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April Rinne | PDA Speakers

April Rinne

Head of the Sharing Economy Working Group, World Economic Forum

A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and one of the “50 Leading Female Futurists” in the world, April Rinne is equal parts global authority, advocate, ally and adventurer.

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April Rinne has been weaving her own story about how to thrive amid flux, personally and professionally, for as long as she can remember.

Today April is an acclaimed speaker, thinker, advisor and writer. She is known today for her many keynotes each year to business, industry, investment, policy and educational audiences around the world, and for her role as a bridge: between startups and governments, between developed and developing countries, between those excited about change and those resistant to it. She is also an impact investor, mental health advocate, yoga teacher and insatiable handstander. April‘s handstands underscore her upside-down perspective on the world: they help her see differently, stay flexible, and bring joy (and occasionally amazement) to others. Earlier in her career served as a global development executive, microfinance lawyer, and hiking and biking guide.

April holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in International Business and Finance from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. in International Studies and Italian summa cum laude from Emory University. She is a Fulbright Scholar and studied at Oxford (University College; one full academic year), the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the European University Institute (the EU’s premier graduate institution; one full academic year). In 2011 the World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader; she has attended Davos multiple times as well as WEF summits worldwide.

But April’s CV and educational pedigree don’t begin to capture April’s story, her perspective, and her understanding of the world. Both of her parents died in a car accident when she was 20, which threw her into a world of flux. She put the expected path on hold to deal with the aftermath, ultimately letting go of how she thought her own future might unfold. Rather than the Ph.D. her parents expected, or the Wall Street analyst position society expected, she spent several years leading hiking and cycling tours from Puglia to Patagonia, which in turn provided enough income to travel widely (and alone) from the Golden Triangle to the Darien Gap. From there, her unconventional journey took off.

April spent the first half of her career focused on global development and financial inclusion. She was very early to the world of impact investing. She led microfinance teams on four continents, wrote microfinance legislation, was in the vanguard of mobile banking innovation, and created new investment vehicles for the world’s underserved before Muhammad Yunus made microfinance a household term.

When the digital economy and smartphones began to take root, April shifted her focus to how these new platforms could help build more inclusive business and more robust opportunities for income generation. The second half of her career has focused on how this “new” economy and the future of work will play out worldwide, advising numerous startups, established companies, governments, policy makers, financial institutions, educational institutions, think tanks and others along the way.

Taken together, April’s breadth of experience and exposure to other cultures and ways of life provide her with an enormous lens through which to see change. On the one hand, she is as comfortable at Davos as she is talking with microfinance borrowers in an urban slum. On the other hand, she has seen how – regardless of age, income, or background – humans genuinely struggle with navigating the unknown. She is convinced that the disciplines of a Flux Mindset can help.

April brings a practical perspective and a global worldview. She has lived with, advised others on, experimented, researched, prototyped, traveled long and far to experience, speak with and learn from others about how to embrace flux.

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    Topics

    Leadership, Culture, and the Future of Work in a World in Flux

    Future-Forward: New Ways of Learning, Working, Living and Leading in Flux

    The New Economy in Flux

    The Sharing Economy in Flux

    Videos

    How to navigate our uncertain future | April Rinne | TEDxFrankfurt

    April Rinne - Rethinking Humanity's Beliefs (Strategy Skills podcast)

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