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Lunch Dialogs: 2018 Moderators

Amy Aines, Chief Culture Strategist, Waterhouse Brands, and CEO, Damianakes Communications

Amy Aines improves leadership effectiveness and business performance through communications. She is a culture architect, messaging strategist, storyteller, speaker coach and reputation builder. Amy honed her skills directing communications and public relations for telecommunications and mobile phone companies for 20 years and from nearly two decades at the helm of her boutique consulting firm. For Amy, words matter. With them she builds success cultures and helps leaders become more disciplined and conscious of their ability to make the world – starting with their own workplace – a better place. Since 1999 her work as CEO of Damianakes Communications has motivated employees and contributed to the success of a multitude of biotech, healthcare, telecommunications and technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today she is Chief Culture Strategist for Waterhouse Brands and the co-author of Championing Science: How to Communicate Your Ideas to Decision Makers, slated for publication by University of California Press in late 2018.

Statement: Companies are stepping up to the call to contribute to society and use purpose as the North Star that guides corporate decisions. Matt Damon’s Super Bowl appeal to buy a Stella Artois chalice to support Water.org, Unilever’s sustainability efforts launched in 2010 and WalMart’s Project Gigaton to reduce their supply chain emissions are notable examples. Smaller scale yet similarly impactful, are the local community and supplier benefits that criminal defense lawyer, turned chocolate maker, Shawn Askinosie has delivered. He founded Askinosie Chocolate with a commitment to fairness, sustainability, minimal environmental impact and community enhancement.  Given the state of government programs, problems in the world, and the altruistic expectations of millennials, we think it’s time for more companies to follow their lead. Can tax savings provide a new funding source with the potential to inspire a movement? We believe that BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink is right “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

_________________________________________

Question: What will it take to motivate companies to invest anticipated tax savings to make a meaningful impact on society?

Discussion Points:

  1. What can be done to mobilize leaders to use tax windfall funds to help employees thrive AND create greater brand allegiance?
  2. What criteria should companies use to decide where to get involved to make a meaningful difference?
  3. What kind of results/metrics are needed to prove to leaders and investors that companies will do well by investing saved tax dollars in doing good?

Pre-reads:

Larry Fink’s letter to CEOs | BlackRock

Steps CEOs Can Take to Invest the Corporate Tax Cut for Social Impact

Unilever’s Sustainable Living brands continue to drive higher rates of growth

Creating Is About Taking One Step to Re-Imagining Leadership: Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Melissa Anderson, Public Good Software, Founder

Melissa is the Co-founder and President of Public Good Software, the platform for civic action which connects people to actions they can take to create change in the moment that they are inspired. Under Melissa’s leadership, Public Good has become the most widely used tool for connecting media to civic action. Past accolades include being named as a Civic Leader by the Air Force Chief of Staff and a “Wonder Woman of Chicago” by IdeaForge. She is an experienced, dynamic speaker as seen at the Online News Association Conference, The White House MSOY annual awards, The Pentagon Channel, and The Working Mother 100 Best Companies Annual Conference and Gala. Melissa is also a mentor for TechStars in Chicago and serves as the President of the Auxiliary Board at the Chicago Children’s Museum.

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Question: Today’s consumers are overwhelming switching to brands that align with their social and environmental concerns: 87% of consumers pick between competitive products based on whether or not the competing brands align with their social and environmental concerns*. Do companies need to transform to align themselves with social causes to thrive or is CSR enough?

Discussion Points

  1. Are CSR and sustainable practices are enough, or do employees & consumers want more?
  2. How do brands choose an issue that is authentic and defensible? Or must they take a stand on multiple issues?
  3. What KPIs might be be useful in evaluating authentic CSR? E.g. Does social impact equity help you when you have other business crises? Do customers give you the benefit of the doubt?

Pre Reads:

2017 Cone Communications CSR Study

Authentic All The Way Down

David Bank, CEO and Editor, ImpactAlpha

David Bank is the CEO and editor of ImpactAlpha, “investment news for a sustainable edge.” ImpactAlpha serves the growing marketplace of investors and entrepreneurs who generate financial returns through the creation of social and environmental value. The Brief, ImpactAlpha’s daily newsletter, has become the go-to source for the growing community of “agents of impact.” ImpactAlpha’s ImpactSpace database, aka “CrunchBase for impact,” is an open-data directory of ventures, funds, deals and people. As a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, David covered software, cybersecurity and philanthropy. His book about Microsoft, “Breaking Windows,” was named one of the best business books of the year by the Harvard Business Review and Amazon.com. Later, as vice president of Encore.org, he developed the campaign around encore careers, second acts for the greater good.David was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and UC Santa Cruz.

Statement: Entrepreneurship is all the rage in Silicon Valley and coastal hubs but, across the country, new business starts are at a 40-year low. Making entrepreneurship work as a way to drive real job-creation and bottom-up prosperity across the country requires new business strategies and new financing structures. A growing cohort of what ImpactAlpha calls “The New Revivalists” are building entrepreneurial ecosystems and savvy investors are awakening to opportunities in cities and towns underserved by traditional VC and other sources of capital.

“As Indie.vc’s Bryce Roberts says, it’s not about how much you can raise, it’s about how little. It’s not about how fast you grow, but whether you can grow sustainably”.

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Question: Startup fever is at epidemic levels in SV but it hasn’t reached the rest of the country. What is needed in order to scale economic opportunities created by entrepreneurialism to underserved people, geographies, and industries?

Discussion points:

  1. How are “underestimated entrepreneurs” generating new business opportunities?
  2. How can “inclusive gentrification” create wealth (rather than displacement) for a neighborhood’s current businesses and residents?
  3. What strategies are working for building entrepreneurial ecosystems in unlikely places?

Pre-reads:

New Revivalists: The people, places and policies reviving entrepreneurship — and the American Dream

Deanna Brown, President, TYT Networks

A 30-year digital and content visionary, recognized for delivering extraordinary growth and innovation including scale via new properties and content types, Deanna is a driven culture architect that builds pro active, dynamic teams necessary to respond to business changes and opportunities. Deanna Brown recently assisted Broadway Video Ventures in the launch of a modern mystical service, Sanctuary Ventures Inc. Prior, Deanna served as Guide Spark’s, Senior Vice President, Content. Deanna most noted for her role as CEO of Federated Media Publishing among other key innovation roles. In 2009, she served as President at Scripps Networks Digital, where she led the charge on bringing Scripps more fully into the digital space. In 1995 she co-founded CondeNet, the digital division of publisher CondeNast. She has also held VP and General Manager titles at Yahoo and AOL, and founded other successful media companies including Powerful Media/Inside.com and Gaming Industry News. Brown began her career as a member of a small L.A. advertising agency upon graduation from the University of Southern California. She has more than three decades of experience as a seasoned media executive, entrepreneur and Fortune 500 executive.

Statement: The role of media has changed as a result of, and reaction to, the information age and the parties involved. There is both opportunity and threat around these changes- issues like  journalist transparency and subjectivity v. objectivity; new business models & content economics are all in play. If there are biases that differentiate brands bringing us news, shouldn’t they be transparent? Or is the news media supposed to just “report”? Is that even possible? And, as media is figuring this all out, shouldn’t wrestling with these issues be transparent as well? We believe audiences are owed this level of insight & inclusion.

_________________________________________

Question: Historically the 5th estate (bloggers, journalists publishing in non-mainstream media outlets etc.) were considered part watchdog, part community informant. Has this evolved? If so, why, and to what?

Discussion points:

  1. What is the role of media in an information society?  Does the media have a responsibility to help educate/inform the general public?
  2. Is the media inherently biased? Are they transparent about their bias/coverage? What is the import of authenticity and voice news media?
  3. Is there another model or way of thinking about the media in the context of government/politics?

Pre-reads:

Analyzing the Media’s Role in the Political Process 

How Social Media is Ruining Politics 

Media and Politics in the Age of Trump

Do social media threaten democracy?

 

Jessica Federer, Innovayte, CEO
Recognized as one of the top 100 global CDOs, a “Power-Lady” of the German economy, and a leading Health Tech Influencer, Jessica Federer is adept at translating digital developments into meaningful advancements for business and society. She serves as an advisor for private technology companies and is on the m-Powering Development Advisory Board for the UN Agency for Information and Communications Technology (ITU). Previously, Federer was the first Chief Digital Officer and worldwide head of Digital Development at Bayer, a global life sciences leader in the areas of human, animal and plant health. While at Bayer, she held positions in Global Regulatory Affairs, Market Access, Communications and Public Affairs. She started her public health career as an analyst at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the US Department of Health and Human Services. Federer earned a Bachelor of Science from the George Washington University, and a Master of Public Health from Yale. She and her husband live in New York City.

Statement: Across industries in the US today, individuals rise to meet, and exceed certain standards of competency..  But there is no competency standard to be an elected representative in the United States. We have suitability tests for other roles in our society (bus drivers, pilots, engineers, teachers, surgeons, etc.) that at some point or another hold our lives in their hands.  Why not take the same approach for the individuals that are responsible for our opportunity, our independence, and our livelihood?  We cannot change the system overnight, but we can take steps today to prioritize competency through endorsement and funding incentives.

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Question: Should candidates running for elected office be encouraged to demonstrate the same competency as the citizens they represent (e.g. a naturalization exam) and the government employees they lead (foreign service exam) in order to receive endorsements and contributions?

Discussion points

  1. New citizens must pass the naturalization exam. Americans working in our Foreign Service must demonstrate knowledge, character, and physical, mental, and financial competence. Is it fair to incentivize candidates to pass both the naturalization and foreign service exam before receiving endorsements and contributions?
  2. What is the minimum standard that should be met by individuals serving their nation in elected office?
  3. How can we encourage: organizations who endorse, media who cover, and political parties who support request that candidates take the exams before giving an endorsement or donation?

Pre-reads:

John Adams, Thoughts on Government

US Citizenship Exam (Interactive)

(PDF Questions + Answers)

Foreign Service Exam

Julia Freeland, Founder, REvolve YOU

Julia is an entrepreneur, a mom, and a catalyst for change who is passionate about helping people reinvent so they are relevant in the future. She empowers her clients to look beyond what they know, open to possibilities, and learn to thrive in change. Her own varied career has spanned the worlds of engineering, law, academia, entertainment, counter-terrorism, parenthood, construction, and high-tech. Julia holds an MA in Education from U.C. Berkeley, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University, and has studied Organizational Behavior at Kellogg School of Management, Leadership Development at Northwestern University, and leadership psychology with Pathwise.

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Question:  Beyond learning tech skills, how do we need to adapt to be competitive in a rapidly changing future?

Discussion Points

  1. Besides tech skills, what will be the most valuable skills in the future?  Why?
  2. How are you developing these skills today?  How can we encourage future development of them?
  3. What would your biggest hurdles be if you had to retrain for a new career?
  4. What can you do to ensure your own relevance and that of your employees?

Pre-reads:

Articles and Reports on Reskilling from the World Economic Forum:

The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

6 reasons to be optimistic about the future of work

Can ‘soft skills’ save your job from the robots? Your best comments on the future of work

Dan Gilbert – “The Psychology of Your Future Self”

Kathryn Schulz – “On Being Wrong”

Carol Dweck – “The Power of Believing That You Can Improve”

Kelcey Gosserand, Founder, Trellis

Kelcey is a pioneer in the blockchain landscape entering the scene as an early investor and participant in the crypto-economy. She lends her expertise to blockchain-related event strategy, marketing communications, and investor relations. She has executed successful campaigns for a number of regions including APAC, Europe, and the US.

Kelcey is the Founder of Trellis, a platform dedicated to building the world’s largest community of blockchain professionals and are the creators and organizers of the inaugural ICOnference. With a career spanning more than 10 years in tech and innovation, Kelcey has worked with and advised startups of various stages as well as multinational companies. She is preparing the launch of Blockchain to the People, a news site and aggregate geared towards elevating the narrative of blockchain from “crypto-mania” to that of a social justice and civically engaged stance. She is also an active board member for a number of enterprise startups in NYC.

Statement: Innovation is at the heart of the future of work and technologies such as blockchains and its role in the creation of a decentralized internet can have positive impacts on the labor market. We often talk of the future of work as “robots replacing workers” but there exists technology that opens new opportunity in the workforce – is blockchain one of these?

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Question: How can/will blockchain technology impact the way we hire, work, train, and staff in the near future?

Discussion points:

  1. How might blockchain potentially address inequities in pay, reskilling the workforce for the new economy, or the gig-economy?
  2. For those businesses that rely on creativity, does blockchain threaten the human element of transacting business?
  3. How viable is it for businesses to pare down tactical staff, and even higher up positions if a permanent source of control and truth existed and could be accessed at any time? (e.g . those that manage the contracts, agreements, etc., which would be contained (permanently) within the blockchain).

Pre-reads:

The bitcoin white paper
The blockchain paradox
Is HR Ready for Blockchain Technology?
Will blockchain disrupt the HR technology landscape?
How Blockchains Could Change the World
Can Basic Income Plus The Blockchain Build A New Economic System?

Kimberly Kraemer, Founder, CEO and Chief Brand Strategist, Waterhouse Brands

Kim Kraemer is a passionate brand strategist and executive consultant with more than 25 years of experience from the healthcare, life sciences, medical device and information technology sectors.

Kim brings extensive in-house and agency experience most recently as Managing Director for W2O Group, a multi-national agency where she led business design, brand strategy and market positioning efforts for emerging companies. Using her exclusive ALIGN Methodology as a tool to spark individual or organizational inquiry, analysis, positioning and planning, Kim helps executives translate their aspirations into successful leadership and organizational strategies that drive business performance.

During her career, Kim held executive positions at Tercica and McKesson, as well as senior communications roles at Chiron (Novartis) and Heartport, and has spent much of the past decade as a consultant orchestrating corporate brand and product launch initiatives to drive growth and value creation for numerous companies, including Adamas Pharmaceuticals, BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Exelixis, Gilead, Nuelle, Tethys Biosciences, Tercica, RocketFuel, Meteor and Omada Health.

Statement: Companies are stepping up to the call to contribute to society and use purpose as the North Star that guides corporate decisions. Matt Damon’s Super Bowl appeal to buy a Stella Artois chalice to support Water.org, Unilever’s sustainability efforts launched in 2010 and WalMart’s Project Gigaton to reduce their supply chain emissions are notable examples. Smaller scale yet similarly impactful, are the local community and supplier benefits that criminal defense lawyer, turned chocolate maker, Shawn Askinosie has delivered. He founded Askinosie Chocolate with a commitment to fairness, sustainability, minimal environmental impact and community enhancement.  Given the state of government programs, problems in the world, and the altruistic expectations of millennials, we think it’s time for more companies to follow their lead. Can tax savings provide a new funding source with the potential to inspire a movement? We believe that BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink is right “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

_________________________________________

Question: What will it take to motivate companies to invest anticipated tax savings to make a meaningful impact on society?

Discussion Points:

  1. What can be done to mobilize leaders to use tax windfall funds to help employees thrive AND create greater brand allegiance?
  2. What criteria should companies use to decide where to get involved to make a meaningful difference?
  3. What kind of results/metrics are needed to prove to leaders and investors that companies will do well by investing saved tax dollars in doing good?

Pre-reads:

Larry Fink’s letter to CEOs | BlackRock

Steps CEOs Can Take to Invest the Corporate Tax Cut for Social Impact

Unilever’s Sustainable Living brands continue to drive higher rates of growth

Creating Is About Taking One Step to Re-Imagining Leadership: Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Peter Leyden, Founder & CEO, Reinvent

Peter Leyden is the Founder and CEO of Reinvent, a media company that engages top innovators in deep conversations about solving complex challenges and then creates media about their big ideas. He is the host of What’s Now: San Francisco, a monthly event showcasing thought leaders from leading centers of innovation throughout the Bay Area. In the past Leyden worked for several innovative organizations that helped reinvent the fields of media, business and politics: He was managing editor at Wired magazine that helped introduce the digital revolution in the 1990s. He worked at Global Business Network, the pioneering think tank helping corporations and governments plan for the future. He was founding director of the New Politics Institute that helped those in Washington transition to politics on the Internet. Leyden frequently gives keynote talks on new technologies and trends shaping the future. He is the coauthor of two books: The Long Boom and What’s Next. Leyden started his career as a journalist, including serving as a special correspondent for Newsweek magazine in Asia. He has spent his entire life interviewing remarkable people about big ideas. For the last couple decades, he has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and daughter. For more see reinvent.net or peterleyden.com. You can also read his recent series of articles in Medium called California is the Future.

Statement: Trump is turning the Republican brand toxic with all the growing constituencies of the 21st century. The Republican party and the conservative movement are poised to suffer historic losses in 2018 and 2020 that will have repercussions for a generation or more. California went through this exact political transformation 15 years ago. Now, CA is well into its next political era – a progressive one, which is all about how to create new systems that work better for everyone over the long haul – in a truly sustainable, equitable way. Republicans in California are completely marginalized from the current political conversation while a new breed of progressive Democrats are swinging for the fences with big, bold new ideas.

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Question: Over the last 15 years CA has gone from a deep-red to purple to deep blue state when it comes to politics. Could the rest of the country follow suit as some of the key drivers of CA’s transformation (tech, economic opportunity, entrepreneurism) move into the rest of the country?

Discussion points:

  1. How could America swing from the conservative era of the last 30 years to a more transformative progressive era with solutions that are up to the scale of the true challenges of our times?
  2. How can the tech world and the entrepreneurial innovation economy rooted in tech take a leadership role supporting a transition to systems that more equitably spread literal and figural wealth?
  3. What can tech/business leaders do right now to start pulling America together again, and put us on a trajectory to a more sustainable, equitable world?

Pre-reads:

Peter Leyden’s Medium Series on California is the Future

California is the Future of American Politics

TedXOakland talk

Other Stories:

Jerry Brown’s California Dream: The Rolling Stone Interview

Think California politics is on the far-left fringe? Just wait for the next elections. – Washington Post

The Political Awakening of Silicon Valley – California Sunday

Susan MacDermid, Founder and CEO, Ascendant Network Biography

Founder of Ascendant Network, a powerful, invite-only network of the most prominent + progressive marketing executives leading the digital transformation. A digital industry veteran with 15+ years experience crafting digital strategies for brand advertisers and media companies. Clients have included 25 of the world’s top 100 brands from the consumer electronics, CPG, entertainment, finance, hi-tech, luxury, retail, and travel industries. An award-winning digital strategist with a Cannes Lion in 2013 and over a dozen international awards for marketing innovation, Susan MacDermid is an accomplished event entrepreneur, successfully launching 4 new event brands, extending existing event brands into 3 new geographies — doubling profit in 4 years.

Statement: Technology is the catalyst shaping the future of work allowing for new and expansive changes to when, where, how, and why we toil. As technology unleashes new opportunities, society, politics, education, and culture need to evolve to determine the shape of human productivity. Automation tech like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have tremendous impact on jobs, skills, and wages – changing how we work, where we work, and the businesses we work for. It’s time to look disrupted organizations, disrupted managers along with augmented employees and augmented workplaces.

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Question: How will technology + the evolving social / political climate change the way we work?

Discussion Points:

  1. How will automation and other tech advances reshape business models?
  2. As more workers move into the gig economy what will be the impact on the domestic and global economy?
  3. How can leaders find, motivate and retain the best talent given the rise of independent, untethered workers and new borderless workforces?

Pre-reads:

McKinsey on the Future of Work

Accenture on the Future of Work

Deloitte on the Future of Work

The Future of Work, by L’Oreal’s Global HR Isabelle Minneci.

The convergence of AI & HR

 

Derek McCarty, Creative Director, Dosist

Derek McCarty is Creative Director of the cannabis-based health company, dosist. 
He is responsible for ensuring the brand is brought to life in an innovative, disruptive and consistent fashion.

Derek has overseen and helped develop effective and disruptive communications for global brands such as Target, Google, and Budweiser. Derek joined dosist from global ad agency Bartle Bogle and Hegarty, where he led communications for Google’s entertainment and applications platform, Google Play, and led Google’s retail communications strategy. He has worked at some of the top creative and communication strategy agencies, including dosist’s partner, Anomaly, and 72andSunny. Derek earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and philosophy from Skidmore College.

Statement: Consumers have more power than ever before. Can we harness this power to be in more control of our health, less dependent on doctors and drugs and find personal solutions in a one-size-fits all healthcare world? Eventually, can consumerism and new behaviors even change the healthcare system?

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Question: Can we fix healthcare bottom up? How can choice, cannabis and consumerism change what we mean by “healthy”?

  1. Is the rise of holistic health – e.g. from functional medicine to the mind/body connection, people seeking the ‘whole picture’ when it comes to their heath-  leading to an influx of choice and a greater exploration of alternative medicines like cannabis?
  2. How is data + the more empowered consumers it creates (fitbit, 23&me, Apple Watch) driving a shift to people making decisions about what can personally work for them rather than settling for a one-size-fits all health care approach?
  3. These shifting consumer behaviors have the ability to change the healthcare industry as people move away from traditional medicine as the only solution. What does the development of an entirely new category like cannabis and the cannabis industry for the future of healthcare and how we think about health?

Pre-reads:

Customers, Tech Drive Health Care Disruption

The Innovation Health Care Really Needs: Help People Manage Their Own Health

What Weed Means for the Future of Sustainable Healthcare

Science Seeks to Unlock Marijuana Secrets

Steve Oh, Chief Business Officer, TYT Networks

Steve is the Chief Business Officer of The Young Turks (TYT) and an occasional on air presence. As the CBO, he oversees all business operations and strategic partnerships of the Company. Steve joined the Company in 2010 and has since helped grow it from a single YouTube channel with 18 million views per month to a full network of over 20 channels totaling over 7 billion lifetime views and 11 million subscribers across multiple platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Amazon, AOL, Comcast Watchable, Pluto TV, SiriusXM and many more. Together, these platforms generate 200 million monthly views and 10 million hours of monthly watch time. In addition to overseeing distribution across all platforms, Steve also manages TYT’s original programming development and sales, and have closed production deals with Fusion Network and Verizon go90 and is currently in negotiations with several television networks on additional shows. Steve is also spearheading efforts to create TYT’s live linear channel for placement on various streaming pay TV services (virtual MVPDs). Lastly, Steve is leading the Company's expansion to overseas markets, specifically TYT Europe. Prior to joining TYT, Steve was an attorney and an entrepreneur. He co-founded and sold several businesses. Steve was an associate at the law firm of Winston & Strawn in New York City and at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Los Angeles, where he worked in corporate litigation. He is a graduate of Cornell University and UCLA School of Law.

Statement: The role of media has changed as a result of, and reaction to, the information age and the parties involved. There is both opportunity and threat around these changes- issues like  journalist transparency and subjectivity v. objectivity; new business models & content economics are all in play. If there are biases that differentiate brands bringing us news, shouldn’t they be transparent? Or is the news media supposed to just “report”? Is that even possible? And, as media is figuring this all out, shouldn’t wrestling with these issues be transparent as well? We believe audiences are owed this level of insight & inclusion.

_________________________________________

Question: Historically the 5th estate (bloggers, journalists publishing in non-mainstream media outlets etc.) were considered part watchdog, part community informant. Has this evolved? If so, why, and to what?

Discussion points:

  1. What is the role of media in an information society?  Does the media have a responsibility to help educate/inform the general public?
  2. Is the media inherently biased? Are they transparent about their bias/coverage? What is the import of authenticity and voice news media?
  3. Is there another model or way of thinking about the media in the context of government/politics?

Pre-reads:

Analyzing the Media’s Role in the Political Process 

How Social Media is Ruining Politics 

Media and Politics in the Age of Trump

Do social media threaten democracy?

 

Matt Ranen, Ranen Consulting

Matt Ranen is a scenario planning consultant, helping clients develop growth, innovation and risk management strategies as their industries face significant change and uncertainty. In this role, he works with leadership teams to identify the investments they should be making today that will be required for them to compete effectively in the future. Previous to his consulting practice, he spent over ten years as a product manager in Silicon Valley, bringing new-to-the-world data and media technology services to market. Matt is a frequent writer on scenario planning and future trends, including contributions to NewCo Shift.

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Question: To what extent in the near future will all businesses be held accountable on how they stand on controversial political topics (e.g. climate change, gender issues, immigration, xxx) and need to integrate this as part of their brand?

Discussion points

  1. To what extent have the political positions of companies—either explicitly or implicitly, whether mission-driven or not—become an important purchase criteria for consumers? Is this mostly showing up as comments on message boards or as true boycotts and changes in brand preferences?
  2. Is this a good or bad trend? What are the challenges or opportunities for consumers and brands?
  3. Is this simply a function of the particular, political boiling point we are at right now? Or the next evolution of empowered consumers and purpose-driven companies beyond current niches and concerns? I.e. will this go away if Trump is out of office?
  4. What are the knock-on effects of this in terms of revenue sources, product development, talent management, or other impacts?

Pre-reads:

How Target Botched Its Response to the North Carolina Bathroom Law

Donald Trump and the Plight of L.L. Bean

ARE ALL THESE CONSUMER #BOYCOTTS ACTUALLY WORKING?

Brands including Papa John’s and Starbucks are victims of a ‘consumer awakening’ as boycotts explode in Trump’s America

Jana Rich, Founder, Rich Talent Group

For two decades, Jana has partnered with leading companies, from early stage to Fortune 500, helping to build teams of proven leaders and diverse thinkers. Her clients – which include Airbnb, Eventbrite, Pinterest, Square, and Warby Parker – have launched revolutions, small and large, that have changed the way we do business today. Additionally, Jana has built well-established relationships with many leading venture capital firms that include Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, Greylock, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Comcast Ventures. Before founding Rich Talent Group, Jana spent over eighteen years at two of the world’s largest executive search and assessment firms. At Korn Ferry International, Jana launched the industry’s first digital recruiting practice in 1996. At Russell Reynolds Associates, she led the Global Consumer Digital and Media practice and the Consumer Sector of North America. Jana serves on the Forbes Executive Women’s Board and is a director of the Stanford Business School Women’s Initiative Network. She is also a mentor in the Women’s eCommerce Network sponsored by Liberty Media. She served on the board of BringChange2Mind, a non-profit organization founded by the actress Glenn Close. Jana has been honored three times by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business. She received a BA in psychology from Vassar College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Jana and her wife, Jill live in Marin County with their two dogs, Bailey and Darby.

Statement: California recently enacted the Equal Pay and Fair Pay Acts, allowing employees to openly discuss compensation and require equal pay for employees who perform “substantially similar work,” among other provisions. In addition, California and New York recently passed a ban on salary history inquiry, prohibiting employers from asking about or seeking previous salary history. Though these new laws are intended to help level the “pay playing field” over time, there’s still an immediate responsibility on the individual to know what the competitive compensation landscape is so that they can effectively negotiate with their existing/potential employer. To do this, people need to have easy access to compensation-related data.  Both men and women should embrace– not shy away from– talking about their total compensation with their peers.  Doing so, will give both men and women access to the data needed to be in the driver seat during compensation negotiations.

_________________________________________

Question: As new legislation related to equal pay takes effect, how do you ensure that you have the information needed to negotiate a competitive and fair total compensation?

Discussion points:

  1. Do you share your total compensation with your peers? Do you report your total compensation on career data-driven sites like Glassdoor?
  2. How do you define total compensation? And do you compare your “work perks” with your peers?
  3. Do you think you have sufficient market-comparison information to negotiate a higher total compensation package? And where would you turn to find this information?

Pre-reads:

Why Don’t More Women Negotiate? 

More Workers Than Ever Are Sharing Salary Info—Here’s What Could Happen If You Open Up

Addressing Pay Inequality Before It’s Too Late

Diane Tate, Program Manager, Mozilla

I work on internal communications, programs and events for Mozilla, supporting about 1100 staff: roughly half work in 10 different offices across 3 continents, and the other half work from homes or coworking spaces. Our very thorough representation of both timezones and cultures is rooted in our open source roots (open source projects tend to assemble folks remotely around the world). And it brings some challenges in how we work. Meeting these challenges is not easy, but it means we can work with a broader pool of more diverse talent.

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Question: How can organizations can adapt their work practices to support an increasingly global, diverse and distributed workforce?

Discussion points

  1. What are the benefits of providing distributed, flexible working arrangements?
  2. What are most pressing costs and tradeoffs?
  3. What positive impact have you seen from distributed teams working well?
  4. How has your org supported distributed workers, if at all, or is it planning to?

Pre-reads:

When you’re a digital nomad, the world is your office
Distributed working growth
Tips for distributed working (video, 4:09)
What’s all the fuss about remote working? (blog post + presentation)
Why working from home is both awesome and horrible (cartoon) 
Remote teams at Mozilla with UC Berkeley’s Homa Bahrami (blog post + video)
Remote (book)
Diversity in open source
The neuroscience of online communications (video, 55:18)

Cris Turner, Vice President and Head of Office, Americas Government Affairs, Dell

Christopher “Cris” Turner leads Dell’s Americas American Government Affairs office. With 20 years of experience, Mr. Turner manages Dell’s U.S., Canadian and Latin America government affairs efforts and advocates for Dell’s public policy positions before federal, state and local policymakers. Prior to his current role, Mr. Turner led global cybersecurity and cloud computing policy efforts, designed advocacy campaigns in the U.S. and Mexico, and coordinated corporate social responsibility activities in Washington, D.C., for Dell.

He is one of the creators of the Dell PolicyHack™, a policy development format that brings together entrepreneurs, government officials, students and policy wonks to create solutions to the toughest issues facing governments. Mr. Turner has extensive experience managing high level government affairs strategies for corporations and trade associations. Prior to joining Dell in 2008, Mr. Turner served as the federal and state public policy manager for the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), where he advocated on cybersecurity, telecommunications, trade and Internet issues before federal and state elected and appointed officials. From 1999-2007, Mr. Turner managed security, infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications issues for various clients at leading government affairs firms in Washington, D.C. Mr.

Turner began his career at Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, where he managed policy issues related to international air transportation. Mr. Turner is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government. He also attended the University of Colorado School of Law. Mr. Turner serves on the Boards of Directors for the Global Entrepreneurship Network, MathCounts, and the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute. He, his wife and daughter reside in Washington, D.C.Statement: Companies are stepping up to the call to contribute to society and use purpose as the North Star that guides corporate decisions. Matt Damon’s Super Bowl appeal to buy a Stella Artois chalice to support Water.org, Unilever’s sustainability efforts launched in 2010 and WalMart’s Project Gigaton to reduce their supply chain emissions are notable examples. Smaller scale yet similarly impactful, are the local community and supplier benefits that criminal defense lawyer, turned chocolate maker, Shawn Askinosie has delivered.

He founded Askinosie Chocolate with a commitment to fairness, sustainability, minimal environmental impact and community enhancement.  Given the state of government programs, problems in the world, and the altruistic expectations of millennials, we think it’s time for more companies to follow their lead. Can tax savings provide a new funding source with the potential to inspire a movement? We believe that BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink is right “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Statement: Emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI), big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) will completely transform the workplace by 2030. This change is coming so fast that an estimated 85% of the jobs that will make up the 2030 workforce have not yet been invented. Government, business and our educational systems must prepare for the massive societal and economic shifts to come as entire industries are disrupted by technology.

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Question: What should the role of government be in directing both technology and workforce development in anticipation of the transformative changes being driven by automation and AI?

Discussion points:

  1. Should governments attempt to direct, steer, cajole, dictate or otherwise manage developments in automation, AI, 3D printing, machine/human interface, etc., to benefit the workforce?
  2. What is government’s role – if any – in managing the skills of a country’s current and/or future workforce in anticipation of developments in automation, AI, 3D printing, machine/human interface etc.?
  3. Given that governments will intervene on items 1 & 2 anyway regardless of our answers, and given that neither workers nor technology naturally respect geo-political boundaries, what role should businesses and NGOs play in shaping tech policy, workforce development or government intervention?

Pre-reads:

Note that Tim O’Reilly, Reid Hoffman and Laura Tyson – all Shift Forum speakers – are featured in this conversation:

Automation, Jobs and the Future of Work (McKinsey & Company)

A good overview of the situation:

The optimist’s guide to the robot apocalypse

Two point-counterpoint opinion pieces on the topic:

Congress must avoid an ‘America First’ policy on artificial intelligence

The U.S. is falling behind in artificial intelligence research

 

Gunner Winston, CEO, Dosist

Gunner Winston is Chief Executive Officer of the cannabis-based health company, dosist. He is responsible for the company’s overall vision, strategy and guiding decisions to ensure the organization’s financial health. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors.

Gunner has a background in entrepreneurship and finance – spending over a decade building his own investment funds, growing teams, and collaborating with and investing in many of the world’s most successful brands. Prior to dosist, Gunner co-founded Merchants’ Gate LP, an asset management firm in New York City with peak AUM of $2.4bn. He also served as a partner and financial analyst at the Ospraie Fund, a multi-strategy fund with AUM up to $9bn. He began his career as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration and a postgraduate degree in public administration (MPA) from New York University.

Kaliya Young, Identity Woman

Kaliya Young also known as “Identity Woman,” is an independent advocate for the rights and dignity of our digital selves.

She is internationally recognized expert in the field of user-centric digital identity / self-sovereign identity and personal data. The Internet Identity Workshop that she co-founded in 2005, twice a year brings together brings the largest concentration on the planet of talent dedicated to designing and building identity systems that empower individuals.  In 2010 she founded the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium and serves as Thought Leader and Catalyst Emeritus.

She has worked directly with the US Government (NSTIC & DHS S&T) and the Government of British Columbia.  She is enrolled first ever class of students in the Masters of Science in Identity Management and Security at the University of Texas at Austin and graduates in December  2017.  She is currently honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

She is available to consult with organizations seeking to make sense of the emerging markets and opportunities in identity and personal data.

Kaliya the interactive conference designer and facilitator. She has designed and facilitated over 200 unconferences in the past 10 years. She works with a range of organizational & community clients who hire her for their events . Inc Magazine’s December ’09 issue covered the Mass Technology Leadership Council Innovation Unconference that Kaliya facilitated. She has has co-founded several unconferences including She’s Geeky: Connecting Women in Tech,  Digital Death Day covering what happens to your data after you die and Open Government Directive Workshop Series among others. She is active in several facilitator communities of practice including the Bay Area Fabulous Facilitators and National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation. She was an active contributor to the community developing the Group Works Deck.

Statement: Self-sovereign identity, the concept that people and businesses can store their own identity data on their own devices, and provide it efficiently to those who need to validate it, without relying on a central repository of identity data) is closer than people think, and will have material impact on business, society and the global economy. Understanding the technology and its implications are imperative as is will drive material disruption AND opportunity.

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Question: As Self-Sovereign Identity technologies (Decentralized IDentifiers DIDs and Verified Claims) are emerging to disrupt the existing hierarchical namespaces (private name spaces like twitter, google, facebook; global public name spaces like DNS or Phone Numbers) what other systems may be disrupted? What new opportunities will this disruption open up?

Discussion points:

  1. What kinds of companies have business models centered on owning/monetizing people’s data, and how might they be disrupted by this new technology?
  2. What are the implications for government and if citizens have an easy way to use a digital credentials?
  3. How will self-sovereign data impact the developing world?

Pre-reads:

The Known Traveller: Unlocking the potential of digital identity for secure and seamless travel

Sovrin: A Protocol and Token for Self-Sovereign Identity and Decentralized Trust

Introduction to Sovrin Slide Deck

 

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