Who is he? Professor of sociology at the London School of Economics, Sennett chairs the Cities Programme, studying the impact on our lives of the built environment. An American, Sennett is one of the most powerful analysts writing today on the modern workplace. He is 57.
How did he get here?
The Chicago and Harvard-educated Sennett taught for many years at New York University before taking up his London post. His work on high-pressure, low-trust relationships at work brought him international recognition two years ago.
What he's written
The Corrosion of Character: the personal consequences of work in the new capitalism (1998)
Flesh and Stone: the body and the city in western civilisation (1994)
What they say about him
'Richard Sennett combines the forensic skills of an academic who has a sense of history with those of the social observer of the contemporary scene ... it makes you glow inside,' according to the FT.
'It is hard to feel committed to a corporation that has no defined character, hard to act loyally to an institution that shows no loyalties to you.'
Expect some challenging messages on what it will take to reconnect people and the cities they live in.