Youngme Moon - Dively Frontiers in Globalization Lecture Series

This series is made possible by a grant from the George S. Dively Foundation and is sponsored by the R. A. Ritter Foundation.

Are you different?

If there is one strain of conventional wisdom pervading every company in every industry, it's the importance of competing hard to differentiate yourself from the competition. And yet going head-to-head with the competition, with respect to features, product augmentations and so on, has the perverse effect of making you just like everyone else.

Youngme Moon's message is simply to get off the competitive treadmill that's taking you nowhere. Aspire to offer the world something that is meaningfully different, different in a manner that's both fundamental and comprehensive. In her opening keynote, Moon talks about how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns ... but exceptions rule.

About Youngme Moon:

Youngme Moon is the Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration in Harvard Business School's (HBS) General Management unit. She is the author of the best-selling book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd (Crown Business/Random House, 2010), hailed by Time as “a poetic paean to originality.”


  • Served as chair and senior associate dean for HBS' MBA program
  • Received the HBS Student Association Faculty Award for teaching excellence on multiple occasions
  • Inaugural recipient of the Hellman Faculty Fellowship, awarded for distinction in research


Moon's research and course development focuses on the intersection of business, branding and culture. Her ideas have been published in a variety of journals, including the Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Psychology and the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. She has published and sold more than a million case studies on companies ranging from Microsoft to IKEA to Starbucks. She consults with a range of consumer marketing companies in the area of innovation.

Professional associations

Moon serves on the board of directors of Zulily, Avid Technology and The Honest Company, and is a former member of the board of governors for the American Red Cross. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Yale University. Prior to joining HBS, she was on the faculty at MIT.

She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons. Visit her personal website at

About Dively Frontiers in Globalization Lecture Series

This series is made possible by a grant from the George S. Dively Foundation and sponsored by the R.A. Ritter Foundation. Previous speakers have included: 

  • Walter Robb
  • Sir Ken Robinson
  • Jim Lehrer
  • David McCullough
  • Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey
  • David Gergen
  • Wolf Blitzer
  • Anderson Cooper
  • Judy Woodruff
  • Soledad O'Brien