Ben Hartley

Ben Hartley
  1. Tell us who you are!

    I’m Australian born, living in Brooklyn with my wife and two boys.  I have lived for over 20 years in New York, as well as a number of years in Paris and London.  I have a great love of travel, culture, spending time with friends, cooking and am generally curious about all things that are new. I speak painfully mediocre French (ask my French wife and long suffering boys), love bike riding and running through new cities and strive to always be open to chance.

  2. What occupies your time right now?

    Right now, I’m spending my time consulting with a number of clients — ranging from an online e-commerce venture to a fascinating art biennale taking place in the desert.  I also serve on two not for profit boards as well as am active with my family and friends.

  3. Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of?

    My career has gone through a number of evolutions.  I have spent roughly a third of my career in the not for profit sector (working at the Guggenheim Museum and other arts organizations); a third of my career establishing and running my own strategic consulting business; and a third of my career running a global culture, luxury and lifestyle media company, as well as a start-up online auction business.  Career highlights include being part of the team to launch new Guggenheim museums in Bilbao, Berlin and Las Vegas; founding a consulting business which ended up with many Fortune 500 companies; and most recently launching a new online auction concept into the market-place.

  4. What does “Social Capital” mean to you?

    It means the interconnected nature of how people, organizations and “things” work together.

  5. What makes you successful in business/in your industry?

    A natural curiosity to learn, explore and connect.

  6. What is/has been your biggest achievement professionally and privately?

    My biggest professional achievement is yet to come, but I’m proud of launching new businesses, building brands and forming strong networks of friends and colleagues around the world.  I have just been contacted about a project taking place in Antartica.  If I think back to how I became connected to this project I have to go back 20 years to someone I met, worked with and remained in contact with ever since.  Privately, my children are my single biggest achievement.  So far, they are well balanced, curious, kind and smart boys, whom always teach me so much about the world and myself.

  7. What skills, experiences or incidences helped you to get you to where you are today? What helped? What hindered?

    I genuinely like people and am interested in their stories.  I like to learn about different experiences, different ways of looking at the world and different ways to solve problems.  I spend a lot of time listening to others, reading and interacting with people outside my circle of knowledge.  I have learned, perhaps later than I should, that you shouldn’t let ego be a driver in your choice of careers, positions and your definition of success.  Find what makes you happy and pursue that, don’t let others form your ideal of happiness.

  8. What are your aspirations as a 1World Mentor for the 1World Social Capital Program?

    I have been fortunate in my life to work with people whom have shared their stories, experiences and knowledge.  It has made me better in many ways.  Yet, their are times when I could’ve desperately used some professional development advice to step back and help me evaluate issues and face challenges.  I hope that I can provide some words of experience and advice that may help others move forward in their lives.

  9. What can you offer your 1World Mentee?

    I have worked in corporate environments, not for profits, and start-ups.  I have experienced the good and bad of the modern work environment.  I have succeeded and failed and hopefully those perspectives will help the 1WorldMentee.

  10. What does your ideal 1World Mentee look like?

    Someone who is committed to this process, is interested in a dialogue and is interested in the world.

  11. What are your aspirations for your 1World Menthe?

    That they can find happiness in work and life.

  12. Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?

    In some instances and environments, yes, I believe that there are impediments to women’s development in the workplace.  There is no one way to break this ceiling, but I believe it is gradually crumbling and I have seen how certain women have achieved it.

  13. If you needed to make a powerful statement about the topic “networking” what would it be?

    Networking is about the connection between people, not for reasons of power, access, money or ego, but for a sense of belonging to something new and possible.