Cultural Insights, Historical Perspectives and Business Strategy


On this episode of "Practical History," I talk with Charles Halvorson, a history PhD, author, and business strategist. With experience that spans work at the boutique cultural consultancy Gemic and the global strategy firm Accenture (where he is currently helping accelerate the energy transition with utilities and other energy ecosystem partners), Charles has much to say about the value of an advanced history degree in the business world. Charles shares his reasons for doing a PhD in history and then for pivoting into the world of management consulting, and his trials and errors along the way. We talk about history as a set of skills but also as a process that involves thinking about change over time, and a useful starting point for thinking about brands and customers. Charles discusses a couple of projects where thinking historically shaped his team's approaches to business problems and his experiences of working on teams with anthropologists and other social scientists. We also talk about how choosing a dissertation topic may shape non-academic career prospects and why history departments (rather than universities) should take the lead in forging robust relationships with their alumni.

Your Host

Patryk Babiracki

Patryk Babiracki is a historian, researcher and writer; professor & MA student advisor at the University of Texas at Arlington. PhD from Johns Hopkins. Promoter of #AppliedHistory: using historical concepts, frameworks, and methodologies to solve real-world organizational problems.

View Profile