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The Wharton Nation Brand Conference gathers policymakers, diplomats, corporate chiefs, and academics to discuss how a nation’s image can impact its economic prosperity.

Headline Speakers

Learn more marketing metrics on Professor David J. Reibstein’s Measured Thoughts


Maggie Chan Jones

Chief Marketing Officer,


Professor Philip Kotler

Professor of International Marketing,

Kellogg School of Management

Professor David J. Reibstein

William S. Woodside Professor & 

Professor of Marketing,

The Wharton School

Amitabh Kant

Brian Wong WG’03

Vice President, Alibaba

Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri
Singapores Ambassador to the United States

Art Bilger


Founder & CEO, WorkingNation

Mitch Garber


Cirque du Soleil

Anna Blender W’07

Senior Vice President, BAV Consulting

Alex Cuadros

International Journalist

Author, Brazillionaires

Caryl M. Stern
President and CEO,
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
Crystal Bridgeman
Senior Director of Workforce Development Programs,
Siemens Foundation
Clayton F.
VP, Global Brand Management and Design, American Express

Professor Tamar Many

Director of International Studies and Relations, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design

Professor Stephen A. Greyser

Chapman Professor, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

Tulio Milman



Grupo RBS

Ambassador Stuart Holliday
President and CEO, Meridian International Center
E. Glen Weyl
Senior Researcher,
Microsoft Research New York City

Professor Z. John Zhang

Director, Penn Wharton China Center

Martin Scaglione
President & CEO
Hope Chest Group

Ambassador Ido Aharoni

Global Distinguished Professor, NYU

Founder, Brand Israel

Professor Kenneth L. Shropshire

Director, Wharton Sports Business Initiative

Tom Lincoln

Director, Wharton Nation Brand Conference

Brian Kelly

Editor and Chief Content Officer, U.S. News & World Report

Chauncy Lennon
Managing Director and Head of Workforce Initiatives, Global Philanthropy, 
JPMorgan Chase

Dr. Huiyao Wang

President, Center for China and Globalization 

Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak
Chief Economist
Boston Consulting Group
With a special message from:
David Shuster
Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist
Dr. Erel Margalit
Member of the Israeli Knesset
Founder, Jerusalem Venture Partners
2016 Agenda

Wharton Nation Brand Conference

October 28, 2016

Ambani Auditorium

Jon M. Huntsman Hall

3730 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Represented Companies and Institutions

Companies and Institutions Represented at Conference:

Accomplice VC

Alibaba Group

American Express

The Analysis Group

Banco BICE

Bates North America

BAV Consulting

Bloomberg News

Boston Consulting Group

Brand South Africa

CEBQ Initiative

Center for China and Globalization

Chestnut Hill College

Cirque du Soleil

Collegiate Sports Management Group

Columbia Business School

Dechert LLP


E. Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker, LLC

Elsevier Editora Ltda.

George Washington University

Grupo RBS

Harvard Business School

Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania

Hope Street Group

Huffington Post

Huntsman Program


International Team LLC

Innovation: Africa

Israel Ideas

Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy

JFE Steel

Johnson & Johnson

JPMorgan Chase

Kellogg School of Management

Kennesaw State University



The Lauder Institute

MAPFRE Global Risks

Meridian International Center

Microsoft Research New York City

Mizuho Securities

New York University

NITI Aayog

The One Health Company

Penn Wharton China Center

Pew Research Center

Reaction Biology Corp.

Reidenbach & Associates, LLC

Relational Coordination Analytics


Shenkar College of Engineering and Design

Siemens Foundation

Tata Power

TNT Content & Design

UBS Financial Services

University of Johannesberg

University of Pennsylvania English Language Programs

U.S. Fund for UNICEF

U.S. News & World Report

Versa Capital Management, LLC

Wharton Computing

Wharton Executive Education

Wharton Future of Advertising Program

The Wharton School

Wharton Social Impact

The World Bank Group



Zhuhai Hansen Technology Co., Ltd.

Partners and Investors

Special thanks to our partners and investors

Wharton Global Initiatives

Wharton Alex Panos Fund

U.S. News & World Report

In short, the perception of a nation’s brand has a direct influence on its economy.


— Professor David J. Reibstein

Best Countries eBook

Defining Leadership and Success in the 21st Century




By John Gerzema and David Reibstein

Foreward by Sir Martin Sorrell



Flip through or download the Best Countries eBook by Prof. David J. Reibstein and John Gerzema. Produced as part of the Best Countries partnership among The Wharton School, U.S. News & World Report, and WPP’s BAV Consulting, the eBook features infographics, interviews with thought leaders, case studies, and more -- with a foreward by WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell.

2017 Best Countries


No. 1:  Switzerland

No. 2:  Canada

No. 3:  United Kingdom

No. 4:  Germany

No. 5:  Japan

No. 6:  Sweden

No. 7:  United States

No. 8:  Australia

No. 9:  France

No. 10:  Norway

“Part of what happens from the Best Countries study is that we get to learn how other parts of the world view our country. We get to see what aspects of our country are thought very highly of and which ones still need more improvement. As a government official or business leader you can see the actions that are necessary and the perceptions that need to be changed in order to enhance the economic results for that nation.”


— Professor David J. Reibstein

President Obama touts nation brand surveys

2016 Best Countries Top Ten

Return on Nation Branding

Innovation, Reputation and Economic Prosperity

David J. Reibstein, Anna Blender, Jeffrey Cai, and Bruce Brownstein

Does the perception of a nation directly impact the financial prosperity of the land?

Just as products have images and associations in customers’ minds known as brands, so do nations. A nation’s brand is the perception of the country, its people, policies, politics, and the products that emanate from there.

In this study of the financial return on nation branding, Professor David J. Reibstein, Jeffrey Cai, and Bruce Brownstein of the Wharton SEI Center collaborate with Anna Blender of BAV Consulting. They address the question of how perceptions of a nation impact the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Return on Nation Branding
Jimmy Kimel Live!

2016: U.S. News, WPP’s BAV Consulting, and the Wharton School Release Inaugural Best Countries Rankings

Germany is No. 1 country on overall list, followed by No. 2 Canada and No. 3 U.K.

“Our results were analyzed in correlation with the per capita gross domestic purchasing power parity of each country.”


— Professor David J. Reibstein

“That nations are brands is something we have all known intuitively. [Best Countries] turns this understanding into a data-driven model that demonstrates the direct and indirect impact of nation brands on economies — and offers prescriptive measures for change. We are excited to be part of this ground-breaking project and to help nations and businesses leverage its findings.”


— Professor David J. Reibstein

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland – Jan. 20, 2016 – Germany is viewed as the best country in the world, according to the inaugural Best Countries report, a joint rankings and analysis project of U.S. News & World Report, WPP’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Created to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale, the rankings are the centerpiece of a new web portal called “Best Countries,” launched today at the World Economic Forum.


Canada and the United Kingdom are the No. 2 and No. 3 Best Overall Countries, respectively. The United States places at No. 4, followed by Sweden at No. 5. Nordic nations were highly regarded for their progressive policies and top the most rankings categories. Sweden is recognized as the most modern country, the Best Country to Raise Kids and the No. 1 nation for Green Living. Denmark is named the Best Country for Women.


“Globalization has made the world a competitive place for business, influence and the quality of life,” said Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News. “Just as we have done with universities, hospitals and other institutions, our Best Countries portal will be a global homepage for stories and data to help citizens, business leaders and governments evaluate performance in a rapidly changing world.”


The rankings evaluate 60 nations across 24 rankings lists on a wide range of criteria, from sustainability to economic influence. The United States is named the most powerful country and India has the No. 1 up and coming economy. Germany is the best country for entrepreneurship, while Luxembourg is the most business friendly. Italy is the country with the richest tradition and Brazil is the No. 1 nation to visit. Canada tops the list of countries with the best quality of life.


Best Countries is a product of the most extensive data set ever collected on how nations are perceived globally,” said John Gerzema, CEO of BAV Consulting. “These perceptions contribute to a greater narrative about future drivers and deterrents of economic  prosperity in nations and shape powerful brands that impact a country’s bottom line.”


The 2016 Best Countries methodology uses data gathered from a proprietary perception survey of more than 16,200 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens. “Our results were analyzed in correlation with the per capita gross domestic purchasing power parity of each country,” said David Reibstein, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. U.S. News will regularly supplement the rankings with in-depth content, including interactive data visualization tools, original reporting, videos and op-eds from global experts in government, business and academia.

World Economic Forum
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