Michael Pedersen

Michael Pedersen, Founder of M INC. › change the game, is an internationally recognized expert in sport governance, transparency, ethics and integrity. He is an integrity coach, a thought leader and a street volunteer.

An integrity coach with the right strategic approach, expertise and network

In recent years, Michael Pedersen has been focusing on helping sport leaders at all levels of sport and across sports, countries and regions raise the governance standards of their organizations to a best in practice, leadership level.

He is experienced in engaging leaders in business, government, civil society and sport to address sensitive governance challenges such as fighting corruption and in bringing them together in collective action partnerships. Michael is also experienced in devising and implementing integrity management systems to prevent, detect and address integrity issues in national and international organizations. He has an extensive network of leaders in business, government, civil society and sport from around the world.

Michael Pedersen headed the corporate governance initiative of the World Economic Forum, an international partnership with over 175 multinational companies and their CEOs. Among other experiences, he was a Senior Advisor on Business Integrity with Novozymes, the world’s largest manufacturer of enzymes.

Michael holds three MSc degrees; an MSc in Global Leadership from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, taught in collaboration with the Columbia Business School, Wharton School, London Business School and INSEAD; an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice from the School of Management at the University of Bath, United Kingdom; and an MSc in International Relations from the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University, Denmark.

He is of Danish origin and has lived, worked, studied and travelled in many countries and regions. Following almost five years with Geneva, Switzerland as his base, Michael has had a base in Latin America in recent years. He currently lives in Malaga, Spain (for further details, see his LinkedIn profile).

A thought leader, who is also a seasoned speaker and workshop facilitator

During the last 15 years, Michael Pedersen has shared his knowledge as a speaker at more than 100 conferences around the world and continuously undergone advanced public speaking training. He has moderated numerous panel discussions and facilitated a large number of workshops too, for instance at World Economic Forum the Annual Meetings in Davos and sport related summits, conferences and events around the world. Michael’s recent speaking engagements include the following ones (for further information, see the specific links referred to):

Michael Pedersen often shares his perspectives in writing too; in books, journals and online. He recently published an article in Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report on Sport and in Ethical Boardroom Magazine. Michael also publishes an insight series on sport governance and writes contributions for an expert column on sport governance of iSportconnect, the world’s largest online network of sport business executives. His written contributions include numerous case studies on evolving good governance practices in specific sport organizations around the world (for further information, see the website section about evolving good practices).

A street volunteer, who is also a passionate athlete

Michael Pedersen is passionate about sport and strives to do sports twice a day. Sport has and continues to play an important role in his life, mainly because of the fun and social element of doing sports, but also because of its power to create physical and mental wellbeing. During his childhood, he focused on badminton and swimming at a competitive level. While at university and after, Michael concentrated on running and kayaking. He ran the New York City Marathon in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In recent years, Michael Pedersen has mainly pursued cross-country skiing, trekking, salsa dancing, boxing and spinning. When he was based in Switzerland, Michael completed Tour de Mont Blanc in 2008 and Engadin Ski Marathon in 2009. He climbed Bishorn (4,153 m) in 2007 and Weissmies (4,017 m) in 2008.

Michael Pedersen is a great believer in the unique power of sport in building qualities of character, life skills and systemic, positive societal change. He enjoys working with children and learning from their unbiased feedback and their ability to focus on getting the most out of the moment. Following six months of volunteer work with street children in Medellin, Colombia, which inspired him to establish M INC., Michael continuously strives for devoting at least one day a week to volunteer work with disadvantaged children and youth (for further information, see the website section about M INC.’s giving-back philosophy).


World Economic Forum

Under Michael Pedersen’s leadership as the Head of the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, an international corporate governance partnership with over 175 multinational companies and their CEOs, good governance became a key priority in World Economic Forum activities, including at events such as the Annual Meetings in Davos and various regional meetings.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Anti-Corruption, tasked to shape the global agenda, strategically placed the challenge of good governance as a process issue to be addressed as part of successfully tackling any global issue. The Council counted CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies, heads of international civil society organizations, secretary-generals of international organizations and ministers and heads of state among its members.

The International Business Council, the most prominent World Economic Forum community at a CEO level, provided public policy recommendations on good governance in the context of the French G20 Presidency’s activities to implement the G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan. Recommendations included the creation of collective action and multi-stakeholder partnerships as well as devising positive incentives to encourage and reward leadership by companies.

The Partnering Against Corruption Initiative gained momentum and became widely recognized as one of the leading international corporate governance partnerships, mainly because of the following results:

  • Increasing the number of signatory company CEOs by almost 50 per cent; new signatories included substantially more Fortune Global 500 companies and companies based in non-OECD countries.
  • Initiating impact through collective action partnerships developing scalable and replicable solutions to address root cause challenges; such partnerships included a pilot project to address transparency at customs in Vietnam and the launch of a local good governance network for small and medium-sized companies in Mongolia.
  • Enabling sharing and shaping of international best practice by convening two unparalleled annual gatherings of senior executives in the signatory companies in a highly engaging and innovative meeting design context, including unparalleled business discussions with law enforcement authorities and civil society organizations.
  • Facilitating a process that led to the main international corporate governance partnerships further aligning, coordinating and supporting each other’s efforts.
  • Undergoing further institutionalization, including strengthened processes for accepting and delisting signatories, rights and responsibilities for board members, and more industries represented on the board at the CEO level.


Under Michael Pedersen’s leadership as a Senior Advisor on Business Integrity with Novozymes, a business integrity management system was devised and implemented throughout the international organization of the world’s largest manufacturer of enzymes.

The management system was especially recognized internationally for:

  • Being principles-based.
  • Stemming from a long internal process chaired by the vice president of sales.
  • Integrating new processes and checks and balances into existing management systems.
  • A creative launch with personalized letters to all business partners and a comic-like booklet entitled “Bribery – No Thanks!” that served as a means of both policing employees and making them feel proud of the company.