Manager of the China-U.S. Growth Fund (CHUSX). In addition, he founded and ran the River Twice Fund from 2011-2013, an alternative investment fund which used sustainable business as its investment theme.

Educated at Columbia, Oxford and Harvard, where he received his Ph.D., Karabell has taught at several leading universities, including Harvard and Dartmouth, and has written widely on economics, investing, history and international relations. His most recent book, The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World, was published by Simon & Schuster in February 2014. His next book will be a two-century history of money, power and the making of America using the storied firm Brown Brothers Harriman as the narrative arc, to be published by Penguin Press in 2017. He is the author of eleven previous books. He sits on the board of New America. the PEN Center, and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. He is a Senior Advisor for BSR, a membership organization that works with global corporations on issues of sustainability.

As a commentator, Karabell is a Contributing Editor for Politico. Previously he wrote “The Edgy Optimist” column for Slate, Reuters, and The Atlantic. He is a LinkedIn Influence, a CNBC Contributor, a regular commentator on MSNBC, and also contributes to such publications as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Foreign Affairs.




We live in a world saturated with bad news and marked by skepticism and pessimism. The 2008-2009 financial crisis only solidified the sense that both the United States and the global system were dangerously unbalanced, and with Washington unable to craft a coherent vision of the future and a media that latches onto the next crisis, public moods have soured, businesses take a "wait and see" attitude, and the sense of pessimism deepens. But Dr. Karabell reminds us that the future is inherently unknowable and that it's more than possible that we are giving too much sway to the belief that things are getting worse and not enough credence to just how the future might get better.


This talk will assess the crucial national and global trends that will impact our lives professionally and personally and our industries in the years ahead. From the continuing cross-currents of emergent technologies and globalization to the rise of nationalism and regionalism, the pace of change in our world remains dizzying with few signs of slowing down. In this talk, Zachary will try to clarify what is most important and what is noise.


More than ten years after China burst onto the global economic scene, it remains one of the most important fulcrums of the global economy and how it fares will determine how the world does. Along with the United States, as goes China, so goes the world. But what is actually going on in China? What are the current challenges? And what are the opportunities? Will China be able to maintain its growth and evolve into a more inclusive, more consumer oriented system? How China answers these questions will go a long way to determining how we all fare in the years ahead.


Karabell excels at weaving in glitzy tales of the brave new China against the larger backdrop of the Middle Kingdom’s forceful but cautious economic liberalization and the often torturous, frequently saber-rattling politics of U.S.-China relations... A provocative argument.
— Los Angeles Times