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Brendan Doherty, Aza Raskin, Rick Ridgeway, Greg Medcraft, Lynn Paine, and John Edelman Deliver Ethical Transformations in Business Panel at Humanity 2.0

Brendan Doherty, Aza Raskin, Rick Ridgeway, Greg Medcraft, Lynn Paine, and John Edelman Deliver Ethical Transformations in Business Panel at Humanity 2.0

Humanity 2.0 Ethical Transformation in Business Panel was delivered by Brendan Doherty, Aza Raskin, Rick Ridgeway, Greg Medcraft, John Edelman, and Lynn Paine at Humanity 2.0 (Vatican City)


  • In 2018, number of people who reported misconduct in workplace rose from 46% to 69%
  • 16% of workers in US reported being pressured to compromise ethical guidelines
  • 76% of general population say they want CEO’s to take the lead on change instead of waiting on government to do it


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Brendan Doherty, Co-founder of Forbes Impact, Aza Raskin, Co-founder of Center for Humane Technology, Rick Ridgeway, VP of Public Engagement for Patagonia, Greg Medcraft, Director of Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs at OECD, Dr. John Edelman, Managing Director of Global Engagement & CSR for Edelman, Prof. Lynn Paine, Prof. of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact:00:00

My names Brendan, Brendan Doherty. I have a company called Big and Chewy. It’s not a cookie company. It’s about backing entrepreneurs for solving the biggest, chewiest problems in the world and helping them to do it more profitably. One of my most recent projects has been with Forbes and heading up and creating a division called Forbes Impact, which is all about how we align our values that our capital. So obviously because it’s Forbes, it’s a lot of content. It’s a whole community that I’ve created. And I’m really excited about some of the folks that we have here today. So Aza Raskin, the co-founder of the center for humane technology. We’ve all met Rick Ridgeway already, VP of public engagement at Patagonia. We have Greg Medcraft, the director of the director for financial and enterprise affairs at the OECD and then John Edelman to his right managing director of global engagement and corporate responsibility at Edelman. And then Lynn Paine, who is a professor of business administration at Harvard business school. Welcome to you all. Okay. I’d like to start, who here knows who Chris Hughes’s. Okay. Who is Chris? And can you tell us a little bit about his recent essay that he wrote?

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 01:30

Powerful essay, right. Came out yesterday, guy who was a cofounder back in the dorm rooms with Mark of Facebook and then also profited heavily from the rise of Facebook. Wrote an essay that basically said that Facebook had as exactly as you said, Mark had the best intentions, but the growth of that company had put a staggering amount of power in the hands of one person. And he went on to say more so than virtually anyone else in the private sector or in government because when you add up the value of Facebook, which today is about a half a trillion that’s about the GDP of the 50 lowest countries on the GDP scale. So, you know, it goes without saying that someone like a Mark Zuckerberg in this case, you know, getting really publicly and directly called out by someone who started his company with him about this idea of consolidating power into one individual who then makes decisions that affect, you know, all of our lives. I mean, I’ve broken up with Facebook probably four times already, so still broken up. I’m still sticking with it.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 02:45

I just want to start there, and I think what we’re going to do if it’s all right with you, is treat this little less like a panel and more like we’re a family in the living room. If it was my family, it would a, there’d be a lot of emotional baggage that would come with this. But, but in this case, I think we’re coming all with some pretty expert views, but also some personal views. I think that’s what I’d love to have come out of this is you know, ethics at its most basic is deeply human and deeply personal. So bringing some of that. But I also want to encourage folks to have a bit more of an interactive conversation as the point as well. So I want to start by saying that I think today it’s no longer acceptable, let’s say to be an oil barren by day and a philanthropist by night.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 03:33

There’s a lot of great institutions that have been built on that premise, on that theory. But it’s one that’s becoming increasingly dated. And yet we’re still trying to figure out how to, as you would say, Lynn, how to have ethics pay and whether ethics does pay or whether it varies or whether ethics should be part of the conversation. Clearly here we think it should be. But in other places, you know, some folks subscribe to the Milton Friedman version of capitalism, which we’ve subscribed to for decades. So I want to start with this idea of a philanthropist by night and an oil Baron by day and ask you, you know, does ethics pay today, Rick? You talked about it. It does, but are there times when it doesn’t? And what do we do in those moments when it doesn’t? Because I think part of it is just being honest about it and jump in who ever would like to start.

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 04:31

I mean just imagine actually to go to the human side of things, what it must feel like to be Mark Zuckerberg. And this I think cause to some of the heart of like the problem with the framing of ethics because ethics is in some ways and unfortunately weak word because it’s defined up here. I think every time you hear ethics you should just replace it in your head with the actual negative impacts of what you’re doing, right? Because otherwise everyone will just talk about, yeah, of course I’m ethical. So if you, I think there’s like an impact washing or an ethics washing that you see as the next step. But imagine being Mark Zuckerberg for his second, your entire self-worth is built up out of this thing that you’ve created, a story you’ve told yourself about it being a great thing for the world. We’re connecting people and now you have a legal responsibility, a legal duty, a fiduciary duty to lie to yourself. Right. That’s the place that he’s in.

Prof. Lynn Paine – Prof. of Business Administration, Harvard Business School: 05:38

If we could just go back to that interesting observation about replacing the word ethics. I’ve been in the field of business ethics for 35 years now. And probably for the first 20 years you couldn’t even use the word because in those early years, if I said I worked in business ethics, the first thing I heard was equip back. Oh, isn’t that an oxymoron? Contradiction in terms. It was sort of a joke. But even in the early nineties, I received an invitation from a large financial services institution to come to speak to the executive team about my research, which at the time was on ethics in organizations. And the request came to me with a condition. And the condition was, we’d love to have you come to talk about your research, but we don’t want you to use the word ethics. So I thought that was interesting. I said, well, why not? And the answer was, well, it makes people uncomfortable. So I thought that was an interesting observation because of these were people who were moving billions of dollars around the world every day and in some ways masters of the universe, but uncomfortable with his idea of ethics.

Prof. Lynn Paine – Prof. of Business Administration, Harvard Business School: 06:56

So I think the word today is much more accepted, but I still think it creates unease. And that was one reason I even suggested to father Phillip that maybe they shouldn’t even be a school of ethics. Maybe there should be a school of sustainability or a school of something because ethics is a component here. Maybe that’s not the best way to position it, but it is a difficult word. And I think you have also, I don’t want to hog the microphone here, but just the, the last point you made about once you become an executive and you have a fiduciary duty to your shareholders and to your company it becomes much more complicated to begin to think about how do these different obligations fit with one another because there’s not a question really a right versus wrong. It’s a question often of right versus right. I’ve got responsibilities to multiple parties. So how then do I have the imagination and the courage and the analytical skills to forge a pathway through these obligations that satisfies them all? So it’s a very different kind of logic than I sometimes think. We think when we read the newspaper and we read, Oh look what happened, they didn’t know right from wrong.

Greg Medcraft – Director Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs, OECD: 08:24

I come at this from probably a different perspective. So I was 30 years an investment banker and I was 10 years on wall street. And then I crossed the Rubicon to become the chairman of the SEC in Australia and headed the world’s securities regulators for a number of years. So it’s quite interesting going from if you want the key part of business to then regulating and thinking about trust and business. Which is really what I think about is on it. I think actually you know, when I was on wall street I never heard the word ethics. Actually it’s become more common nowadays I think. But I do think the world has changed quite dramatically. Cause I do think trust now is the keyword. And what you realize is today you do hear the word trust and values.

Greg Medcraft – Director Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs, OECD: 09:22

And I think the reason for that is in fact the social license because basically I think with the 24-hour media and social media basically the social license is empowered and the community actually now I think is almost more powerful than governments in terms of really shaping business behavior. Because if you don’t actually listen to what social media is telling you about your social license, you may not have customers, you may not actually have workers, you may not have investors. So the world has changed. So I think for, and what’s also, I think really important if you want to get down to it, trust is actually really good for business, right? If it’s actually about long-term value. And you talked about yourselves as a company, there are many companies like you that, you know, we’re companies that actually inspire trust and loyalty. You know, according to OECD studies, we published a study three years ago and we’re just updating it. There was a strong correlation between those businesses and returns on equity and investment. So it’s actually good for business. So, you know, I do think that you know, today more than ever, I think there is a real demand by businesses to actually understand how they get the community to trust them. And ethics and values are an essential part of it.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 10:49

And I think part of it is because technology has allowed us to look further behind the business, right? The conversation, trust me, you know, we’re the brand.

Greg Medcraft – Director Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs, OECD: 11:05

There’s no, there’s no way to hide anymore. Yeah, I can tell you, you know, when I was chairman of SEC, so much of the intelligence that would come to us for enforcement really came from whistleblowers in the community because they were empowered.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 11:13

Yeah. John, I saw that the Edelman put out a trust barometer at one point which I saw. I thought it was pretty, pretty cool and pretty interesting. And just given your background in communication and how in some countries like ours where you know, Twitter and can be, you know, diplomacy by Twitter by hashtag and where trust is a real central issue. Can you talk a little bit about how you see this, for instance, the trust barometer and what role it plays, but then more broadly trust and communications?

Dr. John Edelman – Managing Director of Global Engagement & CSR, Edelman: 11:54

Okay. well, the trust barometer has been around 19 years and for the past years it’s talked about measuring trust business and government. And what the big news this year is that trust in business trust as your employer, the employer is the most trusted of all the other organizations that the trust is benchmarked against which, which has really significance the first time ever in 19 years where the employer is the most trusted, the most trusted to do the right thing, to build a better community and to build a better future. And that’s, that’s a change where, and they’re looking to business to take a lead and trying to take action on, on societal issues. So that is a real opportunity. And the whole opportunity of trust is trust. Talking about your license to operate, one of the prep questions was what is about CSR and sustainability and what is it all about? And actually, it’s moved from a must have and it’s even more, it’s your license to operate being operating as a responsible business, taking into account your environmental impacts, your social impacts, your community impacts, your supply chain impacts.

Dr. John Edelman – Managing Director of Global Engagement & CSR, Edelman: 13:01

All these have magnified. So it’s not, you just, you just can’t be about making the money. You have to be about all these other stakeholders that all influence your perceptions, what you’re all about, what you’re doing. And they can change, you know, who would have thought things happening to people, major communication consulting companies because of employees who are saying, we don’t like what you’re doing in terms of some of the policies people are pulling back from government contracts as an example because the employees are very upset about some of the policies or whatever. But the point is that it’s the employees who are very active as well too. So it’s all these stakeholders and it’s even more the employees. That’s an expectation that you’re doing these things proactively instead of being asked to do it. They want you to lead in that respect.

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 13:52

So here’s I think the bug in this line of thinking, which is that so human centered design, what is the pro like human center design? Like all of our companies use it and yet it still got us into this complete mess. It’s because when you put humans at the center, you’re putting human bugs at the center. There’s this the philosophy of like we’re just giving people what they want this license to operate, right? But when we are trying, like how do our companies, especially Silicon Valley companies like how do we monetize, we monetize based on engagement. So that is the ability to grab your attention. The biggest challenge moving forward. I think the biggest philosophical challenge moving forward is being able to distinguish the difference between what is effective versus what is right. The difference between what people want versus what people can’t help but look at, right?

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 14:49

We can’t help but look at a car crash when you drive by it. Like our physiology turns our heads and we look at it and it of course makes more car crashes. So imagine now there’s an AI algorithm. It’s like, Oh, I guess people love car crashes. I’m going to show them more car crashes, which means of course you’re going to live in a world of car crashes. So let me give like some really specific examples cause I sit on panels with like the, the people that run ethics for say Google. And they talk about these lofty goals. But then I ask like, okay, but you know that your algorithms on YouTube showed Alex Jones his videos 15 billion times. They recommended his videos 15 billion times. Why? Because it was so engaging. Netflix just put out a show called 13 Reasons Why, which glorified suicide. We know from media ethics that you do not publish methods of suicide because it quite literally causes people to kill themselves. Then after 13 Reasons came out indeed suicides spiked is something like 30% in that month.

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 15:55

And you know what Reed’s response was, but it’s really engaging content. People don’t have to watch it. So, you know, when I think that the two archetypal stories that we’re living through right now aren’t this one, be careful what you wish for because you’re going to get it. And to the creators, losing control of their creations. So some examples, right? Like if I’m trying to grab your attention, one way that I might do that is just like ping you a lot, but that’s a lot of work to just change your behavior much easier. It would be for me to change your values. Change how you make choices. It’s not enough for me to just get your attention. I need to addict you to needing attention. So how might an AI figure this out? Our social system might figure this out.

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 16:46

Well, if I could undermine your sense of self-esteem, that would certainly get you addicted to needing attention. How might I do that? Oh, how about if I gave you proof every single day that people like you more if you just look different than you actually do. Oh yeah. That’s a Snapchat filter and 55% of plastic surgeons now in the US report, having seen patients that come in asking to look like their Snapchat filter. So it’s starting to modify people’s fundamental identities. Social media, right. How about if I give you proof of wanting to undermine your self-esteem every single day that people like you more? If you are living a life that wasn’t actually yours right then. I mean everyone knows the social media that you’re seeing a highlight reel of other people’s lives and that creates this comparison sadness. But I think it’s a much deeper thing to realize there’s a disparity between the life that you think you’re living on the outside and on the inside. That’s what leads to depression.

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 17:38

And indeed, we saw that for women suicide written depression rates are sort of holding steady up until around 2013 as social media to get around and it’s climbed from around 17% to 19% in 2013, 2017 when it was 29%. Right. And then look forward just a little bit further. You guys started to play with the Gmail auto-complete feature. It’s actually pretty good. It’s starting to like write a little bit in my voice and I find myself hitting tab more often. What happens in just another couple of years, say two, three. When you start getting analytics that shows that Hey, people like you more, your business is more effective. You’re doing better and getting more responses. If you hit tab, if only your personality was different, just a little than it actually is, right? And then you start to outsource your personality to the machines, which means you’re like, Oh, you know, if I’m directing something difficult or having a different conversation, I’m just going to hit tab. I don’t have to deal with like the whole empathy thing in person because the computer is already doing a better job with me. And then we start to diminish ourselves even more. And when we think about just like the ethics of like the top down, we miss all of these downstream effects. And I think those are the things you should be like laser focused on. Otherwise you sort of get lost in it’s like, Oh, it’s trust though. It’s this thing.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 18:59

I want to jump in with you, Rick. As Patagonia has been obviously been around for a lot of different ups and downs, a lot of different technologies, manufacturing social that have ridden the wave of, and I think timing, we live in a moment obviously where technology is grows at an exponential rate, but our policies generally crawl. But also I think there’s this growing sense that many of the issues we face today where we used to say like, we’re affecting the next generation now we’re affecting actually generations that are here today. Right? It’s no longer a future problem. It’s a now problem. And so I was warned if you could talk a little bit about this idea of how should businesses change. Some say it’s evolutionary age. Supply chains are complicated. Incremental is the best approach and some of that’s actually true. But on the other hand, there’s real fierce urgency around some challenges we face. So how do you see this timing question?

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 20:03

Yeah. I’ve been listening to the panelists trying to think, Oh, how can I tell a story or add value here to this topic of how to encourage companies to act more ethically? And you know, to Lynn’s point, we need to probably define ethics too. And so let me just, there’s a lot of ways to do that, but let’s just for argument’s sake, define it as an in a scope, but I should say to how you get companies to operate more responsibly through their operations and their supply chains to reduce their impact on the planet and increase their social justice. Okay. Let’s call that ethics. So let me tell you a positive story. Something that we’ve actually pulled off. Well we haven’t pulled it off yet, but we’re getting there and, and it’s been a hard task.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 21:02

But 10 years ago we challenged ourselves to convince the apparel and footwear industry to align into a coalition to build tools, to measure their environmental impact through their entire value chain, to measure their commitment to social justice through their entire value chain. And then eventually when we achieved trustworthy data to go public with it, with the theory that would unleash all kinds of drivers in the echo system to incentivize everybody to decrease her environmental impact and increase their social justice. So that would be an ethical outcome. I would increase the ethics of business globally at least in these two sectors. So we did the move of convincing Walmart to partner with us. And then I worked with them to shape up what this would look like. And then this, we had the CEOs of Walmart and Patagonia send out a letter to a dozen other companies and we put the two logos side by side on the letterhead because the CEO’s later told me, you know, when you get a letter with Walmart and Patagonia next to each other, it’s so bizarre that you got to read it and we invite them to, to come in and partner with us.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 22:24

And it worked. We got, you know, a dozen companies to join. And we told the CEOs, listen, we don’t want you guys to show up cause we can’t depend on you to always show up. We want you to point your sustainability leaders to come. And they did. So that was 10 years ago. Now today we have a 275 companies in the group. Collectively they represent a little over half of all production for clothing and footwear on planet earth. That means half of you in the room here have something you’re wearing on your body or your feet made by this group. We’ve achieved the 1.0 version of our tools and some of the tools are a little more developed than that. We closed the deal three days ago to create a software company that the coalition owns to actually continue to develop the software.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 23:21

And here was the really interesting thing. We got everybody to sign up for this, you know, telling them that, you know, as soon as we get to trustworthy data, we’re going to go public with this. And they didn’t know what they were signing up for. That, that was sort of the strategy because transparency is the ultimate achievement in this, that once we verify the data using technology, using AI and other things, I’ve talked to some people here about that already. Then when you go transparent with that data, it’s going to unleash a huge amount of force, both stick and carrot, as I said before, to reduce environmental impact and increased social justice. That’s the theory of change. And we’re just about 18 months away from going transparent and then, you know, on transparency to me that trustworthiness, trustworthy data, you know, facts that you can actually trust as essential. But when you go transparent with that, that will unleash ethical behavior across business. And there’s business value in that. Lynn and I were talking about this at lunch. And that’s the promise to actually scale this. Again, to quote Mark Twain as the previous panel did, Mark Twain reminds us that, you know, the great thing about telling the truth is that you don’t always have to keep remembering what you said.

Dr. John Edelman – Managing Director of Global Engagement & CSR, Edelman: 25:04

My function, corporate social responsibility, Edelman, we didn’t have a function up until nine years ago. And so the journey of what any company can do, my advice would be start doing it because the world has changed and the expectations are higher. So we started doing basic things like having an environmental policy, tracking our greenhouse gases and, and then you build the success. But then, but more importantly, companies have to just take a step. But the second thing is what you’re sharing. There’s a sector specific solution that’s going on everywhere in the world of sustainability. There’s the sustainable apparel coalition there they’re all working on everybody’s environmental impact is different according to what you’re, what you’re all about. So as a sector you have a collective voice to make positive change. And the way things are evolving, there are 77 disclosure standards for the financial standards.

Dr. John Edelman – Managing Director of Global Engagement & CSR, Edelman: 26:01

There’s so each sector has to work together. So you have to take steps going forward. But then the next piece of vices is work across your sector. Cause then you are working as a collective voice because the stakeholders have that expectation. If you’re a collective voice, you want to compete on the solutions, not do you have an environmental policy or do you track your greenhouse gas emissions or do you have a human rights policy? You want to compete on the ideas and the solutions, not the larger things which make it happen. So that’s why a collective impact is very powerful and making change happen and being transparent about it.

Greg Medcraft – Director Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs, OECD: 26:44

I should mention at the OECD, in this business conduct area, there’s three key areas I think that are important that we do around the world is one is in anticorruption, which we have the anticorruption convention where we work all over the world which is a big problem in terms of trust. Secondly, there’s clearly corporate governance where we have the principles of corporate governance where it’s a big issue of getting companies to quickly. But the third area is a little bit to what you were just talking about is responsible business conduct in supply chains. And here in fact, we actually have the convention that’s signed by 40-50 countries that actually has a standard, there is a standard for supply chain due diligence conduct. In fact, we have one I think you might be involved in now footwear and government a coalition around the world. So, but we have that in instructive industries in mineral supply.

Greg Medcraft – Director Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs, OECD: 27:35

And a little bit to the last comment you were saying is that same mineral supply. Now the London metals exchange requires that if you deliver metals to the metals exchange, you’ve actually got to comply with the OECD due diligence standard. So in fact, the metals haven’t been involved using child labor in the supply chain for example or whatever. So I mean there are standards out there. A lot of the time people just don’t even know about them. And also one of the things we’re working on there is taking across those sectors is using blockchain for example, in supply chains. Cause to the point getting more transparency and better data is really important. So there is a lot happening, I guess on the policy side.

Prof. Lynn Paine – Prof. of Business Administration, Harvard Business School: 28:21

I hate playing this role, but I’m going to do, I’m going to throw a monkey wrench into this. So if I listened to all these comments, I would say, gee, we’re in great shape. Let’s go home. Let’s go have a party right now. We don’t need to worry about this. But a couple of weeks ago, I was out in San Francisco for a public discussion of Pacific gas and electric. And that is a company that you may know is a one of the largest utility’s providers in the US and they declared bankruptcy in January. Because of liability, 1700 billion in liabilities related to wildfires in California. It’s being caused called the first climate related bankruptcy because the intensity of the wildfires has increased, the frequency has increased, but the company’s business model and operating practices haven’t really kept up with that change.

Prof. Lynn Paine – Prof. of Business Administration, Harvard Business School: 29:19

And I think that we actually have some pretty serious problems and that while all these things that we’re talking about, these standards and so on, they’re really good and we should do them. My sense is there’s a lot of incremental efforts and then what we really need are some really significant investments in innovation that will produce really sustainable business models and talking serious money now, not just incremental change. In our research, we’ve talked to business executives about, well this is great, your supply chain stuff and we’re glad you’re adhering to this code of conduct, but why aren’t you putting any money into real R and D real innovation? And the answer that often comes back. Now, some are doing it and we can talk about what’s the difference between these groups. But one of the answers that comes back is that my shareholders won’t let me. That is capital markets pressures. And if you look at McKinsey’s work, you see that boards of directors are a real source of pressure, capital markets pressure. And when Rick and I were talking, I said, Hey Rick, if you were a public company, could you do all these things? Probably not a lot of them. So a real question is, there are obstacles here. There are some pressures and these things, while they’re really great, are they really enough to address the serious problems? That’s the question I would raise.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 30:49

One thing, Lynn, I just described this coalition, we put together a Patagonia, but at our company we’re striving to, as you know from my previous talk, do a lot more than just that cause we have to, cause there’s not enough time to depend just on coalition building of a whole industry to get there. You have to lead in other ways. And just to frame it at the highest level at our company, which again is a little bit of a downer on, on the day, is that, you know, people often talk about the KPIs of your business. And at our company, we consider the real KPIs to be the indicators of the health of our planet. It’s living health. It’s the parts per million in the atmosphere. The acidification of the ocean, the deforestation of our forests, of the expansion and desertification of our wetlands, probably the biggest one of all, the continued extinction of the species of wildlife on this planet. Those are our key performance indicators. And everybody in the room knows they’re tanking. So, every day that we come to work, we remind ourselves that we’re not doing enough. We got to be bolder that we’ve got to take even more aggressive and risky action perhaps. But there’s not a lot of time left.

Greg Medcraft – Director Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs, OECD: 32:19

Just from having regulated companies around the world, what you say is absolutely true and invest investors, because one of the things when I talk to investors around the world is that guy, yes, we’re very much focused on ESG risks. And it’s a big concern for us now. But actually when you so at the top level, so you’ve got a black rock, whatever. Yes. With it, you know, it’s part of long-term value. But when you actually talk to companies and they talked about how they’ve discussed with the analysts from BlackRock, they actually go, yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s current corporate thing. Now how are you going to make your next quarter’s results? And you’re quite right. There’s a hell of a lot of what I call a well, we, you know, you’ve got greenwashing. Well I think you’ve got a lot of sustainability washing going on at the moment, which is at the end of the day, it’s actually about the talk and not about action. So I do think it’s a very good issue to call out because it is something I had been hearing a lot more. But it depends where you have the discussion. You have the discussion up here people are talking about, but as we know with culture, sometimes at the top it doesn’t flow to the middle and it can disappear by the bottom. So it’s a very good point.

Prof. Lynn Paine – Prof. of Business Administration, Harvard Business School: 33:35

It’s related to the incentive system that’s put in place in the firms and what the portfolio managers are provided. The incentives are very different.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 35:43

I think one thing that’s also come up is this idea of purists versus pragmatists. And you know, as you were talking Rick about you know, doing something with Walmart. For instance, you know, Gene and I were talking a little bit ago about you know, the most recent criminal justice reform in the United States passed in December of 2018 and that was basically one of the first bipartisan pieces of major legislation that happened in our country in a couple of years. And part of what happened behind the scenes was that you had one of the most unlikely bedfellows. You had van Jones, you know, Scion of the liberal criminal justice reform advocacy, partnering with a guy named Mark Holden. Does anyone know who Mark is? Mark is a general counsel, global general counsel for Koch industries.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 34:32

Koch industries was the group that brought down van when he was appointed to be the greens are for the Obama white house. It was Americans for prosperity that really funded the campaign that brought van down and van and Mark in baby steps ultimately became incredibly intertwined and working collaboratively to pass criminal justice reform. And I think it’s these kinds of very unlikely bedfellows that you know, that we really need to cultivate. It’s almost like a Kellyanne Conway and her husband, right? I mean they, you know, she’s deep in the administration and he’s one of the most vocal critics of Trump and they go home and have dinner. Right? We need to learn from these things and figure out how to navigate those tricky places, but where we overlap. Okay. We’re going to do a last, I think we probably have five minutes. This is part of the spiciness of the panel I talked about earlier. So I’m going to say a sentence that you all are going to finish and we’re going to start with you. One thing I know to be true.

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 35:46

So many ways to go. One thing I know to be true, we seem to have a whole bunch of issues and I’m going to focus mostly on the technology side of things.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 36:09

It has to be like a punchy, succinct answer. Alright. That I know to be true.

Aza Raskin – Co-founder, Center for Humane Technology: 36:12

One thing I know to be true, that while we’ve been upgrading our machines, we’ve been downgrading our humanity.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 36:25

Remedy is the mother of invention. And you just came up with a beautiful phrase, Rick.

Rick Ridgeway – VP of Public Engagement, Patagonia: 36:45

One thing we know to be true is I can’t figure out how to turn my mic on. One thing we know to be true is that parents listen to their kids. And most CEOs of global companies are parents.

Greg Medcraft – Director Directorate for Financial & Enterprise Affairs, OECD: 37:21

One thing I know to be true is that inequality is growing. And unless we do something soon, we’re going to have major problems from my side.

Dr. John Edelman – Managing Director of Global Engagement & CSR, Edelman: 37:25

One thing I know to be true, I think that sustainability has to extend to the small-medium enterprises as the large multinationals to have any impact and positive change. So we’re all speaking the same language and working together on the larger issues.

Prof. Lynn Paine – Prof. of Business Administration, Harvard Business School: 37:46

I guess I take my cues from Socrates and one thing I know to be true is that we don’t know as much as we think we know.

Brendan Doherty – Co-founder, Forbes Impact: 37:55

One thing I know to be true is I’m really grateful to be here. This is such an extraordinary place to bring folks together with such weight behind it. And the other thing I know to be true is that Matt Sanders who I don’t know where he is. He’s in the back, which is actually what I wanted to say, which is that Matt is one of the most quiet, calming, beautiful, heartfelt, intentional people that I know who really doesn’t seek the limelight and yet is through that able to accomplish so much. So that’s what I know to be true is that Matt, you are a gift to this community. I think I know to be true that I’m going to end this panel early. How about that giving you all a minute or two of your time back. Thank you.


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