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Sven Smit

Chairman and Director, McKinsey Global Institute, and Senior Partner, Amsterdam
Leads research on economic and business trends and works with companies to develop business strategies and transformations

Über Sven

Sven is a senior partner at McKinsey, chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey's business and economics research arm, and a member of the firm’s global leadership team, overseeing the firm's knowledge development.

Sven works with leading companies to develop strategies for growth, serving all industries. Analyzing the success factors required for business growth, examining the way megatrends influence it, and defining the lessons of diversified growth, he builds on the ideas in Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick (2018) and The Granularity of Growth (2008), two books he co-authored.

As chair of MGI he leads research and authors MGI reports on global economic trends and topics such as productivity and growth, urbanization, innovation and technology, labor markets and the Future of Work, emerging markets, and Europe's economic outlook.

He helps develop the firm’s point of view on core issues such as economic volatility, inflation, and uncertainty, and defines ways to help clients navigate the problems. Previous roles Sven has held within McKinsey include leading the firm’s work in Western Europe and the global Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice. Sven holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Delft University of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD. Prior to joining McKinsey in 1992, Sven worked at Philips Research Laboratories in measurement and control as an engineer and researcher. He contributes to society through NL2025, an initiative committed to a better future for the Netherlands.


The state of burnout for women in the workplace,” McKinsey & Company, January 2022

COVID changed work but will that change last forever?,” Podcast: Bloomberg, April 2021

Published work

Economic conditions outlook, June 2022,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

"Human capital at work: The value of experience," McKinsey & Company, June 2022 

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, May 2022,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2022

War in Ukraine: Twelve disruptions changing the world,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, April 2022,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2022

Securing Europe’s future beyond energy: Addressing its corporate and technology gap,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2022

Navigating inflation: A new playbook for CEOs,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2022

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, March 2022,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

The path to sustainable and inclusive growth,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

The rising toll of the war in Ukraine,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

Economic conditions outlook, March 2022,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

War in Ukraine: Lives and livelihoods, lost and disrupted,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, February 2022,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, January 2022,” McKinsey & Company, February 2022

The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring,” McKinsey & Company, January 2022 

The CEO agenda in 2022: Harnessing the potential of growth jolts,” McKinsey & Company, January 2022

The rise and rise of the global balance sheet: How productively are we using our wealth?,” McKinsey Global Institute, November 2021

Solving the net-zero equation: Nine requirements for a more orderly transition,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

Our future lives and livelihoods: Sustainable and inclusive and growing,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2021

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, September 2021,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, June 2021,” McKinsey & Company, July 2021

Why your COVID-19 exit needs ‘strategy inserts,’” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Getting tangible about intangibles: The future of growth and productivity,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2021

Looking beyond the pandemic: Could the world economy gain more than it lost to COVID-19?,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, May 2021,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

A new look at how corporations impact the economy and households,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2021

How keeping health a priority is a prescription for European prosperity,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2021

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, April 2021,” McKinsey & Company, May 2021

Pathways for productivity and growth after the COVID-19 crisis,” VOX EU, May 2021

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, March 2021,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Will productivity and growth return after the COVID-19 crisis?,” McKinsey Global Institute, March 2021

The consumer demand recovery and lasting effects of COVID-19,” McKinsey Global Institute, March 2021

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, February 2021,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

The future of work after COVID-19,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2021

Navigating through change: An interview with NXP Semiconductors’ Kurt Sievers,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, December 2020,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Strategic conversation with Sven Smit on a new social contract,” Video - Friends of Europe, January 2021

COVID-19 has revived the social contract in advanced economies - for now. What will stick once the crisis abates?,” McKinsey Global Institute, December 2020

What's next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries,” McKinsey Global Institute, November 2020

As you return from the summer break, can you lead toward a COVID-Exit?,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

India’s turning point: An economic agenda to spur growth and jobs,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Risk, resilience, and rebalancing in global value chains,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Banking system resilience in the time of COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

Reinventing dynamism: An in-depth look at the future of work in Europe beyond the pandemic,” OECD Forum, July 2020

Ten innovations that can improve global health,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

The great acceleration,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Prioritizing health: A prescription for prosperity,” McKinsey Global Institute, July 2020

Crushing coronavirus uncertainty: The big ‘unlock’ for our economies,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

In the tunnel: Executive expectations about the shape of the coronavirus crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Europe needs to prepare now to get back to work—safely,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

An instant economic crisis: How deep and how long?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Getting ahead of the next stage of the coronavirus crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Critical care capacity: The number to watch during the battle of COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Safeguarding our lives and our livelihoods: The imperative of our time,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Advanced economies' missing link,” Project Syndicate, February 2020

The new social contract in the 21st century,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2020

From promise to delivery: Overcoming the strategy problem in the public sector,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

Eurozone unemployment falls to a ten-year low,” McKinsey & Company, February 2019

Eight shifts that will take your strategy into high gear,McKinsey Quarterly, April 2018

Strategy to beat the odds,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2018

Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick, John Wiley & Sons, 2018

The brightening mood of European business—and what it means for investment,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2017

Shifting tides: Global economic scenarios for 2015-25,” McKinsey & Company, September 2015

The outlook for global growth in 2015,” McKinsey & Company, March 2015

What strategists need: A meeting of the minds,” McKinsey Quarterly, September 2014

Unearthing the sources of value hiding in your corporate portfolio,” (PDF-280 KB) McKinsey on Finance, Autumn 2013

Are you beating the market?,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2013

The strategic yardstick you can’t afford to ignore,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2013

Understanding Asia’s conglomerates,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2013

The perils of best practice: Should you emulate Apple?,” McKinsey Quarterly, September 2012

Managing the strategy journey,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2012

Have you tested your strategy lately?,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2011

The Granularity of Growth, John Wiley & Sons, 2008

Past experience

Philips Research Laboratories
Engineer, researcher



Delft University of Technology
MA, mechanical engineering