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James D. Thompson Headshot

James D. Thompson

James D. Thompson is cofounder and director of the Wharton Social Enterprise Program. His areas of research focus are social entrepreneurship, building future markets, and investment under conditions of high, or near-Knightian, uncertainty. He has worked in Africa for more than two decades, with firms ranging from small to large, across multiple business sectors. Jim teaches in Wharton Executive Education programs and works with management teams around the world to design and execute organic growth strategies that increase the value of their firms. Prior to joining the academic world, Jim was a divisional director of a public company, responsible for business unit turnarounds and new market development. He currently serves on the executive board of a venture capital–funded company in Philadelphia and is on the investment advisory committee of a Swiss social entrepreneurship investment fund.

Jim has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Management, Long Range Planning, Management Science, Organization Science, and The Research-Technology Management Journal. He is a recipient of Best Paper Awards in innovation by the European Business School and the Thought Leader category of the Entrepreneurship Division at the U.S. Academy of Management.

Course by the author

Wharton Executive Education 

By the Author

The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook, Expanded Edition Cover Image