The House of Beautiful Business Hosts Conversations, Experiments, and Performances on the Rehumanization of Work

The House of Beautiful Business is driven by the belief that we humans must do our work more beautifully in order to thrive in a global economy transformed by AI and automation. It will serve as salon, stage, and sandbox for people who want to explore the rehumanization of work in a playful and intimate setting. 

The House will bring together business and nonprofit leaders, start-up founders, investors, writers, philosophers, scientists, designers, technologists, artists, and others to discuss and prototype how to lead with purpose and passion; how to build human companies and workplaces; and how to design for deeper connections in an age of exponential change and massive societal disruption.

Among others, the preliminary line-up of speakers and contributors includes Dennis Mortensen, founder and CEO of; Keira Havens, co-founder and CEO of Revolution Bioengineering; David Okuniev; co-Founder and co-CEO of Typeform; novelist Aditi Khorana (The Library of Fates); Rachel Sibley, VP of Product Marketing at Leap Motion; INSEAD professor and leadership expert Gianpiero Petriglieri; Arun Chaudhary, who worked as digital storyteller in the Obama White House and for Bernie Sanders; Haje Jan Kamps, the co-founder and CEO of LifeFolder, a start-up that facilitates end-of-life conversations with chatbots; the performance artist Helene Lundbye Petersen, who’s currently the artist-in-residence at the Danish Parliament; Christoph Knorn, Global Director, Employer Branding, Siemens; Julia von Winterfeldt, the founder of SOULWORX and the Humans of New Work movement; Sophie Devonshire, CEO of Caffeine Partnership; and Martin Harrison, a marketer and philosopher at AI consultancy Kortical, who will present “The Idiot’s Guide to AI.”

Topics will cover the diverse relationships between humans and technology and range from the rehumanization of business, business romance, and conscious capitalism, to the role of the humanities in strategy, artificial emotional intelligence, and the future of identity. Programming will include keynote talks and fireside chats, debates, panel discussions, games and simulations, Live Action Role Plays, Socratic dialogues, workshops, art installations, social experiments, performances, field trips to Lisbon’s beautiful businesses, breakfasts, dinners, and silent (as well as not so silent) parties.

The House of Beautiful Business will take place in two locations: The Studio and The Palacio. The Studio is the main event and co-working communal space on Rua Ivens, in the heart of Lisbon’s central and pulsating Chiado neighborhood. It will be open every day from early morning to late at night, catered by a chef-in-residence with family-style meals. The Palacio is a palace (Palacio de Conde de Óbidos) in the Lapa district of Lisbon, and the venue for select signature events throughout the week.

The House will launch with workshops and dinners on Friday, November 3rd at The Studio and with a public debate on “Next Start-up: Humanity” at The Palacio on Saturday. On Sunday, November 5th, the Conference of Beautiful Business will present a special full-day program featuring keynotes and panels, to take place at The Palace.

“We are excited about the opportunity to create a space to both reflect on as well as play and experiment with the future of business,” said Tim Leberecht, co-founder and co-CEO of The Business Romantic Society. “When we hosted the inaugural House of Beautiful Business during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, we were encouraged by the enthusiastic response. In Lisbon, we will maintain the same personal atmosphere, while at the same time expanding the playing-field. The House is like a guild of soul-searchers in the age of machines, but it’s not a matter of technology vs. humanity but rather humanity through technology.”

Martin Reeves, the Director of the BCG Henderson Institute, said: “It is time for an optimistic antidote to the doom and gloom we often hear regarding AI and the future of work. It is clear that the rules have changed, but we are keen on co-creating a positive vision for the future of business that makes the combination of exponential technology and humanity more than just the sum of the parts. To do so, we must look beyond conventional thinking and allow for unorthodox perspectives from multiple disciplines. There is no passive forecast for the future of work—it will be what we make it, and that begins with imagination of what we want it to be.”

Early-bird ticket sales for the House have started. Attendees can either purchase Membership Passes for the whole week with access to all programs; special day-passes for the Conference of Beautiful Business on Sunday, November 5th; or tickets for select events taking place at the House throughout the week. The launch event and the closing party are free.

Other partners of the House of Beautiful Business include Siemens, A Hundred Years, Typeform, Indeed Innovation, SoulWorx, K Street Partners, and Gat Rooms.

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About The Business Romantic Society

The Business Romantic Society helps leaders and organizations identify and articulate their visions and translate them into transformation narratives, emotionally gripping experiences, and human-centered growth strategies. It also incubates products, services, and platforms that make business more beautiful. With a presence in Berlin and San Francisco, we work with Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, start-ups, and nonprofits in Europe and the US. Clients include Airbus, Himalayan Children Charities, Indeed Innovation, Ipso, Launchpad Central, National Head Start Association, Otto Group, Vitra, World Investment Conferences, and Ziba Design, among others.

About BCG and the BCG Henderson Institute

The BCG Henderson Institute is the Boston Consulting Group’s internal think tank, dedicated to explore and develop new valuable insights from business, science, technology, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. It engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. Current research themes at the Institute include the intersection of strategy, gaming, and neuroscience, strategy and artificial intelligence, growth and resilience, the lost art of CEO reflection, diversity and performance, new bases of competitive advantage, the rehumanization of corporations, corporate longevity, and economic complexity.


Jaimie Stettin 

The Business Romantic Society

Amanda Wikman

BCG Henderson Institute