FEATURE5 July 2021

Andrew Cannon – Research Hero


The Market Research Society has launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Andrew Cannon has been named one of the Research Heroes for summer 2021. 

Andrew Cannon, executive director, Global Research Business Network

Greg morris_crop

Andrew Cannon co-founded the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) in 2011 with MRS, the Insights Association and The Research Society, connecting research associations in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.

He also launched and leads the GRBN Building Public Trust and GRBN Building Business Impact projects. During Covid-19, he ensured that the national associations remained connected by arranging regional and international workshops on issues of concern.

Cannon was nominated as a Research Hero because: “With a miniscule budget which has required him to devote a considerable amount of his personal time and commitment, GRBN has continued to provide thought leadership throughout the pandemic, including launching the Building Public Trust Survey 2020 and launching new global initiatives on diversity and inclusion, and redefining and resizing the sector.

“As the world continues to change and our sector continues to evolve, the need for GRBN and Research Heroes such as Andrew has never been greater.”

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?

I don’t think it is possible to highlight just one thing, as there are so many perspectives one could take. So if you’ll allow me, I will take just two perspectives.

From an end-client perspective, I see a shift in focus from insights and hindsights to foresights. I see best-in-class insights functions investing the bulk of their budget on researching the future and therefore on generating competitive advantage.

From a research business leader perspective, I see the talent acquisition and development as a key issue: it is a multi-faceted challenge for business leaders in our sector involving challenges related to pay, diversity and inclusion and training, to name a few. 

View the full list of Research Heroes for summer 2021

Research Heroes is an ongoing programme throughout 2021, with a second tranche of Heroes to be published in the autumn.