ESI ThoughtLab and CityAge Team Up to Reinvent Thought Leadership for a Digital-First World

November 6, 2020 (Philadelphia, PA)ESI ThoughtLab, an innovative research firm, is joining forces with CityAge, a leading digital events and networking company, to create 360° thought leadership—a new formula for firms to ensure the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives in a digital-first world.

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed most aspects of business, including thought leadership. The old analytical and networking models, from lengthy research timelines and opinion-based surveys to dense white papers and in-person events, were already losing effectiveness before COVID-19 hit and may now risk becoming obsolete.

While thought leadership tools may change in a post-pandemic world, the goal remains the same: to use compelling analysis to grow business and relationships with targeted executives. Engaging executives in today’s fast-paced digital age requires a richer form of thought leadership—one that draws on visionary thinking, evidence-based analysis, and direct executive engagement, all offered through a digital experience. We call this 360° thought leadership.

ESI ThoughtLab/CityAge 360° formula

Our partnership will combine ESI ThoughtLab’s innovative thought leadership and evidence-based analysis with CityAge’s expertise in digital events and executive networking. This new approach will drive ROI for our B2B clients by integrating five key ingredients:

  1. Analytically driven surveys and tools to understand the practices, plans, and performance results of companies and public-sector organizations, as well as consumer and investor market trends.
  2. Valuable data and actionable insights drawn from ESI ThoughtLab’s array of cost-benefit and leader-laggard analysis, scenario mapping, and economic and social impact models.
  3. Multidisciplinary advisory groups that provide research direction, expert opinion, and forward-looking insights.
  4. Immersive digital formats, such as eBooks, video interviews, benchmarking tools, and microsites, will be used to provide analysis in a compelling and interactive way.
  5. Direct executive engagement and networking, which will use virtual platforms that replicate conference and executive roundtable experiences.

“The pandemic has forever changed the way executives consume analysis and has made traditional thought leadership approaches obsolete,” said Lou Celi, CEO of ESI ThoughtLab. “If the analysis is not timely, actionable, evidence-based, and digital-first, it is useless. If the analytical tools are used just for conducting the research, and not delivering it, then you are leaving money on the table. And in a world where distance matters less, virtual events and digital networking must be front and center.”

“We’re living amid a great digital acceleration, and thought leadership is among the sectors being reinvented,” said Marc Andrew, CEO and Co-Founder of CityAge. “CityAge is now taking a digital-first approach, providing an opportunity to improve methods of business and relationship development: reaching more executives than ever before with the right information at the right time.”

For further information, please contact:

Barry Rutizer, Director of Client Relationships, ESI ThoughtLab
Mobile: 917-251-4190

Lou Celi, CEO, ESI ThoughtLab
Mobile: 917-459-4614


About ESI ThoughtLab: ESI ThoughtLab is the thought leadership arm of Econsult Solutions Inc., a leading economic consultancy. The innovative think tank offers fresh ideas and evidence-based analysis to help business and government leaders understand and respond to economic, industry, and technological shifts around the world. Its team of top economists and thought leaders excels at creating valuable decision support that combines visionary thinking, analytical excellence, and multi-format content.

About CityAge: Founded in 2012, CityAge brings together the people and ideas that are shaping the future in live and virtual events that have been held across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. CityAge facilitates thought leadership and human connection, maintaining a public interest focus in building the future of our cities and society. CityAge welcomes collaborations with the private and public sectors to meet that collective mission to “Build The Future.”