October, November, December 2020
Volume 43, Number 4
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. LEADERS Magazine is published quarterly and circulated to distinguished leaders of the world. Circulation is strictly limited. To receive LEADERS Magazine, one must be a leader of a nation, an international company, a world religion, an international institute of learning, or an international labor organization; or a chief financial officer, a major investor on behalf of labor or corporate pension funds, a chief information officer or a Nobel laureate. LEADERS Magazine was founded by Henry O. Dormann (1932-2018).
LEADERS Magazine Publisher and Executive Editor: David W. Schner Editor: Darrell J. Brown Advertising Executive: Laurie McClure Ferber Muse: Adrienne Arsht This reprint cover is created by Peter Kuper, whose work appears regularly in The New Yorker, The Nation, and Mad. He has pr oduced over two dozen books for which he has won the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal, the Eisner Award, and the Rueben Award. The artwork is inspired by a vision of a more resilient world. Kuper’s work is available from CartoonCollections.com, the source for custom work by worldclass cartoonists.
Printing: Calev Print Media – Freeport Press
Photo Credits: 10 - ©Samuel Stuart Hollenshead; 14 - ©Lemrich/European Central Bank; 18 - ©IMF Photo/Stephen Jaffe; 34 Barrett - ©Franck Juery; 34 - ©U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich, 34 upper right - ©U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Quion Lowe, 34 lower left - ©U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark, 35 upper right - ©U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw, 35 lower left - ©U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III; 32 author - ©City of Miami; 36 - ©US Naval Academy Photographer: Stacy Godfrey; 42 author - ©2012 Forrest Gibson; 42 lower right ©Smithsonian Institution; 43 - ©James Di Loreto, Smithsonian Institution; 46 - ©2015 Getty Images; 47 - ©2015-2016 JZsquared Photography LLC Jonathan Zuleta; 53 - ©Brad Feinknopf; 54 author - ©Michael Creagh; 54 lower right - ©Jon Ortner; 51 - ©Mark Bussell; 54 - ©Paul Smith Photography; 60 - ©Georgina Goodwin; 61 upper left - ©Jonathan Irish; 61 lower right - ©Flavio Forner; 68 - ©Aad Hoogendoorn; 70 author - ©Conservation International/ photo by Katie Bryden; 70 lower right - ©Bryan Evans, The Nature Conservancy; 71 upper left - ©Jason Houston; 71 - lower righ Mark Godfrey ©2009 The Nature Conservancy; 72 - ©Southcoast Diving Supplies; 74 author - ©Amal H. Biskin; 74-75 nature photos - ©Tompkins Conservation; 95 - ©Amal H. Biskin; 96 - ©Kwaku AlstonHBO
LEADERS (ISSN 0163-3635 ) is published quarterly by Leaders Magazine, LLC, a Sandow brand, with offices at 101 Park Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10178, and 3651 NW 8th Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33431; www.leadersmag.com. Leaders Magazine, LLC, Sandow Media, LLC and their respective affiliates, directors, officers, employees, contributors, writers and editors (collectively, “Publisher”) accept no responsibility for inaccuracies, errors or omissions with information and/or advertisements contained herein. The Publisher has neither investigated nor endorsed the individuals, companies and/or products that advertise within the publication or that are mentioned editorially. Publisher assumes no responsibility for the claims made by the Advertisers or the merits of their respective products or services advertised or promoted in the publication. Publisher neither expressly nor implicitly endorses such Advertiser products, services or claims. Publisher expressly assumes no liability for any damages whatsoever that may be suffered by any purchaser or user for any products or services advertised or mentioned editorially herein and strongly recommends that any purchaser or user investigate such products, services, methods and/or claims made thereto. Opinions expressed in the magazine and/or its advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Publisher. Neither the Publisher nor its staff, associates or affiliates are responsible for any errors, omissions or information whatsoever that have been misrepresented to Publisher. The information on products and services as advertised in the publication are shown by Publisher on an “as is” and “as available” basis. Publisher makes no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, as to the information, services, contents, trademarks, patents, materials or products included in this magazine. All pictures reproduced in the publication have been accepted by Publisher on the condition that such pictures are reproduced with the knowledge and prior consent of the photographer. As such, Publisher is not responsible for any infringement of any third party’s intellectual property or other rights arising out of any publication. LEADERS® is a registered trademark of Leaders Magazine, LLC. © Leaders Magazine, LLC 2020. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher. ADDRESS SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS AND CORRESPONDENCE TO: Leaders, 101 Park Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10178.
Contents Resilience Introduction David W. Schner, President and Executive Editor, LEADERS Magazine
The Power of Resilience Adrienne Arsht
Transformative Change Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation
The Human Instinct of Pragmatism and Survival Kathy Baughman McLeod, Senior Vice President & Director, Adrienne ArshtRockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council
Defining Resilience Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania
A Platform to Thrive Arianna Huffington, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Thrive Global
Thinking Big Denis Duverne, Chairman, AXA, and Chairman, Insurance Development Forum
Responsible Growth Anne M. Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America
Creating Long-Term Value Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Blackstone
Servant Leadership The Honorable Francis X. Suarez, Mayor of Miami
Building a More Resilient Financial System Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank
A Duty to Serve Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force
The Power of Music Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music
A Long Lineage of Military Service Vice Admiral Sean Buck, Superintendent, United States Naval Academy
Ensuring Global Economic Stability Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Endurance Scott Kelly, Retired U.S. Navy Captain, Former NASA Astronaut
Service to Country General Richard D. Clarke, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command
The Responsibility of News Cesar Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Working on the System Paul Polman, Co-Founder and Chair, IMAGINE
Striving for Excellence Martina Navratilova
Inspiring Positive Change Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Shaping the Global Future Together Frederick Kempe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Council
Strengthening Societal Resilience Maryam Golnaraghi, PhD, Director of Climate Change and Emerging Environmental Topics, The Geneva Association
The Art of the Invisible Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center
The Power of the Arts Henry Timms, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Resilient DC The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, D.C.
Technology and the Business of Risk Karen White, Chief Executive Officer, RMS (Risk Management Solutions)
An Organizing Principle The Honorable Mitch Landrieu, Founder, E Pluribus Unum
Parametric Insurance Isaac Anthony, Chief Executive Officer, CCRIF SPC
“Resilience is a quality shared by people and economies; it is the ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances, quickly recover from adverse shocks and bounce back into shape.” Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank
Protecting Nature, Biodiversity and Ecosystems M. Sanjayan, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Conservation International
Striving for Resilient Populations Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH, Interim Director, Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Risk and Resilience Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General, Insurance Development Forum
Resilient Cities Mauricio Rodas, Former Mayor, Quito, Ecuador
Water as a Driver of Change Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Sherpa to the United Nations/World Bank High Level Panel on Water
Nature-Based Solutions Jennifer Morris, Chief Executive Officer, The Nature Conservancy
Building Resilience Ricardo Lara, Insurance Commissioner, California Department of Insurance
Culture and Resilience Richard Kurin, Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large, Smithsonian Institution
A Resilience-Focused Approach Walter Cotte, Americas Regional Director, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Resilience of Objects, Cultures and Ideas Limor Tomer, General Manager, Live Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Migration, Climate and Resilience Tiziana Bonzon, Manager, Climate, Migration and Resilience, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
TIsland Earth Kate Brown, Executive Director, Global Island Partnership
The Growth of Gaming Chance Glasco, Founder, The Game Consultants, and Co-Founder, Doghead Simulations
he Role of the Arts in Resilience Anna Deveare Smith, Director / Producer, The Anna Deveare Smith Pipeline
The Power of Learning Anthony W. Marx, President and Chief Executive Officer, The New York Public Library
The Responsibility of Journalists Jeff Goodell, Author and Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone
The Resilience Business Francis Bouchard, Group Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Zurich Insurance Group
The Epitome of Resilience His Excellency Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, Greece
A Constant State of Evolution Kristine Tompkins, Cofounder and President, Tompkins Conservation
Straight News Bret Baier, Anchor and Executive Editor, Special Report with Bret Baier, and Chief Political Anchor, FOX News Channel
A Different Type of Bank Julie Davitz, Head of Impact Solutions, Bank of the West/BNP Paribas
Tackling Uninsured Risk Alex Kaplan, Executive Vice President, Alternative Risk, AmWINS Group, Inc.
“The Great Good Place” Mitchell Kaplan, Founder, Books & Books
Resilience Books Compiled by the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
Resilience Playlist Compiled by the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
LEADERS Magazine is proud to partner with the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council on this special feature on resilience. This is a critical time to address the concept of resilience and the ability to better prepare for, navigate, and recover from shocks and stresses. We have assembled a broad range of global thought leaders and experts who are currently tackling the challenges and crises facing the world from different perspectives. This feature includes elected officials, business executives, nonprofits, military leaders, members of the arts community, renowned athletes, and journalists, each sharing their thoughts and reflections on resilience. Is resilience innate or learned? Can we teach individuals to be more resilient? How do we build the concept of resilience into the ethos and culture of our organizations? What are the sustainable and replicable resilience solutions to the seemingly intractable global challenges affecting billions of individuals? At this challenging and uncertain time in our history, we hope that this feature will provide hope and inspiration from those who have faced adversity as individuals, communities and organizations and risen to the challenge and come back better and stronger. We would value your thoughts on this issue and to hearing how resilience is impacting your work and your organization. .
David W. Schner President & Executive Editor LEADERS Magazine
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The Power of Resilience An Interview with Adrienne Arsht EDITORS’ NOTE Adrienne Arsht is million Rockefeller Foundation gift that she a business leader and impact phimatched. She also founded the Adrienne lanthropist. She has taken a leading Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic role promoting artistic, business and Council in 2013 to focus on the role of civic growth in the three cities she South America in the trans-Atlantic comcalls home: Washington, D.C., Miami munity. Arsht is a Trustee of the John F. and New York. Her $30 million conKennedy Center for the Performing Arts tribution to Miami’s Performing Arts where she established the Adrienne Arsht Center in 2008 secured its financial Theater Fund. She is a Vice Chairman of footing. In her honor, the Center was Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, renamed the Adrienne Arsht Center and Executive Vice Chairman of the for the Performing Arts of MiamiAtlantic Council. She is on the Trustees Adrienne Arsht Dade County. In 2012, her contribuCouncil of The National Gallery of Art tion of $10 million to Lincoln Center and a Board Member of the Blair House was recognized with the dedication of the Adrienne Restoration Fund. She is a member of the Council on Arsht Stage in Alice Tully Hall. Foreign Relations and is former President of the Vice Recently, Arsht donated $5 million to the President’s Residence Foundation. At the request of Metropolitan Museum in New York City to fund the the then Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, Arsht Museum’s first ever paid internship program, which created the campaign Patrons of Diplomacy to estabnow will be named the Adrienne Arsht Interns. With lish an endowment for the preservation of furniture Arsht’s gift, The Met is now the single largest art and works of art for the State Department. museum in the country to offer 100 percent paid She is Trustee Emerita of the University of Miami internships to nearly 120 undergraduate and gradu- and an honorary board member of Amigos for Kids. ate interns each year. The transformative donation In 2019, Arsht was awarded The Order of will also support MetliveArts providing programming Rio Branco from the Brazilian government for her focused on themes of resilience. outstanding dedication to U.S.-Brazil relations and In Washington, D.C. in 2016, Arsht spear- her vision toward Latin America. In 2017, she was headed the creation of the Adrienne Arsht Center bestowed the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence for Resilience at The Atlantic Council which was recognizing her visionary and exceptional contriburenamed in 2019, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller tions to cultural and nonprofit institutions nationFoundation Resilience Center with the $30 ally. She is the only woman to have ever received
this distinction. Additionally, Arsht was awarded the distinguished Order of San Carlos of Colombia, which was given to her by the direction of Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos. In 2013, she was presented with the prestigious diplomatic honor, Orden de Isabel la Católica (Order of the Cross of Isabella the Catholic), from The King of Spain. A 1966 graduate of Villanova Law School, Arsht began her Delaware law career with Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnel. In 1969, she moved to New York City and joined the legal department of Trans World Airlines (TWA). She then became the first woman in the company’s property, cargo and government relations departments. Arsht moved to Washington, D.C. in 1979 where she initially worked with a law firm, then started her own title company. In 1996, she moved to Miami to run her family-owned bank, TotalBank, where she served as Chairman of the Board from 1996 to 2007. Under her leadership, TotalBank grew from four locations to 14 with over $1.4 billion in assets. In 2007, she sold the bank to Banco Popular Español. Arsht was named Chairman Emerita of TotalBank. In 2008, she became the first, and still the only, woman to join the Five Million Dollar Roundtable of United Way of Miami-Dade. Arsht’s other notable gifts include to Goucher College, creating the Roxana Cannon Arsht Center for Ethics and Leadership, in honor of her late mother, a Goucher graduate, The University of Miami Arsht Ethics Programs, and a lab at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of
The iconic children’s book, The Little Engine That Could
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Miami. In Delaware, Arsht funded the creation of a Best Buddies chapter to specifically serve Hispanics and African Americans with mental disabilities. The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Arsht number 39 on its 2008 America’s biggest donors list. She is the daughter of the Honorable Roxana Cannon Arsht, the first female judge in the State of Delaware, and Samuel Arsht, a prominent Wilmington attorney. Upon graduation from Villanova Law School, Arsht was the 11th woman admitted to the Delaware bar – her mother having been the fifth. A graduate of Mount Holyoke C o l l e g e , s h e was married to the late Myer Feldman (d.2007), former counsel to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Where did your interest and passion for the study of resilience develop? Until June 30, 1973, I took resilience for granted. That was the day my younger sister, Alison, committed suicide. What made living unbearable for her? What is Resilience? Resilience is getting up when you are knocked down and then moving forward. It is choosing life. It is a primal instinct, but it is not always enough. We both started life with “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “The Little Engine that Could.” How could Alison not be resilient when we had virtually the same upbringing? A large part of my interest in resilience was inspired by the desire to understand Alison. What was your vision in creating the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center and how do you define its mission? Initially, in 2016, I created the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience focusing on promoting the abilities of communities and individuals to thrive in today’s unpredictable world. Using creative and artistic methods to showcase lessons learned from past crises, the Center’s focus would help societies and individuals bounce back better, faster, and stronger. Then, in 2019, the Rockefeller Foundation made a $30 million grant which I matched to create the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (AARFRC). The AARFRC is focused on identifying, implementing, and scaling solutions to the urgent crises of climate change, migration, and security, with the goal of reaching one billion people with resilience solutions by 2030. This is more critical now than ever. As a society we are at a time when volatility and change are the only certainties. The AARFRC is committed to finding ways to enable resilience among individuals, systems, and communities. How critical is resilience as the world faces multiple crises, from the pandemic to social injustice, systemic racism, migration and climate? It is vital and without resilience the world would have imploded long ago. Resilience is another word for surviving, adapting and moving on. Do you feel that resilience can be taught or is it something a person is born with? I have always thought that individual resilience is predominately genetic, but resilience can also be encouraged. The brain, the immune system and the physical changes that occur during stress and trauma are different in resilient people. You can learn from watching others and decide, “I’m not going to give up either.” VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? There are so many people who are considered resilient leaders. Jackie Robinson, who was an exceptional human being, not only did he break racial barriers in baseball but in everyday life. He said it best, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” He, along with his wife, Rachel, faced daily obstacles and surmounted them with courage and fortitude. Diana Nyad exemplifies the synergy of a resilient mind and body as she swam amongst sharks and jellyfish during her famous swim from Cuba to Florida. Artists are almost by definition resilient. They
have a saying, “The show must go on.” There was Baryshnikov, who smashed his foot during a performance, and yet continued partnering the ballerina until the curtain came down. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the great French pianist, was performing when the piano started to move across the stage. The stagehands had forgotten to lock the wheels. I’ve found that all great artists have a story, whether it was a prop that wasn’t there for them, somebody forgetting their lines or scenery falling. Resilience comes in all forms and we have seen this personified during the past months. My advice for moving forward: If you don’t like Change – wait until you see Irrelevance.
Transformative Change An Interview with Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation EDITORS’ NOTE Dr. Rajiv Shah INSTITUTION BRIEF The Rockefeller brings over 20 years of expeFoundation (rockefellerfoundation.org) rience in business, gover nis a global institution with an unparment, and philanthropy to The alleled track record of success carrying Rockefeller Foundation. In 2009, out its founding mission to promote he was appointed to serve as USAID the well-being of humanity around Administrator by President Obama the world. Over its century long hisand was unanimously confirmed tory, The Rockefeller Foundation has by the U.S. Senate. Dr. Shah was embraced scientific frontiers to lift up charged with reshaping the $20 vulnerable children and families. billion agency’s operations to proToday, The Rockefeller Foundation vide greater assistance to pressing seeks to apply science, technology, and Rajiv J. Shah development challenges around innovation to this task and end prethe globe. In this role he also led ventable child and maternal mortalthe U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and ity, transform food systems to reduce the global the West African Ebola crisis, and served on the burden of disease, end energy poverty for milNational Security Council. By elevating inno- lions in Africa and Asia, and enable meaningvation and public/private partnerships, and ful economic mobility in the United States and shifting how dollars were spent to deliver stron- around the world. ger results, Dr. Shah secured bipartisan support that enabled USAID to dramatically acceler- Will you highlight the history and heritage ate its work to end extreme poverty, including of The Rockefeller Foundation? the passage of significant Presidential prioriThe Rockefeller Foundation is more than ties – Feed the Future and Power Africa and a century old. Our very first grant was to the the Global Food Security Act, which is the sec- American Red Cross, and in subsequent ond largest global development legislation after decades, The Rockefeller Foundation has built PEPFAR. When Dr. Shah left USAID in 2015, he a reputation as a trailblazer that convenes continued to follow his passion for cr eat- unlikely partnerships and sparks innovations for ing opportunities for communities to thrive transformative change. We founded the modern in the developing world by founding Latitude field of public health, developed vaccines for Capital, a private equity firm focused on power infectious diseases such as yellow fever, funded and infrastructur e projects in Africa and Asia. He was also appointed a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University. Earlier in his career, Dr. Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture. He also served in a number of leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he helped launch the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (a joint venture by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations) and the International Financing Facility for Immunization (credited with raising more than $5 billion for childhood immunizations worldwide), and where he supported the creation of the Global Development Program. Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business, and has been awarded honorary degrees from Tuskegee University, American University, and Colby College.
“I’ve pushed our
team to be bold in setting our vision and aspirations
for The Rockefeller
Foundation in this era.”
urban visionary Jane Jacobs, and catalyzed a Green Revolution that moved a billion people off the brink of starvation. I began my tenure at the Foundation in 2017 and have sought to focus our work on four core commitments: to end energy poverty, achieve health for all, nourish the world and expand economic opportunity. We are pursuing these goals through innovative partnerships and through impact investments that find new ways to leverage private and philanthropic capital for social good. Even as The Rockefeller Foundation is among the most respected and deep-rooted of American philanthropies, we’re still able to pivot and meet the moment with urgency, as seen by the Foundation’s swift response to the COVID-19 crisis. As from its earliest days more than 107 years ago, The Rockefeller Foundation is serving as a crucial catalyst, convener and innovator, helping the private sector and government do more to ease the pain of the pandemic and put equity and justice at the center of the global response and recovery. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I began this job three years ago, and while I had a broad range of prior leadership experiences in government, philanthropy and the private sector, I have since continued to learn a great deal about effective leadership – in part because I believe a deep desire to learn is one of those keys to being an effective leader. In some cases, my answers to this question reflect my long-standing beliefs and personal philosophy: I believe in data-driven decision making, and I try to foster an environment of learning, testing, adapting and iterating. I surround myself with talented people I trust who are unafraid to tell me their views candidly. I’ve pushed our team to be bold in setting our vision and aspirations for The Rockefeller Foundation in this era, including by articulating clear, measurable goals, because you can’t manage what you don’t measure. I also prioritize being results-oriented and listening to those we seek to serve because I believe we can never lose sight of whom we’re working to help and why. Structured self-scrutiny helps me and my team to evaluate good ideas and whether they are aligned with our bigger mission. Finally, I believe humility is one of the most important qualities in a leader - to know that I don’t know everything, to be honest VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The Rockefeller Foundation is serving as a crucial catalyst, convener and innovator, helping the private sector and government do more to ease the pain of the pandemic and put equity and justice at the center of the global response and recovery.”
when I don’t know the answer, and to ask for help when I need it. How has The Rockefeller Foundation’s work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement taking place across the U.S. and the world? The past several months have been a time of extreme pain, heartbreak and reflection for our country. They have also been a catalyst for our work at The Rockefeller Foundation. Let me first speak to the anti-racist movement. My wife and I are both children of immigrants from India, and like every person of color, we each know the exact moment when we first realized we weren’t like everyone else. Even though we have both experienced racism and discrimination in different forms, the systemic racism and extraordinary violence African Americans have lived with and continue to experience is unique in its history and depth. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, and Breonna Taylor left me angry and heartbroken. These acts of violence and police brutality were despicable. Yet again, innocent men and women were killed for no other reason than the color of their skin. It’s painful that these murders occurred during a pandemic that is disproportionately threatening, and destroying, the livelihoods and lives of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other minority communities. Tens of millions have lost their jobs, and hundreds of thousands have lost family, friends and loved ones. Their anguish and despair is real and understandable, and so is their outrage at countless decades of racist murders. For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation has worked to advance racial equality in America because it is core to our values. Our actions speak to the unique role philanthropy can play in driving social change. While we may not have the resources or the power of government, we can identify and act on solutions when others fail to do so. We can take on unique risks that others can’t or won’t. We can use our voice and amplify the voices of others fighting injustice. We can bring together different parts of society, serving as a bridge between public and private, between nonprofits and investors, between communities and government officials, bringing everyone to the table to help solve some of the biggest problems we face in order to create plans, programs, and innovations that others can follow. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
For similar reasons and in line with our history, The Rockefeller Foundation has faced the COVID-19 crisis with all of the resources and human power we could summon. In April, we called for the nation to get to three million COVID-19 tests a week by June and to 30 million by October. To beat this virus, we need a massive national effort to get to 30 million and beyond with tests that are easy, fast and cheap. Only then can we keep the economy open and protect our most vulnerable. I ask people to read our updated National COVID-19 Testing and Tracing Action Plan, launched on July 16, 2020. We believe a massive public/private collaboration to scale up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing can best support our economy and society in the coming year, and we are working through our partners to make testing ubiquitous and accessible across our nation with a specific focus on African American communities and other minority communities in places like Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Oakland and dozens of other cities. The recent federal commitment to track COVID-19 testing access by race and ethnicity is an important first step to make sure America recognizes that a strong, community-led pandemic response in minority communities across this nation is essential to overcome a crisis that has already forced too many Americans of color to choose between their health and their livelihoods. We’re also fighting for African American communities that are twice as likely to face hunger, and four times more likely to suffer dietary diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. America is facing a hunger pandemic, particularly for the 30 million children who rely on the National School Lunch Program, and so we are supporting partners to reach African American and other minority communities to transform how this program works for the summer and coming school year. No American family should have to line up at food banks to meet their basic needs, yet we know that our economy and food system forces a disproportionate number of minority families into this dire situation. Our recently announced Equity and Economic Opportunity initiative also helps make capital more accessible to low-wage families and minority-owned small businesses and works to ensure the American safety net is accessible and supportive of all those in need. The average African American family has almost
no wealth (just 2 percent of what the average white family owns), and this did not just happen. America’s biggest tools for the creation of household wealth – K-12 public education, the G.I. Bill, home ownership, social insurance policies, and a variety of tax incentives and credits – were often designed and administered to specifically exclude African American families. We are proud to stand with our partners to demand structural changes in the U.S. economy, including changing the tax, savings and investment policies that define who wins and who loses in the American economic experience. At the same time, we know this moment is a unique one where a nation in crisis demands change. We will continue to stand with and support partners working to address the specific issue of police brutality in the hope that our nation may watch the videos of the brutal killings that have transpired, talk at our dinner tables, our schools and businesses, and come to the conclusion that enough is enough. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? I am fundamentally an optimist. I believe that most people in this country want to live in a fairer, more just world, and are willing to work to make that world a reality. We need leaders who will honor that overwhelming belief and strengthen our good tendencies, rather than drive us apart. As we have seen, in times of crisis, the latter can have deadly consequences. In my view, resilience, optimism, faith in the future and open-mindedness are all linked inextricably. What inter ested The Rockefeller Foundation to be engaged in creating the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center and how do you define its mission? The Rockefeller Foundation was one of the early pioneers of the resilience movement, out of the recognition that building resilience can improve the quality of life for residents and help communities fare better during and postdisaster. As such, we remain committed to that field – to forging new partnerships to create and implement innovative policies, programs, and mechanisms that help the most marginalized and vulnerable populations adapt and become resilient to a changing world. The Atlantic Council is a leading, globallyfocused institution working to address an array of challenges that require resilience LEADERS 7
“Resilience is a crucial aspect of sustainable, equitable and prosperous societies, especially as communities are increasingly facing multiple, interconnected challenges.”
from climate change to rapid urbanization to mass migration. We have seen the systemic and downstream impacts of these challenges and the disproportionate burden on vulnerable and marginalized populations. The COVID-19 pandemic is one example: while it began as a public health crisis, it has wrought cascading devastation on the economy, food security, education, and exacted an outsized toll on African American, Latinx and Native American communities in the United States, as well as Indigenous populations in South America and urban slums in India and Africa. Our partnership, enabled by the generosity and strategic vision of Adrienne Arsht, is empowering the Adrienne ArshtRockefeller Foundation Resilience Center to work to deliver innovative solutions globally, from public policy to finance to communications, that can lift up hundreds of millions of people by working at the individual and community levels and with a broad spectrum of governments and institutions. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience in nonprofit work? Resilience is a crucial aspect of sustainable, equitable and prosperous societies, especially as communities are increasingly facing multiple, interconnected challenges. Resilience is the ability to survive, adapt and rebound from shocks and stresses, whether they are social, economic, environmental, personal or political. Resilience also helps nonprofits and foundations achieve deep, scalable, and lasting impact. We have a finite number of resources, so it’s important for us to consider how we can use our limited funding to address multiple challenges and generate social, environmental, and economic benefits that improve the lives of millions of vulnerable families through a single initiative. At The Rockefeller Foundation, for example, we are investing in a microgrid electricity resilience project in Puerto Rico, a model for how to rebuild more sustainably after disaster. Hurricane Maria completely devastated the island in 2017, knocking down 80 percent of the power lines and leaving millions in the dark for months. Puerto Rico is becoming more susceptible to these types of shocks, exacerbated by climate change. This microgrid resilience project that we have undertaken with our partners will help Puerto Rico prepare for future disasters and alleviate chronic stresses by building more resilient critical infrastructure that can enable economic and social life to function with minimal disruption, while also contributing to the daily operation and well-being of communities. 8 LEADERS
What do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the global crises the world is facing today? In addressing the global crises we are experiencing today and helping mitigate future ones, resilience can be used as a platform to recover and rebuild with equity and justice. This pandemic has created an opportunity for government and institutional leaders to plan and undertake a recovery that integrates lessons learned from this crisis and approaches that will help communities bounce back from and prepare for future shocks while addressing chronic stresses, such as unemployment, racial injustice and poverty. How important is it to look holistically at global health issues, climate change, migration, social injustice and other challenges in order to create real impact and lasting change? As the world becomes more connected through globalization and technology, global health, climate change, social justice and other challenges also become increasingly interlinked. It is crucial for us to view these challenges holistically, thinking about how they influence, impact and compound each other. For example, it is no coincidence that in the United States the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting communities of color and compounding underlying social, health and economic inequities. African Americans, Latinx and Native Americans were already more than twice as likely to be living in poverty compared to white Americans, and they’re now two-to-three times more likely to be infected by COVID-19, and four-to-five times more likely to be hospitalized because of it. These inequities are tied to long-standing barriers to accessing resources, such as healthcare and transportation, and a deep history and recurring cycles of discriminatory policies, unequal treatment and outright racism. We have to break that cycle by putting equity and justice at the heart of how we respond to and recover from this pandemic. That is the only way to address the massive inequalities that this crisis has exposed and exacerbated. As a leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture within your organization? Building a resilient culture relies on an organization’s ability to continually improve and adapt to change as well as transparency, the latter being one of our Foundation’s core values,
“TO ACT,” which are trust, optimism, accountability, collaboration and transparency. COVID19 has tested the resiliency of the Foundation’s culture, and in the wake of this health crisis, we have instituted a number of policies and flexible arrangements that can help ensure the safety of our employees and their family members while allowing them to manage personal obligations around taking care of loved ones, home schooling and child care. I’m proud of our global team’s tireless work even in so-called normal times, and for their heroic efforts over the last several months. I’ve watched our people put in 12- and 14-hour days, while somehow still finding the time to care for themselves and their families. Many are based in New York City, northern Italy and Bangkok, which were among the earlier COVID-19 hot zones this past spring, while those in New Delhi and Nairobi have been engaged as the pandemic spread more widely in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Some colleagues are building public/private partnerships with technology companies, gig workers and school districts to help feed kids who would otherwise go hungry. Others are working to make safety net benefits more accessible, supporting efforts to keep fresh food markets from closing in East Africa, or crafting innovative policies that could hire and train millions of newly unemployed workers to help fight the pandemic by providing the testing that will allow our economy to reopen. Our team in Asia is helping doctors and public health professionals in China share lessons learned fighting the coronavirus with millions around the world, and in Africa, Italy and New York, our teams are helping procure and donate personal protective equipment for local health agencies, paramedics and hospitals. The Rockefeller Foundation is taking a conservative, science-based approach to our return to the office, as the health and well-being of our teams around the globe is of paramount importance. Mental health is just as critically important as physical well-being, and at the Foundation, we are providing our people with the resources that can help them adapt to the “new normal” as well as additional time-off to allow colleagues to decompress from work and regain a sense of balance. Lastly, we are always seeking employee feedback because it is important for the Foundation to continually learn, improve, and support each other through change.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for
Tree Equity. The inequitable distribution of trees in cities exacerbates social inequities. You can help us develop and bring to life plans for planting and caring for trees â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in the city neighborhoods that need trees the most. We call this creating Tree Equity. Learn more at americanforests.org/TreeEquity
The Human Instinct of Pragmatism and Survival An Interview with Kathy Baughman McLeod, Senior Vice President & Director, Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at the Atlantic Council EDITORS’ NOTE Kathy Baughman impacts. These times are proving to McLeod is Director and Senior Vice be a pivot point for all of humanity, President of the Adrienne Arsht– where we are forced to reckon with Rockefeller Foundation Resilience generations of unsustainable behavior Center at the Atlantic Council. She as well as decades of action, or inacleads creation and execution of tion, that has now all come painfully the Center’s strategy to achieve its and refreshingly home to roost. goal of reaching one billion peoHow might we best face this ple worldwide with resilience soluhistoric and pivotal moment - not just tions to the challenges of climate meet it, but lead our organizations change, migration, and security by through to build new, innovative, 2030. Baughman McLeod is the forresilient solutions – lasting solutions mer Senior Vice President, Global Kathy Baughman McLeod that begin to reshape society and the Environmental & Social Risk, for planet for a more just and habitable Bank of America. In her past role as Managing tomorrow, where more of us can thrive? To Director, Climate Risk & Resilience for the Nature begin with, we must work to see these probConservancy, Baughman McLeod led a global lems in their full convolution. Then, we can team of 50 policy experts, scientists and financial start to understand how interconnected they, specialists focused on using natural infrastruc- and we, truly are. ture to reduce storm and flood risk throughout But even seeing these problems clearly Latin America, Australia, Asia, the U.S., and the presents its own challenge, for there are so Caribbean. A published author and award-win- many crises, a whole fog of never before in hisning producer of the documentary film series, tory problems to tackle. As we are talking, there The Nature of People, Baughman McLeod was is another spike in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., a policy fellow of the French Foreign Ministry and the overheated Atlantic Ocean is already and an appointed member of the Florida Energy busier than ever before, deep into its hurricaneand Climate Commission. She holds a BS in alphabet as storm after storm lines up for what international affairs and an MS in geogra- is predicted to be one of our strongest seasons. phy from Florida State University, and an MBA In China, record rainfall has caused flooding from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. along the Yangtze River, raising fears that the Three Gorges Dam, the largest structure of its INSTITUTION BRIEF The Adrienne Arsht- kind in the world, could fail. A huge swath of Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center the one billion people in Latin America are at (atlanticcouncil.org/programs/adrienne-arsht- risk of falling out of the hard-won middle class, rockefeller-foundation-resilience-center) will and a quarter of Bangladesh has flooded, disreach one billion people with resilience solu- placing millions. Swarms of locusts are plagutions to climate change, migration, and human ing swaths of Central Asia, Africa, and the security challenges by 2030. The center will help build a more resilient world by focusing its efforts on people and communities to help them better prepare for, navigate, and recover from shocks and stresses. The world is facing multiple crises and an uncertain future. Will you discuss where you see the world today and the challenges being faced around the globe? These are unprecedented, unstable times. We are beset on all sides by monumental challenges to the status quo, the COVID-19 pandemic and the swells of people in the streets demanding racial justice in the forefront. But also, in the background of everything, ever-looming, there is climate change and its increasingly severe 10 LEADERS
Middle East. Siberia is on fire. Protests continue throughout America. And, amid all this, the results of a huge study undertaken by a team at the World Climate Research Programme found that our doubling of the amount of carbon in the atmosphere will cause the average surface temperature on Earth to rise between two and a half and four degrees Celsius by the middle of this century. This bit of news was easily buried amid the torrent of more seemingly immediate disasters which is understandable, but a shame. A planet that is two degrees Celsius hotter is a striking, enormous, ominous sign of far greater challenges to come: still more hurricanes from even warmer seas; heat waves and fires rolling through stressed communities forcing evacuations and causing plummeting air quality; greater rainfall in some regions and longer droughts in others; and perhaps most destabilizing of all, an increased movement of people, climate refugees escaping zones that have become too hot to support human life, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. This movement of people is already underway. Another report, by ProPublica, detailed the experiences of climate refugees currently fleeing Central America, a prelude of far more to come, writing that, “the United Nations and others warn that in the worst case, the governments of the nations most affected by climate change could topple as whole regions devolve into war.” The harm caused by a rapidly changing climate will be widespread, but it will not be spread equally among us. In fact, a bitter irony of this new and fearsome age is that those facing the brunt of it are largely the least responsible for the
“Instability makes it more difficult to lead any organization. But instability can also be clarifying by making problems that were once easy to ignore impossible to continue to be swept under the rug.” VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Unstable periods, after all, are often filled with the most lasting innovations. All the old models and the old ways of doing business are being reassessed, tossed out, and built anew.”
high carbon emissions driving the disasters that are causing them such suffering. This is a vicious cycle, as the already existent inequalities are further exacerbated, deepening the instability to our global economies and health systems. How does this instability you outline impact organizations and does instability provide opportunity to drive true, lasting change? Instability makes it more difficult to lead any organization. But instability can also be clarifying by making problems that were once easy to ignore impossible to continue to be swept under the rug. It presents an opportunity for real change. It forces problem solving. Unstable periods, after all, are often filled with the most lasting innovations. All the old models and the old ways of doing business are being reassessed, tossed out, and built anew. This brings me back to that initial problem, the challenge of seeing the problem clearly so that we might work toward the best, most lasting solutions. The first step is to recognize how all of these problems – health, the economy, inequality, instability, and climate change – are deeply and essentially interrelated. The tremendous biodiversity loss that led to short term booms is, today, the cause of tremendous economic losses which are only increasing with a global crisis in public health. The same forces that drove ecosystem degradation have raised the risks of pandemics globally. Just as one cause affects another, so might these problems be tackled and solved together. The question is, what would those solutions begin to look like? For starters, it would begin with a movement away from short-termism toward a real and rigorous reassessment of what we actually
mean when we talk about value. Value can, and indeed must, be about much more than economic growth and the cost of goods and services. Value needs to once again return to its original meaning, an expansive view of wealth that has less to do, purely, with money, and more to do with well-being, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. “The concept of value must once again find its rightful place at the center of economic thinking,” the economist Mariana Mazzucato writes near the end of her book, The Value of Everything. This should include, Mazzucato concludes, “more fulfilling jobs, less pollution, better care, more equal pay.” A movement toward long-term values would also mean real equity in leadership by seeing diversity and inclusion not just as a catch phrase but as a strength. The future we build must be built for everyone and where we think and behave differently toward each other. It would mean true accountability and there are glimpses of this future we can see now. Initiatives with staying power like the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures, which presents companies with a way of quantifying, disclosing and responding to risks associated with climate change, require long-term thinking and, most importantly, action from the 1000 plus CEO’s who have signed on, with a market capitalization of $12 trillion. It might also look something like the InsuResilience Investment Fund, formerly known as the Climate Insurance Fund, an initiative created by KfW, the German Development Bank. The overall objective of the InsuResilience Investment Fund is to contribute to the adaptation to climate change by improving access to and the use of insurance
“The world was on its knees for much of 2020. What does standing up look like for 2021? How is your role in your sector, and role in the world, different now and in the coming year? What role will you play? What metrics will we use to judge your leadership?”
in developing countries, primarily by reducing the vulnerability of micro, small and medium enterprises as well as low-income households to extreme weather events. It might look like the Campaign for Nature’s 30x30 Petition which brings together 196 parties – from universities, to nations such as Costa Rica, to the National Geographic Society – to work to protect at least 30 percent of the world’s land and oceans. Such a clear and strong conservation policy isn’t merely about protecting the natural world from impending collapse, but as studies related to the movement take pains to point out, it is also about saving the built and human world as the nature conservation sector drives economic growth, delivers key non-monetary benefits and is a net contributor to a resilient global economy. In fact, the benefits of giving back 30 percent of our land and oceans to nature outweigh the costs by a ratio of at least 5-to-1. These solutions require acknowledging our shared responsibility, a willingness to own up to the problems we face, and seeing the challenges facing the world today for what they are and, ultimately, a change in our collective and individual behaviors, large and small. Adrienne Arsht, after whom the Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council is named, is fond of saying that the spirit of resilience starts with the individual. We see this resilience on display, all around us, every day, from the front line healthcare workers and scientists fighting the pandemic, to the performers and athletes and so many others such as parents, who have adjusted their livelihoods and simply made it work in these trying times. We can look to individuals as examples and learn from them, and then apply those lessons to whole systems and institutions to build and infuse resilience in all directions. The world was on its knees for much of 2020. What does standing up look like for 2021? How is your role in your sector, and role in the world, different now and in the coming year? What role will you play? What metrics will we use to judge your leadership? How do you define resilience? What contributions will you and your organization make to resilient problem-solving? Rather than bracing for the next set of massive changes and shifts, rather than standing back and reacting, we can begin taking an active role in building this new, more just, more resilient and healthier world.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Creating Long-Term Value An Interview with Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Blackstone EDITORS’ NOTE Stephen Schwarzman companies in which it invests, and is Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder the communities in which it lives and of Blackstone, a leading global investworks. It invests across alternative asset ment firm with $564 billion in assets classes on behalf of pension funds and under management and businesses other leading institutions. Blackstone in private equity, real estate, hedge serves institutional investors around funds, credit, infrastructure and life the world, including retirement syssciences. tems that represent tens of millions of In both business and phiteachers, firefighters and other pensionlanthropy, he dedicates himself to ers. Its investments are designed to pretackling big problems with transserve and grow its clients’ capital across formative solutions. His major gifts market cycles. Blackstone invests on a Stephen A. Schwarzman have helped establish a new center global basis across a wide range of asset at the University of Oxford to redeclasses including private equity, real fine the study of the humanities for the 21st estate, public debt and equity, growth equity, life century, create a new college at MIT dedicated sciences, opportunistic, non-investment grade to the study of artificial intelligence, build a credit, real assets and secondary funds. It seeks first-of-its-kind student center at Yale, renovate to drive economic growth and make a positive and expand the New York Public Library, and impact by using extraordinary people and flexifound an international fellowship program, ble capital to help companies solve problems, and Schwarzman Scholars, at Tsinghua University to engage with local communities. in Beijing to educate future leaders about China. Schwarzman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Business Roundtable, and International Business Council of the WEF. He was named one of Barron’s “World’s Best CEO’s” in 2019; one of Forbes’ Top 50 “World’s Most Powerful People” in 2018; Forbes’ most influential person in finance in 2016; and one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2007. His honors include the Légion d’Honneur and Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France, and Order of the Aztec Eagle from Mexico. He is also the Former Chairman of the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which was charged with providing direct input to the President of the United States from business leaders through a non-partisan, non-bureaucratic exchange of ideas. Schwarzman holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Management and on the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors. In 2019, Schwarzman published his first book, What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, a New York Times best seller which draws on his experiences in business, philanthropy, and public service.
“The best leaders
are made, not born. They learn from
their failures and
are always looking
for ways to improve
themselves and their organizations.”
COMPANY BRIEF Founded in 1985, Blackstone (blackstone.com) is one of the world’s leading investment firms. It seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors, the 12 LEADERS
How is Blackstone adapting its business to meet the crises facing the world today? We’re more confident than ever in our model – it has helped us weather cycles over the past 35 years. Though 2020 has been an unpredictable year, Blackstone’s investment approach has remained consistent: focusing on high-conviction themes and looking for strong underlying businesses that we think will benefit from these tailwinds, even if they may be cyclically challenged in the near term. Today, we are favoring faster-growing parts of the global economy including life sciences and areas benefiting from technological innovation like last-mile logistics and content creation, and we’re finding ways to invest in these themes across asset classes. Our fundraising success, based on the trust we have developed with our investors, has resulted in significant dry powder, $156 billion currently, which gives us flexibility to deploy capital and smartly pursue these themes and other opportunities created by dislocation. How proud are you to see the way Blackstone’s team at all levels of the company have stepped up and performed during this unprecedented time? I’m incredibly proud of how we’ve been able to seamlessly transition to a work from home environment. The firm has not missed a beat. We continue to have all our normal course business meetings and have even incorporated some “fun” elements to ensure everyone feels connected to one another during these unprecedented times. My favorite is the weekly photo contest we’ve added to our global Monday Morning Meeting. Each week, people from around the world submit photos based on a chosen theme and the winners are shared on screen. It’s a great way to see other sides of colleagues as they navigate this new environment and share a laugh as a firm. I also give enor mous credit to our technology teams. Blackstone has been using videoconferencing technology since we opened our first international office in 2001, so the framework for strong connectivity has been in place for decades, but their efforts to quickly transition the firm to a fully remote setting was remarkable and seamless. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Our core founding values – meritocracy, excellence, openness, integrity, and innovation – are still at the heart of our firm today. We recognize that our culture must be carefully preserved and do not just assume that the next generation will inherit it.”
How do you define the Blackstone culture and how critical is it to maintain culture as you look to Blackstone’s future? The most critical factor in Blackstone’s success has been our culture which is consistent across 40 offices around the world. When Pete Peterson and I founded Blackstone 35 years ago, culture was a top priority. We had seen firsthand from our earlier experiences on Wall Street what could happen to organizations that make culture an afterthought. Our core founding values – meritocracy, excellence, openness, integrity, and innovation – are still at the heart of our firm today. We recognize that our culture must be carefully preserved and do not just assume that the next generation will inherit it. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? To be a good leader, you need to be enthusiastic, entrepreneurial, collaborative, emotionally open and direct about everything – good and bad. But most critically, you need to be flexible and always be learning. The best leaders are made, not born. They learn from their failures and are always looking for ways to improve themselves and their organizations. I’m not a natural manager but have improved over the years and have also been deliberate about surrounding myself with others with different skill sets. A trick to leading effectively is to find fantastic people and provide them with the opportunity to be the best at what they do. How do you define resilience and what role does resilience play for financial institutions? A resilient person or company is one that is always innovating, learning from mistakes, anticipating change and seeking new opportunities to improve before being forced to do so. No business, however well-established, is safe from competitors or disruption impacting their industry. The resilient ones understand and head off this challenge by remaining entrepreneurial and proactive. This is particularly true for financial institutions. As I wrote in my book and often remind people, “there are no patents in finance.” We founded the firm with this in mind and from our earliest days have looked to diversify and expand what we can offer our clients. As we’ve built these new businesses, not only have we developed new engines for growth, but Blackstone as a whole also benefits from the added insights and breadth. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
As a business leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture at Blackstone? The entrepreneurial spirit which I believe is key to resilience is ingrained in Blackstone’s culture. We have all the advantages of scale as the largest alternative asset manager in the world, but also the soul of a small firm where people feel free to speak their mind. Everyone, regardless of level, is encouraged not only to share their opinions on firm decisions, but also bring their own ideas to the table. This breadth of inputs helps us both identify risk and spot new opportunities. Many of our investment businesses can be traced back to an individual or small group who raised an idea and were given the resources and runway needed to make it a reality. By creating this kind of entrepreneurial culture, we have been able to hire and develop
“Being resilient is about controlling your thoughts and behavior in a way that allows you to bounce back quickly from major setbacks or failures.”
incredible talent. We look for people who are a “10 out of 10.” These people sense problems, design solutions, and take a business in new directions. They also attract other 10s, which makes your business successful. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? Being resilient is about controlling your thoughts and behavior in a way that allows you to bounce back quickly from major setbacks or failures. Although it may seem that this is a trait that some people are born with and some people not, I believe that resilience is something that can be developed, just like any other skill. For example, anyone can practice the mindset of lifetime learning, constant improvement, and dissecting and learning from mistakes. It’s not always easy, but if you find a way to maintain that discipline and apply it to everything you do, over time it becomes second nature. How critical is it for leading companies to be purpose driven and to focus on more than just the bottom line? All the best organizations are motivated by something larger than the bottom line. Challenges that are inspired by something greater than yourself and your personal needs are always worth it and rewarding, regardless of whether you succeed or fail. At Blackstone we are driven by a duty to create long-term value for our investors, mostly large pension funds that represent tens of millions of retirees around the world, as well as the companies and assets we invest in, and the communities in which we work. What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers during this challenging and uncertain time? We are facing a set of challenges right now unlike any in our lifetimes, but young people should not be discouraged. The road ahead will be difficult, but it will also offer a chance to gain experiences, learn lessons, and take advantage of opportunities that weren’t available before. For those interested in investing, the unprecedented nature of this crisis presents a unique opportunity to sharpen your ability to spot risk. Years from now, people will be reading about the current crisis, but we are living it today. Internalize the complex lessons which can be learned from what is going on around you and use them to form a framework for how things will operate in the future. Do not be a passive observer.
Building a More Resilient Financial System An Interview with Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank EDITORS’ NOTE Christine labor law from the University Paris X Law Lagarde has served as President of School, a master with major in economics the European Central Bank since and finance from Sciences Po Aix-enNovember 2019. She also serves as Provence, and a master in American literChair of the European Systemic Risk ature from Avignon Art College. Board, a member of the Board of Directors at the Bank for International ORGANIZATION BRIEF The European Settlements, and a member of the G7 Central Bank (ecb.europa.eu) is the cenand the G20. Additionally, Lagarde tral bank of the 19 European Union served as Managing Director of the countries which have adopted the euro. International Monetary Fund, Minister Its main task is to maintain price stabilof Economy and Finance of France, ity in the euro area and so preserve the Christine Lagarde French President of the European purchasing power of the single currency. Union, ECOFIN President, French President of the G20, President of the G20 finance How do you define the mission of t h e ministers and central bank governors, Minister of European Central Bank and what do you Agriculture and Fisheries of France, Minister of see as its role in the world? Trade of France, Global Chairman of international Our primary mandate is to keep prices stalaw firm Baker McKenzie, Member of the Global ble in the euro area. By aiming to keep inflation Executive Committee and Managing Partner, Baker below, but close to, 2 percent, we ensure that the McKenzie Paris office, Attorney at law practicing euro is safe and stable and so provide the bedrock predominantly in commercial, mergers and acqui- for economic growth and job creation. Besides sitions, antitrust, labor law and arbitration for inter- underpinning Europe’s economic strength, the national corporate clients, and a lecturer in contract euro also plays an important international role. law at University Paris X Law School. Lagarde has As the world’s second biggest currency, the euro received numerous international awards includ- makes the international financial system more ing the Atlantic Council’s 2011 Global Citizenship resilient and promotes world trade. Our drive to Award and the European Institute’s Transatlantic uphold a strong and reliable currency is part of Leadership Award. Lagarde earned a master Europe’s broader commitment to an open, multiin commercial law and DESS in commercial and lateral and rules-based world economy.
What are your key priorities leading the ECB? Our price stability objective is the lodestar that guides our policy priorities. First and foremost, our priority is to manage the enormous crisis affecting us all. The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted an unprecedented shock on the European economy. Our resolute and forceful action is essential in supporting the economy on its road to recovery and redirecting inflation towards our medium-term aim. A second key priority is to adapt to the changing economic environment in which monetary policy operates. Declining trend growth, rapid digitalization and changing financial structures are influencing price developments. Climate change may significantly affect price stability in the future. To preserve the effectiveness of our monetary policy, we not only need to keep a close eye on these issues, but also take action. To that end, we are conducting a strategy review which will cover all aspects of our monetary policy. Third, a priority close to my heart is to bring the ECB closer to the people. We need to engage in a genuine dialogue to sustain and nurture trust in our institution. People gain a deeper trust in the ECB when they understand our decisions and appreciate their importance for their day-to-day lives.
“Resilience is a quality shared by people and economies; it is the ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances, quickly recover from adverse shocks and bounce back into shape.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The ECB creates a more resilient world through its contribution to a strong European economy and financial system for the good of Europeans and their trading partners.”
How do you define resilience? Resilience is a quality shared by people and economies; it is the ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances, quickly recover from adverse shocks and bounce back into shape. What contributions do you feel the ECB can make to build a more resilient world? As the world’s largest trading bloc and the top trading partner of 80 countries across the world, Europe is deeply integrated into global markets. The ECB creates a more resilient world through its contribution to a strong European economy and financial system for the good of Europeans and their trading partners. It does this in two ways. First, by maintaining price stability, which implies achieving the maximum economic growth that we associate with it, the ECB helps stabilize the economy. Second, as the supervisor of the European banking sector, which includes eight global systemically important banks, the ECB works towards building a more resilient financial system. But a robust economic system is not enough on its own. A more resilient world must be based on more sustainable growth. One important challenge for sustainability is climate change. We are ready to play our part, within our mandate, to address the risks associated with climate change. In this context, we should aim to achieve price stability and economic growth in the most carbonefficient environment possible.
Who are some of the most resilient leaders you see? You can see whether leaders are resilient or not in times of crisis. I have noticed time and again that when there is a crisis, women are called to the rescue. Women tend to be more resilient leaders because of their ability to listen, their desire to build consensus and their good awareness of risks. This has certainly been the case during this pandemic where female leaders in countries like New Zealand, Germany and Taiwan have done a very good job. So I think we should promote women’s leadership if we want a more resilient world. There has been, internationally, and even within the EU, a trend away from cross-border collaboration, a rise in nationalism, and a tendency for nations to increasingly go it alone. What does this mean for the future, particularly in the face of farreaching crises caused by climate change? Multilateralism has been a powerful engine of growth. It has brought countries and economies closer together. But far too many people still suffer from poverty and a lack of opportunities, which has caused anger, resentment and a retreat from multilateralism. However, despite the global rise in unilateral, go-it-alone approaches, I do not believe that this trend is inevitable, for two reasons. First, we can create a new multilateralism that enjoys broad support by ensuring that economic
opportunities are more widely shared. Second, people’s main concerns today are issues such as climate change, immigration and the economic situation, which clearly cut across borders. The EU and other multilateral institutions have a huge opportunity to reconnect with people and make concrete progress in tackling these issues. How critical is collaboration and strong global alliances to building a more resilient world? The coronavirus pandemic is a stark reminder of the benefits of multilateralism. Now more than ever, it is vital that we cooperate closely and learn from each other. Only then will we be able to respond appropriately and chart a course out of this crisis that enables a rapid return to sustainable global growth. But even once the pandemic is behind us, advanced economies will continue to face challenges such as changing global trade, slowing potential growth rates and climate change. These common challenges will require common responses. Promoting a stable and transparent trade system remains essential to the stability of the global economy. Sustainable growth will require strong domestic policies, bolstered by international action. Additionally, only a collective effort to combat climate change can consolidate regional efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and effectively mitigate climate risks.
“You can see whether leaders are resilient or not in times of crisis. I have noticed time and again that when there is a crisis, women are called to the rescue.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The Power of Music An Interview with Clive Davis, Chief Creative Officer, Sony Music EDITORS’ NOTE In the first phase of from the American Foundation for his career, Clive Davis was General AIDS Research. In 2002, Mary Schmidt Counsel of Columbia Records and Campbell, dean of the Tisch School of rose to become President of the comthe Arts at New York University, and pany. While building the rock rosDavis, announced a $5 million gift by ter, Davis was also strengthening Davis to the School for the creation of the label’s catalog in all fields of a new Department of Recorded Music. recorded music, achieving historic That same year, Davis was saluted by success in the areas of R&B, counthe New York Landmarks Conservatory try, jazz and pop music. Davis left as a “Living Landmark” and he also Columbia Records in 1973 and, received the NARAS Heroes Award. after writing the book, Clive: Inside In 2003, the National Academy Clive Davis The Record Business, he founded of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Arista Records with Columbia Fame made Davis the recipient of its Pictures in the Fall of 1974 and then launched 2003 Hitmaker Award. In 2008, Davis was Arista’s Nashville division in 1988. In 1989, he appointed Chief Creative Officer for all of Sony made an agreement with L.A. Reid and Babyface Music Entertainment, a change in operational to form LaFace Records. In 1994, Davis and pro- responsibility with an expansion of the artists ducer/entrepreneur Sean “Puffy” Combs entered he would creatively be responsible for. Born in into a 50/50 joint venture that resulted in the Brooklyn, New York, Davis was a Phi Beta creation of Bad Boy Records. The nine-time Kappa graduate of New York University, where Grammy winning album, Supernatural, sold he received his BA magna cum laude, and he over 26 million copies worldwide, produced graduated with honors from Harvard Law the #1 hits “Smooth” and “Maria Maria,” and School. marked the reunion of Carlos Santana and Clive Davis and the two accepted, as produc- You are involved in many different projers, the Grammy for Best Album of The Year. ects and efforts. Will you highlight your Clive Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll work and areas of focus? Hall of Fame in 2000 as the only non-performer After a lifetime of discovering new artists along with other legends such as Eric Clapton, and successfully relaunching the careers of Earth, Wind & Fire and James Taylor. Almost major artists who looked as though they had simultaneously, it was announced that the cel- peaked, I am now Chief Creative Officer of ebrated Arista chief would be the recipient of Sony Music. My two biggest current projects the Trustees Lifetime Achievement award by are co-producing the Whitney Houston Biopic NARAS at the Grammy Awards. In 2000, Davis with Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody), began a new phase in his career, announc- and executive producing the eight-part teleing the formation of J Records which had plati- vision series for Disney on the life of Aretha num success story after success story beginning Franklin. with Alicia Keys followed by Maroon 5, Annie You have achieved great success in Lennox, Luther Vandross and Rod Stewart. your career. What have been the keys Davis’ passion for music is matched by a pas- to your strength and leadership in the sion for helping his fellow man. The recipient of industry? many humanitarian honors from organizations I never planned on this career. I studsuch as the T.J. Martell Foundation, the Anti- ied law at Harvard and a lucky break found Defamation League and the American Cancer my law firm representing CBS and Columbia Society, Davis began his tireless efforts in the bat- Records. Columbia was looking to hire a new tle against AIDS in 1985. One of the foremost chief attorney. Even though I was only four leaders in the battle against the disease, Davis years out of law school, I was offered and has spearheaded the donation of millions of accepted the job. Directly from that position, dollars to AIDS charities over the past years. In I was offered and accepted the position of 1995, he was once again named Humanitarian head of Columbia Records five years later. I of the Year by the T.J. Martell Foundation, the learned on the spot and two years later I accifirst ever to receive this honor twice. In 1998, dentally discovered I had a totally unexpected Davis was bestowed a Humanitarian Award and unexplained gift – “ears.” This was quite 16 LEADERS
a surprise, but I could, and would, discover great all-time artists. They would either be self-contained and wrote or found their own music such as Janis Joplin, Chicago, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Earth Wind & Fire, Billy Joel, Patti Smith and Alicia Keys, or they would need hit songs to explode their career like Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin, or a combination of both like Barry Manilow or Carlos Santana. With the absolute thrill of this discovery, music became my passion. Hard work – a never ending work ethic – and a fear of failure propelled my career efforts coupled with a high standard for choosing my team members whose love of music and their own personal work ethic led to years of success in beating the odds. As one of the world’s most successful producers, you have helped artists express their thoughts through music. What do you see as the main ingredients in creating successful music? First, it greatly helps when the artist not only has hits but is a star in his or her own right – that they are true headliners. All the artists mentioned above are compelling, electrifying performers who still, after many decades, lift the audience out of their seats time and time again. The copyrights that they sing have become standards. The songs live on and will be sung by audiences forever. So, bottom line, in creating successful music, you start with the song. If the song, the copyright, is special in melody and lyric it will live on forever and if it is performed by a true star, that star’s career can last for 50 years or more. How do you define resilience and what do you see as the role of music in resilience? As the documentary on my life the Ridley Scott firm created (Clive Davis: the Soundtrack of Our Lives on Netflix) makes clear, no one’s life goes up and up. At the height of my very successful years at Columbia, taking the label from #3 to #1, an employee of Columbia who was fired for fraud claimed there was payola in the record industry including Columbia. In cooperating with the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, he was seeking a lighter sentence. Since CBS, the owner of Columbia Records, was primarily a broadcast company, its FCC license was being threatened. A brand new president of CBS, 37 years old, was advised by CBS lawyers to totally separate the company from its record VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
operation and I was summarily fired. They just didn’t want any risk even if this was totally unjust to me. It took a year and a half investigation to exonerate Columbia and me. It was traumatic and painful, but I knew of my innocence. I wrote a book, kept silent and felt some satisfaction when the documentary showed the check I received from CBS for $1,000,000 for “mail order record club rights to the recordings from the brand new record company I had just founded, Arista Records.” But starting from scratch, showing I could successfully lead a brand new record company, took resilience. It took belief in oneself. I knew that at Columbia I had never outbid anyone for the artists I signed and those artists were all rock artists. I had to hire many new executives who understood the rock revolution that we were to help lead. Was there doubt and anxiety? Of course. But I believed success could be enjoyed again and, this time, not for a major label but for a just formed brand new company. It worked. Resilience worked! People have relied on music to provide comfort in all of the uncertainty and pain of the last few months. What do you see as the role that music can play during difficult times? I define “resilience” as the ability to come back from adversity. There have been several hit songs with that theme showing it to be a very appealing musical theme. Examples are “I Made It through the Rain” and “Looks Like We Made It” from Barry Manilow. Actually, music can be great accompaniment for the spirit of coming back. All you have to do is sing the musical hook of “The Theme from Rocky” to understand that. World War II’s theme “The White Cliffs Of Dover” was very inspirational. Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” are still other examples. These songs mentioned
above embody the necessary ingredients of successful music, of hit songs. It’s the combination of great melody and strong lyrics that create the timeless copyrights that we call “standards.” Just think of all the great songs you know and have been affected by and you’ll instantly hum the melody and know most of the words. Has your work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world? Yo u a s k w h e t h e r m y approach to my music has changed during this nightmarish pandemic. The answer is “no.” At least half of my listening continues to be for the purpose of educating my ears so I remain current and don’t “go over the hill.” Music changes and what qualifies as a hit today is much different from what it was five years ago. There’s no escaping the hard work ethic that must be held dear if you continue to love the music business. The other half of my listening continues to be for pleasure. Songs from the great artists that mark my career continue to be prominent. It’s still a thrill to hear great voices from my past and their wonderClive Davis with Aretha Franklin (above) and Whitney Houston (below) ful songs and then there are the Beatles, Cole Porter, Rodgers Without my resilience, I don’t know where and Hammerstein, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke my career would be. I’m so grateful that I and Prince. tapped into that resilience because I unexpectHow has your personal resilience helped edly found music to be the great driving passion drive your work? of my life. I still cherish how much I love music and how it contributes to my enjoyment of life. I’m very mindful of my continuing obligation to the landmark artists who have passed on. The separate legacies of both Whitney and Aretha are very important to me. I’m co-producing the biopic on the life of Whitney Houston. I’ve disliked as one dimensional both documentaries that have come out on Whitney. Without whitewashing any of the battles she bravely faced for survival, the movie will also show her musical genius and why she inspired millions all over the world. I’m also executive producing an eight-part television series for Disney on the life of Aretha Franklin. Her unparalleled legacy is also very important to me. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? Barack and Michelle Obama are two leaders I greatly admire. They have inspired me and millions of others with their humanity, their work ethics, their heart, their dignity and their respective missions. I greatly admire what percentage of their wealth Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Michael Bloomberg are contributing to charity. However, my real heroes are all in the past: FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Madame Curie all inspire me.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Ensuring Global Economic Stability An Interview with Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) EDITORS’ NOTE Kristalina INSTITUTION BRIEF Created in 1945, Georgieva assumed her current the International Monetary Fund (imf. position on October 1, 2019. Before org) is an organization of 189 counjoining the Fund, she was CEO of tries, working to foster global monetary the World Bank fr om January cooperation, secure financial stability, 2017 to September 2019, durfacilitate international trade, promote ing which time she also s e r v e d high employment and sustainable ecoa s I n t e r i m P r e s i d e n t o f the nomic growth, and reduce poverty Wo r l d B a n k G r o u p f o r t h r e e around the world. The IMF’s primary months. Pr eviously, Geor gieva purpose is to ensure the stability of the helped shape the agenda of the international monetary system – the European Union. She served a s system of exchange rates and interKristalina Georgieva Eur opean Commission Vice national payments that enables counPresident for Budget and Human tries and their citizens to transact with Resources, overseeing the $175 billion bud- each other. The Fund’s mandate was updated in get and 33,000 staff. Before that, she was 2012 to include all macroeconomic and finanCommissioner for International Cooperation, cial sector issues that bear on global stability. Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, managing one of the world’s largest human- You assumed your r ole as Managing itarian aid budgets. Prior to joining the Director of the IMF in October 2019. What European Commission, Georgieva worked excited you about this opportunity and how for 17 years at the World Bank, culminat- did your previous experience prepare you ing in her appointment as Vice Pr esident for this position? and Corporate Secretary in 2008. She held My life has given me a broad perspective a number of other senior positions, includ- on how economics affects people’s lives. I was ing World Bank Dir ector for Sustainable born behind the Iron Curtain and experienced Development, World Bank Director for the the profound limitations of a centrally planned Russian Federation, based in Moscow, World economy. After the collapse of communism in Bank Director for Environment, and Director Eastern Europe, I lived through Bulgaria’s painfor Environment and Social Development for ful transition to a market economy. I vividly the East Asia and Pacific Region. She joined remember hyperinflation wiping out my moththe World Bank as an environmental econo- er’s life savings and getting up at 4:00 AM to buy mist in 1993. Georgieva serves on many milk for my daughter. international panels including as co-Chair Together with my work at the World Bank of the Global Commission on Adaptation and the European Commission, my experience to climate change, and as co-chair of the has given me this very clear understanding: United Nations Secr etary-General’s High- macro decisions have micro impacts. Policy must Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing. In always be about people, especially the poor and 2010, she was named “European of the Year” the vulnerable who need help the most. and “Commissioner of the Year” by European My background also gives me an unwavVoice for her leadership in the EU’s human- ering sense of pragmatic optimism. I have itarian response to crises. She has authored observed how, with perseverance and work, and co-authored over 100 publications on hard times can turn into good times, and potenenvir onmental and economic policy top- tially bad outcomes can be transformed into ics, including textbooks on macr o- and good outcomes. Optimism must, of course, be microeconomics. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, backed by action and I strongly believe in our Georgieva holds a PhD in economic science collective ability to make life better for people. and an MA in political economy and sociology So, to lead the IMF at a time when it has a critifrom the University of National and World cal role to play, is both exciting and humbling. Economy, Sofia, where she was an Associate What do you see as the IMF’s role in the Professor between 1977 and 1993. During world today? her academic career, she was visiting fellow The IMF is at the center of the global finanat the London School of Economics and at the cial safety net. In the first phase of the crisis, we Massachusetts Institute of Technology. worked as an “economic first responder” and 18 LEADERS
rapidly disbursed over $30 billion in emergency financing to 75 countries in just four months – an unprecedented response. Now, as the world starts to move toward recovery, we are acting as an “economic stabilizer” and working on key issues like rising public debt, ensuring stability in the financial sector, and how to boost job creation in countries and regions that are particularly dependent on sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic. We have three key assets that have helped us in these two roles: Our financial capacity enables us to act quickly and decisively. Thankfully, after the global financial crisis, our members had the foresight to quadruple our lending capacity from $250 billion to $1 trillion. We have deployed around a quarter of this capacity, including through providing emergency financing, standby arrangements, debt relief and flexible credit lines, and we stand ready to provide further assistance to our members. Our expertise enables us to analyze economies to identify risks and opportunities for our members and offer practical policy advice based on global experience. Consider our COVID-19 policy tracker - it covers the key economic responses of 196 economies to the current crisis and allows policymakers to see how others are managing the crisis. This is available on our website. We have also ramped up our capacity development efforts for countries and enhanced our economic surveillance by incorporating epidemiological expertise in our macroeconomic models. And, finally, our vision. Being resilient tomorrow requires vision today, both when it comes to the challenges we may face, and the opportunities we may find. Even as we urge countries not to withdraw policy support prematurely in the next phase of the crisis, we are also thinking about building forward better toward a world that is fairer and more equitable, greener and more sustainable, smarter and, above all, more resilient. What metrics will you use to judge your leadership and the success of the IMF? As a leader, my role is to work with the Board to set priorities and then make sure staff is highly energized, with all the support and the resources they need to deliver. I am fortunate that the Fund is blessed with a brilliant and diverse staff – a mixture of people from different backgrounds who bring their experience and knowledge, and their commitment, to serve our members. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“If there is one clear lesson from this crisis, it is the importance of building a resilient economy, because we live in a more shock-prone world. If you build strong buffers, you can put these to use when they are needed, and we have seen how countries with stronger underlying economic fundamentals have fared better during the crisis.” It is our members and their citizens who we serve who will ultimately judge whether the IMF has been successful. If we succeed in our mission – to help ensure global economic stability – this would translate into more and better jobs, sustainable and resilient economies, and better health and education systems that create opportunities for people to reach their potential. That is our baseline and guiding principle – policies to help people. The world is facing many challenges and crises. How critical is resilience in addressing these global issues? If there is one clear lesson from this crisis, it is the importance of building a resilient economy, because we live in a more shockprone world. If you build strong buffers, you can put these to use when they are needed, and we have seen how countries with stronger underlying economic fundamentals have fared better during the crisis. For example, we know emerging markets and developing countries will be the hardest hit by this crisis – they face the biggest challenges and steepest trade-offs. Last March, around $100 billion left emerging and developing economies, yet following the massive liquidity injection by central banks, emerging market sovereigns were able to go back to the markets quickly with $83 billion issued March to June. Year-to-date issuance in 2020 stands at $137 billion, or $30 billion higher than the previous record for this point in time in the calendar year (in 2018). More broadly, public investments can also boost resilience – think of the lives saved by strong public health investments, the jobs preserved by digital skills and infrastructure, and the services maintained by harnessing technology. An example is Rwanda that already had a 93 percent financial inclusion rate before the pandemic, so the government could build on that foundation to roll out enhanced social safety nets. This pandemic is far from the last crisis we will see. Climate change could devastate economies, widen inequality and displace millions of people. For this and other global crises to come, we must build resilience now. What are the key factors getting in the way of making the world more resilient? After the financial crisis, the international community focused on strengthening the banking sector to improve its resilience. Today, we must expand the concept of resilience across VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
three dimensions. First, as governments further expand their fiscal support, they need to remain fully accountable to the taxpayer, spending what is needed but keeping the receipts. Countries also need to take advantage of the digital transformation to move governments to e-platforms so that they can ensure efficient and transparent public spending, while taking action to cut red tape and helping private businesses to flourish. Second, policies must be environmentally sustainable as well as fiscally sustainable. This means supporting low-carbon and climate-resilient growth and being smart about allocating additional public spending to these priorities. Finally, all governments need to embrace the concept of investing in people – social safety nets to catch people if they fall, and social safety ropes to help people pull themselves back up again. That means spending more and spending better on schools, training, and reskilling. It means expanding well-targeted social programs to reach the most vulnerable. It means empowering women by reducing labor market discrimination. Such investment will need to be funded by more equitable taxation, especially given enhanced public debt levels. If we seize these opportunities, we will emerge from this crisis with a global economy that is not just more resilient, but also more efficient, more inclusive, and more sustainable.
“The IMF is at the center of the global financial safety net.”
How critical are collaboration and strong global alliances to building a more resilient world? The pandemic is a powerful reminder of the need for solidarity in an interconnected world. Governments have taken extraordinary measures to curb the spread of the disease and limit the immediate economic damage. But even as governments are taking measures at home, they also need to strengthen their joint efforts because international cooperation is critical to build resilience and preserve stability. Take trade – we have seen some governments taking measures to limit the movement of key items like drugs, protective gear and ventilators. Curbs on some food supply lines are also starting to appear, despite strong overall supply. What may make sense in an isolated emergency can be severely damaging in a global crisis, especially for poorer and more vulnerable countries, and we have called on governments to refrain from imposing trade restrictions and to remove those put in place this year. The good news is that we do see cooperation among countries, like the EU agreement on a 750 billion euros recovery package, and we have seen good cooperation between multilateral institutions and among the international community. Early in the crisis, together with World Bank President David Malpass, I called on official bilateral creditors to suspend debt service payments from the poorest countries. The G20 responded with the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) that means bilateral official creditors will suspend debt service payments from the poorest countries that request it. This commendable initiative should be extended, and we should also consider how to encourage greater private sector participation and measures to improve debt transparency. Beyond the DSSI, there is a need to fill gaps in the international debt architecture and think about more comprehensive debt relief for many countries. From an IMF perspective, we have seen significant international cooperation throughout this crisis. We have received strong support from across our membership as we have acted at unprecedented speed to help countries that have been hit hard by the crisis, and throughout this period, we have heard all our member countries say they want the IMF to be strong. We are not going to get out of this crisis one country at a time and in my experience, the world is willing and able to come together for the common good.
Service to Country An Interview with General Richard D. Clarke, Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) EDITORS’ NOTE General Richard D. What interested you in a career in Clarke currently serves as the 12th the military? Commander of U.S. Special Operations I am the product of a military Command (USSOCOM) headquartered family. My father was the first in his at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Prior family to join, and he served almost to assuming command of USSOCOM, a quarter century in uniform. I was General Clarke served as Director for born in Germany, a year after he was Strategic Plans and Policy (J5), Joint commissioned, during his first assignStaff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. ment, and grew up moving from variGeneral Clarke’s other assignments as ous Army posts around Europe and a general officer include: Deputy the U.S. I vividly remember his two Commanding General for Operations, tours to Vietnam, where he was away 10th Mountain Division from 2011 General Richard D. Clarke from us for a year. Moving every two to 2013; the 74th Commandant of to three years, deployments abroad, Cadets, United States Military Academy at West Point and other unique aspects of military life became from 2013 to 2014; and the Commander of the 82nd normal to us. But underlying that, the ideas of Airborne Division. His formative and key Army and service to country and contributing to somespecial operations assignments include: Director of thing bigger than ourselves were cultural norms Operations, Joint Special Operations Command from that my parents cultivated. I spent much of my 2009 to 2011, and eight years in the 75th Ranger youth observing domestic sentiment in the Regiment first as a company commander, then as a aftermath of the Vietnam War. Public trust in battalion commander, and finally as the regimental our military was at an all-time low, and had my commander. He also served as commander of 3rd parents not turned the tide for me personally, Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd I would have been much less receptive to uniAirborne Division. General Clarke has led soldiers formed service. at all levels in Airborne, Ranger, Mechanized and In my junior and senior year of high Light Infantry units in five different divisions, the school, we were living in West Berlin, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the 75th Ranger United States was having some challenges Regiment in the United States, Europe, Iraq and which I observed firsthand while encircled Afghanistan. His deployments while serving in the by East Germany and the Iron Curtain. The aforementioned positions include Operations Desert Soviet Union’s internal decline was still Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Guardian their best-kept secret, and they seemed as in Macedonia, three deployments in support of strong and influential as ever. The Iranian Operation Enduring Freedom, four deployments in Revolution and the hostage crisis took censupport of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one deploy- ter stage, and terrorist attacks were on the ment as the commander of the Combined Joint Forces rise globally. There was a growing sense Land Component Command – Operation Inherent of instability and insecurity in the world. I Resolve. General Clarke was born in Germany and was young and wanted to contribute. I also raised in an Army family. He is a graduate of the wanted to get an education, but lacked the United States Military Academy at West Point, New means to pay for a four-year degree. The York, and was commissioned into the Infantry in military offered a way to do both. 1984. He holds a BS degree from West Point and an To be clear, I didn’t see myself making this MBA from Benedictine College. He is a distinguished a career. Coming out of West Point, I planned to graduate of the National War College earning a mas- serve my five-year obligation and transition to ter’s degree in security and strategic studies. a civilian job. I never planned to be in uniform 36 years later, but this life has been incredibly COMMAND BRIEF USSOCOM (socom.mil) rewarding in ways I never expected. develops and employs fully capable Special How has your military service and Operations Forces to conduct global special experience shaped your leadership style? operations and activities as part of the Joint My first assignment was to West Germany Force to support persistent, networked and dis- in 1984, then to Desert Storm a few years later, tributed Combatant Command operations and and then multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns against state and non-state actors to since 9/11. I learned early and often that securprotect and advance U.S. policies and objectives. ing our nation is costly. When our military 20 LEADERS
service members make a solemn oath that they are willing to lay down their lives in defense of this nation, that’s no small thing. The unforgiving nature of combat is a quintessential reality of the profession. Every decision can be a life or death moment. This shaped my leadership style in three distinct ways. First, our decisions and actions may result in the death of other human beings; therefore, our commitment to the laws and ethics governing that reality is paramount. The realization that the enemy soldier on the other end of your gun is also a son or daughter, brother or sister, and father or mother is sobering. Young people sometimes see war as glamorous. It’s not. There’s no room for flippancy. We need to be knowledgeable, professional and precise. Second, inaction, incompetence or unpreparedness both in training and in combat may result in the death of our own teammates. We cannot tolerate less than the highest standards. When it comes to discipline, fitness and care of equipment, we have to be uncompromising. If you’re willing to compromise on those things in this profession, you’re not taking the potential consequences seriously. Third, when you strip away all the technology, the Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine of today is the same as the young warrior with a sword or bow a thousand years ago. They have the same hopes, dreams and fears. This is an intensely human business. People really do matter. If you really get to know your people and show them that you genuinely care about them, you have a chance to build the kind of team that can withstand that unforgiving environment in combat. I’d also add a fourth leadership impact to that list, but it’s one that took me many years to cultivate. Never get complacent and stay flexible. When I hear “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” it raises my blood pressure. In a single career, I’ve gone from setting up platoon defensive positions in the Fulda Gap to prepare for battle against the Soviets, to deploying to Desert Shield to counter the aggression of a third-world dictator, to conducting decades-long counterinsurgency campaigns, and now shaping our force to compete in this rapidly advancing digital information age. The world is changing fast, and we must be willing to change with it to stay on top. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
What have been the keys to your success and ability to lead in your career? I have been truly fortunate in my career to serve on some great teams, and while serving on those teams, I had great mentors who took an interest in investing their energy to make me better. Having the opportunity to serve in SOF units early in my career really changed both the trajectory of my career and my outlook on leadership in a broader sense. As a junior officer, I joined the 75th Ranger Regiment more by fluke than by purpose. I had just completed my company command in the 101st Airborne Division, and had a job lined up in Washington, D.C., which my wife and I expected to be our final tour before leaving for civilian life. The Rangers were conducting a training event with my division, and my commander assigned me to serve as liaison. The Ranger Regimental Commander invited me to try out. I did, and it changed everything. While in the Ranger Regiment, I was exposed to phenomenal mentors who were among the top leaders in the Army. The Rangers do a few simple, but very powerful, things right. I’ve tried to carry these characteristics forward and replicate them in every organization I’ve served with since. First, the organization is built around a set of core standards that every member must meet. Those standards aren’t exclusionary – they’re a gateway, not a barrier. And it’s not a one-time test where you pass and you’re in. You have to maintain that level of performance. That was my first time being exposed to excellence as an organizational mindset, where every single person on the team met the same standards. It was a self-policing team with a culture of constant assessment. Second, the organization challenged me every day. When you have a team built of people that really want to be on board, and each person demonstrates such exceptional talent, “good enough” isn’t a term used often. It was a team where you wanted to excel, had to excel, where the worst thing you can do is let the team down. It’s unambiguously written into their creed: “Never shall I fail my comrades.” You would show up to work every day ready to give your best, and when you looked to your left and right, you’d see your teammates doing the exact same thing – or something even better. It definitely pushed me to do more. Third, the organization was absolutely committed to building a deep reserve of leadership talent. Every single Ranger is a future leader for the Army. When a team believes that about each of its members, it creates an atmosphere to cultivate maximum individual potential. For me, it was a leadership laboratory every day. Every officer, non-commissioned leader, and enlisted soldier – each were committed to having a critical eye on the organization, conducting afteraction reviews to identify issues, solve group problems, and share lessons widely. It was a learning organization through and through. At the end of the day, the team generates success – the leader sets conditions. If leaders can cultivate an organizational mindset focused on excellence, oriented on team success, and committed to the individual growth of each team VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
General Clarke congratulates Navy SEAL candidates in August 2019 as they complete Hell Week, a rigorous multi-day phase of SEAL training designed to test physical and mental toughness.
member, they’ve done their part. Underpinning it all, leaders have to prioritize the team over their own interests. If you ever step into a leadership position and start with “how am I going to be successful,” you’re already missing the mark. When it’s about the team succeeding, things will begin to fall into place. How do you define resilience? Resilience has been such a hot topic in a variety of fields for several decades. To me, it’s about learning from challenging circumstances and using that knowledge to fuel renewed efforts to achieve your goals. It’s the ability to bounce back when times get tough – physically, psychologically or spiritually. The other aspect that comes to mind is perseverance – grit as an indicator of success. We often look at perseverance and resilience as separate phenomenons. Perhaps, but I think there is a connection. Again, I recall my experience with the Rangers and the espoused values in their creed. In an organization that eschews the idea of surrender and commits to “display the intestinal fortitude required to…complete the mission,” perseverance in the moment and resilience to overcome adversity and ready oneself to accomplish the next task are two sides of the same coin. U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) are renowned for their capability and are often put in the most stressful and challenging situations. How critical is it for your team to be resilient and do you feel that this is something that can be learned? It might be the most important long-term outcome that we look to cultivate across our SOF formation. We know that our special operators and support teams will be sent into the most remote, ambiguous and politically sensitive environments. To prepare them, we expect
them to have three attributes. First, they must have unshakable character, fully prepared to make good decisions when faced with moral and ethical challenges. Second, they must demonstrate absolute mastery of their combat skills, ready to fight and win. Third, they must be resilient, having the tools to manage the stress before, during and after their mission. Resilience can be nurtured and developed. Much of our training is intended to make SOF more resistant to experiencing performance degradations, and when challenged, to be able to return to a high level of functioning quickly. We expect that there will be times when our people are challenged, whether it is physically or emotionally, and we try to prepare them for those challenges. Through physical and psychological training, we steel our people for those challenges, and we expect them to proactively take care of themselves when they aren’t at their best. We also have support mechanisms in place when they need help. The will to win in battle is important, but often the will to prepare to win is much harder. It requires a lot of discipline, time and rigor. At USSOCOM, we have an outstanding program to address what we call Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF). Our people are at the core of our competitive advantage, and the POTFF program is our principal mechanism to study and enhance resilience across our force. We look at performance and readiness through five domains, or pillars: physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cognitive. The last pillar, cognitive, is an area in which we are increasing our investment. Increased cognitive performance and brain health are two areas where we believe applied neurological science can really help in the coming years. LEADERS 21
How has your personal resilience helped in your role as Commander of USSOCOM? Sitting at the strategic level, I’m no longer personally confronted with the physical battle scenarios that I’ve talked about thus far. The stress and fatigue in this job is largely mental and emotional. However, it is important that I have a deep understanding of what our warriors are doing in the far-flung reaches of the globe, especially in a global pandemic, when they have to consider both their own condition and the health and safety of their own families. Every opportunity that I have to get out and meet with our forces, I take it. These interactions provide me insight regarding the challenges we face, but most of all I gain energy and a renewed sense of what – or who – is really important as I meet with our young special operators and listen as they discuss their missions, their personal goals, and their concerns. When you asked me about leadership lessons, I talked about the importance of being flexible and adapting. Almost daily, I get the chance to see some of our teammates do that in good faith to keep our nation’s advantage. But sometimes, bureaucracy does slow your attempts to innovate. Those can be demoralizing moments. Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands up in the air and redirect your energy elsewhere. But, if it was worth doing in the first place, it’s probably worth seeing through to the end. The great part about being on a team like USSOCOM is that before I can rally and tell everyone we’re going to try again, they’re already halfway to the objective picking up speed for another run. Significantly, a lot of the same tools we teach to our young special operators are still important. Staying fit, eating healthy, getting enough rest, being reflective, having some outlets away from the daily grind, and cultivating deep personal relationships – each of these help to form a physical and mental foundation for wellbeing at any level. As for the will to persevere, it becomes who you are – an essential part of your identity. You’re not born with it, but you learn it from great leaders and teammates over time. USSOCOM’s r ole as both a For ce Developer and Force Employer is unique in the U.S. Military. Will you discuss how you approach this role and the keys to being successful in this mission? It certainly requires us to broaden our perspective and think about the big picture. We have to listen closely to the needs of the Geographic Combatant Commanders who are running operations, then look very closely at how those requirements stack up in the global priority list, and how sustainable those missions are in the long run. SOF has learned some hard lessons over the past two decades. Our forces have been in high demand in multiple theaters. Collectively, we valued the employer role over the developer role. You can do that in very short-ter m “break glass in time 22 LEADERS
of war” scenarios, but not for multiple decades. We started making compromises in accountability, discipline and readiness, and pressure on the force accumulated at an unmanageable pace. We h a v e t o t a k e a c o m p r e h e n s i v e approach to readiness that values rigorous leader and team development, disciplined force generation (recruitment, accessions, training, and talent management), and sustainable and predictable tempo across the force. Additionally, we have to think about moder nization. Our SOF need the best enabling technologies to give them every possible advantage. From both a personnel and equipment standpoint, we have unique requirements and need to stay alert to fresh opportunities to make investments that will grow long-term capability.
General Clarke and his senior enlisted leader, Greg Smith, depart the Special Operations Memorial in Tampa after commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Operation Eagle Claw, the unsuccessful attempt to end the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1980 that, in part, led to the creation of USSOCOM.
As for my personal role in all this, these are huge tasks. My job is to give clear guidance and expectations, check on our direction and progress regularly, but otherwise get out of the way. I spend a significant amount of my personal effort on outreach. Inside of the DoD and the U.S. interagency, that involves tearing down procedural or policy roadblocks, working with the service branches to improve incentive structures for the incredible talent we have in the SOF enterprise, or finding security gaps where SOF can better assist the Joint Force in addressing the nation’s security challenges. Externally, that outreach is focused on developing relationships with industry partners, particularly in the tech industry. It’s no secret that artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) technologies will have a profound impact on most industries, including the military. The breadth of those impacts – how we operate abroad, how we process information, how we structure our workforce talent – demands that I be heavily involved in finding a suitable way ahead for applying these emerging data-driven tools. There are a lot of really patriotic, innovative people out there who would love to apply their talents to the defense industry but don’t because they may not see the connection between their product and our requirements. If I can help them make those connections and help them find an effective means of partnering with us, we both win.
Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? After two decades of continuous conflict, our ranks are filled with resilient leaders. In general, I really have to acknowledge the tremendous resilience, perseverance and leadership from our non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps. I have a personal relationship with a few incredible leaders who stand out. Two senior NCOs who I’ve personally learned a lot from are Sergeant Major Rick Merritt and Chief Master Sergeant Greg Smith. I have known Rick since he was a Platoon Sergeant when I was a Company Commander and we have crossed paths in multiple positions and locations over my career. Greg is my senior enlisted leader at USSOCOM. Both are outstanding role models of everything we hope our young leaders will become – highly intelligent, morally straight and absolutely dedicated to the mission and their people. Rick and Greg were both exceptional small unit leaders when the war in Afghanistan kicked off in 2001, and both endured a blistering operational tempo, combat wounds and bouts of personal injury and illness. Through it all, they remain positive, engaged and unwavering in their commitment. On the front lines, we’ve taken a lot of casualties over the years. Most are able to heal and continue service. Occasionally, we have leaders who are badly wounded and fight against the odds to rejoin their comrades. Nick Lavery is a powerful example. Nick was a Green Beret staff sergeant when a gunshot wound in Afghanistan left his right leg damaged beyond repair. Sitting on the sidelines wasn’t enough for Nick. He strapped on his prosthetic leg, worked twice as hard, and fought back to the teams. He even graduated from warrant officer school and became our first amputee to graduate from combat diver school – one of our most physically demanding courses. He’s absolutely inspirational. Sometimes, wounds take you out of the fight, no matter how badly you want to continue. Romy Camargo’s story is one of the most compelling I’ve seen over the years. Romy was shot in the neck in 2008 in Afghanistan. The bullet damaged his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed. Romy and his amazing wife Gaby settled in Tampa and began the long, uphill road to rehabilitation. When twice weekly trips to the nearest spinal rehab facility in Orlando started to take their toll, they decided to open their own facility in Tampa and begin a tremendous non-profit outreach to help other veterans with spinal cord injuries. Romy joined the military to make a difference, and he’s continued to do that in ways he never expected. That kind of winning attitude is priceless. There are so many of our wounded warriors who are incredible. For anybody reading this interview, I encourage you to make a trip to see an event like the Warrior Games or Invictus Games. The events are inspirational, seeing the level of resilience and goodwill that radiates from some of our hardest hit heroes. If you want to see people who can turn a challenge into an opportunity, they’re the masterclass.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Each year, we salute an exemplary group of individuals who have contributed to the Atlantic Council mission of shaping the global future together. This year, we have honored
MS. KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA
MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
H.E. LUIS ALBERTO MORENO
PRESIDENT, INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
MR. LIONEL RICHIE
MUSIC ICON, PRODUCER AND PHILANTHROPIST
To find out more, go to AtlanticCouncil.org/DLA
The Responsibility of News An Interview with Cesar Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group EDITORS’ NOTE Cesar Conde Our country is facing a health crisis was named Chair man of the that in turn brought on an economic criNBCUniversal News Group in May sis, and recently an escalation of social 2020. In this role, he has oversight unrest in many American cities ignited of NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, by injustice. Any one of these events on including editorial and business its own would be difficult for anyone, or operations for the award-winning any company. It all adds up to a time television and digital properties. that demonstrates just how important Previously, Conde was Chairman resilience is, now more than ever. of NBCUniversal Inter national Change has always been inevitaGroup and NBCUniversal ble. Resilience is not being resistant to Telemundo Enterprises. Conde change, it’s embracing it. It’s figuring out Cesar Conde joined NBCUniversal in October what’s to come. Resilience is fueled by, as 2013 as Executive Vice President I have witnessed in my new role with the to oversee NBCU Inter national and NBCU NBCUniversal News Group, courage, professionalDigital Enterprises. Befor e NBCUniversal, ism and teamwork. I have full confidence in our C o n d e w a s t h e P r e s i d e n t o f U n i v i s i o n collective ability to identify the best path forward Networks and served in a variety of senior and our willingness to be flexible enough to change executive capacities at the company. Prior course and learn from the experiences when we to Univision, Conde served as a White House get something wrong. This too is resilience. Fellow for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from 2002–2003. Previously, he worked at StarMedia Network, the first Internet company focused on Spanish and Portuguesespeaking audiences globally, and in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Salomon Smith Barney. Conde serves on the board of directors of Walmart and PepsiCo. He is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute and the Paley Center for Media. He is a Full Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. He holds a BA with honors from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Our most sacred responsibility at NBCU News Group is to inform and equip our audiences with relevant news and facts.”
COMPANY BRIEF NBCUniversal (nbcuniversal. com) is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. It owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. How do you define resilience and what do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the crises the world is facing today? 24 LEADERS
How are you thinking about diversity, equity and inclusion within your workplace? We are at a pivotal moment in our country’s history. Over the past several months we’ve all witnessed our nation grapple with systemic inequality, economic instability and protests against racial injustice – all amid the chaos and impact of a global health crisis. And now, a pivotal Election Day is around the corner. These are complex stories that we as a news organization have a unique privilege of covering during these challenging times. The role of journalists, especially journalists of color, is more vital than ever, and we must reflect the communities we serve. How critical is it for NBCUniversal News Group to build a diverse and inclusive workforce?
We’re a future-focused organization and the demographics of our country show that for the first time in our country’s history, this year in 2020, Americans under the age of 18 will be 50+ percent of color. It is projected that by 2040, over 50 percent of all Americans will be people of color. This is where America is headed, and we are meeting the moment with an aggressive plan. We recently announced what we’re calling the “Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative” which set an ambitious goal for us to have 50 percent of our employees be women, and 50 percent be people of color. As a news organization, we have had to ensure that we reflect more diverse perspectives both on and off air, not only because it makes our coverage stronger, but because we have an obligation to the communities we serve. How do you define the NBCUniversal News Group difference and what have been the keys to its success? We have the unique ability to bring together so many powerful voices and brands under one company from NBC News to MSNBC to CNBC to Telemundo News. The breadth of expertise, the diversity of our teams and the steadfast nature of our mission strengthen us and set us apart from the competition, while also ensuring that we reach every member of our community through all platforms available to them. I do not believe there’s any other news organization that can cover all of these events as well as our networks with the depth, expertise and humanity that our journalists bring to it. How do you define the responsibility that news programs have to the public? Early in my career I fell in love with media and the positive impact it could have if practiced responsibly. I’ve had the privilege of working in the media industry for over 15 years in various capacities and overseeing various news organizations among other things for much of that time. I have profound admiration and respect for the important work that is done by journalists. Our most sacred responsibility at NBCU News Group is to inform and equip our audiences with relevant news and facts. Our news organization is the backbone of our business and oftentimes a lifeline to the communities that we serve. I cannot think of a more important moment in our lifetime where the work our journalists do has more of an impact than today. News programs should be trustworthy, serve all of the communities that make up their broad audience, and should look like the communities they serve.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Defining Resilience An Interview with Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania EDITORS’ NOTE Ezekiel Emanuel INSTITUTION BRIEF The University is the Vice Pr ovost for Global of Pennsylvania (Penn) is a priInitiatives and the Diane v.S. Levy and vate Ivy League university located in Robert M. Levy University Professor Philadelphia. Penn (upenn.edu) was at the University of Pennsylvania. America’s first university, founded by He is also an Op-Ed contributor to Benjamin Franklin, and is the fourthThe New York Times. He was the oldest institution of higher education in founding chair of the Department of the United States. It is noted for its schools Bioethics at the National Institutes of of business, law, and medicine, each of Health and held that position until which was the first in North America, and August 2011. From January 2009 also developed the nation’s first liberal until January 2011, he served a s arts curriculum. About 4,500 professors Ezekiel J. Emanuel a Special Advisor on Health serve more than 10,000 undergraduate Policy to the Director of the Office and nearly 12,000 graduate and profesof Management and Budget and National sional students. Penn is widely recognized as one Economic Council. Dr. Emanuel has published of the world’s leading research universities and over 300 articles in bioethics and health policy, consistently ranks among the top 10 universities and is the most widely published and cited bioeth- in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. icist in the world. He has also authored or edited a total of 15 books, his two most recent being The How do you define resilience? Trillion Dollar Revolution and Which Country I think we need to distinguish resilience Has the World’s Best Health Care? He was the of individuals and resilience of institutions and lead editor on The Oxford Textbook of Clinical organizations. Resilience of individuals requires Research Ethics. After completing Amherst College, a careful blending of character and environhe received his MSc from Oxford University in ment. Resilient individuals need to be able to Biochemistry. He received his MD from Harvard persist in the face of adversity and failure. This Medical School and his PhD in political philoso- character trait often requires early childhood phy from Harvard University. In 1987-88, he experience of adversity and encouragement to was a fellow in the Program in Ethics and the recover and persist. As a psychiatrist friend has Professions at the Kennedy School of Government repeatedly told me, good childhood training at Harvard. After completing his internship and for resilience is a lot of “near misses.” One of residency in internal medicine at Boston’s Beth the things I worry about is the impact of overIsrael Hospital and his oncology fellowship at the protective parents in reducing if not eradicating Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he joined the fac- children’s experiences of adversity and failure – ulty at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. and recovery. If children don’t have that adverEmanuel was an Associate Professor at Harvard sity, it is hard to become resilient. Medical School before joining the National We also need to be aware that the environInstitutes of Health. He has received numerous ment plays a huge role in the ability of individuals awards including most recently the $1 million to persist in the face of adversity. Having a secure Dan David Prize for bioethics. He is a member base is important to sallying forth and trying new of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly things and picking yourself up when you fall the IOM) of the National Academy of Science, down. People can confront adversity when they the Association of American Physicians, and the know it will not make them destitute or rob them Royal College of Medicine (UK). He received the of all opportunities. AMA-Burroughs Welcome Leadership Award, the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s infamous statement Public Service Award from the American Society that “there are no second acts in America” was of Clinical Oncology, and the John Mendelsohn very, very wrong. One of the great things about Award from the MD Anderson Cancer Center. In America is that there were opportunities for sec2007, Roosevelt University presented Dr. Emanuel ond acts. The country allowed people to not be with the President’s Medal for Social Justice. In permanently defeated and gave them an oppor2013, the AMA recognized him with its highest tunity to try again. That is the heart of equal bioethics award: the Isaac Hays, MD and John opportunity. One of the things we have lost – Bell, MD Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics or at least significantly diminished – in the last and Professionalism. number of decades is the safety net that allows VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
people the opportunity to try again. The erosion of the safety net for individuals has undermined the environmental factors that are key to individual resilience. This links individual resilience with institutional resilience. Institutional structures and supports are necessary for individual resilience. We must not champion resilience and suggest it is all about individuals fending for themselves, and then dismiss those who fail as not having resilience. We need institutional structures and supports – that secure safety net – for there to be individual resilience and for the notion of resilience not to be a “blame the victim” situation. One thing COVID-19 is revealing about American public health is the fragility of our federalist approach. Public health has always been shared between the federal government, states and localities. That could be a strength if there are overlapping responsibilities and programs that fill in for each other and duplicate roles so there are no cracks for people to fall through. But as COVID-19 has demonstrated, there is no overlap and plenty of cracks where responsibilities between the different layers of the government are not overlapping. Part of this is funding and, more specifically, the miniscule public health funding. The CDC budget is about $12 billion for a population of 330 million – about $36 per American. It is not possible to have a resilient public health program, including one that is international, on such a small funding base. Obviously if we want a resilient public health structure to help people confront adversity like COVID-19, we need to spend more money. But not everything is money. Resilient organizations require great leadership that clearly defines the mission and values of the organization, recruits top talent and gives them opportunity to lead programs consistent with the mission and values, and supports them in that even when they are inevitably criticized and attacked. What we have seen over the last year or so are the consequences of a lack of leadership and an undermining of competent leadership. This leads me to my final thought: Resilience itself can be fragile. Institutionally, it requires investment of resources and competent leadership that knows the core values of the institution and advances them in the face of adversity. Going forward we need to cultivate leadership to ensure resilient institutions and, therefore, resilient Americans.
A Platform to Thrive An Interview with Arianna Huffington, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Thrive Global EDITORS’ NOTE Arianna Huffington individuals and corporations unlock is the founder and CEO of their full potential. Thrive Global, the founder of The The seeds for creating Thrive Huffington Post, and the author Global go back to 2007. I’d founded of 15 books including, most The Huffington Post just two years recently, Thrive: The Third Metric previously. I was working 18 hours to Redefining Success and Creating a day and we were growing at an a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and incredible pace. Then, at the end of Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: a week-long tour of colleges with my Transforming Your Life, One Night oldest daughter, during which I stayed At A Time. In 2016, she launched up late into the nights working, I colThrive Global, a leading behavior lapsed and broke my cheekbone on Arianna Huffington change tech company with the mismy desk as I went down. The diagsion of changing the way we work nosis was an acute case of burnout, and live by ending the collective delusion that so I started learning more and more about the burnout is the price we must pay for success. connection between well-being, resilience and She has been named to TIME magazine’s list of productivity. I realized that this idea that burnthe world’s 100 most influential people and the out is the price we have to pay for success is a Forbes Most Powerful Women list. She serves on complete myth. numerous boards, including Onex and The B That led me to write my two books, Thrive Team. Originally from Greece, she moved to and The Sleep Revolution, and as I went around England when she was 16 and graduated from the world speaking about them, and the issues Cambridge University with an MA in economics. of stress, burnout and sleep deprivation, I saw At 21, she became President of the famed debat- how deeply people want to change their lives. ing society, the Cambridge Union. So I wanted to go beyond just speaking out and raising awareness – I felt the need to turn this O R G A N I Z AT I O N B R I E F T h r i v e G l o b a l passion into something real and tangible that (thriveglobal.com) seeks to go beyond rais- would begin to help people make real changes ing awareness to creating something real and in their daily lives, which is why I founded tangible that helps individuals, companies and Thrive Global in 2016. communities improve their well-being and perHow do you describe your leadership formance and unlock their greatest potential. It is style and what do you see as the keys to uniquely positioned to sustainably change behav- effective leadership? ior by reaching people at home, at work and I try to lead by example, which is one of our through the technology they already use. Its multi- core values at Thrive – that we model the prinpronged offering yields a revolutionary approach ciples we bring to the companies we work with. to ending the epidemic of stress and burnout. Did you always know that you had an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to build your own business? Before I started my two companies, I was an author for most of my career which is its own kind of entrepreneurial project. Helping people connect with themselves and have an impact on their lives and their world has always been the animating spirit of my career, whether that was in writing books and speaking, or in building companies to scale this mission. What was your vision for creating Thrive Global and how do you define its mission? The mission of Thrive Global is to end the stress and burnout epidemic and help 26 LEADERS
One of the biggest keys to effective leadership is to create an atmosphere in which employees feel empowered to speak up and let managers know when there are challenges of any kind. At Thrive, we call this “compassionate directness,” which is all about empowering employees to give feedback and surface problems in real time. This allows companies to course-correct in a daily way, and also allows employees to grow and reach their true potential. Thrive is based on the science that when we prioritize our well-being, we’re more resilient, more productive, and physically and mentally healthier. It’s also important for leaders to serve as role models for this way of working and living. As they say on airplanes, secure your own oxygen mask first before helping others. Leaders need to live and work in a way that can bring out the best, most empathetic part of themselves and that will be a key driver in whether they can bring out the best in those they lead. How do you define resilience and how has resilience impacted your work? Resilience is what allows us to adapt not just to any one change or to a new situation, but to the idea of constant change itself. When we’re resilient, we don’t require the external world around us to be exactly as we want it to be. Resilience comes from creating pathways of connection with our internal strength so we can handle whatever the external world throws our way. Resilience has deeply impacted my work. My collapse in 2007 came because I’d depleted my stores of resilience. Now I know that when
“Resilience is what allows us to adapt not just to any one change or to a new situation, but to the idea of constant change itself.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“One of the biggest keys to effective leadership is to create an atmosphere in which employees feel empowered to speak up and let managers know when there are challenges of any kind. At Thrive, we call this ‘compassionate directness,’ which is all about empowering employees to give feedback and surface problems in real time.” I prioritize my well-being, and take time to unplug and recharge, I’m much more resilient to deal with the constant and inevitable challenges that come from running a rapidly expanding business. What do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the global crises facing the world today? If we’re going to solve the multiple crises facing the world today, resilience is going to have to be at the heart of the effort. Wherever we look around the world right now, we see leaders – in politics, in business, in media – making terrible decisions. What they’re lacking is not IQ, but wisdom. Yes, data is very important. But ultimately wisdom, judgment, insight, creativity and innovation are needed to address a crisis. When leaders think they have to make a show of working 24/7, they’re not going to be resilient, and they’re not going to be able to see the icebergs looming around the corner. When they’re depleted, they’re not going to be able to come up with novel solutions or collaborate effectively with others. What is the role of mental health and self-care in resilience? Mental health, self-care and resilience all go hand in hand. Prioritizing our mental health and taking care of ourselves is how we tap into our resilience. We all have that place of strength and wisdom and resilience inside of us and when we step out of the storm and operate from the calm eye of the hurricane, we replenish our stores of resilience. When we’re recharged and engaged, we’re not at the mercy of our survival instincts, and the creative rather than reactive
parts of our minds can come to the surface. When we’re connected with ourselves, we have the resources to act out of a sense of empathy and connect and collaborate with others. When we’re in a state of stress or in fightor-flight mode, we’re looking for short-term fixes. Prioritizing mental health is a tool for the long term. What can people do to better secure their mental health, stamina, and physical well-being as they face so much stress and multiple crises? We’re obviously in a time of profound uncertainty right now, and uncertainty causes stress. This can make people feel helpless because there’s so much about their external world they can’t control. That’s why it’s all the more important to take charge of what we can control and prioritize our own well-being. Creating boundaries between home and work was challenging even before they became the same place for so many people. So as challenging as it is, it’s important to put up those boundaries, even if they have to change each day. One of our cultural values at Thrive, which has been even more important for our team this year, has been to declare an end to your day. That starts with prioritizing what absolutely has to get done and then being comfortable – in fact, embracing – incompletions. That allows you to declare an end to your day and get the time you need to start tomorrow recharged. Also, one of our cultural values is Thrive Time. It’s based on the recognition that, of course, getting results and meeting deadlines often requires putting in extra time and going the extra mile. Thrive
“We all have the capacity for resilience, and our stores of resilience can be constantly replenished.”
Time is what allows us to sustain that. It means taking time off to recover and recharge after you’ve met the deadline, shipped the product or worked over the weekend. It could be a few hours, a morning, a whole day or even more. Another of our Microsteps – which are small, science-backed habits you can immediately incorporate into your life – is to charge your phone outside your bedroom at night. Our phones are repositories of our anxieties and fears, especially in times of crisis and constant news updates. Disconnecting will help you sleep better, recharge, and replenish your mental and physical stamina. Another is to set a news cut-off time at the end of the day. Of course, being informed can help us feel more prepared in times of crisis, but setting some healthy limits to our media consumption can also help us get a restorative night’s sleep, which in turn helps us put stressful news into perspective. As a business leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture within your organization? We strongly encourage our team to live our principles. We don’t expect team members to always be on, or respond to texts or e-mails after hours or on weekends. With people working remotely and in different time zones during the pandemic, schedules have been more fluid. But with our culture of compassionate directness, we’ve been able to maintain a workplace, even now a virtual one, in which people feel free to surface and share whatever challenges they might be facing, whether that’s a sick loved one or the challenges of online school. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? Resilience is definitely not an inborn trait that people either have or don’t have. We all have the capacity for resilience, and our stores of resilience can be constantly replenished. So the ways we can tap into our resilience and nurture it can definitely be taught. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? Since we launched in 2016, Thrive Global has been in a state of almost constant hypergrowth. That brings with it daily changes and challenges, but also the joy of staying connected to our purpose and the impact we are having on the lives of the people we work with. And tapping into my joy helps me tap into my resilience.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Thinking Big An Interview with Denis Duverne, Chairman, AXA, and Chairman, Insurance Development Forum EDITORS’ NOTE Denis Duverne just 30 years. Recently, AXA has transis a graduate of the École des formed its risk profile, from financial Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC). to insurance risks, by completing the After graduating from the École disposal of its US Life & Savings and Nationale d’Administration (ENA), Asset Management entity and acquirhe started his car eer at the Tax ing the XL Group. AXA is accelerating Department of the French Ministry of on Property & Casualty, Health and Finance, and after 2 years as comProtection, which are less sensitive to mercial counsellor for the French financial markets. AXA is a responConsulate General in New York sible leader and launched in 2019 a (1984-1986), he became director new phase in its climate strategy to of the Corporate Taxes Department accelerate its contribution to the tranDenis Duverne and then responsible for tax polsition towards a low-carbon and resilicy within the French Ministry of ient economy. The group has a proven Finance from 1986 to 1991. In 1991, he was track record in delivering sustained earnings appointed Corporate Secretary of Compagnie and dividend growth to its shareholders. Financière IBI. In 1992, he became a member of the Executive Committee of Banque Colbert, in What have been the keys to AXA’s consistent charge of operations. In 1995, Duverne joined the strength and leadership in the industry? AXA Group and assumed responsibility for superI believe that AXA’s force rests on three pilvision of AXA’s operations in the U.S. and the U.K. lars. First, there is boldness. AXA is a company and managed the reorganization of AXA compa- built through bold moves. In a few years, AXA nies in Belgium and the United Kingdom. From transformed itself from a company operating at February 2003 until December 2009, Duverne a regional level in France to a leading insurwas the Management Board member in charge ance group operating at a global level. People at of Finance, Control and Strategy. From January AXA dare to think big and are willing to achieve 2010 until April 2010, he assumed broader great things. responsibilities as Management Board member Second, there is the willingness to do in charge of Finance, Strategy and Operations. things well and to do the right thing. AXA has a From April 2010 to August 2016, Duverne tradition of continuous improvement in the way was Director and Deputy Chief Executive Officer it provides insurance. We have used each acquiof AXA, in charge of Finance, Strategy and sition and our global footprint to share expertise Operations. In mid-2014, he became a member of and raise our skills. In addition, we have strong the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG), which corporate ethics. brings together international leaders of the priFinally, there is a tradition of thinking vate sector whose shared goal is to help developing ahead. AXA was early in its international expancountries improve their corporate governance. sion, especially in Asia. We created AXA Hearts in Since September 2016, Duverne has been non- Action long before charity work became a must executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for corporates. We were among the first finanof AXA, and since September 2018, he has been cial companies in divesting from coal and are Chairman of the Insurance Development Forum largely considered a leader on climate change. (IDF). The IDF is a public/private partnership led Those three cultural traits have fueled AXA’s by the insurance industry and supported by the growth and have been instrumental to our success. World Bank and the United Nations, aiming to Will you provide an overview of the enhance the use of insurance to build greater Insurance Development Forum and its resilience against disasters and to help achieve mission? the United Nations Global 2030 Agenda. Duverne The IDF is a public/private partnership led also serves as Chairman of AXA Millésimes (SAS). by the insurance industry and supported by international organizations. The IDF was creCOMPANY BRIEF AXA (axa.com) protects peo- ated during the COP21 in Paris in 2015. It ple and businesses worldwide and creates value was then officially launched by leaders of the analyzing, pooling and managing a wide range United Nations, the World Bank and the insurof risks. The group started as a local French com- ance industry in 2016. The IDF aims to optimize pany and became a global insurance leader in and extend the use of insurance and its related 28 LEADERS
risk management capabilities to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, businesses and public institutions that are vulnerable to disasters and their associated economic shocks. There is a growing evidence indicating that countries with a greater penetration of insurance experience faster economic recovery from disasters and rebuild with greater resilience to future disasters. At the same time, there is a consensus around the fact that economic and humanitarian risks associated with catastrophic weather and climate-related hazards are increasing. This represents a major challenge to global resilience, particularly in middle/low-income countries. According to recent estimates, out of the total $163 billion under-insured assets in the world today, 96 percent of them are in emerging economies. The focus of the IDF is to help close this protection gap, thus building global resilience and protecting economies. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? Effective leadership must rest on trust and empowerment. In my experience, empowering people is the best way to motivate them to deliver on their goals, but it is also the consequence of what I see as the increasing complexity of the world. We live in fantastic times: we are in better health, wealthier, more knowledgeable and more connected than ever. As a result, though, our world gets a little more complicated every day. It is no longer possible for an individual to have every single answer. It implies that an ever-growing part of being a leader is about finding the right people and letting them take decisions at their level, applying the subsidiarity principle. Building a diverse group of leaders is essential, because diversity brings better decisions and more creativity. However, in my view, delegation is very much an active role. I still view it as crucial to be here to guide, advise and coach the people that are actually in charge. I do it at AXA as well as at the Insurance Development Forum and in other organizations. Even though I consider it key to have a good understanding of the topic, I have found that I have to remain permeable to new ideas and new opportunities to continue being effective in the long run. Actually, I also find this is more motivating and refreshing for me than just having people roll out plans I’ve been designing in the past myself. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The idea is that something is resilient when it can restore its shape quickly after having faced difficulties. Resilience is hence a very important notion for insurers. It is at the heart of what we do: boosting our customers’ resilience by supporting them in times of hardship.”
Finally, I believe a good leader should cultivate exemplarity – embodying the values, stepping up to take difficult decisions when needed, and respecting the people. I have found people tend to rise up to the standards, so it is the leader’s job to set them. How do you define resilience and does your deep understanding of risk help inform resilience? Through its roots in Latin, the word “resilience” is linked to the notion of springing back – literally, it means to “jump again.” The idea is that something is resilient when it can restore its shape quickly after having faced difficulties. Resilience is hence a very important notion for insurers. It is at the heart of what we do: boosting our customers’ resilience by supporting them in times of hardship. We spend a lot of time thinking about risks and about what can threaten our customers. As a consequence, we are also naturally well positioned when it comes to ideas on how to improve their resilience in the long run. We offer to share our understanding through our risk consulting services. This is really a win-win arrangement – thanks to better identification of the risks, our customers suffer less adverse events, which curbs the claims we receive. What are the key characteristics of a resilient company? Achieving resilience in business is everything but a one-size-fits-all textbook. Each company has specific goals, a specific business model, and is run by specific people from a specific place. Making a company resilient will always require a bespoke plan. This being said, I believe there are three main dimensions that should always be taken into account: First, external risks: does the company have contingency plans for its key assets? How should it react if a major customer or supplier were to go out of business? This is where insurers can be most helpful through our risk consulting services. Second, the internal processes: when the COVID-19 crisis started, AXA shifted almost all its staff worldwide to remote working in just a few days. This allowed the company to continue operating almost seamlessly. This was a great demonstration of how resilient AXA is. Third, the company’s governance: the decision-making processes must be agile and adjust to the urgency of the situation. This has become a key focus for me in my current role as the Chairman of AXA. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
As a business leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture within your organization? To be frank, it might have been comparatively easy at AXA. First, our business is risk, so making sure we are a resilient company is culturally quite easy. Second, AXA has a history of surviving crises, for instance the 20012003 equity market crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis. As a business leader, I’ve been using this as a reference point, or you could say as a standard. Reminding people of how resilient AXA proved in the past also helps us find the resources to address the challenges of the day. It also helps us keep our awareness vis-a-vis new and evolving risks, and constantly adapt. What does ESG mean to AXA as both investors and as insurers? AXA takes ESG considerations very seriously. We were among the first to withdraw from coal, which was a tough business decision as you can imagine. Accordingly, we have a robust governance framework to enforce ESG considerations both in our insurance and investment activities. For the “E” – the environmental part – the topic is discussed at the group’s management committee and the board level every year. Since 2015, we have published a yearly climate report which describes our environment-related policies. Last year, we committed to align our investment portfolio with the Paris Agreement. For this purpose, we made public our portfolio’s “warming potential,” which basically represents our contribution to global warming. This contribution is still too high and we want to further reduce it. Taking a public position on this confirms how strong our commitment is. In practical terms, for the investment side, AXA has fully integrated ESG considerations into its qualitative credit assessment and investment processes since 2015. On the insurance side, the group underwriting committee defines underwriting restrictions, including CR-related, which are then cascaded locally through the goup standards. For the “S” and the “G” dimensions, we have a strong social dialogue tradition and strong governance has always been a focus. Does the rise of nationalism and shifting political risks change your approach to managing risk?
Risk changes often and source, frequency and severity keep evolving. It is one of the core missions of an insurance company to constantly adapt. Due to the very nature of our business as insurers, we are also required to keep a longterm view. With this lens it is easier to see that while some risks become more substantial, others recede. Accordingly, we do not necessarily focus on the same things as what other actors, who concentrate more on the short term, would find most important. The main risk which can severely disrupt our business is climate change. As early as 2015, we said that “a +4°C world would not be insurable.” We have been acting accordingly and we now leverage every asset and expertise at our disposal to contribute to fight climate change, including proposing specific products (notably through our parametric insurance subsidiary AXA Climate) and have adapted our underwriting and investment policies. What do you see as the role of the insurance industry in addressing the global pandemic? The insurance industry definitely has a key role to play in the current pandemic. We exist to protect people and goods in times of hardship. With a larger lens, the COVID-19 crisis has led us to collectively realize that the world was not well prepared for the economic consequences of a pandemic. Since then debates have started on how insurance could contribute to respond to similar events in the future and there are discussions taking place in many European countries, including France where we are headquartered. The solution will have to be a cooperation between the public and private sectors. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I know for a fact that we are not born prepared for all the challenges that we will find on our way. We have to find the resources inside ourselves to overcome them and continue our journey. Probably as a consequence, I strongly feel that resilience is something that can be developed. I see it as a combination of skills, resources and, most importantly, mindset that one can build over time, expanding upon what each of us is born with. Finding the right teachers certainly plays a big role. Some human and physical environments emphasize resilience more than others, but rather than teaching, I would say the key is the willingness to learn and remaining humble.
Responsible Growth An Interview with Anne M. Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America EDITORS’ NOTE Anne Finucane is In 2019, Finucane was inducted into Vice Chairman at Bank of America the American Advertising Federation’s and also serves as Chairman of the Ad Hall of Fame as well as the CMO Hall board of Bank of America Europe. of Fame, and received the Edward M. As a member of the executive manKennedy Institute Award for Inspired agement team, Finucane is responLeadership. In March 2018, Finucane sible for the strategic positioning of was honor ed with the Leadership Bank of America and leads the Award by The Ireland Funds. company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG), sustainable COMPANY BRIEF Bank of America finance, capital deployment and (bankofamerica.com) is one of the public policy efforts. As Chairman world’s leading financial institutions, Anne M. Finucane of the Board of Bank of America serving individual consumers, small Europe, the firm’s EU bank headand middle-market businesses and quartered in Dublin, Finucane oversees more large corporations with a full range of bankthan €60 billion in assets. She also serves on ing, investing, asset management and other the board of BofA Securities Europe SA, the financial and risk management products and bank’s EU broker-dealer in Paris, with both services. The company serves approximately entities playing a critical role in the compa- 66 million consumer and small business cliny’s post Brexit European growth strategy. Bank ents with approximately 4,300 retail finanof America has almost 3,000 employees across cial centers, including approximately 3,000 both entities. Finucane chairs the Global ESG lending centers, 2,600 financial centers with Committee at Bank of America, which directs all a Consumer Investment Financial Solutions of the company’s ESG efforts. She also co-chairs Advisor and approximately 2,200 business centhe Sustainable Markets Committee with COO ters; approximately 16,900 ATMs; and awardTom Montag, which collaborates across business winning digital banking with approximately 39 lines to deliver innovative financing solutions million active users, including approximately in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including affordable housing, sustainable energy, clean water and sanitation, education and healthcare. She stewards Bank of America’s $300 billion environmental business initiative, oversees the company’s $1.6 billion Community Development Financial Institution portfolio and chairs the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Active in the community, Finucane serves on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards of dir ectors including Car negie Hall, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the World Bank Group’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), CVS Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mass General Brigham Healthcar e, Special Olympics, the (RED) Advisory Board, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and The Ireland Funds. She served on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy board and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Finucane has received numerous professional and public service accolades. She has regularly been named to Forbes’ and Fortune’s Most Powerful Women lists, along with American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking.
30 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Will you highlight Bank of America’s culture and its commitment to supporting employees, customers and communities? The intention of Bank of America is to help people with their financial lives and our strategy is to do that with responsible growth. Clearly, our priority is to grow, but we made a conscious decision to do it with transparency and in a way for all constituencies to benefit – employees, clients and communities. When Brian (Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America) assumed his role, he created the strategy and commitment to responsible growth and it was my job to create the positioning around this mission.
“To be resilient, we must take care of our
people which is why the steps we are taking such as providing food and transportation, childcare and tuition reimbursement during the crisis are so critical.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The intention of Bank of America is to help people with their financial lives and our strategy is to do that with responsible growth. Clearly, our priority is to grow, but we made a conscious decision to do it with transparency and in a way for all constituencies to benefit – employees, clients and communities.”
Brian had a unique approach and we looked at everything, not just our eight lines of business, but the impact for all of our stakeholders. For example, when it comes to employees, if you work for us for 20 hours a week, you have the full benefit package offered to you. Our minimum U.S. wage is $20 an hour. If your total income is below a certain amount, we will provide a childcare stipend. We offer tuition reimbursement. It is really a bottom up approach. We divide the country into about 90 markets and we have a market president for each one of them. That person gathers the local leadership in that market and they look at a cross-functional approach to the business. The philosophy is that the leadership comes from the top, but the execution comes from the bottom up. When it comes to supporting communities, we look at where we can make the most impact and have the most expertise. For instance, we are able to create more financing for affordable housing or provide more access to capital for women and people of color. We are focused on supporting and contributing to the cities and states in which we work and live. How critical is it for Bank of America to continue to provide personal service and the human touch during this time and how has Bank of America adapted its business to address the pandemic? The relationship side of the business is something that has been a priority to Brian and the company. There are many customers who want to do their banking electronically, and others who want to interact with a person. We have invested in making sure that we are doing both and meeting our customers where they want. We are an essential business so most of our banking centers are open. We have around 212,000 people and roughly 10 percent of them are customer-facing employees and, for the most part, they are located in our banking centers. We have put more investment in the call centers and in staffing the banking centers. We provided the most amount of loans to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and we were also able to source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the big hospitals in the early stages of the pandemic and then turned our focus to community hospitals, homeless shelters, etc., to make sure that they had the necessary protective equipment. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
What is your outlook for the impact the pandemic will have on the future of banking? It has clearly accelerated the use of technology, but we have found that a customer may make deposits or pay bills with online banking, but if that customer is looking for a mortgage or for retirement advice, they generally want to speak to someone. We can do that by telephone, but we prefer to meet and do that in person. It is important today as much as it has ever been to be high touch and as soon as it is possible we will begin advising and meeting with customers in person with the proper masks, protective equipment and distancing required. Will you discuss Bank of America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and how the company is addressing the issue of racial injustice? It is critically important for Bank of America to look like the constituency and the population that we serve. We have a diverse customer base and we are a diverse company. More than half of our people are women, our Board is 47 percent diverse, and about a third of our management team are women. We have been reminded of the chronic problem of racial injustice with the recent killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and others. We need to work together to address this problem and one of the important areas we are focusing on is wealth creation for people of color. We made a $1 billion commitment which we will complete in four years and we are looking at the following four categories: affordable housing, small business, job creation, and healthcare. The first three of these areas are ones that align with our business and are what we do each day. In regard to healthcare, while this is not an area that is part of our business, we know that people of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and we need to do something to address this issue. In regard to job creation, we are working with community colleges to develop a program where we provide the community college with funding for a training program for people to secure jobs. We are joining with other companies so it is not just Bank of America creating jobs, but other companies as well. This is how you build wealth creation – you help get people jobs and into the system and then help them to grow into management. We are also developing
programs for career training and interview skills with Black and Hispanic institutions and then getting our company and others to recruit from these institutions. These are practical ways to make a difference in creating more opportunities for minorities. We also support minorityowned businesses. Bank of America is a leader in affordable housing and we are focused on accelerating the pace of our support and joining with other banks to do more in this regard. How critical is resilience for banks and financial institutions? It is all important. Bank of America and others in the industry are a part of the economic backbone and we better be resilient. At the most basic level, this means that we have sufficient capital and liquidity. To be resilient, we must take care of our people which is why the steps we are taking such as providing food and transportation, childcare and tuition reimbursement during the crisis are so critical. We are also working with our people to provide physical and mental health support during this challenging and uncertain time. What have been the keys to Bank of America’s success? Our culture is the key and it is something that we talk about regularly at every level, including the executive level as well as with the Board. It is critical at every level, so if you are a bank teller, for example, you need to understand and live the culture. Many times, the bank teller is the person who is on the front line interacting with our customers, representing the company and providing the human touch. What advice do you offer to young people today beginning their careers during this challenging and uncertain time? We conducted our internship program remotely this year and had around 2,000 interns with us over the summer. It is clear to those coming out of school that the job market is difficult. I tell them to make use of this time, learn a skill, or volunteer, so that when the market comes back, they will be able to say what they did to improve during this time. There are many organizations that are looking for people to help with logistics or in call centers and, even if this is not something that you are looking to do for a career, it will be seen as practical and productive and will show that you are innovative and imaginative and that you did something constructive during this time which is important.
Servant Leadership An Interview with The Honorable Francis X. Suarez, Mayor of Miami EDITORS’ NOTE Prior to being the Miami-Dade Transportation elected with 86 percent supPlanning Organization (TPO) and port from Miami residents, is the former President of the MiamiMayor Suar ez served as Miami Dade County League of Cities. In his Commissioner for District 4 role at the TPO, Mayor Suarez chamfor eight years and achieved pioned the Strategic Miami Ar ea many legislative accomplishRapid Transit (SMART) Plan, which ments, including implementwas unanimously appr oved. T h e ing ShotSpotter technology in SMART Plan expands mass tranthe City, a state-of-the-art gunsit options in Miami-Dade County shot detection system, setting up through six main corridors as well as a transportation trust fund which new bus routes to ease traffic congesallocates funds for current and The Hon. Francis X. Suarez tion and support future population future transit projects, and passgrowth. Mayor Suarez helped negoing the Reverse Redline legislation authoriz- tiate the Tri-Rail connection to Downtown, ing lawsuits against several major banks for offering free ridership to Overtown residents discriminatory mortgage lending practices. for life. As the son of former City of Miami Mayor Suar ez also serves as Chair of the Mayor Xavier Suarez, he was exposed to pubEnvironment Committee and is currently the lic service since he was a child, growing up Second Vice-President of the U.S. Conference ar ound his father’s office at City Hall, the of Mayors and will become Pr esident in same one he works out of today. Mayor Suarez 2022. In these capacities, he takes a lead- earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from ing role in collaborating with fellow may- Florida International University, graduating ors from around the country to preserve the in the top 10 percent of his class. He went on environment and develop programs and pol- to receive his law degree from the University icies that directly benefit the City of Miami. of Florida’s Frederic G. Levin College of Law, Mayor Suar ez also serves as Vice-Chair of where he graduated cum laude.
Mayor Suarez meeting with the Circle of Brotherhood and other leaders of the black community following the June protests. 32 LEADERS
What attracted you to public service and interested you in becoming Mayor of Miami? People. I love people and I love problem solving. Throughout my life I have seen how local leaders more than anyone can improve people’s lives. Will you highlight the Global Commission on Adaptation and its mission? I am and have always been a champion of the cause. Being born and raised in Miami, climate change has been on the forefront of my mind for essentially my entire life and I will always be a vocal advocate of the mission. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I believe in the servant-leader model of leadership. I believe the best type of mayor is one who seeks to uplift people and make their quality of life better and sometimes that requires tough decisions. Any true version of leadership requires a servant’s heart and an ability to adapt to the situation at hand. What have been the keys to driving action and change in Miami with the deep partisanship that exists in the country today? Focusing on supporting and benefitting our residents is the key to maintaining effective leadership and avoiding distractions. This is not a partisan office, and there’s a reason for that. This office, my administration and the ones that preceded me, has a rich history of putting people over politics. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience in addressing crises? Resiliency is never just about any one issue. Resiliency means anything that affects quality of life. Resiliency also represents the inner strength to persevere and succeed, and for a city, success means achieving resiliency on all levels. What do you see as the contribution that Miami can make to build a more resilient world? One of the most crucial ways Miami can benefit the resiliency cause is by serving as an incubator for NGOs and other governments to test pilot solutions. Miami is uniquely positioned to serve as the host city of the most cutting-edge technologies in the industry. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Mayor Suarez joins U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette for a tour of the Florida Power & Light campus (above) and distributing 10,000 masks to COVID-19 hotspots around the City of Miami (below).
How do you see your role as the incoming president of the Conference of Mayors and what are your priorities for cities across the country? Resilience means more than just weather. It includes disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic and not simply weather events faced only by coastal cities. In my role as President, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be the common denominator among a vibrant spectrum of different cities who all face different issues. As I said, resilience is more than just weather, and I will emphasize its importance for all cities across the Conference of Mayors and across the U.S. Do you feel it is critical to have collaboration and strong global alliances in order to build a more resilient world? I think this may be one of the single most important facets encompassed by resiliency. Even within a single city, resilience is a grassroots project. Every resident needs to understand the coordinated effort and similarly, every municipality, every state, and every country needs to work together to come up with creative and innovative solutions for the future.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
A Duty to Serve An Interview with Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force EDITORS’ NOTE Barbara Barrett is groups that include the U.S. Advisory the 25th Secretary of the Air Force and Commission on Public Diplomacy, leads the affairs of the Department t h e U . S . C o m m e r c e Secr etary’s of the Air Force, comprised of the biennial Export Conference and the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. U.S. Department of State’s Women’s Barrett has served in senior leaderEconomic Empowerment Working ship positions in public service, the Group. She is an instrument-rated private sector and academia. Before pilot and was trained and certified for she was 30, she was an executive space flight. Additionally, she has been with two global Fortune 500 coma cattle and bison rancher for close to panies. Her key leadership roles three decades. Barrett earned her include time as the U.S. Ambassador bachelor’s, master’s and law degrees at Barbara M. Barrett to Finland, Deputy Administrator of Arizona State University. the Federal Aviation Administration, and President of the Thunderbird School of What interested you in accepting this role Global Management. She also taught leadership directing a branch of the military? as a Harvard Fellow at the Kennedy School I recognize the extraordinary privilege it is of Government. Prior to assuming her current to lead the 693,000 men and women serving the position, Barrett was the Chair of the Board for United States as Air and Space Professionals. In the Aerospace Corporation. She has served as a keeping with America’s core doctrine of civilboard member for multiple organizations ian leadership of the military, the United States focused on diplomacy, defense, aeronautics, sci- Air Force and United States Space Force operence and space. She was a Senior Advisor to the ate under the leadership of a civilian Secretary U.S. Mission to the United Nations, a member of of the Air Force appointed by the President and the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Throughout my the Services, the Defense Business Board and the career in private business, academia and diploU.S.-Afghan Women’s Council. She has chaired macy, I have admired the men and women who
Secretary of the Air Force Nominee Barbara Barrett testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee as a part of the confirmation process on September 12, 2019, in Washington, D.C. 34 LEADERS
1st Lt. Hannah Myers of the 586th Flight Test Squadron gives Secretary Barrett a close look at a T-38A Talon on May 20, 2020, on Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. Secretary Barrett visited facilities on base to interact with Airmen who have been working diligently to adapt, innovate and still complete mission operations amid COVID-19.
commit their lives to preserve and protect the United States Constitution and American people. Beginning as a student intern in the Arizona State Legislature, I have been conscious of the importance of serving in our government if asked. So when I was asked to serve as Secretary of the Air Force, I felt a duty to serve. What have been the keys to your success and ability to lead throughout your career? To the extent I have found success, the keys have always been talented, dedicated colleagues who team up to achieve success. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience when serving in the Air Force? One definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Accepting that definition, the men and women of the Air Force and Space Force demonstrate resilience more than almost anywhere in society. Our Air and Space Professionals embody resilience in achieving feats of extraordinary difficulty from flying and maintaining the fleet of fighter, bomber, tanker, transport and other aircraft to launching and operating sophisticated satellites. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Our Air and Space Professionals embody resilience in achieving feats of extraordinary difficulty.” The Air Force has a resilience website dedicated to helping Air and Space Professionals and their families build resilience. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? Some measure of resilience may be inborn, but to a greater extent, it seems to be a learned capacity. For that reason, the Department of the Air Force offers resources to Air and Space Professionals and their families both for day-to-day life as well as for particularly challenging times. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your career? My life was changed profoundly when I was 13. I was one of six siblings living on a remote subsistence farm when my father died suddenly. My younger brothers went to an orphanage, but I stayed on the farm and earned the family income by taking people horseback riding. Lessons learned while facing that experience made subsequent career challenges seem less daunting. COVID-19 has stressed the resilience of the U.S. Armed Forces in terms of the missions the Department executes, its ability to
Secretary Barrett speaks with 388th and 419th Fighter Wings leadership during a visit to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, on April 30, 2020.
execute those missions, military-to-military relationships, and in many other ways. How has your definition of resilience changed since the onset of COVID-19 and how has the pandemic impacted the Armed Forces? While my definition of resilience has not changed due to COVID-19, the pandemic has been an opportunity for the United States Air and Space Forces to demonstrate resiliency. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, American evacuees from Wuhan, China, were housed temporarily at a United States Air Force base while quarantine
issues were resolved. Our sister services similarly stepped up early to assist. Navy hospital ships, the Mercy and Comfort, served on opposite American coasts. Army field hospitals were set up to augment civilian facilities. While serving the medical needs of our military men and women, we also continue to serve our military families, communities and nation. Despite the needs driven by COVID-19, the men and women of the military continue to protect the nation. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? The new 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General CQ Brown, exemplifies resiliency. In addition to the predictable challenges of a career flying fighter jets, General Brown encountered adversity through his career because of racial bias. Still, he used the bias he encountered as an incentive to rise beyond expectations. General CQ Brown demonstrates technical expertise gained from serving around the world as well as deep community awareness because of personal experiences through his career. His resilience helped him build the winning combination of both technical and leadership excellence.
“Despite the needs driven by COVID-19, the men and women of the military continue Secretary Barrett drives a bomb disposal robot used by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, on December 21, 2019. While at the installation, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission from building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
to protect the nation.” LEADERS 35
A Long Lineage of Military Service An Interview with Vice Admiral Sean Buck, Superintendent, United States Naval Academy EDITORS’ NOTE Vice Admiral Sean ACADEMY BRIEF As the undergraduBuck is a native of Indianapolis, ate college of our country’s naval service, Indiana. He is a graduate of the U.S. the Naval Academy (usna.edu) prepares Naval Academy and received his comyoung men and women to become promission in 1983. He was designated a fessional officers of competence, characnaval flight officer in 1985. He earned a ter, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Master of Arts in International Security Marine Corps. Naval Academy students Policy from George Washington are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. University and has completed studies Navy. They attend the academy for four at the College of Naval Command and years, graduating with BS degrees and Staff, U.S. Naval War College, and the commissions as ensigns in the Navy or Armed Forces Staff College; a fellowsecond lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Sean Buck ship with the Massachusetts Institute of Naval Academy graduates serve at least Technology’s Seminar XXI: Foreign five years in the Navy or Marine Corps. Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest; and executive certificate programs at both What attracted you to a career in the military? the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate The most significant thing that attracted me School of Education. As a flag officer, Buck has served to a career in the military was my family’s long as Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Force lineage of military service, particularly in the U.S. with U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets, Fleet Air Forward, Patrol Navy. The Buck family has four consecutive genand Reconnaissance Group; Chief of Staff, Strategy, erations of naval officers who have served from Plans and Policy (J5), the Joint Staff; Director, 21st 1900 to the present day: Lt. Cmdr. Arthur Whittier Century Sailor Office, where his portfolio included the (my grandfather); Navy Capt. Edward G. Buck (my Navy’s programs on sexual assault prevention and father); myself; and my son, Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey S. response, suicide prevention, alcohol abuse and other Buck. Adding to this lineage, three of us have been destructive behaviors; and most recently he served as or still are naval aviators, all flying maritime patrol Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/ and reconnaissance aircraft. U.S. 4th Fleet. Flying the P-3C Orion, Buck’s early atHow has the military shaped your leadersea operational tours were with the “Fighting Marlins” ship approach and style? of Patrol Squadron (VP) 40; a disassociated sea tour The military began to shape my leaderaboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as the ship style and approach long before I joined. My Catapult and Arresting Gear Division Officer; and a grandfather and father always stressed to me the department head tour with the “Tridents” of VP-26. importance of teamwork, being part of a team, He subsequently commanded VP-26 and Patrol and accountability for my actions and treating everyReconnaissance Wing 11. His shore and staff assign- one with dignity and respect. I would suggest that ments include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) my grandmother and mother played an even more 1; Bureau of Naval Personnel; Joint Staff J3; Office of important role in teaching me how to treat others, the Chief of Naval Operations staff as executive assis- which is the bedrock foundation to the success of tant to the deputy chief of Naval Operations (CNO) for any team or organization. Warfare Requirements and Programs (N6/N7); and How do you define resilience and how as Deputy Director for Operations in the Strategy and critical is resilience in the military? Policy Directorate (J5), U.S. Joint Forces Command. I define resilience as the ability to maintain my Prior to major command, Buck completed an interim focus, my ability to think and my ability to safely and assignment with the National Reconnaissance Office effectively lead and act during times of significant and he is a member of the Navy’s Space Cadre. He fatigue and/or when faced with times of stress, crialso completed a special assignment as a senior fel- sis, uncertainty, ambiguity or grief. Resilience is also low on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group in Newport, characterized by the willingness and ability to bounce Rhode Island, an innovation think tank for the Navy. back from setback or defeat and try, try again. Buck became the 63rd Superintendent of the U.S. As Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Naval Academy on July 26, 2019. Buck’s personal Academy, you are charged with the weighty awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, responsibility of training the next generation Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of sailors and marines. How critical is it for of Merit (five awards) and various other personal, these future leaders to be resilient and do you unit and service awards. . feel that this is something that can be taught? 36 LEADERS
As Superintendent, I am charged with leading the team charged with developing the next generations of leaders of character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government. Resilience is a critical aspect of this professional and personal development because on day one – post-graduation and commissioning – our graduates will be charged with leading and caring for hundreds of young sailors and marines while they work together to defend our cherished way of life and freedoms against adversaries bent on challenging that. They need embedded in them the ability to persevere in all situations and remain confident and bold in times of strife. At the United States Naval Academy we know through decades of experience that resilience can be taught - taught through repetition and sets of practice until it becomes part of each midshipman’s make up. We teach this through a myriad of experiential leadership opportunities over the four-year journey of a midshipman. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? My personal resilience skills have held me in good stead through countless examples of physical fatigue, cognitive overload, horrific and tragic accidents, unexpected twists, turns and disruptions to initial plans; it’s allowed me to continue to think and lead with purpose and with success. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? Some examples of resilient leaders that I see today are my Department of Defense senior leaders (service chiefs and service secretaries); my fellow flag and general officers in the Armed Services; first responders; medical professionals providing care in a pandemic; school teachers reacting to teaching in a COVID-19 environment; and policemen continuing to serve and protect their respective communities despite great social and racial unrest in our country. What do you tell young people about the importance and value of serving in the military and, more specifically, the Navy? I believe service to one’s country is a noble undertaking. Service, specifically in the Armed Forces, is a great place to start one’s young life. It develops character, maturity, resilience, leadership, and confidence – all skills that will hold you in good stead for whatever profession you choose to pursue later in life. Navy life is an adventure, not a job. It is a wonderful opportunity to see the world, meet new people, learn about different cultures and broaden your perspectives on life.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Endurance An Interview with Scott Kelly, Retired U.S. Navy Captain, Former NASA Astronaut
EDITORS’ NOTE Scott Kelly (scottkelly.com) is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the year-long mission to the ISS. In October 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. Kelly is also the author of The New York Times best seller, Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery. Did you know at an early age that you wanted to be an astronaut? No. I was such a poor student that being an astronaut or working for NASA was not even a dream for me. I was interested in space flight like many kids, but not in any real or tangible way. It wasn’t until I was a struggling college student that I discovered Tom Wolfe’s book, The Right Stuff, which inspired me to pursue a career in the military as a pilot and later an astronaut. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Resilience has been very critical for me. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer after my second flight and was surgically treated and then went on to fly two long duration flights despite many thinking that it wasn’t possible.”
How critical is it to continue to invest in and build out the United States space program? I think it’s critical. NASA funded and developed technology is part of the reason we are as advanced as we are today. There are many real benefits of NASA based ISS research, and of course the intangible benefit of inspiring generations of not only Americans, but all people around the world, to see that we are capable of doing challenging things if we work together and never, ever give up. What interested you in writing the book Endurance and what are the key messages of the book? I thought my experience in space for nearly a year would be an interesting read. As it turns out, the book ended up being more about a kid that couldn’t do his homework but somehow found inspiration and a path to success through sheer force of will and endurance. What have been the keys to your leadership and success in your profession? I think of leadership as a situationally dependent thing. Sometimes it’s best to delegate decisions to the experts, sometimes a collaborative approach works best – mostly I gather opinions and make decisions. Rarely is an authoritarian approach a good one, but sometimes it’s necessary to “grab that fire extinguisher and start spraying.” How do you define resilience and how critical has resilience been to the success that you have achieved in your career? Resilience means not letting setbacks stand in your way. Resilience has been very critical for me. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer after my second flight and was surgically treated and then went on to fly two long duration flights despite many thinking that it wasn’t possible. I flew in space for 20 days before having cancer, and 500 days after. You have spent longer in space than any other American. Has this experience required both mental and physical resilience? Mostly mental. Physically, the longer you are in space the better you adapt to the environment and the better you feel. Physically it is much more challenging when coming back. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Elon Musk, Malala Yousafzai, Pope Francis, Tilman Fertitta, President Jimmy Carter, General Michael Hayden, to name a few.
Working on the System Interview with Paul Polman, Co-Founder and Chair, IMAGINE EDITORS’ NOTE Paul Polman is also the greatest challenges of our time Honorary Chair of the International and we will only achieve truly transChamber of Commerce, Chair of The formative change if we work together B Team, Saïd Business School and The in deep and purposeful collaboration. Valuable 500, and Vice-Chair of the Individual companies can only do so U.N. Global Compact. He was CEO of much and if CEOs try to raise the bar Unilever for a decade where he demalone, they often put themselves at onstrated that a long-term, multi-stakecompetitive risk. IMAGINE helps them holder model goes hand-in-hand with raise the ceiling, increase the pregood financial performance. Polman competitive space and shift industry was appointed to the U.N. Secretary norms. As we like to say, working on General’s High-level Panel that develthe system rather than in the system. Paul Polman oped the Sustainable Development We do this by bringing 25-30 perGoals and has played a leading role in cent of a sector together with reprehighlighting the business case for the 2030 develop- sentation across the value chain to create the ment agenda, including as a founder member of the needed tipping points. IMAGINE provides the Business & Sustainable Development Commission. He capabilities and connectivity. We’re initially is a member of FCLTGlobal, the Global Commission focused on four key sectors – fashion, tourism, on the Economy and Climate, and the Food and food and technology. Land Use Coalition, which he chairs. He has received A good example would be IMAGINE’s role numerous awards, including the Rainforest Alliance in helping to launch the “Fashion Pact” at last Lifetime Achievement Award, the U.N. Environment year’s G7 Summit, an initiative championed Programme’s Champion of the Earth Award and by President Macron, which has seen over 67 the Oslo Business for Peace Award. Polman has CEOs, representing 250 brands, making commitbeen honored with France’s Chevalier de la Légion ments around climate, oceans and biodiversity d’Honneur, and was named an Honorary Knight on a scale not seen before. Progress includes Commander of the Order of the British Empire for science-based targets on climate to stay below services to business. He is a recipient of the Public 1.5 degrees warming, elimination of single use Service Star from the Government of Singapore and plastics and moving to regenerative cotton. received the Treaty of Nijmegen medal. He founded the Kilimanjaro Blind Trust with Kim Polman, working to improve the lives of blind and visually impaired children in East Africa. Polman also supports and mentors young leaders as a Counsellor and Chair of the Global Advisory Board of One Young World.
“IMAGINE has a simple
ORGANIZATION BRIEF IMAGINE (imagine.one) is a new type of business collaboration for systems change. It works with CEOs who are building their companies into beacons of sustainable business and leveraging their collective power to drive change on tipping points in their industry, from greenhouse gas emissions to labor standards to biodiversity. What was your vision for creating IMAGINE and how do you define its mission? IMAGINE has a simple vision: to empower collectives of CEOs to accelerate delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement. We are broadly moving in the right direction but not at the scale and speed needed. IMAGINE tries to address this. Climate change and gross inequality, in particular, are 38 LEADERS
vision: to empower collectives of CEOs
to accelerate delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement.”
We are doing the same in the foods sector with a collective of 28 CEOs focused on changing our broken food system by moving, for example, to carbon positive farming and improving livelihoods for smallholder farmers. During the COVID-19 crisis, these alliances have proven to be extremely valuable in quickly addressing issues like PPE availability and dealing with the looming food crisis in East Africa. The coronavirus pandemic has shown that multi-stakeholder, long-term focused business models that put ESG at the heart of their operations perform much better. Companies don’t want to be left behind and increasingly they see huge value in putting purpose at the heart of their business. This requires leadership, strategic vision and, above all, partnerships – which is where IMAGINE plays a catalytic role. How critical are metrics to track the impact of IMAGINE’s efforts? IMAGINE does not want to duplicate existing sustainability initiatives, and instead is focused on what collective efforts can achieve at speed and scale, where individual activities might otherwise be limited. Collective action can drive the needed systems change, especially when you have a critical mass of players. Having a clear strategy is critical to IMAGINE’s alliance building work as collaboration, by definition, requires a shared vision and common goals, but the lifeblood of the sectoral programs we help deliver depend on transparency, accountability and clear deliverables. This was exactly the approach I took when I conceived Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, which was a concerted effort to decouple the company’s growth from its environmental footprint and increase its overall social impact. It set out three big goals, underpinned by nine commitments and 50 time-bound targets spanning Unilever’s social, environmental and economic performance across its value chain. Not only did we use independent auditors to evaluate and measure Unilever’s progress against key metrics, we were also transparent in acknowledging when we missed our targets. This helped to both build credibility with our partners and key opinion formers, but also in identifying where we needed to invest more resources or pivot our strategy. IMAGINE applies the same philosophy to its programs and initiatives. We have become significantly better in measuring what counts, be it decarbonisation of a supply chain, driving gender equality or measuring the value of biodiversity. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Individual companies can only do so much and if CEOs try to raise the bar alone, they often put themselves at competitive risk. IMAGINE helps them raise the ceiling, increase the pre-competitive space and shift industry norms.”
You served as CEO of Unilever for 10 years. How do you define what makes Unilever so special and what has been the key to its industry leadership? Values and people are the most important ingredients that make up a company’s culture. Unilever has a long and proud history of being a responsible corporate citizen and this stretches all the way back to its founders. When Lord Leverhulme created Sunlight Soap it was because he was deeply troubled by the impacts of poor hygiene in Victorian Britain and wanted to help those most affected. A passionate and committed philanthropist, he provided homes, schools, medical care and sports facilities for his workers, as well as a pension scheme and sickness benefits. He was a true visionary who believed in a world “governed by conscience.” He talked about shared prosperity, not shareholder primacy, and took responsibility for the overall impact his operations had on society. Unilever’s instinct has always been to do the right thing, which today is given expression by its long-term, multi-stakeholder business model that puts people and the planet first. Unilever brands are at the heart of its commitment to driving positive social and environmental change, whether that’s Dove and self-esteem, Lifebuoy and handwashing, Domestos and sanitation, Hellmanns and food waste, or Knorr and sustainable agriculture. If Unilever has learned anything, it’s that this model works. In fact, I believe this is the only model that people will accept. Society is no longer willing to tolerate the idea that businesses are somehow run in the interests only of shareholders. Businesses thrive when they serve all their stakeholders: citizens, employees, suppliers, partners, those who make up the extended value chain. When you make your business relevant to the needs of the communities and societies you serve, then everyone benefits, including shareholders. During my time as CEO, Unilever delivered a 290 percent total shareholder return with consistent growth ahead of the industry. There’s no doubt Unilever has changed the terms of the debate around responsible business, which is why for eight consecutive years it’s been the number one company in the GlobeScan survey of sustainability experts worldwide and leads the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
What do you see as the keys to effective leadership? A good leader is first and foremost a good human being. True leadership is putting the interest of others ahead of your own, knowing that by doing so you are better off yourself as well. As CEO, your main focus should be on making others successful. By investing in others, they will invest in you. A leader’s responsibility is ultimately about inspiring and uniting people behind a common purpose. It’s not just about giving energy. It’s about unleashing it. It’s the ability to motivate others to higher levels of performance. This includes supporting people through mentoring, training and new opportunities and, most importantly, in helping them to find their own clear sense of direction and how to give expression to that purpose. It’s about leaders who look for the human being – and not just the human doing – in others. Or as Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic and mentor to me, has said, helping people find their true north so they can become “genuine and authentic” leaders. Unilever’s work in reshaping its leadership development programs to help employees find their purpose has exactly this aim. Employees need to be themselves, as well as feel fulfilled and motivated, to be effective. If you can connect individual purpose to organizational purpose you can really unleash enormous energy and commitment in support of a single mission – in Unilever’s case, making sustainable living commonplace. To see it in action is incredibly powerful. How do you define resilience and what makes a resilient company? Resilience is the ability to thrive long term during periods of difficulty, which is now more important than ever, as we have seen during the COVID-19 crisis. A resilient company is one that continually plans for the future by making the right long-term decisions. The terrible coronavirus pandemic that we’re living through has, in many ways, been a case study in resilience, as we’ve seen those companies that adopted longterm, multi-stakeholder models proving to be far more robust, whereas those that have simply focused on short-term profit maximization have quickly found themselves in trouble. Resilience is about keeping a healthy balance sheet and taking care of your employees, suppliers and communities. Paying your fair share of tax, enforcing basic human rights, promoting gender and racial diversity are also equally crucial to building resilience.
Even before COVID-19, the world was arguably more chaotic and unpredictable than at any time in recent memory. Gross inequality has left billions behind without access to basic human needs, such as work, education, healthcare and sanitation. Ideological differences are straining national cohesion, which has fueled mass migration and the refugee crisis. The fourth industrial revolution, defined by rapid technological advancements, is fundamentally transforming industries and the world of work. Most alarmingly, we are facing a climate emergency that threatens the future of humanity. Building resilience is now more crucial than ever. Indeed, the average lifespan of publicly traded companies has fallen from 67 years in the 1920s to around 15 years today, and the average tenure of a CEO has dropped well below five years. This tells you a lot about the imperative to plan for the long term and the need to build resilience. You significantly shaped the world’s definition of sustainability through a career of activism and leadership. How do sustainability and resilience intersect? Sustainability and resilience are two sides of the same coin. Sustainability is defined by our ability to live within our planetary boundaries and ensure we don’t leave anybody behind, which we’ve manifestly failed to do, whereas resilience is defined by our capacity to adjust to macro shocks or disturbances. But the two concepts are clearly interconnected. For example, our rapidly warming planet is a direct consequence of our “take, make, dispose” model of consumption, and increasingly we’ve paid the price for this folly in more floods, droughts, wildfires and insect outbreaks. As a consequence, we’re now having to build our resilience to adjust to these new natural disasters. It’s predictable and equally frustrating, as it’s a classic example of dealing with the symptoms rather than with the disease. This is where IMAGINE spends a lot of its energies, in building the case for bigger investments in the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, which act as a bulwark for sustainable and equitable growth – 17 goals spanning ending poverty to gender equality, climate action to life below water, and zero hunger to fairer institutions and peace. We know the commercial incentive for investing in the SDGs is compelling with the opportunity to unlock economic growth worth at least $12 trillion a year and generating 380 million jobs at a time when we need them the most. LEADERS 39
I firmly believe that not enough has been done to build our social resilience and the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings – the absence of a fair wage for key workers, adequate safety nets for the unemployed and a lack of training and re-skilling opportunities for the young. At the other end of the spectrum, ensuring the poorest in society have enough food and clean water to survive is critical. The UN has warned of “biblical famines” because of the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of people suffering from acute hunger could rise from 135 million to more than 250 million. UNICEF estimates that up to 670 million children could be living in poverty by the end of this year. It’s clear that we need to do much more by developing a new social contract that ensures we leave no one behind. As a business leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture within an organization? You have to work on it every day and, more importantly, live it. It starts with the development of a strong purpose, or reason for being, that serves as a beacon in times of uncertainty – guiding decision-making, unlocking energy and uniting people. You also have to create the right environment to encourage the right behavior. A long-term, multi-stakeholder model will drive different behaviors than short-term, shareholder focused models. In the end, you have to invest in your organization. Resilience starts with personal resilience – your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. How critical is it for leading companies today to be purpose-driven and to focus on more than just the bottom line? It’s absolutely crucial. Purpose-driven companies and brands outperform others, and the evidence is increasingly clear. Purpose, as Colin Mayer says in his book Prosperity, is to profitably address the problems of society and the planet. I believe for businesses to be successful
“I firmly believe that not enough has been done to build our social resilience and the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings – the absence of a fair wage for key workers, adequate safety nets for the unemployed and a lack of training and re-skilling opportunities for the young.” long-term they need to show that they have a positive impact or, in other words, make this a better world for all. Less bad is simply not good enough anymore. If businesses cannot show that they have a positive impact on society, then why should we support them? The fossil-fuel industry, with its devastating effects on the climate, is increasingly asking itself this question. That is why embedding sustainability in corporate strategy is now a precondition for any successful company. In my view, it’s simple: if you don’t move to a more responsible, sustainable and equitable business model, you risk not having a business at all. Businesses cannot succeed in failing societies. This approach to business enables companies to better manage risks, anticipate regulatory action, access new markets, recruit and retain talent and drive innovation. Of course,
“In my view, it’s simple: if you don’t move to a more responsible, sustainable and equitable business model, you risk not having a business at all. Businesses cannot succeed in failing societies.”
the multi-stakeholder model also has a strong impact on reputation and brands, which are a critical part of corporate valuations. Fortunately, we already have the tools to bring this business model to life, namely greater energy efficiency and use of renewables, more sustainable food systems, smarter infrastructure planning, better use of technologies, deployment of the circular economy, and moving financial markets to the long term. I truly believe it’s the growth story of the century. What advice do you offer young people beginning their careers during this challenging and uncertain time? It’s a difficult time for young people who have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with many either furloughed or without an income. Graduates also face a hugely challenging time, as there’s massive uncertainty in the job market. It’s crucial therefore that they try to identify what they are passionate about, what they are good at and what society needs. If they can marry these three pillars, they will be successful. I wouldn’t bet against young people, as they are in fact a constant source of inspiration and ingenuity. It’s encouraging that more and more they believe in companies with a “sense of purpose” and brands with a “point of view.” Many of our biggest challenges – disease outbreaks, climate change, gender inequality and poverty – will only be overcome by building movements for positive change and the young are well placed for that. We see this with initiatives like One Young World, Enactus, Net Impact, Free the Children and others, but also with the massive explosion in the number of social enterprises and the B-Corp movement. There are many opportunities that allow young people to harness and direct their desire for change, but they need our full support and we must invest in their future. As I’ve said many times, it’s not enough for them to be at the table, they need to own the table.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Striving for Excellence An Interview with Martina Navratilova EDITORS’ NOTE The most successful female tennis player of the Open era, Martina Navratilova amassed an unmatched number of professional records over the course of a career that spanned four decades. She won an unprecedented 59 Grand Slam titles, including a record 9 Wimbledon singles championships, along with 167 singles and 177 doubles championships. Over the course of her tennis career, Navratilova was distinguished as the WTA’s “Tour Player of the Year” seven times, named the Associated Press’ “Female Athlete of the Year” and declared one of the “Top Forty Athletes of All-Time” by Sports Illustrated. After being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, she continued to take part in WTA events as well as the 2004 Olympics Games. As she approached her 50th birthday in 2006, she decided to leave the tour circuit behind after her final Grand Slam, a mixeddoubles championship with Bob Bryan at the US Open which saw her become the oldest player to ever win a Grand Slam title. Navratilova pr ovides commentary for the Tennis Channel during its coverage of Grand Slams. She is an ambassador for the WTA and is a regular commentator for the BBC and Tennis Channel at Wimbledon. She has also worked for Amazon Prime Video beginning with the US Open 2019. In September 2019, she starred in the Netflix comedy drama The Politician. She enjoys spending as much time as she can with her family in Miami, and often finds herself traveling the world, speaking at events, playing in numerous exhibition matches, and tirelessly promoting all of the issues that are close to her heart.
Did you know at an early age that your passion was for the sport of tennis? Yes, I did. I started hitting against the wall at age 5 and then stepped on a real court at 7 and never looked back. I always loved tennis as it’s always a challenge since the ball never comes back the same way.
“Resilience is essential to success in any endeavor and in any field and is represented by the willingness and strength one must have to deal with setbacks, losses and failures.”
What were the keys to your success and leadership in the sport? The key is striving for excellence every step of the way. In other words, always giving my best effort on and off the court, not quitting and, most of all, being willing to take chances by changing techniques, strategies and having a willingness to step outside of my comfort zone. You have been vocal about societal issues throughout your career. Do you feel that this is a responsibility with the powerful platform that you have to reach people? It is not a responsibility, but a great opportunity to make a difference off the court. Having the freedom to speak up and not be punished for it is a privilege I have always appreciated and still do to this day. How critical is resilience to being successful in professional sports? Resilience is essential to success in any endeavor and in any field and is represented by the willingness and strength one must have to deal with setbacks, losses and failures. One must have the strength to keep coming back every day to try to improve and there can be no quitting – champions don’t quit. By the way, I don’t look at failure as a negative – I see it as an opportunity to improve. The resilience of the human body, particularly for athletes, often defies many people’s understanding. What role does mental resilience play in driving the physical resilience needed to be a professional athlete? One needs both – the mental resilience drives you to work out harder and get yourself in the best shape possible which then gives you the physical resilience. When you know you’re in great shape, it not only gives you the freedom to play the “right” way without physical limitations, but also gives you a huge confidence boost, thus helping your mental state. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? Resilience also means to me that you keep trying to do the right thing, and perhaps nobody embodies that better than Jimmy Carter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the recently passed John Lewis. We could all learn from them.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Inspiring Positive Change An Interview with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History EDITORS’ NOTE Dr. Kirk Johnson is The National Museum of Natural the Sant Director of the Smithsonian History (si.edu/unit/natural-history-museum) National Museum of Natural is dedicated to maintaining and preHistory where he oversees a colserving the world’s most extensive colleclection of more than 146 million tion of natural history specimens and objects –the largest natural hishuman artifacts. It fosters significant tory collection in the world. Each scientific research and produces eduyear, the Museum hosts more than cational programs and exhibitions that 5 million visitors and its scientists present the work of its scientists to the publish more than 750 scientific public. Museum research addresses curresearch papers and describe more rent topics such as biological diversity, than 300 new species. In 2017, the global climate change, molecular systemKirk Johnson Museum completed a $225 milatics for enhancing the understanding lion capital campaign and in 2019 of the relationship between living things, it opened the $40 million “David H. Koch Hall ecosystem modeling, and the documentation and of Fossils – Deep Time.” Before he came to preservation of human cultural heritages. the Smithsonian in 2012, Johnson was the vice president, chief curator and paleobotanist at the Will you pr ovide an overview of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where he Smithsonian National Museum of Natural led expeditions in 11 countries that resulted in History? the discovery of more than 1,400 fossil sites. His The Smithsonian National Museum of research focuses on fossil plants and the extinc- Natural History is, by many measures, the world’s tion of the dinosaurs and he is known for his largest natural history museum. We are at once scientific articles, popular books, museum exhi- an active research institute and an informal scibitions, documentaries, and collaborations with ence education center that serves millions of artists. In 2011, he led the excavation of an ice people every year online and at the museum. age site near Snowmass Village, Colorado, that Our mission is to promote understanding of recovered more than 5,400 bones of mammoths, the natural world and our place in it. The musemastodons and other ice age animals and was um’s 146 million object collection tells the history featured in the NOVA documentary, Ice Age of the planet and is a record of human interaction Death Trap (2012). His recent PBS documen- with the environment and one another. As we all taries include Making North America (2015), work to shape a sustainable world, this record The Great Yellowstone Thaw (2017), and Polar becomes the starting point. It is our guidebook Extremes (2019). His recent books include, to how the future can look and work. Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline: The Travels of an Artist and a Scientist along the Shores of the Prehistoric Pacific (2018) and Visions of Lost Worlds, the Paleoart of Jay Matternes (2019). His upcoming book, Trees are made of Gas, The Story of Carbon and Climate, will be published in 2020. INSTITUTION BRIEF The Smithsonian Institution (si.edu) is the world’s lar gest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo, shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world. The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) according to his wishes “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” 42 LEADERS
Because of the boundless curiosity of our researchers, the breadth and depth of our scientific collections, and our ability to inspire future generations of scientists, we have a vital role to play. Here people can both discover the world and learn to become better stewards of it. How do you define resilience and how is resilience incorporated into the culture of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History? Resilience is being nimble and creative in the face of relentless change. We see this in so many ways at the museum, whether it is our researchers working to challenge a scientific hypothesis or our museum educators finding ways to break through the noise and inspire the next generation of scientists in the face of a concerted effort to question the legitimacy of science and the scientific process. I am immensely proud of the resilience displayed by our museum staff during the COVID19 pandemic. Our doors have been closed since March 14, and yet the entire team has continued to do their work on behalf of the American people – some coming in to care for our building and collections, others making the museum accessible to a digital audience by building out a suite of online offerings that didn’t exist before, and still others continuing the pursuit of knowledge through their research. How are you using the unique platform of the Smithsonian to educate people about resilience?
A display at “The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – Deep Time” exhibit VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Kenneth E. Behring Family Rotunda featuring the Fénykövi Elephant
We are living in unique and challenging times. At this moment of political polarization, we are in a global pandemic and we are witnessing our nation come to terms with the societal imbalance that has sprung from its history of racism and oppression. Over the last several decades, we have become increasingly aware of the negative impacts of climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, invasive species, human overpopulation, and overharvesting by hunting and fishing. Our museum, and the broader Smithsonian, is uniquely situated to engage and inspire our visitors, online and in person, that positive change is possible in all of these areas. Our exhibition, “Outbreak, Epidemics in a Connected World” opened 18 months before VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
the pandemic started and is now freely shared in more than 140 venues in 40 countries and eight languages. Our exhibition “The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – Deep Time” displays the entire history of life on Earth and sets the context for understanding the future of humanity and the natural world in the 21st Century. It takes discovery, education, and dialogue to increase and diffuse knowledge and it is our mission to inspire everyone to understand that they can make a difference. What is the role of science, education and literacy in building resilience? Science is the tool that humanity uses to grow and perpetuate knowledge. Education and literacy are how we bring each new generation into the growing body of knowledge
so that they can carry it forward. It has been science that has greatly accelerated the human endeavor over the last few centuries and it will be science that will meet the challenges of the present century. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? I am stubbornly optimistic and that helps me take on challenges of all sizes. During my life, I have witnessed breathtaking scientific discoveries and situations where single individuals have driven positive change. I am also a big believer in the power of teams and the ability of small groups of committed people to achieve great things. Has your work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world? Our world has changed substantially in the wake of the pandemic. To protect our visitors, staff, researchers and volunteers and do our part to stem the spread of the virus, the museum has been closed to the public and most personnel since March. Having no visitors onsite has forced us to rethink our role as the National Museum and pushed us to reach into communities across the nation through online offerings that connect kids and adults with our content and our people. The Black Lives Matter movement has pushed us to rethink about how we are fulfilling our role as the National Museum in a different way. We are an American institution and we want to do a better job ensuring that we are offering an inclusive experience for all of our nation’s citizens. We’re reevaluating our public offerings and outreach efforts in this regard and working with Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch on how our museum can play a role in the Smithsonian’s larger “Race, Community, and Our Shared Future” initiative. We’re also building out existing internship and postdoctoral fellowship programs at the museum to provide more opportunities to ensure that future generations of scientists in our field are far more representative of our nation’s population than they are today. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? Secretary Bunch was the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture before becoming the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution last June. He has led the Smithsonian with its 19 museums and nine research centers through the last six months with remarkable enthusiasm and creativity while at the same time watching over the health and safety of its 6,500 employees. Dr. Ellen Stofan, former Chief Scientist at NASA, is the director of the National Air and Space Museum where she was in the middle of a complete facility renovation of the mall museum when the pandemic hit. She has continued that work while also leading the Smithsonian’s planning for how it will operate after a COVID-19 vaccine has been created.
Shaping the Global Future Together An Interview with Frederick Kempe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Council EDITORS’ NOTE Before joining the How do you define the purpose and Atlantic Council, Fred Kempe was a mission of the Atlantic Council? prize-winning editor and reporter at The Atlantic Council’s purpose is The Wall Street Journal for more than an audacious one that is designed to twenty-five years. In New York, he capture the imagination of our staff, served as Assistant Managing Editor, our donors and our global commuInternational, and columnist. Prior to nity of stakeholders around a historic that, he was the longest-serving imperative. Put simply, our mission is editor and Associate Publisher of The “shaping the global future together” Wall Street Journal Europe, running alongside partners and allies. Break The Wall Street Journal’s global editothat down, and the first word “shaprial operations in Europe and the ing” speaks to our solutions-oriented Frederick Kempe Middle East. In 2002, The European ethos. The second few words, “the Voice, a leading publication followglobal future,” speak to our future-oriing EU affairs, selected Kempe as one of the 50 ented work. But it’s the last word that is most most influential Europeans, and as one of the four powerful, “TOGETHER.” The Atlantic Council leading journalists in Europe. At The Wall Street acts from the conviction that no one and no Journal, he served as a roving correspondent based country, no matter how powerful, can achieve out of London; as a Vienna Bureau Chief cover- lasting and positive outcomes in today’s world ing Eastern Europe and East-West Affairs; as Chief except in partnership with others. Diplomatic Correspondent in Washington, D.C.; In the case of the United States, we can and as the paper’s first Berlin Bureau Chief follow- only defend the democratic values, individual ing the unification of Germany and collapse of the human rights and common purpose that have Soviet Union. He is the author of four books. The advanced freedom and prosperity over the most recent, Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, past 75 years if we work more effectively with and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth, was a our global partners than we are doing at the New York Times Best Seller and a National Best moment. We believe the world stands at an Seller. For his commitment to strengthening the inflection point as historically important as the transatlantic alliance, Kempe has been decorated end of World War I and the end of World War II. by the Presidents of Poland and Germany and by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Kempe is a graduate of the University of Utah and has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he was a member of the International Fellows program in the School of International Affairs. He won the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism’s top alumni achievement award and the University of Utah’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Our mistakes at the end of the first World War – isolationism, nationalism and political polarization – resulted in fascism, the Holocaust and the millions who died in World War II. The cost of our failure could be measured in lives and freedom lost. Our comparative success after World War II – creating with our partners all the major international institutions of the post-war order – should have taught us that the major problems of today’s world can only be addressed through common cause, international collaboration and a recognition that the world’s democracies must work more effectively together. We know the Atlantic Council alone can’t achieve these outcomes. However, we believe that we’d be selling our institution short if we didn’t recognize our responsibility to contribute to a better future in whatever way we can. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I collect quotes on leadership. I like to hang them in prominent places. They all have elements of truth and no one can abide by all of them, and perhaps that is for me what defines leadership. Leadership today is about listening. Ernest Hemingway said, “When people talk, listen completely.” Being an active listener is
“The Atlantic Council acts from the conviction that
COMPANY BRIEF The Atlantic Council (atlanticcouncil.org) promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community’s central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum for navigating the dramatic economic and political changes defining the twenty-first century by informing and galvanizing its uniquely influential network of global leaders. The Atlantic Council – through the papers it publishes, the ideas it generates, the future leaders it develops, and the communities it builds - shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more free, secure, and prosperous world. 44 LEADERS
no one and no country, no matter how powerful, can achieve lasting and positive outcomes in today’s world except in partnership with others.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Leadership is then about empowering and inspiring those who work with you to listen and learn as well. Once you have listened and learned, it is about acting with confidence in a manner that will make a difference.”
perhaps the hardest skill to learn and master, and I’m still working on it. Leadership is about learning. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” said President John F. Kennedy. It’s about knowing you can’t have all the answers, and that if you’ve hired well and have befriended well, you have surrounded yourself with people from whom you can learn and who will help you continually grow. Leadership is then about empowering and inspiring those who work with you to listen and learn as well. Once you have listened and learned, it is about acting with confidence in a manner that will make a difference. Then you must lead, but it won’t have credibility if you haven’t listened and learned and empowered along the way. Leadership is ultimately about resilience. Do you always bounce back stronger? Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Are you equipped to handle what life throws at you? How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience in the work of a think tank? Most people think resilience is the ability to bounce back, that it’s the ability to recover quickly from the world’s inevitable shocks and stresses. I think it’s the ability to bounce back better. Resilience is crucial in every walk of life. No individual, company or country can escape stresses and shocks. The question is whether that individual, company or country is designed to not just survive those stresses and shocks, which is important, but whether one emerges even stronger, which to me is the new definition of resilience. Bouncing back is good. Bouncing back stronger is better. The term that really appeals to me is “resilience by design.” How can one design one’s self, one’s company, one’s country, or even the entire global environment, to be more resilient? What do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the global crises the world is facing today? It is at the core of everything. History has taught us that we will never avoid global crises. However, the societies, the systems and the institutions that endure are those that bounce back from those crises and become stronger. That has been the modern history VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
of the United States. Yet great empires and entire species have disappeared from the earth because they lacked resilience. The science of resilience fascinates me. Why does one species thrive and another disappear? Why does one country thrive and another collapse? Why does one form of government whether all shocks and another not? Will you discuss the Atlantic Council’s involvement in the Adrienne ArshtRockefeller Foundation Resilience Center? We as Western powers have ended war. We have advanced democracy. We have defined and defended human rights. We now are called upon to save our planet. The Atlantic Council’s mission is “shaping the global future together” with partners and allies. What could be a more compelling mission than working together to find resilient solutions to issues of climate, migration and public health? For me, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center at its core is taking those muscle movements that we’ve learned so well at the Atlantic Council and across the Atlantic community and applying them to a new set of issues of existential nature. Some argue that resilience and climate-related issues are in some way a departure from our traditional mission. That’s just not true. We have embraced the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center because it is the natural extension of our mission for the challenges of our times. Has the Atlantic Council’s work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world? Put most simply, we’ve shown our resilience. We have bounced back stronger. I never would have wished this crisis on the world, but it has underscored the power of our founding purpose. We were well-prepared because we had developed digital tools and we had structured our organization to empower individual initiative. The most crucial factors were that we had a compelling mission, we had the right culture to address it and a donor community that believed in us. We face a triple challenge: the worst pandemic in a century, the worst economic shock since the Great Depression and the most significant racial upheavals in 50 years. They have all sharpened the dramatic need for us to work together more effectively to shape the future.
As a leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture within your organization? Today’s world is one defined by volatility and uncertainty. To succeed in this environment, all organizations need to be more resilient. What does that mean? It means they must be more adaptive and agile. I’m still learning how to build that sort of culture, but what I’ve learned is that a good starting point is hiring optimistic, innovative, dynamic and creative employees who tend to bounce back better from setbacks. However, there’s also a leadership responsibility in developing a culture that fosters positive attitudes, innovative actions and dynamic and creative individuals. Resilient employees are more productive, they manage stress more effectively, they are more collegial, and they have higher morale. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? It’s both nature and nurture. Some individuals just have it. However, the good news is it can be learned, and it can be taught. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? At every stage of my life, there have been obstacles to overcome that either prompted me to learn and grow or would have undermined me. Resilience colors everything. Without it, one is doomed. If one embraces setbacks as an ingredient to success, you succeed. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? Perhaps you should make that the subject of an entire magazine. Rather than give you a long list, let me tell you about a leader I spoke to recently whose resilience boggles my mind – Senator Tammy Duckworth. When you meet her, you feel the positive energy of a person who bounces back stronger from unimaginable setbacks. In 2004 in Iraq, Iraqi insurgents hit her helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. The resulting injuries cost her both legs and mobility in her right arm. What was her response? She sought and got a medical waiver that allowed her to continue to serve in the Illinois Army National Guard until she retired a decade later as a lieutenant colonel. She then devoted her life to serving veterans and her country, starting at the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, then as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, with two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and now in the Senate. Her commitment to this country and her ability to persevere are awe-inspiring.
Strengthening Societal Resilience An Interview with Maryam Golnaraghi, PhD, Director of Climate Change and Emerging Environmental Topics, The Geneva Association EDITORS’ NOTE Maryam Golnaraghi’s INSTITUTION BRIEF The Geneva experience spans over 20 years in Association (genevaassociation.org) international executive and senior has been carrying out its research advisory positions in industry, govrole for the past 46 years and estabernment and the United Nations. lished a global reputation for highShe works with the C-Suites and quality and forward-looking work. In boards of insurance companies, its role as the leading international financial institutions, governments, think tank of the insurance indusregulators and international orgatry, The Geneva Association detects nizations to enable and scale up early ideas and emerging debates on the integration of climate risks political, economic and societal issues and opportunities into core business concer ning the industry, inspires Maryam Golnaraghi and investing; increase investments and initiates further research into towards a low-carbon economy in and analysis of such issues, orgaareas such as sustainable infrastructure; and nizes debates on the issues detected, dissemibuild operational and financial resilience to nates research results and analysis, and pushes extreme events for people, businesses and govern- underlying ideas among clearly defined target ments. In June 2020, she was included in a list of groups. The Geneva Association carries out this those “Most Influential on Climate Change” pro- role through seven research programs: Climate duced by InsuranceERM. From 2004 to 2014, Change and Emerging Environmental Topics; as the Chief of the Disaster Risk Reduction at the Health and Ageing; Socio-economic Resilience; United Nations World Meteorological Organization New Technologies and Data; Cyber; Evolving (WMO), Golnaraghi headed an international Liability; and Public Policy and Regulation. program that assists governments with developing national policies and institutional capaci- Will you provide an overview of the Geneva ties in disaster and climate risk management, risk Association and how you define its mission? financing and risk transfer. Golnaraghi also supThe Geneva Association is an international ported UN member states with the development of think tank whose members are insurance and national early-warning and emergency-pre- reinsurance CEOs. In total, the companies of paredness systems, leveraging the latest techno- The Geneva Association members manage logical developments and regional cooperation in almost $17 trillion in assets and account for over weather, water and climate forecasting. Following a third of global insurance premiums. The core the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, she served as mission of The Geneva Association is to work an adviser to former U.S. President Clinton in his on highly strategic topics of global relevance capacity as the UN Special Envoy on Tsunamis. that allow the industry to best serve its role as Prior to joining the UN, from 1997 to 2004, as the risk managers and investors. founder and CEO of Climate Risk Solutions Inc., Insurers provide financial protection to a leading Boston-based research and advisory individuals, businesses and governments against firm, she delivered innovative climate risk assess- risks and support entrepreneurial risk-taking and ment and risk management solutions to com- economic growth for a premium. To do this, they panies in the energy, agriculture and financial make significant investments in understanding sectors. Golnaraghi serves on a number of inter- risks (for example, mortality, morbidity, natural national, governmental, industry and non-profit catastrophes) and emerging or future developadvisory boards and has served as a senior advi- ments that may influence their frequency and sor to the UN, international development banks severity. Insurers are also an important source and government officials. She has authored of investment in the economic, technology and numerous internationally referenced reports financial sectors. Through these activities, the and the book titled, Partnerships in Multi-Hazard industry plays an essential role in the sustained Early Warning Systems (Springer-Verlag 2012). prosperity of our economies and societies. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from The Geneva Association works with the Cornell University, and a MS in Applied Physics C-Suite of the insurance industry as well as and a PhD in Physical Oceanography from experts, governments and policymakers, regulaHarvard University. She served as a senior tory and standard setting bodies, academia and research fellow at the Harvard Business School. the scientific community, to explore emerging risks 46 LEADERS
and the evolving risk landscape in a number of critical areas, including climate change and emerging environmental topics, which I lead; health and ageing; new technologies and data; cyber risk; and socio-economic resilience. We explore solutions and opportunities for strategic partnerships through which the industry can continue to enhance and expand its societal contributions. What are your key areas of focus leading climate change and emerging environmental topics at the organization? The core of our mission is to find strategies and solutions for transitioning to a resilient, low-carbon economy and ways in which the insurance industry can enhance and expand its contributions at scale. As a starting point, I encourage readers to refer to our 2018 report on Climate Change and the Insurance Industry. For 2020-2021 we are working at the forefront of four highly critical and strategic topics. In 2020, we established a first-of-its-kind industry-led task force on “climate risk assessment for the insurance industry” to analyze and develop relevant and meaningful climate risk analytics methodologies and approaches for insurers on both sides of the balance sheet, as per the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). As part of this initiative, we will also be working with insurers around the world on their adoption and with regulators to shape future regulations on meaningful risk assessment, scenario analysis and stress testing for this industry. I would love to see the board and C-Suite of every insurance company in the world start to understand climate risks and consider climate change as a core business issue. Then, the power of this industry as a catalyst in the transition to a much more resilient, low-carbon economy will be unleashed. As a next step, we will also work with the scientific community and climate risk data providers to harness best information for the insurance industry. We hope that this industry-level initiative will set an example for other industries, for companies to come together to develop and converge on relevant industry-specific approaches and practices relevant to their business models and decision-making. Second is mapping climate litigation risk and what it means as a risk and an opportunity for the industry. Climate litigation has always been the elephant in the room and the most inefficient way to enable climate change action. There is an opportunity for insurers to work VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
proactively with their corporate clients and governments to motivate and incentivize proactive climate action. Third is the role of the insurance industry in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. There is a large investment gap in building resilient, low-carbon infrastructure in various sectors to enable the transition at scale. In many countries, almost no consideration has been given to assessing the physical climate risk to public infrastructure projects and incorporating this risk across projects’ life cycles. Non-life insurers, with their risk assessment, pricing and risk transfer expertise, are well positioned to work with governments to contribute to the de-risking of public infrastructure, whereas life insurers, in their capacity as long-term asset managers, can play a key role in mobilizing long-term private capital to resilient, low-carbon infrastructure projects. We are working to identify evolving risks and opportunities to facilitate public/ private partnerships for building resilient, lowcarbon public infrastructure. Finally, emerging environmental risks such as biodiversity loss, plastics, ocean and air pollution have significant impacts on society, the economy and business models. We are launching a study with the insurance industry and a number of partners to identify and map the impacts of various emerging environmental risks and explore ways in which the industry can help manage and incentivize mitigation of these risks. Will you highlight your efforts to build economic resilience to disaster and climate risks? The insurance industry provides expertise in catastrophe and climate risk modelling, risk pricing and raising awareness about these risks and how to reduce them based on significant risk reduction and risk prevention research for households, businesses and governments. It also offers innovative risk transfer solutions to build financial resilience to impacts of extreme events and incentivize risk reduction and risk prevention measures through lower premiums. Beyond mature economies, over the last decade the industry has stepped up its collaboration with development agencies, international organizations and governments to expand insurance protection for climate-related and other natural disasters in emerging and low-income economies. As the world responds to the COVID-19 crisis and governments are preparing their economic stimulus plans, the potential compounding effects of weather-related extremes such as floods, tropical cyclones and wildfires could significantly challenge a country’s emergency management capacities and slow down the socio-economic recovery. At The Geneva Association we are working on ways in which the insurance industry can further enhance its contributions to building resilience to climate-related and other natural disasters. Building resilience has become a priority for many countries around the world in recent years due to the rising socio-economic impacts, including threats to human lives and livelihoods as well as direct and indirect economic impacts. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“We concluded that there is a need for a paradigm shift from reacting to crises towards a risk-based, anticipatory, holistic and all-of-society approach to managing the potential impacts of catastrophes.”
As part of our deep commitment to strengthening socio-economic resilience to extreme events and climate change, The Geneva Association has undertaken a major study to take a deeper look at the evolution of flood risk management (FRM), particularly in light of the changing risk landscape, in five mature economies (the U.S., England, Germany, Canada and Australia). Working with a large network of experts from different public, private and academic sectors, we paid special attention to governance, institutional frameworks and the interplay of risk assessment, risk communication and awareness, risk reduction, risk prevention, risk financing, risk transfer (e.g., insurance) and reconstruction measures across various stakeholders. Managing the risk of extreme events is a multifaceted challenge that requires coordinated action from a wide range of stakeholders, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each. We concluded that there is a need for a paradigm shift from reacting to crises towards a risk-based, anticipatory, holistic and all-of-society approach to managing the potential impacts of catastrophes. We need to further strengthen effective collaborations and provide incentives for those tasked with managing risks, as well as those at risk or involved in creating risks, to change their behavior. As a next step, together with our members, we are convening roundtables with key stakeholders to explore solutions and opportunities for stronger multi-stakeholder collaboration to overcome the challenges to strengthening societal resilience. How do you define success when addressing long-term challenges? We take a systematic approach to understanding the nature of long-term challenges, along with the risks, opportunities and hurdles, to be able to meaningfully address these
challenges at scale and move the dial. For example, to scale up investment towards a lowcarbon economy, we need to figure out what major hurdles lie in the way of directing the core of investments for institutional investors to this transitioning, and not just the relatively small percentage of total investment currently dedicated under impact/responsible investing. Institutional investors face a number of challenges, for example the lack of a globally-agreed taxonomy for resilient low-carbon investing, relevant risk and opportunity information, a stable and meaningful regulatory framework, a pipeline of investment-grade projects and an efficient market. Success in addressing the challenges will involve working diligently through the right mechanisms to overcome these hurdles and transform the financial system to allow for investing long-term at scale. Every hurdle removed is considered a success towards achieving the main long-term goal. Does the rise of nationalism and shifting political risks change your approach to quantifying risk? In mapping the evolving risk landscape we consider many different types of risks which in themselves can be very challenging to quantify. For example, depending on the application, we look at market-related risks, financial- and capital-market-related risk, regulatory risk, political risk, policy risk, technology risk, operational risk, environmental risk and development risk, to name a few. We thrive on working with top experts and data providers with an anticipatory approach, trying to understand how emerging or future developments may influence the risk landscape. How do you define resilience and what are the characteristics of a resilient organization? I define resilience as the ability to anticipate, prepare, plan for, reduce, prevent, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse risks and shocks. A resilient organization is one that has the culture, mindset and capacities to do this as well as continue to monitor and learn from every experience, using a systems-based approach to address weaknesses and enhance its resilience over time. How critical is resilience to the work of The Geneva Association? Building financial resilience to various risks is at the core of the insurance industry’s and The Geneva Association’s mission and activities. The ability to provide financial protection against various risks is founded on the significant investments the sector makes in understanding the risks (for example, mortality, morbidity, natural catastrophes) and emerging or future developments that may influence their frequency and severity. This allows insurers to price the risk, establish a cost for the insurance coverage, innovate new products and services as well as develop approaches for managing the risks. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I believe resilience is built over time through experience, awareness, the right mindset and continuous learning.
The Art of the Invisible An Interview with Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center
EDITORS’ NOTE Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer and bandleader, educator, author and a leading advocate of American culture. He has created and performed an expansive range of music from quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, and tap dance to ballet, expanding the vocabulary for jazz and classical music with a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers. Marsalis has produced over 100 records which have sold over seven million copies worldwide including three Gold Records and he has won nine Grammy Awards. In 1997, Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio Blood On The Fields. In 1987, he co-founded a jazz program at Lincoln Center. In July 1996, due to its significant success, Jazz at Lincoln Center (jazz.org) was installed as a new constituent of Lincoln Center, equal in stature with the New York P hilhar m o n ic, Metr opolitan O p e r a , a n d New York City Ballet – a historic moment for jazz as an art form and for Lincoln Center as a c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n . I n O c t o b e r 2004, with the assistance of a dedicated Board and staff, Marsalis opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the world’s first institution for jazz. The JALC 48 LEADERS
mission is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy, and to bolster the cultural infrastructure for jazz globally. Marsalis’ core beliefs and foundation for living are based on the principles of jazz. He promotes individual creativity (improvisation), collective cooperation (swing), gratitude and good manners (sophistication), and faces adversity with persistent optimism (the blues). Honorary degrees have been conferred upon Marsalis by more than 30 of America’s leading academic institutions. He was honored with the Louis Armstrong Memorial Medal and the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts. He was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement and was dubbed an Honorary Dreamer by the “I Have a Dream Foundation.” The New York Urban League awarded Marsalis with the Frederick Douglass Medallion for distinguished leadership and the American Arts Council presented him with the Arts Education Award. Time magazine selected Marsalis as one of America’s most promising leaders under age 40 in 1995, and in 1996 celebrated Marsalis again as one of America’s 25 most influential people. In November 2005, Marsalis
received The National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan proclaimed Marsalis an international ambassador of goodwill for the United States by appointing him a UN Messenger of Peace. Marsalis was honored with The National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2015, in recognition of his work in deepening th e n a tio n ’s understanding of the humanities and broadening American citizens’ engagement with history, literature, languages and philosophy. Marsalis has also r eceived numer ous inter national awards including France’s highest distinction, the insignia Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
“We believe jazz is a metaphor for Democracy.”
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The exterior of the Jazz at Lincoln Center building at Columbus Circle on Manhattan’s Upper West Side
Where did your passion for music develop? I was not interested in music until I was about twelve years old when I started to really listen to musicians like John Coltrane and I started to ask myself if I might ever be able to play music like they did. Listening to some of the great jazz musicians of the time built my interest and passion for music. How do you define the mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center and will you highlight the services it provides? Our mission is to entertain, educate and advocate for a global audience in an effort to grow and build jazz music. We put on concerts of all kinds around the world and have been able to introduce a number of talented young artists and to recognize some of the older musicians as well. We also collaborate with other artists of all genres as well as other forms of art such as dance with Alvin Ailey, as well as plays, VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
and we do this all over the world, from South Africa to China to Japan and so on. We have a large education program and do jazz classes for people of all economic levels and we educate around jazz’s distinct American heritage. We also advocate for jazz and have jazz ambassadors who represent our music. We support other jazz organizations and try to help as much as we can. We b e l i e v e j a z z i s a m e t a p h o r f o r Democracy. Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism. What were you hoping to accomplish with your most r ecent album, The Ever Fonky Lowdown?
The Ever Fonky Lowdown is a blueprint and when you listen to it you will hear a lot of symbolic language. It’s about what happens when you are living within an illusion that is so heavy that you can’t get out of it. It raises questions like, “Who am I fighting and why?” The libretto is dark, but the music that goes along with it is kind of happy. The composition takes the listener through a series of games with a protagonist named Mr. Game. The Ever Fonky Lowdown also manifests itself in the consumption of damaging mythology about African Americans. It plays on how you think, what you think, and the mythology you’re given. You’re given this mythology, all these movies and shows, saying Black people commit crimes. Black people call each other the “n” word. Black people call each other bitches. Everybody lives in drug-infested communities, everybody shoots this, they don’t have any respect, every Black person has no integrity. You could have a movie with one Black person in it, and that Black person is the one with no integrity. That’s just mythology and if you buy into that, that’s the ever fonky lowdown. Is the album meant to be uplifting and to provide hope and optimism? Since, as I mentioned, I created The Ever Fonky Lowdown as a blueprint, it is about diagnosing the problems and how to address them. It is similar to when you go to a doctor. You go to receive a diagnosis so you can then treat the problem. You need to identify the problem in order to address it. In the album, the protagonist, Mr. Game, becomes the hero in the end. You are left with the message that while we have many problems, we have many qualified people to handle them, and it will take everyone to win the fight – this is the fonky lowdown. The music for the album is really celebratory. The album is meant for everyone, people in power, people without power, people with money, poor people, young people and old people. I am not interested in reaching a particular group, I am interested in reaching all human beings. What do you see as the role that music can play in addressing the challenges and crises the world is facing? Music is the art of the invisible. It deals with all things relating to the mind - thoughts, memories, dreams, aspirations. If you think about the American Negro experience, think about songs like “We Shall Overcome” and “Amazing Grace.” If you think about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Opening Address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival when he said, “Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.” Jazz music plays a critical role in our history and in shining a light on the challenges we are facing and the need to come together to overcome them. How critical is resilience for a musician? It is critical. I tell my students at Juilliard all the time that it is an uphill battle. It is not easy, but musicians are resilient people and they persevere and move forward to overcome challenges and setbacks.
The Power of the Arts An Interview with Henry Timms, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts EDITORS’ NOTE Prior to his curstrategic priorities include: supporting rent position, Henry Timms served the arts organizations that call Lincoln as Executive Director of the 92nd Center home to realize their missions Street Y for more than 12 years and fostering opportunities for collabwhere he created programs and oration across campus; championing movements that foster learning, inclusion and increasing the accessicivic responsibility, culture and bility and reach of Lincoln Center’s innovation, both in New York City work; and reimagining and strengthand around the world. In 2012, ening the performing arts for the 21st Timms founded GivingTuesday, century and beyond, helping ensure which engages more than 27,000 their rightful place at the center of civic partners in a global day of giving life. Henry Timms that was honored with a Cannes Lion at the International Festival What have been the keys to Lincoln of Creativity; the PRWeek Global Award for Center for the Performing Arts’ success and Nonprofit Campaign of the Year; and the inau- leadership? gural UJA-Federation Riklis Prize in Agency We have some of the most dedicated, creEntrepreneurship. Timms also co-founded the ative and inspiring professionals here at Lincoln annual Social Good Summit which pioneered Center. The Boards and staffs of the eleven a new, inclusive summit model that opened up organizations that make up our campus, and the critical discussions held during UN week to the audiences from across New York City and a much wider audience and led to concurrent beyond whom we all serve, are a continued gatherings around the world. As an extension of source of strength. the Social Good Summit, Timms partnered with Our success is also, of course, interWesleyan University to develop a MOOC (mas- twined with the phenomenal artists we lift sive open online course) called “How to Change up every day. Artists are traditionally some of the World” and 51,000 students participated in its first year. Timms co-authored the “Big Idea” in the December 2014 edition of the Harvard Business Review on New Power – How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World and How to Make it Work For You, which was named one of the ten “Ideas of the Year” by CNN. He is a practitioner in residence at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils. In 2014, Timms was named The NonProfit Times Influencer of the Year. Timms is a member of several philanthropic committees, including the Lipman Prize Committee at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the board of the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York and is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA), where he is chair of the nominating committee for the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin Medal. ORGANIZATION BRIEF L i n c o l n C e n t e r for the Performing Arts (lincolncenter.org) is the steward of the world’s leading performing arts center, an artistic and civic cornerstone for New York City comprised of 11 resident companies on a 16-acre campus. The nonprofit’s 50 LEADERS
the most skilled at thinking beyond the way things have always been done. That sustains us always. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I see it as my job to lead a culture where this creativity and bold thinking is unleashed, and where all of our people know they are trusted, valued, and that their work is essential to the larger mission of our organization. But I think the real key to leading is learning. Every day I learn from my team and others new ways to add value. How do you define resilience? We are resilient when we are faced with the unexpected, the unknown, the crushingly disheartening, and are able to quickly process, move forward and, importantly, lead the people around us to do the same. How is resilience incorporated into the culture of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts? I’m so proud of how our team at Lincoln Center has handled the unprecedented situations we find ourselves in. We pivoted
The fountain at Lincoln Center in New York City’s Upper West Side VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Our success is also, of course, intertwined with the phenomenal artists we lift up every day. Artists are traditionally some of the most skilled at thinking beyond the way things have always been done. That sustains us always.”
Alice Tully Hall, a 1,095-seat concert hall located within the Juilliard School building and the home stage of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
quickly and collaboratively. This is a team that believes wholeheartedly in the arts and comes to work every day ready to serve our communities. Everyone here is trusted to do their jobs to the very highest standards. We are inspired by the artists and the resident organizations around us. How does resilience factor into what you did at the 92nd Street Y? No organization gets to be 144 years old, like the 92nd Street Y, without resilience. The key to its success is a foundation of deeply held Jewish values that sustain it through hard moments and even hard decades. These values connect with people of all backgrounds. The Y’s open doors are key to its resilience. As the co-founder of GivingTuesday, you have created a movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transfor m their communities and the world. Will you discuss the impact of GivingTuesday? VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The arts connect us and teach us about ourselves and those around us in ways nothing else can.”
GivingTuesday has catalyzed millions for important causes around the world. It grew out of the work of the Belfer Center at the 92nd Street Y. The key to its success has been its flexibility which is a core part of being resilient. People all around the world took the idea and made it their own. We’ve seen activities in 100 countries, from blood drives to volunteer efforts to even someone donating a kidney. I was especially proud to see #GivingTuesdayNow, a response to the challenges of COVID-19, generate around $500 million online for good causes. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? I admire so much any working parent who has to balance, or at least try to balance, the demands of big roles and small people. It certainly takes some resilience when your executive committee Zoom meeting gets photobombed by an eight-year-old pretending to be a pirate. For me, exercise has also always helped a lot with resilience. If I can keep running, I can keep running. Has your work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world? Our work has become all the more urgent. The arts connect us and teach us about ourselves and those around us in ways nothing else can. We must be at the center of daily life, very much a part of urgent conversations and solutions. We’re finding new ways to use our campus resources safely. One beautiful example is the collaboration with the New York City Ballet between two queer artists of color performed against the backdrop of our plaza lit up for Pride month, Ces noms que nous portons (These names we carry). Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? I find inspiration and strength in leaders from organizations of all kinds rising to the challenges of this pandemic. One project that brought together so many impressive and generous leaders was the Memorial For Us All series. The Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer gathered a group of interfaith leaders from across New York City who challenged us to create a musical remembrance for those lost to COVID-19. It was such a privilege to work with them – each, in their own way and through their own faiths, providing leadership and comfort to thousands across our city.
Resilient DC An Interview with The Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, D.C. EDITORS’ NOTE On November 6, people – people who are passionate generations, injustice has been able to thrive in 2018, Muriel Bowser became the about their areas of expertise, but large part because people have been excluded from first woman ever re-elected as the also passionate about improving the power and not all voices and communities have Mayor of Washington, D.C. and the lives of Washingtonians. been represented or even had a seat at the table. first mayor to earn a second term in What have been the keys to driv- There is certainly much more to do once we have 16 years. Prior to becoming Mayor ing action and change in Washington, more elected leaders that represent the diversity of in 2015, Bowser served as the Ward D.C. with the deep partisanship that our nation, but that is a good starting point. 4 Councilmember on the Council of exists in the country today? How can statehood change the prospects the District of Columbia, first elected Well, the Washington, D.C. that I am for Washington, D.C. and its residents? in a special election in 2007 and the Mayor of is not the same Washington, With statehood our nation will finally end re-elected in 2008 and 2012. As a D.C. that many people hear about on the the practice of taxation without representation and Councilmember, she served as the news. The real D.C., as I like to say, is Washingtonians will have the voice and votes in The Hon. Muriel Bowser Chairwoman of the Committee on a city of more than 700,000 people. We Congress we deserve. Our lack of statehood affects Economic Development which creare an extraordinarily diverse and inclu- us in ways big and small. Earlier this year, we were ated more than 5,000 units of affordable hous- sive city. All across our city, Washingtonians want shortchanged $755 million in the federal COVID-19 ing, passed legislation to build a new soccer similar things: safe neighborhoods, great schools relief bill, and we are still fighting to be made whole. stadium, and secured from the federal govern- and parks, good jobs, and opportunities to pursue In June, federal law enforcement officers, many ment the best portion of the Walter Reed cam- their interests and dreams and people want those without any identification, roamed our streets and pus for D.C. She first entered elected office as things for their neighbors as well. Our community is other states sent their National Guards despite our an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the committed to and guided by our shared D.C. values, request for them not to. Riggs Park neighborhood more than 20 years and that allows us to set bold goals and create cityOur lack of statehood is not just about being ago. Bowser earned a BA degree in history from wide solutions to citywide challenges. denied representation in Congress – it is also about Chatham University and a master’s degree in What needs to be done to effectively a lack of local autonomy. Members of Congress can public policy from American University, and address the issue of social injustice and racial block our local laws or restrict how we can spend received honorary doctorates from Chatham inequality in the country? even our own local funds. Members who were sent University and Trinity University. One thing that we need to ensure is that all here to represent other states and who do not repreAmericans have access to our nation’s democracy sent D.C. residents or share our values have abused What attracted you to public service and by tackling voter suppression in all its forms. For this power to restrict reproductive healthcare and interested you in becoming Mayor of Washington, D.C.? I am a fifth generation Washingtonian who knew that I had something to offer Washington, D.C. and give back to my community. Washington, D.C. has changed a lot since I was a little girl. That change has brought a lot of good things to our city, but we know that our city’s prosperity hasn’t been shared equally. So, when I ran for Mayor, it was to give our city a fresh start and more D.C. residents a fair shot – to build new pathways to the middle class that will allow more longtime Washingtonians to stay in D.C. and build a future for their families. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? Effective leadership requires having a big vision and setting high expectations for the people around you. Washington, D.C. is unique in the American political system, so I function as D.C.’s mayor, county executive, and governor. In all of these roles, I serve my whole community. It is my job to move our city forward without leaving anyone behind, but I can’t do it alone. I Mayor Bowser joins District veterans to fly 51-star American flags along Pennsylvania Avenue ahead of the historic statehood hearing on September 19, 2020 surround myself with exceptionally talented 52 LEADERS
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“To develop our resilience strategy, Resilient DC, we took a hard look at both potential sudden shocks like severe weather, flooding, and infrastructure failure, as well as chronic stresses such as the high cost of housing that challenge our city on a daily basis.”
Mayor Bowser provides a COVID-19 update to the public in April 2020
prevent D.C. from setting up a system to tax and regulate recreational cannabis. This is not how a representative democracy is supposed to work and it is time to finally fix this injustice. How do you define resilience and how has resilience impacted your work? To develop our resilience strategy, Resilient DC, we took a hard look at both potential sudden shocks like severe weather, flooding, and infrastructure failure, as well as chronic stresses such as the high cost of housing that challenge our city on a daily basis. Building a resilient DC is about addressing both everyday issues such as poverty and inequality, and also the infrequent, unexpected, and potentially catastrophic events. This comprehensive approach ensures that we are not only stronger and better prepared to overcome disruptions, but also to provide benefits to our residents in the absence of disruptions. Leading a city, especially in 2020, means being on the front lines of responding to multiple crises and challenges. How critical is resilience as you face these challenges? Washington, D.C. is fortunate that we went into this crisis strong. In those first few weeks and months, when everything shut down suddenly, we were fortunate to have the resources to deliver meals to our seniors and VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
set up meal sites for students and grocery sites for any resident in need. We have been able to quickly hire hundreds of contact tracers and
set up free citywide testing sites so that anyone who needs a COVID-19 test is able to get one. Now, as we continue through our response and simultaneous recovery, resilience is everything. Residents and businesses have made tremendous sacrifices for the health and safety of our community. We are marshalling all of our resources and tools to help everyone get through this, but it will continue to require a tremendous amount of creativity and flexibility. Do you feel it is critical to have collaboration and strong global alliances in order to build a more resilient world? One of the biggest takeaways from this pandemic so far has been the importance of collaboration – globally, nationally, regionally, and locally. What advice do you offer young people about the need for resilience and perseverance during these uncertain times? Resilience and perseverance go hand in hand. This year has taught us important lessons about not only being prepared, but being able to adapt and respond to challenges that we never saw coming. We have also learned that with uncertainty must come flexibility. We see our response to COVID-19 like a dial, one that we can dial up or down based on the circumstances and the needs of our community. This approach can be used in many scenarios, not just pandemics.
Mayor Bowser at Black Lives Matter Plaza in June 2020 LEADERS 53
Technology and the Business of Risk An Interview with Karen White, Chief Executive Officer, RMS (Risk Management Solutions) EDITORS’ NOTE Karen White is an for the many slices of risk we model. accomplished leader in the technolOur science, data and tech underlie ogy industry with a 25-year track the $1.6 trillion P&C market worldrecord of leading, innovating, and wide. We also serve governments, as scaling global technology busiwell as capital and financial marnesses. She is an expert at bringing kets, with more enterprises knocking technology, innovation, data, and on our door over the past years as operations together to help drive diganticipating and managing complex ital transformation. White started risks becomes more front and center her career in Silicon Valley as a for CEOs and boards in general. It is senior executive at Oracle reporting clear that what we understand about to CEO Larry Ellison. Most recently, the impacts of risks has a lot of utilKaren White she was Pr esident and COO at ity beyond the insurance and financial Addepar, a leading fintech commarkets we’ve traditionally served. pany serving the investment management RMS models everything from climate industry with data and analytics solutions that change, extreme weather events like hurricanes are replacing decades old legacy systems with and floods, to cyber and terrorist attacks, earthleading-edge tech. Prior to Addepar, she was quakes and pandemics. Importantly, we model CEO and Chairman of the Board at Syncplicity, not just the peril itself, but the financial losses a leading enterprise file sync and management and other impacts of those risks in service of SaaS business aimed at enterprises as well as helping our clients manage what we think of as the mid-market. Previously, White led world- risk life cycles. Over 30 years, we’ve developed wide corporate and business development at 400 models along with rich, underlying risk SolarWinds, a top IT and network management data and analytics. We’ve grown to have a deep software company whose customers included the understanding of the physics of risks and we’re Fortune 500. She is currently on the Board of constantly evolving how to apply that to realDirectors at Varo Money. world risk challenges. What sets us apart is our obsession with COMPANY BRIEF For more than 30 years, innovation, rooted in the best science and RMS (rms.com) has led the way in transform- tech, with a singular focus on risk. Turning that ing the catastrophe risk industry, helping orga- obsession into meaningful, practical risk modnizations make better decisions to improve els, analytics and solutions, is our purpose. Risk human and environmental outcomes. By com- has always been complicated, but in today’s bining proven modeling science with powerful global economy it is more complex, connected advances in technology, RMS Risk Intelligence and tricky to understand and mitigate for. You solutions enables clients to better assess risk and can’t get there without harnessing tech in whole reduce uncertainty. From extreme weather to new ways, and doing that well. We invest far climate change to other catastrophes, RMS helps understand risk, integrate predictive analytics, and share its expertise to help to build a more resilient world.
more of our capital in R&D than anyone else in our market and we invest a higher portion of our capital than the typical tech company in R&D as well. We’re walking the talk in that way. We have hundreds of top data scientists, PhDs, software engineers and modelers who are incredibly driven by our mission. Has the pandemic impacted how the world thinks about risk and resiliency and what are some of the other risks the world needs to be thinking about? The pandemic has accelerated a collective global turn to risk and resiliency. We now know what we don’t know, and what we don’t know has made us incredibly vulnerable. The connectedness and the complexity of modern risks across the globe have been laid bare by the pandemic in new ways. It’s forcing us to think differently about risk impacts and how to pre-empt them. The impact of COVID-19 will be indelible, but the question is, “Now what?” The pandemic holds the potential to accelerate industry transformations, including digital transformations and reliance on deeper analytics to drive our risk decisions and imbed new tech into important aspects of our enterprises going forward, taking into account systemic and other risks in new ways. Instead of becoming a compliance and theoretical exercise, this can be turned into a competitive advantage and actual greater resiliency. In many boardrooms, COVID-19 has led to climate change risks being more front and center as well. This is because everyone is working to get their heads around the full breadth of their risks, existential and otherwise, and is thinking a lot harder about the opportunity to build better resiliency and the real consequences of not doing do.
“The pandemic has accelerated a
Will you provide an overview of RMS and what have been the keys to its strength and leadership? RMS is in the business of risk. We’re the global leader in catastrophe risk modeling and analytics. About 85 percent of the Lloyds of London market, and a majority of P&C insurers, reinsurers and brokers globally, leverage our catastrophe risk models in mission-critical parts of their businesses and in that way, we influence risk mitigation and resiliency of most enterprises and property owners in the world 54 LEADERS
collective global turn to risk and resiliency. We now know what we don’t know, and what we don’t know has made us incredibly vulnerable.” VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“RMS models everything from climate change, extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods, to cyber and terrorist attacks, earthquakes and pandemics.”
The pandemic will pass, but climate change will be the pandemic that never ends. There are $2 trillion of commercial and residential properties in the world near a coastline, impacted by rising sea levels. That’s going to have real impacts. We modelled a hurricane mega-event that showed $240 billion in damages – property, liability, workers comp, energy and more – from a single event. Investors are starting to mandate ESG and sustainability as investment criteria, demanding more transparency and investments in that area. Regulators are increasingly focused on climate change stress testing. The economic impacts of climate change could dwarf those of the pandemic. Cyber risks, and business interruption, driven by global connectedness, are getting closer looks as well. Damage related to cybercrime is expected to hit a staggering $6 trillion in the next year or two. The insurance industry is writing no more than $7 billion in premiums against that risk today. Twenty years into the cyber insurance market and it is still only about 1 percent of the size of the property insurance market. We’ve been slow on the draw to hedge for future risk resilience. Cyber is a mind-numbing exposure and one of the ultimate protection gaps. Watching just ransomware evolve over the past years, we can see that we may be closer to ground zero than to optimum resilience around cyber threats. A few years ago, Warren Buffet talked about a potential $400 billion mega-catastrophe event, highlighting Berkshire Hathaway’s ability to sustain it. That possibility was dismissed as only theoretical by some, until COVID-19 brought it to life, before we even speak about the devastating nature of this health crisis and the tragic loss of life.
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the pandemic that we can apply to other risks. For the past year I’ve been calling out ten future risks we need to care about: cyber, climate change and pandemics/infectious diseases are at the top of this list. Will you discuss your thoughts on technology and risk, and how industries are ripe for transformation? I’ve always tried to focus on that moment in time when the dynamics of an industry are mandating change, even if the legacy industry is resisting hard, and technology has evolved to propel that change forward in new ways. That’s when transformations happen. The companies I’ve helped to lead have collectively grown in market cap by more than $165 billion. Driving or riding those waves of change and transformation can be awfully lucrative. On the other hand, these transformations are often ruthlessly unkind to incumbents and I’m always challenging us to understand when it’s time to disrupt ourselves before someone else comes along and does it for us. In my early career in Silicon Valley at Oracle, I worked for Larry Ellison, starting at a time when there were only 50 websites in the world. Among other things, we shifted from client-server to internet computing, and with that, saw the e-commerce business grow from zero to now more than $3 trillion, saw the transformation of virtually every business on the planet, and the shape of the global economy changed from all of that. Before RMS, I was at Addepar. We were this little start-up with a great idea to give better tech-driven
“I believe that risk markets – insurance and financial among them – are at that moment of transformation. The market dynamics are all pointing to it and technology has evolved and can accelerate the change.” VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
analytics and insights into investments, leveraging models and tech in new ways. The incumbents were not so sure. Fast forward to now, and nearly $2 trillion in assets are on that platform. I believe that risk markets – insurance and financial among them – are at that moment of transformation. The market dynamics are all pointing to it and technology has evolved and can accelerate the change. I think this will ultimately lead to new risk, insurance and financial products, and a meaningful change around how enterprises are able to leverage risk data and analytics to deliver just-in-time along with longer-term risk insights, leading to greater resiliency. The world has an e-commerce platform, a search platform, a social media platform, and mobility platforms, but the world doesn’t have a global risk platform. I think it’s about time. We’ve been expanding on our core catastrophe risk model business down that risk cloud platform path for the past few years and we’re pretty excited about what the next five years could hold. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience to RMS’ business? Resilience is the ability to recover rapidly and well after a setback. Resilience is not simply about demonstrating compliance. Focusing on the best understanding and data-driven insights around risks and resiliency for our customers is core to our particular business so in a sense, better resilience is ultimately our product. We can think of being resilient to a specific class of incident – everything on our risk registers and for us, every catastrophe we model. But how many companies included a global pandemic as their biggest economic risk or even among their potential risks? In another example, statistics for years said it was safe to write property insurance in drought-plagued California, going on past years’ claims data. Confident in past claims data to predict the future, some policies were priced in a particular way and then 2017 happened – $17 billion of losses from the wildfires coupled with a multibillion-dollar liability, lawsuits and, ultimately, bankruptcy for PG&E. Our stochastic event probabilistic wildfire model told a different story than the past claims data, one example of how modelling and tech can be leveraged for better outcomes than relying on recent trend data. LEADERS 55
“We can be much better prepared if we have identified and modelled the full range of potential catastrophes, which is why our work includes ‘looking around corners,’ thought leadership, scenario planning, and anticipating the events which have not been part of our recent experience and measuring their potential impacts and mitigations.” Intellectually we all get that the past is not always the best predictor of the future and that this is particularly true of risk, but putting that into practice in our businesses is challenging. I think recency bias plays a huge role in our ability to properly assess risks. Part of resiliency is coming to terms with that. The more powerful resilience is not incident-specific, but is resilient to whatever gets thrown at us, including incidents that have not been previously identified. This is the capacity for resilience that has to be built into the culture of an organization. We can be much better prepared if we have identified and modelled the full range of potential catastrophes, which is why our work includes “looking around corners,” thought leadership, scenario planning, and anticipating the events which have not been part of our recent experience and measuring their potential impacts and mitigations. We all have limited resources. Resiliency and risk mitigation can be costly and it’s challenging to focus risk mitigation and resiliency dollars in all the right places. Technology will be playing a bigger and bigger role in that. Insurance can also be a key component of resilience, rapidly providing funds to the insured after a damaging or business-impacting incident, so as to enable recovery. RMS has the critical mission to make insurers more resilient so that they can successfully perform their function. The same applies to helping make a city or country more resilient to shocks. One relevant example is that we have been building probabilistic models for pandemic impacts on the Life and Health sectors since 2007. Our first probabilistic pandemic business interruption (BI) model was developed in 2008. The challenge of thinking ahead is often that, because there is no recent experience, there may also be little demand. In 2008 it was hard to find an insurer who wanted insights into or to write pandemic BI coverage. There was no enterprise market demand. That is clearly not the case in 2020/2021. How has resilience impacted your work? At RMS we try to live by the precepts of being a resilient organization, while at the same time having a focus on providing the tools that enable our clients to be resilient. We are a cloudfirst company with risk in our DNA and strong tech, so getting employees across the globe into productive work from home situations was straightforward. We haven’t missed a beat so far and we’ve met our financial plan through the crisis, continuing to hire at the same pace. 56 LEADERS
Lately, there are days that make you step back and think. There’s the global pandemic, then temperatures in California hit triple digits recently, we all woke up in the middle of the night to thunderstorms that shook our houses, sending thousands of lightning bolts down causing fires all over the place. Scheduled and random power outages ensued, but you can’t leave town because of the pandemic, you can’t run your AC because of power issues, you can’t open your windows because of heavy smoke, and you can’t sleep between the heat, the smell, the thunderstorms and, for me, checking in on the uncontained wildfire burning through 77,000 acres where climate change played a role, which was just 18 miles from my house with a 60 mile per hour storm coming in over it, blowing towards my place. We soldier on, right?
“RMS has the critical mission to make insurers more resilient so that they can successfully perform their function.” As an example of resilience in action when you’re a risk company, we have a team prepared 24/7 to respond to catastrophes as they happen, for example to rapidly develop a footprint of the properties, values, and levels of damage in a port explosion in Beirut. Our function is to help our clients in quickly determining the financial impact on their own balance sheets, in part so they can demonstrate their own resilience to investors and regulators. It’s awesome having specialty risk teams under the roof – no other CEO in my circles had a global pandemic team to help them respond to what was happening and see a few weeks and months out so we started putting out reports to help others with their own company planning, when normally that model is used for life risks within insurance companies.
One example of how we prepare for catastrophe response is that in order to measure the impact of a catastrophe, we need to know the building stock, how susceptible is it to damage, what precautions have been taken, and how much of it is insured. We can’t wait for a catastrophe to happen to collect this data. In 2015, we sent a team of engineers to do field surveys in the northeast Caribbean, working with local insurers and their engineers so that we knew the answers to all these questions in advance. In responding to the latest hurricane, we also need to have the best information on the wind field of the storm in real time. This used to be provided by an agency of NOAA, in a product called HURDAT. The opportunity came for RMS to acquire this capability so that now we are the providers of the most accurate hurricane wind fields, integrating all other data sources. This, by the way, will help us understand one aspect of climate change impacts. In 2017, Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on the island of Puerto Rico. All the wind speed recorders on the island were knocked out by the storm. By combining the HURDAT wind fields with our own findings on the buildings and insurance, we were able to provide robust loss estimates. Our figures were less than half of the wild and vastly incorrect estimates made by another modeler, which if correct would have led to many of the island’s insurers going out of business. Our preparations had enabled us to manifest resilience and to empower our clients to demonstrate their own resilience to an unprecedented catastrophe. Resilience concerns moving the company to handle a wide range of potential, credible incidents and threats, showing it can navigate them successfully and finding where shoring up of some nature is required before that vulnerability causes undue harm. Businesses differentiate themselves in their ability to respond to a crisis. RMS is a trusted party in understanding risks and building resilience. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I think some are born with innate qualities that make them better suited to resilience. For me, the worse things get, the calmer I am, but that’s just in my nature. I also think there is always room to get better so sure, better resilience and rolling with the punches can be taught, which is so critical with all that’s going on in the world right now.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
An Organizing Principle An Interview with The Honorable Mitch Landrieu, Founder, E Pluribus Unum EDITORS’ NOTE Mitch Landrieu is a saying you have a responsibility, even if best-selling author, speaker, advisor, you don’t want to do something, even if and the former Mayor of the City of you’re not at fault. New Orleans needed New Orleans. In 2015, Landrieu was me most at the time and so I put my pasnamed “Public Official of the Year” sion and effort into helping rebuild my by Governing, and in 2016 was voted hometown. “America’s top turnaround mayor” in How do you describe your leada survey of mayors compiled by Politico. ership style and what do you see as He also received the prestigious John F. the keys to effective leadership? Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In First, in order to lead effectively, you his New York Times best-selling book, have to have the support of the people. In the Shadow of Statues: A White Second, I would say that I have never Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu The Hon. Mitch Landrieu accomplished anything on my own. I recounts his personal journey conhave built great teams to help execute on fronting racism and tackles the broader history of a shared vision. In a way, I see myself as a facilitator, slavery, race relations, and institutional inequali- leveraging my abilities to link public sector, private ties that still plague America. Growing up in a politi- sector, not-for-profit, faith and community leaders cally active and socially conscious family, Landrieu’s and organizations all toward one goal. I also think political roots run deep in Louisiana, where he served there are some key governing rules in play espetwo terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the cially in times of crisis, starting with a need for clear state legislature. He also served as president of the U.S. command, control and communication. Conference of Mayors. Landrieu earned a BA in politHow do you define resilience and how has ical science and theatre from The Catholic University resilience impacted your work? of America in Washington, D.C. and a JD degree from Resilience is not just a “buzzword,” it is crucial Loyola University Law School in New Orleans. for our ability to sustain our way of life. Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, ORGANIZATION BRIEF E Pluribus Unum businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt (unumfund.org) firmly believes that we are better and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses together than we are apart, and cities and towns will and acute shocks they experience. In our effort to only thrive if they find a way to unite around com- rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, resilmon purpose with shared responsibility and oppor- ience became an important organizing principle. tunity. E Pluribus Unum brings people together Leading a city, especially in 2020, means across the American South around the issues of being on the front lines of responding to mulrace, equity, economic opportunity and violence, tiple crises and challenges. From your past proving the American motto that “out of many, experience leading New Orleans, how critical is one,” and we are better for it. resilience in facing these challenges? First and foremost, disasters will continue to What attracted you to public service and inter- strike, and they will happen more frequently and ested you in serving as Mayor of New Orleans? more violently. For New Orleans, and many coastal My journey in public service and in life has cities, climate change in particular is a matter of life been guided by my parents, Moon and Verna. My and death, but so are a lack of equity and opportufather Moon, of course, was a former mayor and nity for all. We must strike a balance between human HUD Secretary. My mother was very religious and needs and the environment that surrounds us while also involved in politics along the way. They had also combating the chronic stresses of violence, very progressive views on race, especially for their poverty, and inequality. They have to be looked at time, and it was rooted in their deep and abiding together rather than in silos. That is why resilience faith. I would say my ethos in public service and for planning is so important – it calls out that we cannot helping those less fortunate is rooted in my Catholic do one without addressing the other. As we think faith. One of my mentors, Father Harry Tompson, about future challenges and opportunities beyond said to go where you can do the most good for this pandemic, we must build back better. That’s the most people in the shortest amount of time, as what resilience is all about. We have a responsibility well as to run to the fire and not be afraid to fail. to get it right and set our city, state and country on He also educated me on the power of “we” and the a more just and sustainable path for generations to awesomeness of “responsibility.” I remember him come. We cannot afford to fail. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
What contribution can New Orleans make to build a more resilient world? New Orleans has become a global leader in resilience thinking and action. Now, some 15 years after Hurricane Katrina and 10 years after the BP oil spill, we are stronger, more knowledgeable, and more innovative than ever before. We are much better positioned to build the future city, one that is responsive to our delta and coastal geography, locally forged and globally connected, and founded on the equity of opportunity and social mobility. While our challenges are many, our will and capacity to act have never been greater. New Orleans, because of the recovery from Hurricane Katrina and then the BP oil spill, has become this nation’s most immediate laboratory for innovation and change. What advice do you offer young people about the need for resilience as they find their way forward during this uncertain time? Resilience is ultimately a lens through which you can look at public policy and planning. The actions we take today will shape our future city for the coming generation or more. The sorts of questions we want to answer are critical for our young people to weigh in on: What sort of community will this be? How can we become more equitable, more adaptable, and more prosperous? How can we make our home communities more aligned with its natural environment? Just as Hurricane Katrina magnified the problems that already existed in New Orleans before the storm hit from high poverty to poorly maintained infrastructure, this current moment has highlighted racist systems and the inability to reckon with our country’s history. Just as the last 15 years provided new opportunities for growth and change, this moment can also serve as a pivot for some of our deep-seated challenges with racism and racial inequities. It is the connection between our environment, opportunity and equity that our young people will really find relevant about “resilience.” Do you feel it is critical to have collaboration and strong global alliances in order to build a more resilient world? Creating new partnerships between all levels of government and the private and not-for-profit sectors is so important. There has to be shared responsibility between local, state and federal officials, the private sector, and individuals and communities. More broadly, resilience thrives in partnerships. Success requires appropriate scale, execution and coordination. As a global community, we must have a resilience agenda which includes a robust government infrastructure, effective planning, and forwardlooking public policy.
Parametric Insurance An Interview with Isaac Anthony, Chief Executive Officer, CCRIF SPC EDITORS’ NOTE Isaac Anthony Hurricane Ivan which resulted in was appointed CCRIF SPC Chief regional losses totaling over $6 billion. Executive Officer on January 1, The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk 2013. He has over twenty-five years Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was estabof senior management experilished in 2007, and in 2014 was offience spanning the areas of public cially renamed CCRIF SPC. CCRIF SPC finance, financial sector superviis the world’s first multi-country risk sion and economic planning havpool based on parametric insurance. ing held key positions with the Parametric insurance is generally less Government of Saint Lucia includexpensive than an equivalent tradiing Permanent Secretary, Finance, tional indemnity insurance product as Economic Affairs & National it does not require a loss assessment Isaac Anthony Development. Anthony was instruprocedure after a disaster, allowing for mental in the establishment of the claims to be settled quickly and in the Caribbean Public Finance Association and case of CCRIF, within 14 days of the event. This served as its first chairman. He has served is an important feature considering the urgent on several boards, including those of CCRIF, need for quick liquidity after a natural disaster. the Caribbean Development Bank, and the CCRIF SPC is owned, operated and registered Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, and is the in the Caribbean and our mission is to assist current Chairman of the National Insurance our member governments and their communiCorporation in Saint Lucia and a Commissioner ties in understanding and reducing the socioof the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory economic and environmental impacts of natural Commission. catastrophes. We currently offer four parametric insurance COMPANY BRIEF CCRIF SPC (ccrif.org) is a products – for tropical cyclones, earthquakes, segregated portfolio company, owned, oper- excess rainfall and for fisheries, and have 22 ated and registered in the Caribbean. It limits members: 19 Caribbean governments and 3 the financial impact of catastrophic hurri- Central American governments. Since 2007, we canes, earthquakes and excess rainfall events have made 43 payouts totaling about $156 milto Caribbean and Central American govern- lion to 14 member governments. ments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered. It is the world’s first regional fund utilizing parametric insurance, giving member governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake, tropical cyclone and excess rainfall catastr ophe coverage with lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF SPC is r egister ed in the Cayman Islands and operates as a virtual organization, supported by a network of service providers covering the ar eas of risk management, risk modeling, captive management, reinsurance, reinsurance brokerage, asset management, technical assistance, corporate communications and information technology.
How have CCRIF SPC’s efforts and focus evolved since its creation? In 2014, the Facility was restructured into a segregated portfolio company (SPC) to facilitate offering new products and expansion into new geographic areas. Since then, CCRIF welcomed Central American countries to the pool and also introduced two new products, the excess rainfall product in 2014 and COAST (Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility) for the fisheries sector in 2019, the first such product in the world. But beyond insurance, we are also working with our members in other areas of disaster risk management. In 2010, CCRIF launched a technical assistance (TA) program to provide an ongoing mechanism to support efforts that build resilience, thereby contributing to the long-term sustainability of the region. Under this TA program we provide scholarships and internships to young persons. We have in place a Small Grants Programme, through which CCRIF finances disaster risk reduction projects being implemented by NGOs, CBOs, and academic institutions in local communities. We also are providing training to build the capacity of our member governments in disaster risk financing and parametric insurance, and have signed MOUs with regional and international organizations to undertake activities to advance
“Parametric insurance is generally less expensive than an equivalent traditional indemnity
insurance product as it does not require a loss
assessment procedure after a disaster, allowing for claims to be settled quickly and in the
Will you provide an overview of CCRIF SPC and how you define its mission? The impacts of Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean in 2004 brought into focus the need for quick liquidity following a natural disaster. CCRIF and the introduction of parametric insurance in the Caribbean were born out of 58 LEADERS
case of CCRIF, within 14 days of the event.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) was established in 2007, and in 2014 was officially renamed CCRIF SPC. CCRIF SPC is the world’s first multi-country risk pool based on parametric insurance.”
the resilience of the Caribbean and COSEFIN member countries. Up to 2019, CCRIF invested more than $3 million under its TA Program. How has your work to provide financial resilience through insurance for CCRIF member countries evolved? Our current strategic plan covering the period 2018–2021 has a strong focus on scaling up, driven in part by the demand of our members, donors and our own sustainability assessments. Scaling up has involved rolling out new and improved parametric insurance models to underpin our products for tropical cyclones, earthquakes and excess rainfall, and developing new products. This year we will be bringing new products to market for drought, electric utilities and a rainfall run-off model. We also are exploring providing parametric insurance to sectors such as health, education and housing. Scaling up is an absolute necessity since we know that less than 5 percent of losses due to natural disasters are covered by insurance in low-income countries compared to more than 40 percent in developed countries. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience to CCRIF SPC’s work? We are committed to improving the resilience of the Caribbean and Central America to climate change and natural hazards. By this we mean increasing the ability of governments to
reduce the negative impacts of natural hazards on their economies and societies. The Facility views comprehensive disaster risk management (CDRM) as an integral component of regional development and views its parametric insurance products as a critical part of countries’ CDRM strategies. This commitment is explicit in CCRIF’s vision statement which is, “A resilient Caribbean region and beyond with optimized disaster risk management and climate change adaptation practices supporting long-term sustainable development.” How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I do not like to categorize my leadership style by one type but rather I think I have a unique leadership style that draws from many conventional leadership styles. I see myself as a coach, a visionary, a servant, and highly democratic and strategic. For example, I always like to involve my colleagues in decision-making but will make decisions when needed. I like to set targets so as a team we know where we are going and can clearly mark our milestones. I live by the notion of continuous improvement and employ this in leading. I am a diplomat at heart but also a visionary and risk-taker and therefore can easily create an environment to usher in change and innovation which has been a hallmark of CCRIF’s successes.
“We are committed to improving the resilience of the Caribbean and Central America to climate change and natural hazards. By this we mean increasing the ability of governments to reduce the negative impacts of natural hazards on their economies and societies.”
How does risk pooling benefit countries with multiple hazards and financial stress as many Caribbean and Central American countries experience? Risk pooling is key to making CCRIF’s insurance products more affordable for its members. Similar to a mutual insurance company, CCRIF operates on behalf of its member states, each of which pays a premium directly related to the amount of risk transferred to CCRIF. Caribbean and Central American states are grouped into legally separated pools of risk allowing for separation of risk management operations (e.g. pricing, policy format) but with bundled access to the reinsurance market. Pooling the overall risk into diversified portfolios makes the portfolios more stable. Covering diverse risks implies that payments will trigger with more regularity and there will be less uncertainty with regards to the timing and amount of capital that needs to be available for payouts. The underlying risk of each country is unchanged in the risk pooling mechanism. The risk therefore is more attractive to the reinsurance market, thereby reducing the cost of reinsurance. Empirical evidence based on studies undertaken by the World Bank illustrates that insurance obtained through CCRIF could be as low as half the cost of coverage a member country could obtain on its own. What are the key characteristics of building a resilient organization? A resilient organization is one that can quickly adapt to change and new circumstances which means that these organizations have: 1. Dedicated and motivated staff that are empowered 2. Strong leadership 3. An organizational culture underpinned by innovation and continuous improvement 4. A dynamic operating environment that fosters trust, transparency and accountability Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I am not sure I would say that we are born resilient, I would rather like to say that our life experiences play a key role in building our resilience. In the Caribbean, which is where I am from, I think that we believe that our family background, economic and social circumstances, beliefs and customs shape who we are and are partly responsible for our resilient nature, allowing us to use our intuition to respond to almost any adversity that we meet along life’s way. I also think that our everyday experiences shape our ability to respond to and manage stressors.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Protecting Nature, Biodiversity and Ecosystems An Interview with M. Sanjayan, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Conservation International EDITORS’ NOTE M. Sanjayan is a human well-being. We aim for selfglobal conservation scientist whose sufficiency in the long run. work spans from genetics to wildlife That work can take a few difmigration to nature’s impacts on ferent forms, but it always starts with human well-being. He has served science and always involves local as Conservation International’s partners and local communities. We chief executive officer since 2017. help work with coastal communiSanjayan joined Conservation ties to restore mangrove ecosysInternational in 2014 and leads the tems that minimize coastal storm organization’s efforts to address the damage and store vast amounts of climate crisis by identifying, procarbon. We work with governments tecting and restoring climate-critto establish marine protected areas M. Sanjayan ical ecosystems. His peer-reviewed that enhance livelihoods for local scientific work has been published people. We work with some of the in journals including Science, Nature and biggest companies in the world to protect and Conservation Biology. He is a visiting researcher restore forests to safeguard supply chains and at UCLA and a distinguished professor of prac- also to blunt climate change. tice at Arizona State University. He is also a Catto Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Sanjayan holds a master’s degree from the University of Oregon and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. ORGANIZATION BRIEF Conservation International (conservation.org) works to spotlight and secure the critical benefits that nature provides to humanity. Since its inception, it has helped to protect more than 6 million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles) of land and sea across more than 70 countries. Conservation International works with over 2,000 partners in 30 countries worldwide. Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, and for the well-being of humanity. Its vision sees a healthy, prosperous world in which societies are forever committed to caring for and valuing nature for the long-term benefit of people and all life on Earth. Will you provide an overview of Conservation Inter national and how you define its mission? Our mission is to protect nature, protect biodiversity and ecosystems, so that people everywhere can thrive. At no time in history has our mission been more important and more self-evident than today. We partner with communities and Indigenous peoples, businesses and governments, in over 30 countries, mostly tropical, to set up models of conservation that protect nature and also enhance 60 LEADERS
“Our goal, ultimately, is to make ecosystems more resilient so they can continue to provide for people.”
How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? It is my job to try and understand what tomorrow looks like, what next month looks like, what next year looks like and beyond. To create a mental model of the future and be able to articulate it with enough conviction that
others can see it too. However, how I function as a leader is really more like a coach, perhaps a basketball coach, rather than as the star player. It takes relentless teamwork, cooperation and practice to execute the perfect play, and my job is to help make those kinds of plays possible. When it happens it’s a thing of beauty and grace. Two traits are essential for effective leadership. The first is having a clear sense of your values. It’s relatively easy to teach someone a skill, but it’s incredibly difficult to teach them values. It’s easy to espouse values in good times or in the abstraction of a poster on the company wall. It’s far more difficult in the ambiguity of real life when there is an actual short-term cost associated with it. That’s why value-based leadership is the main thing I look for when I make hiring decisions. The second is the ability to relentlessly seek feedback. You will never be able to evolve and grow as a leader unless you can hear the music inside and outside the organization. Your ability to evolve is dependent on it. If you’re not seeking feedback, you end up in stasis or, even worse, with an organization in stasis. How do you define resilience and what is the role of a conservation organization in building resilience? That’s an interesting question because resilience is really at the heart of everything we do at Conservation International. Our goal, ultimately, is to make ecosystems more resilient so they can continue to provide for people. The key idea here is that the more diverse an ecosystem is, the healthier it becomes and the healthier it is, the more benefits it can provide to people. Coral reefs, for example, tend to be healthier and stronger when they have lots of different kinds of coral, fish and sharks. That diversity then creates a more robust food supply for local communities, and it also provides a natural barrier against flooding and storm surges. You can apply the same lessons to organizations themselves which often function like a biological ecosystem. More diversity promotes resilience and the ability to grow and evolve. Will Conservation International shift its strategy as a result of recent events including the pandemic, social injustice, poverty, advancing of global temperatures and more intense natural disasters? VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Maasai Mara National Reserve – An area of preserved savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzanian border. Its animals include lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hippos. Wildebeest traverse its plains during their annual migration. The landscape has grassy plains and rolling hills, and is crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers. The area nearby is dotted with villages (enkangs) of Maasai people.
The fundamental premise of Conservation International is that people need nature to survive, a fact that all of the issues you mention have made even more clear. We are not shifting our strategy, but we are placing a greater emphasis on the areas of connection between our work and the solutions to these issues. Take tropical forests, for example. Protecting the tropics is essential to slowing down the pace of climate change, so we reduce incentives for deforestation by making it more valuable for people to keep trees standing than it is to cut them down. Keeping these habitats intact is critical to pandemic prevention efforts as well. It doesn’t change our strategy, but it may impact the places we identify for protection and the way we understand their value. At the same time, Indigenous peoples have actively stewarded tropical rainforests for thousands of years. We will never effectively protect nature unless we partner with communities that are on the front lines of conservation. We’ve known this for a while, but these past few months have further emphasized that social justice and equity are an inextricable part of our work. How are you able to build a resilient culture within your organization? I consider myself Conservation International’s storyteller-in-chief. When everyone on the team clearly knows what we are working towards, how we intend to get there, and what the future could look like within the narrative arc of a story, it becomes a lot easier to stay on target during uncertain times. That’s partly how we were able to minimize productivity disruptions when we transitioned to remote work back in March. This pandemic has shown us a lot of things about our institutions and societies, but I think one of its biggest lessons is that our economic and public health are deeply VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
intertwined with the health of our planet. For all of us at Conservation International, it was a tragic reminder of the significance of our work and a significant motivation to double down on our efforts. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? We are all the product of our experiences, and while my experiences are by no means unique, they are distressingly rare in global non-profit organizations. The fact of the matter is that I was born in Sri Lanka and raised in rural West Africa. I spent my entire childhood in the types of communities that conservation
organizations must serve if we are going to succeed in saving nature, but I never once imagined that I could work in conservation, much less that I would one day be given the opportunity to lead an organization like Conservation International. T he onl y r ea son I’m here is because at key moments in my life a few amazing people spoke up for me. I don’t take credit for those opportunities, but I do take responsibility for what I do with them. When our Board appointed me as CEO, my promise to our global team was simple; we would not live wasted lives and I work every day to keep that promise. Finally, I would say that my family and my close group of friends are an infinite pool of support and resilience and I cannot imagine going at this alone. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? To me, the art of being resilient is nested in being truly comfortable with who you are and leading from an inner sense of purpose and confidence. A lot of people have shown this kind of resilience over the years, but three, perhaps because they are in the news, immediately come to mind: Joe Biden, Angela Merkel and Tim Cook. Joe Biden and Angela Merkel have both overcome incredible personal difficulties over the course of exceptionally long public careers. They’ve both shown an amazing ability to grow from these experiences and come out the other side as stronger, more empathetic and more determined leaders. Tim Cook has shown a different, but no less remarkable, kind of resilience. Speaking from personal experience, it’s never easy to follow in the footsteps of a legendary founder. You have to walk a very fine line between being true to the values that your predecessor set while still forging a new path forward for your organization, and from my limited view from afar, Tim Cook seems to have struck that balance with incredible fortitude and grace.
A sustainable fishing project (Projeto Pesca Mais Sustentável) in the Extractive Reserve of São João da Ponta, Pará, Brazil. The liveilihoods of the local inhabitants are dependent mainly on agriculture, fishing and catching crabs. LEADERS 61
Striving for Resilient Populations An Interview with Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH, Interim Director, Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health EDITORS’ NOTE Dr. Ari Bernstein ORGANIZATION BRIEF The mission is also a pediatrician at Boston of the Center for Climate Health and Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant the Global Environment (environment. Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard harvard.edu/center-climate-healthMedical School. Dr. Ber nstein and-global-environment-c-change) focuses on the health impacts of the is to increase public awareness of climate crisis on children’s health the health impacts of climate change and advancing solutions to address and use science to make it personal, its causes to improve the health and actionable and urgent by leveraging well-being of children around the Harvard University’s ability to deliver world. With Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric cutting-edge research and inform Chivian, Dr. Bernstein co-authored policies, technologies and products Aaron Bernstein and co-edited the Oxford University that reduce air pollution and other Press book, Sustaining Life, which causes of climate change. By building received the distinction of best biology book a foundation of rigorous science and supportof 2008 from the Library Journal, and which ing champions across the world who use it to has been published in several foreign language improve lives, the Center hopes to reduce health editions. Dr. Bernstein leads Climate MD, a crises, especially for the most vulnerable populaHarvard Chan C-CHANGE program to encour- tions such as children, seniors and environmenage physicians to transform climate change tal justice communities. from an issue dominated by politics and concerns about the future or faraway places, to Will you provide an overview of the one that matters to every person’s health here Center for Climate, Health, and the Global and now. He is the course director for Human Environment at the Harvard Chan School Health and Global Environmental Change and of Public Health? created the HarvardX course “The Health Effects Harvard Chan C-CHANGE is a small, softof Climate Change” which explores how climate funded, and science-based center that has change influences health through its effects on worked hard to become the media’s go-to air quality, nutrition, infectious diseases, and source for climate change, health, and equity human migration as well as solutions to the cli- issues. We translate the best available research mate crisis. In 2015, he was awarded a Lokey- to inform actions that improve public health Businesswire visiting professorship at Stanford University and has also been a visiting professor at Columbia University. Dr. Bernstein has been a member of the Harvard President’s Climate Change Task Force and Co-Chairs the University Food Standards Committee. He serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee, is Chair of the Board of Directors at the U.S. Green Building Council, and is on the Board of Advisors at Parents Magazine as an envir onmental health specialist. Previously, Dr. Bernstein served on the Board of Scientific Counselors to the CDC’s National Center for Envir onmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. After r eceiving his BS in Human Biology fr om Stanford University, he r eceived an MD and MPH from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, respectively. He is a recipient of Stanford University’s Firestone Medal for Research and a Harvard University Zuckerman Fellowship.
today and create a more just, sustainable, and healthy future for all. We help people understand that climate solutions are not only within our reach, but also have immediate health and economic benefits. How do you define your role and focus your efforts at the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment? My role at Harvard Chan C-CHANGE is to help others – healthcare providers, policymakers, the media, and parents, for example – connect the dots between our environment and human health and empower them to take action on climate change. Our climate crisis, fueled by the pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, impacts our health, healthcare delivery, and our ability to do our jobs as healthcare professionals. If we better understand these connections and how we got here, we will be better equipped to put in place actions that move us towards a healthier and more just future. My mission is to bring my experience as a pediatrician to develop climate solutions that will benefit my patients’ health. Through our Climate MD program, for instance, we engage healthcare providers to use their voices as trusted messengers and talk about how health benefits from climate action. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership?
“Our climate crisis, fueled by the pollution from
burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, impacts our health, healthcare delivery, and our
ability to do our jobs as healthcare professionals.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“We translate the best available research to inform actions that improve public health today and create a more just, sustainable, and healthy future for all. We help people understand that climate solutions are not only within our reach, but also have immediate health and economic benefits.”
Empowerment and humility. I know from my experience as a doctor that I am fallible and that any success I have depends entirely on those I get to work with. My best days are when I know that I’ve done something that has enabled someone I work with to do their work better or when I’m able to use any attention I get for myself to give voice to those who are not easily heard – children, the poor, people of color and others who have been disempowered – especially when their welfare is at stake from air pollution, climate change, and injustice. Do you feel the pandemic has changed public perceptions of public health? Absolutely. The pandemic has shown that we must have a strong public health infrastructure to protect our health when resources and leadership are lacking and threats like COVID19 get out of hand. This pandemic is unsurprising to those of us in public health, but it has put the importance of public health at the center of our national consciousness. We can use this awareness to reinforce that we must rely on science to protect our lives and livelihoods and that investing in public health is paramount to every other cause we care about. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience in public health? We in public health strive for resilient populations and that means we have to be healthy before disaster hits and have systems in place
that can care for people when it does. Imagine how much better off we would have been in the U.S. if we had been a nation that had a healthier population, cleaner air and less racial injustice that has fueled the astonishingly worse COVID19 outcomes for African Americans. Imagine if every American had access to quality healthcare that wouldn’t bankrupt them if they used it. We can learn a lot about resilience from nature. It has been around a lot longer than we have and knows how to bounce back when disasters strike. Underlying nature’s resiliency is an astounding array of backup plans, strategic redundancies and efficient use of resources that are the envy of any human-designed system. What do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the global crises the world is facing today? I need to look no further than the young patients I care for to see the power of resilience and what it can accomplish. I have seen children who have endured hardships that would leave most of us adults in shambles and still emerge as thriving young adults. Some children are able to face obstacle after obstacle and bounce back. Their resilience inspires my own. We must not let naysayers, nor those whose selfinterest overshadows the public good, win the conversation on climate change. We must have the courage and resilience that our own children show us and take steps forward, especially
“Underlying nature’s resiliency is an astounding array of backup plans, strategic redundancies and efficient use of resources that are the envy of any human-designed system.”
for their sake, to secure our health and a more just and sustainable world. What does public health look like in a resilient society? A resilient society is an equitable society. When people in our society are unequal, health and economic disparities take root. These disparities create the societal fissures that all threats exploit, whether it’s COVID-19 or extreme weather events driven by climate change. We all have an innate human and moral responsibility to ensure the welfare of those less fortunate than ourselves but we have a selfish reason to do so too. At no point in recent history has the consequence of allowing inequity to fester been clearer than today. The pandemic has exacted the heaviest toll upon people who have not received equal treatment: the poor, older people and people of color. If we protect their health better, we protect every one of us. How challenging is it to find a balance between health, science and politics when addressing a global health crisis? Political agendas have always weighed on science. Those outside the scientific community often speak about science with certainty to suit their interests, whereas the scientists who have done the research may be more reluctant to do so. This creates an imbalance in public discourse. Scientists most often see first their responsibility to their own community of scholars, and second to the people in society that their research bears upon. To make for a better balance, we can support those scientists who speak out, and remind policymakers and other leaders to seek out scientists with expertise that matters to the decisions they make. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? Looking at the faces of the children I care for in the hospital, as well as my own children, always inspires me to do more. They help me remember why I must persist. Their strength keeps me going. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? I have been deeply impressed with many leaders of the youth climate movement including Leah Namugerwa and Saya Ameli Hajebi. They are young, fearless and have overcome more in their lives than I have. I also am routinely astounded at the leadership shown within communities that face adversity around the United States.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Risk and Resilience An Interview with Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General, Insurance Development Forum EDITORS’ NOTE Ekhosuehi Iyahen The Insurance Development has extensive experience in a range Forum (IDF) is an industry-led pubof finance and private and public seclic/private partnership focused on tor areas and was directly involved in optimizing and extending the use of establishing and operationalizing a insurance and its related risk mannumber of globally pioneering initiaagement capabilities. Our mission is tives – the African Risk Capacity (ARC), to build greater resilience and prothe Caribbean Catastrophe Risk tection for people, communities, busiInsurance Facility (CCRIF) and the nesses and public institutions that are structuring of a novel tripartite agreevulnerable to disasters and their assoment launched in 2019 during the ciated economic shocks. UN Climate Action summit between Launched during COP21 i n Ekhosuehi Iyahen the IDF, UNDP and the German Paris, the goal of the IDF is Ministry of Economic Cooperation t o actively leverage the capacities, and Development to increase insurance protection skills and tools that exist in the insurance in climate-exposed countries. She has published industry to help achieve the objectives of the several papers exploring both technical and policy Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and issues that inform how governments in develop- the U.N. Global 2030 Agenda. ing countries are increasingly leveraging insurClimate change has increasingly revealed ance instruments in innovative ways to match deep resilience gaps across the globe. COVIDtheir risk financing needs. A citizen of both Nigeria 19 emerged as a shock demonstrating the depth and Barbados, she also serves as an advisor to of the problem and we are witnessing this in the a number of governments, international develop- form of loss of lives, livelihood and the sharp ment agencies, private sector entities and academic economic downturn. At the same time, we are institutions on catastrophe climate risk and loss and also confronted with the reality that despite the damage and the role of insurance. She is a mem- tremendous progress in terms of human develber of the Experts Advisory Group to the Centre for opment over the past decades, those who bear Disaster Protection and sits on the Advisory Board the greatest risks and are the most vulnerable of the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance. Iyahen and exposed to the impacts of disasters are also is a graduate of the London School of Economics the ones with the least access to risk financing and Political Science (LSE) and Harvard University, solutions. John F. Kennedy School of Government and was IDF’s mandate is linked to addressing this selected as a 2018 Rockefeller Foundation Resident issue which is so fundamental when we conPractitioner Fellow. sider resilience. What are the benefits of the IDF being ORGANIZATION BRIEF The IDF (insdevforum.org) a public/private partnership and what has is a public/private partnership led by the rein- made this partnership work so effectively? surance industry and supported by international organizations. The IDF was first announced at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP21) Paris Climate summit in 2015 and was officially launched by leaders of the United Nations, the World Bank and the insurance industry in 2016. The IDF aims to optimize and extend the use of insurance and its related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, businesses, and public institutions that are vulnerable to disasters and their associated economic shocks.
The complex global challenges faced by the world today cannot be resolved simply by the public sector or the private sector alone. The public sector faces financing constraints, especially with the current economic crisis. The private sector often lacks origination skills for resilience-boosting projects, such as infrastructure. Accordingly, there is understandably an increasing recognition of the important role of public/private partnerships. The benefit of the IDF in this context is tremendous and timely. As a public/private partnership, the IDF offers a remarkable portal into defining much needed collaborative enterprises to match the challenges of our time. Working together with our members we have the opportunity to define new structures that cut across boundaries, create value, solve problems and ultimately deliver solutions directly linked to addressing resilience gaps. The success of the IDF in effectively fostering confidence across the public and private sector is built on our commitment to fostering trust among our members. This requires adhering to principles of transparency, integrity and inclusiveness. These principles are used to guide the governance, institutional structures and operations of the institution, thus facilitating open exchange, collaboration and, ultimately, innovation. As an example, in 2019 during the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, the IDF signed an unprecedented tripartite agreement with the UNDP and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development to increase insurance protection in 20 climate-exposed countries by 2025. This
“As a public/private partnership, the IDF offers a remarkable portal into defining much needed collaborative enterprises to match the challenges of our time.”
Will you provide an overview of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) and how you define its mission? 64 LEADERS
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Our mission is to build greater resilience and protection for people, communities, businesses and public institutions that are vulnerable to disasters and their associated economic shocks.”
structure was based on a joint agreement leveraging the strengths of each of the members towards a common objective. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? Trust, integrity and humility are important elements of my leadership style. They are particularly important when leading ventures involving diverse communities with different objectives and interests that may need to be reconciled. Under the IDF umbrella there are a range of members from across the public and private spectrum. There are technical, governance and political issues that need to be addressed at the same time as adhering to sustainability and commercial interests. Reconciling these positions, expectations and needs is not an easy task. These values are also important in establishing meaningful relationships that extend beyond short-term transactional interests and create value for all members. If you are committed to the challenge and complexity of credible long-term institutional building, then I see these principles as non-negotiable. They are also critical when it comes to fostering confidence, commitment and cultivating a motivated network. How does your deep understanding of risk help inform resilience? Resilience is not possible without risk management. Understanding risk is a prerequisite for resilience building. Similarly, actively managing risk through reducing it and transferring it are the other important elements of the risk management spectrum. From my experience working on projects in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia, I am sure we can all agree that the risks faced in the Burkina Faso are not the same as those in the Cayman Islands, Vietnam, Germany or Bolivia. Understanding the specific context is important in defining what resilience should be or could be in that context. It is important to note that the act of analyzing risk and cultivating a proactive risk management culture is an essential component of building resilience. It can strengthen the necessary acumen and wherewithal required to navigate through a crisis towards recovery. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience for the insurance industry? VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Resilience is defined as the ability to recover or bounce back from difficulty. This concept is of course applicable at different scales, from individuals, institutions, communities and governments. There are however layers to resilience. I will touch on two as examples: First, the manifestation of resilience is context specific, be it at the household, community or government level. This is linked to an understanding of the risk faced and also the options available to support recovery. As such, approaches to resilience cannot be prescriptive and naturally must build on the specificities of the context. For the insurance industry, the implication of resilience being context specific is that understanding the risks for insurers is a critical element of the industry’s value proposition. Ultimately, this understanding of risk shapes the insurance sector’s ability to design and provide solutions that are appropriate, effective, responsive and can also be part of a suite of broader risk management solutions that support resilience. Second, I believe there is an element of resilience that is tied to the collective. The ability of an individual to be resilient is not only determined by the sheer grit and will to bounce back. It is also informed by an awareness of the tools, options and communities available to support recovery and the willingness and boldness to actively tap into these options. In line with this focus on the collective, the industry’s principal value proposition hinges on the effective pooling of risk and then the transferring and spreading of that risk through diversification across perils, etc. In a sense this collective principle is what ensures that when clients are affected, the necessary support is rendered through appropriate products thereby facilitating effective recovery. Insurance is a collective enterprise in many ways. What are the keys to enhancing the use of insurance to build greater resilience against disasters? There are several elements which are essential. The first is clarity on the resilience objectives or goals. It is important for individuals, households, communities, businesses or even governments to establish a collective vision regarding their resilience objectives. Second, is an understanding of the risks that could potentially undermine the ability to
achieve the resilience objective/vision. Third, is an awareness of the tools and options necessary to build resilience. Insurance in its broad sense, from risk understanding to underwriting capacity and as a public policy lever, is indeed a major tool that can be leveraged in an effort to build resilience. If structured appropriately, it can be mutually reinforcing of other instruments and policy strategies. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I believe it is something that can be honed over time. I consider it to be a function of internal disposition shaped by one’s external surroundings coupled with learning through direct experience or otherwise. The willingness to constantly learn, adapt and move forward is a crucial element of resilience. How will you define success for the IDF as you look to the future? For me, success for the IDF would be a thriving public/private partnership actively fostering coalitions that allow for insurance-related resources and capabilities to be actively applied towards helping to achieve the objectives of the SDGs. Of course, this is a broad remit and one that will evolve over time. Thus, success is not static. It is the duality of an institution that is indeed true and disciplined enough to abide by its ethos, but is also adaptive to meet new world realities and risks and thus can stand the test of time. Underpinning the broad institutional structures that I hope will drive success is also a fundamental element linked to equity in the philosophical sense of the word. As was mentioned, we are increasingly living in a world where the most vulnerable are being left behind with limited access to finance to help support their resilience. For me, this is at the heart of the mission of the IDF and driving the important contribution insurance can make as part of the broader development finance architecture. My expectation is that through the IDF and its public/private structure, we can continue to make a meaningful contribution towards greater understanding of risk and resilience. The IDF will continue to actively support the incubation and deployment of innovative insurance solutions with the potential to be transformational in nature and which can offer much needed protection to millions across the world that are exposed to the impacts of disasters.
Resilient Cities An Interview with Mauricio Rodas, Former Mayor, Quito, Ecuador EDITORS’ NOTE Mauricio Rodas Urbanization of the World Economic has a JD from Universidad Católica Forum. In 2019, he was named one de Quito. He also holds two of the 100 World’s Most Influential master’s degrees in government P e o p l e o n C l i m a t e Action by administration and political science Apolitical. He also received UPenn’s from the University of Pennsylvania Wo r l d U r b a n L e a d e r s h i p Award (UPenn). He started his pr ofesand is a Distinguished Fellow on sional career with the UN’s Economic Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Commission for Latin America and Global Affairs. In 2020, he was desigthe Caribbean in Santiago de Chile nated as Senior Fellow of the Adrienne and Mexico City. Later he worked as Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience a policy consultant for the Mexican Center from the Atlantic Council. Mauricio Rodas government. In 2007, he founded Currently, he is a Visiting Scholar and served as the Executive Director at the University of Pennsylvania’s of Ethos Public Policy Lab, a think tank based Penn Institute for Urban Research, Perry World in Mexico ranked among the most influential in House and the Kleinman Center for Energy Latin America by the Global Go To Think Tank Policy, and he is promoting the “Cities ClimateIndex Report. Resilient Infrastructure Financing Initiative – In 2011, Rodas returned to Ecuador and C2IFI.” C2IFI aims to develop a knowledge hub founded SUMA, a national political party. to consolidate information about financing In 2013, he ran for President of Ecuador; opportunities for cities and to facilitate cities’ the following year he was elected Mayor of Quito officials access to these resources. (2014-2019). During his term, Rodas was the hosting Mayor of the UN’s Conference on Urban What attracted you to public service and Sustainable Development – Habitat III. He also serving as Mayor of Quito? had an active leadership role in the main city My passion for politics began at a very networks: two terms as world Co-President of early age. As a child, I was deeply fascinated UCLG, member of the global boards of C-40 by the anecdotes from my father and maternal Cities Climate Leadership Group, ICLEI and grandfather, both of whom were congressmen the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and before I was born. My fascination with politiEnergy. cal discussions, the admiration of my ancestors’ He is a Young Global Leader and mem- achievements in their years in politics, as well ber of the Global Future Council on Cities and as realizing it could be a great path to solve
“Resilience is the ability of a system to continue operating after going through external shocks or disasters while continuously transforming and adapting to the new normal.”
injustice in my country, made me decide to devote my life to politics and public service as I thought it was the most effective way to contribute to improve people’s lives. I became a lawyer and later on, I studied political science and public administration at the University of Pennsylvania, as I wanted to gain the knowledge and understanding of public service and the skills needed for it. I returned to Ecuador after living for several years in the U.S., Chile and Mexico, formed a new national political party, and ran for the Presidency in 2013 as an outsider candidate. In 2014 I ran for Mayor of Quito, the capital, against the incumbent. For the first time, the political party of former President Correa, who stayed in power for ten years, lost an election, and that milestone was the beginning of the end of his authoritarian regime. My dream of serving the most in need became a reality. As Mayor, I was honored by the impact that can be generated by leading your city, being close to the people and focusing on what is really necessary to make your city more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and livable. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I aim to be a transformational leader by trying to convey my way of thinking and inspire my colleagues and constituents with my vision. For me, being an effective leader means having a passion for a cause that is bigger than yourself and being able to make the right decisions with courage and responsibility to deliver on the vision. Having values and living up to them in all tiers of your life and respecting other people’s opinions are vital assets for an effective leader. I believe a leader should be humble and continue to always learn on their own and from others and, as important, be an effective communicator and an active listener. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience in addressing the crises facing the world? Resilience is the ability of a system to continue operating after going through external shocks or disasters while continuously transforming and adapting to the new normal. This is achieved through comprehensive urban planning, evaluation, coordination among city agencies and the effective use of evidence-based data. The year 2020 is witnessing one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen and VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“It is fundamental to transform the international financial architecture that was designed for nations and not for cities, to enable cities to have direct access to the resources needed to build and implement resilience frameworks and address future external shocks.”
COVID-19’s adverse effects have resulted in a global crisis that has touched almost every aspect of human well-being. Mayors have demonstrated strong local leadership as well as synergies with national governments when analyzing and dealing with the outbreak and recovery phases. Since there is rising awareness of cities as key global players to tackle challenges such as climate change and migration, among other external shocks, it is crucial to enable them to have adequate mechanisms to develop and maintain appropriate resilient infrastructure and to increase resilience capabilities. It is fundamental to transform the international financial architecture that was designed for nations and not for cities, to enable cities to have direct access to the resources needed to build and implement resilience frameworks and address future external shocks. What do you see as the contribution that Ecuador can make to build a more resilient world? Quito was selected to be part of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) initiative. As a result, the city was able to review its strengths and vulnerabilities and assess its capacity to face these challenges by developing and implementing Quito’s Resilience Strategy. Quito is prone to natural disasters, as volcanoes surround the city and our country lies in one of the world’s mega faults. During my mayoral term, I built water pipeline suspension bridges over several rivers as a resilient measure in case of the imminent eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano for safeguarding the water supply and sanitation for the entire city. Additionally, I wanted to address the fact that 70 percent of the food we consume in the city came from other provinces and promoting the increase of urban gardens was part of the strategy for building food resilience in sustainable urban environments. At the beginning of my mayoral term, the city had 800 urban gardens, and when I left office, the number grew to 2,000. During our administration we built the first metro line in the country which will mobilize 400,000 people per day and cut CO2 emissions by 2.5 million tons in the next 30 years and will become an important resilience policy for the future. Ecuador, like other developing countries, still needs to build resilience capacity. The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected the country’s systems and it is evident that it has not yet institutionalized resilience-building in their planning and operations. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
What does resilience look like for the one billion migrants on the move in the world today? Migrants predominantly settle in cities where their immediate needs have to be addressed and where essential services and urban infrastructure is provided. Resilience for migrants will be possible only when their physical health, psychosocial conditions, social interactions and economic circumstances allow them to be successfully integrated in the host nation. Strong social safety nets and sufficient and adequate resources are needed to address migrants’ needs and to enable welcoming environments. What is the role of resilient infrastructure in protecting and sustaining local livelihoods and economies? Resilient infrastructure is not only a vital aspect for city planning, but also an engine for economic recovery. The COVID-19 crisis has triggered the creation of multibillion-dollar recovery packages from national governments and new lines of credit from different IFI’s across the world. A consensus is growing to make these investments climate resilient. Since much of these resources should be disbursed to urban areas because of their relevance to meet with the Paris Agreement and other international agendas, this can become a historic turning point to foster the kind of infrastructure transformation cities and their communities need to cope with climate change and resilience building challenges. There has been, internationally, a trend away from cross-border collaboration, a rise in nationalism, and a tendency for nations to
increasingly go it alone. What do you think this means for the future, particularly in the face of far-reaching crises like the pandemic and climate change? That has not been the case with cities worldwide. City diplomacy has proved to be more practical than nation-states international relations, as political or ideological stances are absent from the discussions, and it is more agile and productive as it has been shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities have shown their collaborative power at an accelerated rate when sharing best practices, knowledge and data. Their innovation ideas have multiplied and solidarity among cities has flourished to every corner of the world through bilateral diplomacy and city networks. Do you feel it is critical to have collaboration and strong global alliances in order to build a more resilient world? Collaboration and global alliances are definitely determinant for achieving a resilient, equitable and sustainable future for vulnerable populations. There is a great opportunity and a growing trend for city collaboration and alliances as local actions and global cooperation among cities can be observed in the many city networks created to connect cities and regions. Additionally, cities are reactivating their international partnerships to deal with COVID-19’s outbreak, immediate response and resilience framework development. This pandemic can be an opportunity to connect local priorities to global issues and to incorporate international lessons learned in city planning and day-to-day operations.
“Resilient infrastructure is not only a vital aspect for city planning, but also an engine for economic recovery.”
Water as a Driver of Change An Interview with Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Sherpa to the United Nations/World Bank High Level Panel on Water EDITORS’ NOTE In 2015, Henk In 2015, you were appointed as Ovink was appointed by the Dutch the first Water Ambassador of the Cabinet as the first Special Envoy Netherlands. Will you discuss this for International Water Affairs. As role and your key areas of focus? the Ambassador for Water, he is As Special Envoy for International responsible for advocating water Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the awar eness ar ound the world, Netherlands, I am an ambassador dedbuilding institutional capacity icated to a specific topic, and for me and coalitions among gover nthat is water. I started five years ago ments, multilateral organizations, upon request of the Dutch Cabinet, private sector and NGO’s, and as they wanted a 24/7 representative initiating innovate approaches to to work around the world on water Henk Ovink address the world’s stressing needs awareness, diplomacy and action. As on water. Ovink is also Sherpa to water ambassador, it is my ambition the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water. to connect the international water challenges, Ovink served on President Obama’s Hurricane global development, security and climate Sandy Rebuilding Task Force where he led needs with our commitments on water policy the long-ter m innovation, r esilience and and expertise. Connecting these global needs rebuilding efforts. He developed and led the with the unique Dutch knowledge, expertise, Rebuild by Design competition and initiated and experience in water governance, politics, the National Disaster Resilience Competition. management and action is an opportunity for Before joining the Task Force, Ovink was both sustainable impact. The Netherlands is reachActing Director General of Spatial Planning ing out to the world. We consider it our misand Water Affairs and Director of National sion and responsibility to do everything we can Spatial Planning for the Netherlands. He towards inclusive and sustainable change in holds a research position at the University of the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Groningen and teaches at the London School Development. of Economics and Harvard Graduate School Today, I act on behalf of the Ministers of Design. His book, written together with Jelte of Foreign Affairs, Infrastructure and Water Boeijenga, titled Too Big: Rebuild by Design: Management, Economic Affairs and Climate A Transfor mative Appr oach to Climate Policy, and Agriculture, Nature and Food Change, explores his climate and water work Quality. This underlines the integrated Dutch for the Obama Administration. In January approach. I am constantly working on creating 2018, Ovink was awarded an honorary mem- a better understanding and awareness through bership from the Royal Instítute of Engineers of research, capacity building, and education, the Netherlands for his “transformative global working with the youth, marginalized comwater work.” munities and in places at high risk. With better
“As water ambassador, it is my ambition to connect the international water challenges, global development, security and climate needs with our commitments on water policy and expertise.”
understanding and increased awareness come partnerships, strong coalitions, and collaborations for action because the second need, and my dedication, is about action: helping the world to move beyond response and towards preparedness. You have said that “Worldwide, water is the connecting issue, the number one global risk and the opportunity for comprehensive cultural change.” Will you discuss the critical importance and impact of water in the world? “Water is life”, former Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon used to say. He is right, but it is more. Water is the driver of change. It is critically important and interestingly complex. Water is essential for food, energy, equality, gender rights, health, industrial development, livable cities, nature and biodiversity, and the ecosystems around us. Access to safe water and sanitation is one of the cornerstones of our socioeconomic development. Estimates indicate that if current trends in water security continue, by 2050 forty-five percent of global income, fifty-two percent of the world population, and forty percent of global grain production will be at risk. Water is a matter of life and death. At the same time, water offers enormous opportunities. Understanding water’s complexity, valuing it in its entirety, and managing it in an inclusive way turns water into inspiring leverage for impactful and catalytic change. Water is the enabler – it brings the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within reach. Smart investments in water lead to incredible benefits. With clean drinking water available, health costs go down, gender opportunities go up, equality goes up and education opportunities go up. With 24/7 guaranteed and safe water, conflict risks go down, and food security goes up. The good news is that investing in water pays off. The World Resources Institute estimates that it would cost just over 1 percent of global GDP to invest in the infrastructure required to provide clean water for all countries by 2030. By contrast, diseases linked to contaminated water cost many countries up to 5 percent of GDP due to poor health and lost productivity. According to the UN, every $1 invested in safe drinking water in urban areas yields more than $3 in saved medical costs and added productivity on average. For every $1 invested in basic sanitation, society makes $2.50 back. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Together with more than 75 partners, the Global Commission launched a Year of Action to scale up climate adaptation solutions under eight Action Tracks and, no surprise, one of them is water. We are building a climate-proof water agenda and have formulated concrete goals and results to be achieved for the most important components based on a four-step process.” The return is higher in rural areas, with $7 gained or saved for every $1 invested in clean drinking water. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you feel are the keys to being an effective leader? My mother and father both passed away after long and rewarding lives and they continue to inspire me to this day. My father was an architectural engineer. No problem was ever too big or too crazy to take on, but his solutions were always people-oriented. He believed that only through collaboration the best solutions could come to life and only by collaboration values can be shared. My mother was the activist, lead community organizer and first female school director in the east of the Netherlands post-World War II. She was an amazing educator, always bringing groups of people together. She was the personification of the UN’s motto “leaving no one behind.” I try to combine the best of both of them and live up to their standards. I think their upbringing determined who I am today and how I work. To me, successful leadership is all about collaboration, and not about self-interest, bringing people together and getting things done. It is as simple as that because success can only be measured by results. At the end of the day, we need to accomplish change on the ground in the lives of people that need it most. How do you define resilience and how critical is it to being successful in your role? Resilience is in the heart of what I am trying to do every single day. Resilience is about being robust and adaptive at the same time. It is about nature-based solutions and about respect for the cultural and historical context. It is about including everyone and leaving no one behind. We have to move the world from a response mode to a preparedness mode and we must build back better, learn faster and progress building back better for a total shift and reset of our outdated standards. We need scale and replication, and at a different speed and extent than we see now. When done right, climate resilience can yield economic, social, and environmental benefits. This is exactly what we do with the Water as Leverage Program in three cities in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia. The project “City VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
of 1,000 tanks” in Chennai, India, for instance, offers a holistic solution to the problems of floods, water scarcity, and pollution and identifies the interrelationships between the underlying causes. The project relies on nature-based solutions solving holistically the problems of water supply, sewage, and flooding, while building capacity and creating opportunities for the communities at risk. What do you see as the contribution that the Netherlands can make to build a more resilient world? The Netherlands and water are inseparable. Water determines how we plan and protect our cities and our landscapes. It is about how we work together through our “polder model” to keep dry feet and secure safe drinking water for all in the Netherlands, in Europe and through our river basins and across the world. From strategy to planning practice to implementation, we manage to bring all stakeholders, partners and interests together in an innovative and catalytic way. Water is as much about adaptation as it is about mitigation. We have a lengthy and rich tradition of tackling this through innovative water-technology, inclusive collaboration within a robust and transparent governance system, and public/private finance mechanisms. Water cuts across all our challenges, needs, disciplines and opportunities. We offer the range of this knowledge, experience and dedication to the world based on our responsibility because we are convinced that we can make a difference and we must make that difference. That is also why the Netherlands initiated the Global Commission on Adaptation to share its knowledge on how it has managed to adopt innovative water management solutions. How will the Global Commission on Adaptation’s work help protect people and economies in the future? The Global Commission on Adaptation was launched in The Hague on October 16, 2018 by 8th UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He leads the group with co-chair Bill Gates (of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and Kristalina Georgieva, Chair and Managing Director of the IMF and former CEO of the World Bank. The Global Commission on Adaptation seeks to accelerate adaptation action and increase political support for building climate resilience. Together with more than 75 partners, the Global Commission launched
a Year of Action to scale up climate adaptation solutions under eight Action Tracks and, no surprise, one of them is water. We are building a climate-proof water agenda and have formulated concrete goals and results to be achieved for the most important components based on a four-step process integrating the international climate and water dialogues by: 1) making sure that water and climate adaptation action are part of the COVID-19 relief and recovery; 2) galvanizing pledges from global leaders and their institutions on water and climate adaptation action for the Climate Action Summit in January 2021; 3) including the water agenda in the NDCs, the Nationally Determined Contributions that countries must provide to achieve the goals in the Paris Climate Agreement; and 4) building a decade of water and climate adaptation practice for reform in this critical Decade of Action. There has been, internationally, a trend away from cross-border collaboration, a rise in nationalism, and a tendency for nations to increasingly do it alone. What do you think this means for the future, particularly in the face of far-reaching crises like the pandemic and climate change? That is of course a very worrying development. Water does not stop at borders, so real and effective solutions require an international perspective and international transboundary cooperation. We need to go all the way with an inclusive and sustainable approach, leaving no one behind. It is a dangerous illusion that we can face major global challenges from our own island, thinking we are safe there. Just think of the catchment area of rivers which often flow through several countries. Another reality is that everything is interconnected: drought in a country can cause political instability, migration flows, and regional conflicts, always across man-made borders or barriers. Today, in the COVID-19 pandemic, this is more urgent than ever. Governments worldwide are investing more than $10 trillion this year alone in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but most recovery packages are hardly integral, sustainable and inclusive. Regardless of all this, when others are much worse off than us and we have the capabilities and the resources, then we simply must help. We have no time to waste. We can do it if we work together across all our diverse interests, ideas and borders. Imaginary or physical, we must break down these walls.
Nature-Based Solutions An Interview with Jennifer Morris, Chief Executive Officer, The Nature Conservancy EDITORS’ NOTE Jennifer Morris geographies, backgrounds, ideolois The Nature Conservancy’s Chief gies and sectors around a common Executive Officer. For the past 25 cause: nature. Our mission is to conyears, she has dedicated her life to serve the lands and waters on which protecting the environment for peoall life depends, ultimately creating a ple and nature. Almost 30 years ago, world where people and nature thrive she was teaching in Namibia, with together. To accomplish this, we are an eye on a career in public health. focusing on the two areas where we She then went on to receive a masthink we can make the biggest difter’s degree in international affairs ference: protecting healthy oceans, from Columbia University with a freshwater and lands, and climate focus on business development and change mitigation and adaptation. Jennifer Morris micro-finance. After a short stint at Since our founding, TNC’s Women’s World Banking, she joined incredible network of staff, volunteer Conservation International. Morris was previ- leaders, and generous donors have made it ously president at Conservation International, possible for TNC to protect more than 125 milwhere she oversaw all programs across 29 coun- lion acres/50.6 million hectares of land (bigger tries and more than 600 million hectares of pro- than the land area of Spain), conserve thoutected land. Prior to her role as president, she sands of river miles, and develop more than was the chief operating officer and oversaw sig- 100 marine projects across America’s 50 states nificant growth in budget and staff. At CI she and dozens of countries and territories around also worked on the conservation enterprise team, the world. Our goal is to create a world where oversaw the Global Conservation Fund, and people and nature thrive together. We know managed the Verde Ventures program whose that the actions we take today are important business partners today employ nearly 60,000 for protecting the natural world we rely on, local people in 14 countries with half a million and for charting on a more sustainable path for hectares of important lands protected or restored. future generations. Morris has also led Conservation International’s How do you describe your leadership Center for Environmental Leadership and style and what do you see as the keys to Business, which partners with corporations to effective leadership? amplify conservation efforts and increase sustainability throughout supply chains.
I’m a strong believer in the power of global, radical collaboration – both within an organization and in the broader environmental field. To me, effective leadership is inclusive leadership. It means bringing more people to the table, perhaps those who have been marginalized before or voices we don’t always agree with, to address environmental challenges in innovative ways. I do my best to practice humility and curiosity with my staff, and I ask other managers to do the same. This approach encourages people to listen for understanding, rather than listening to respond, and encourages teams to work together in ways they haven’t tried before. Building this kind of inclusion and collaboration sometimes requires new structures, incentives, or other operational changes, and it might also require an even deeper culture shift. As a leader, my goal is to build trust between teams and colleagues so they are encouraged to collaborate, celebrate each other’s successes, and raise their sights beyond their own budgets and programs toward a shared vision. How do you define resilience and what is the role of a conservation organization in building resilience? As a conservation organization, we are especially excited about the role of naturebased solutions in building resilience, particularly
ORGANIZATION BRIEF The Natur e Conservancy (nature.org) is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Founded at its grassroots in the United States in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of its diverse staff and more than 400 scientists, it is able to impact conservation in 79 countries and territories across six continents. Will you pr ovide an overview of The Nature Conservancy and how you define its mission? The Nature Conservancy has been around since 1951 – we are celebrating our 69th birthday this October. For nearly seven decades, TNC has brought people together across 70 LEADERS
An aerial view of Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The Conservancy is conserving over 250,000 acres of old-growth forest in partnership with local Indigenous communities, doubling the area’s current protection. Clayoquot Sound is a critical part of the 100 million acre Emerald Edge, the largest and last intact coastal rainforest on Earth, whose majestic lands, waters and wildlife are a global treasure of epic biodiversity now struggling from threats to the environment in coastal Washington, Alaska and British Columbia. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Austin Laing-Herbert, Project Operations Coordinator for Nature Seychelles, snorkels over the Cousin Island Coral Reef Restoration Project in the Cousin Island Special Reserve, Seychelles.
in communities that stand to face the worst impacts of climate change, like extreme heat and more frequent and intense storms. Nature is one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools we have to create climate resilience for vulnerable communities. For example, salt marsh ecosystems which reduce wave height and energy during storms helped reduce losses up to 30 percent in some areas of the northeast U.S. impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and saved over $650 million in damage overall. At the same time, these solutions also do so much more. Healthy natural systems (wetlands, grasslands, forests, etc.) store and absorb carbon – in fact, TNC’s scientists found that they can provide one-third of the emissions reductions needed to meet the Paris climate agreement’s goal for 2030. They also provide us with clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and places of recreation and inspiration. Recent events, like the spread of COVID-19 from wildlife to humans and the resulting pandemic, are a clear wake-up call that protecting and restoring nature is more urgent than ever before. A recent study in Science demonstrated that protecting wildlife and forests would not only help prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases, but also cost just 2 percent of the estimated financial impacts from COVID-19. As society rebuilds from the impacts of the global pandemic, we have the opportunity to invest in nature-based solutions that create jobs, stabilize economies and improve human health. For example, large-scale nature restoration efforts such as rebuilding wetlands or restoring degraded lands to natural forests have the potential to create as many as 40 jobs per every $1 million invested. During the 2009-2010 stimulus, every million dollars invested in ecosystem restoration created 10 times as many jobs as investments in traditional energy sectors. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
What do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the global crises the world is facing today? Climate change is the biggest threat facing our world today. Impacts from the climate crisis threaten to undermine economies that depend on healthy natural resources, render entire cities uninhabitable from unmanageable heat waves, destroy coastal communities, increase the risk of zoonotic diseases, worsen the impacts of wildfires, and other horrific impacts. Solutions to the climate crisis are about dramatically and urgently reducing greenhouse
gas emissions. At the same time, these solutions must be about building resilience today so that we can survive the climate impacts we have locked in, and building resilience for the future so that we avoid further destruction. This is how we can put the world on a more sustainable path for our children and grandchildren. I mentioned nature-based solutions earlier. They are a key component to building this kind of resilience. Important also is learning from and partnering with Indigenous Peoples and local communities who have been managing natural resources and stewarding lands since time immemorial. In Australia, The Nature Conservancy is partnering with Indigenous communities to improve grassland health, sequester carbon, and reduce the risk of wildfires like the devastating bushfires in early 2020. Through this program, Indigenous rangers in Australia set smaller, controlled burns to prevent the buildup of dry grasses that contribute to larger, hotter wildfires. These “controlled burns” draw on traditional knowledge dating back thousands of years before fire suppression policies and practices became the norm, and much of our fire work in the United States applies these same principles. This program contributes to healthier grasslands while generating income for Indigenous communities through the sale of carbon credits. How critical is resilience to driving impact in nonprofit work? The nonprofit model has historically relied on generosity from donors and eligibility for government grants. These sources of funding remain incredibly important, but they are also limited, particularly in the face of an economic downturn when many donors and grantmakers are focused on crisis response efforts.
Mangrove in the shallow coastal salt flats of Warderick Wells Cay in the Bahamas Exuma Cays Land. LEADERS 71
School of Gobblegut fish at TNC built shellfish reef at Oyster Harbour, Albany, Western Australia. The oyster reef was built in November/December 2019. Today, a great variety of marine life and fish can be seen around the reef.
We know that our mission is more important now than ever before. That’s why we’re tapping into new sources of capital, like impact investment and debt restructuring, that can maximize the impact of traditional philanthropy to fund conservation that also supports local economies. One example of this work is Blue Bonds for Conservation, an approach which focuses on island and coastal nations who are particularly vulnerable to climate change and rely on healthy marine ecosystems for their local economies and protection from storms. Blue Bonds for Conservation leverages up-front philanthropy to restructure sovereign debt in exchange for a countries’ commitment to reinvest in natural resources by protecting as much as 30 percent or more of its nearshore ocean areas. The savings then helps the country create marine protected areas and fund conservation work that balances the needs of nature and people, leading to sustainable economic opportunities for all partners involved. In 2016, TNC worked with the Republic of Seychelles on this kind of debt restructure and to date the government has established marine protected areas twice the size of Great Britain. With this approach, and with generous funding from philanthropists like Mackenzie Scott who donated $10 million in support of Blue Bonds in July 2020 to fund the teams, science and planning that turns a financial deal into a conservation success, TNC is now planning to work with as many as 20 island and coastal nations to refinance their national debt and unlock $1.6 billion for ocean conservation. How has your work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world? Pause, rethink, invest. This process applies to both interruptions from COVID-19 and the long-overdue reckoning with systemic racism in the environmental movement and unequitable experiences within our own organization. 72 LEADERS
The global pandemic has led to pausing field work in some places, arranging for virtual work for thousands of staff, and adapting advocacy strategies that hinged on longplanned events such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. Our goal is not to focus on how we can “return to normal,” but instead how we can continue advancing conservation priorities and science in our new and ever-changing reality. In a similar vein, we are taking stock of TNC’s own participation in the systems and structures that have led to marginalizing Black, Indigenous Peoples, and People of Color across our history and our day-today work. I still have much to learn, and I’m grateful to the many courageous colleagues who have provided frank and direct counsel to me on these topics. As an organization, TNC has much to learn as well, and there’s a lot of work to be done to acknowledge past harm and be more inclusive. We’re taking steps now to build capacity around antiracist work, improve our organization, and lift up partners who are doing essential work in environmental and racial justice. This will be a long process and we are dedicated to learning from experts and BIPOC colleagues on how to get this right. Will The Nature Conservancy shift its strategy as a result of recent events and the advancing of global temperatures and more intense natural disasters? We aren’t shifting our strategies, which have long focused on the impacts of climate change like rising temperatures and more frequent and intense storms, but we are doubling down on the areas where we can have the greatest impact. Now more than ever we see the urgency and importance of our mission. We are intensely focused on mitigation and adaptation in response to the climate crisis, and we will continue to be. At our core, we are a science-based organization, and we will continue to rely on the strongest science to inform our approach.
As a leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture in your organization? We are living through a moment where resilience is key to thriving, but it doesn’t look the same each day. As a working mom and the first permanent woman CEO of TNC, I can say with honesty and exhaustion that trying to parent and run a global nonprofit organization is hard. Some days are easier than others, but the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced us all to face challenges that we did not anticipate. When I am talking to colleagues about resilience and planning for the future, I tell them, “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” People come to work at TNC because the mission is important to them and the world is counting on us to do our part to create a more sustainable future for the next generations. This urgency and desire to do right by the world can sometimes lead to burn out. The added stress from the global pandemic which has upended our daily lives, relationships, and routines can put our teammates even more at risk. I encourage colleagues to take breaks, to experiment with flexible working arrangements, and to take care of themselves. Our Global Safety Director works closely with our operations and HR teams to ensure we have the resources and policies in place to help teams navigate this difficult time. Importantly, I also address managers directly, and ask that supervisors do their part in creating a culture where people have confidence that they can ask for help without fear. The second important message is not to be afraid of failure. In our work, the stakes are high, but we must remember that failure is part of the scientific process. We need to know what doesn’t work, not just what does. Reframing failure as “learning” is critical to building resilience because it gives you the tools to get up and try again. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I think we are all born with the capacity for resilience, and that resilience is a skill that should be honed over time. I think about watching my daughter learn to walk for the first time – there was a lot more falling than walking for the first few weeks. These tumbles never really seem to phase babies and young children; it’s usually the parents who react with fear. As we get older, we start to fear falling. We start to worry that failing at something once means we’ll continue to fail over and over. Usually, that’s not the case. Practicing resilience means having the courage to try again, try new things, and be open to new relationships and ideas that can shine a light on a better way forward. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? I have always thrived on pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Reminding myself not to get too comfortable with any job or any mindset. We have to continuously be pushing ourselves to embrace a growth mindset which is for me the key to building lasting resiliency.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The Resilience Business An Interview with Francis Bouchard, Group Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Zurich Insurance Group EDITORS’ NOTE Francis Bouchard oversees Zurich Insurance Group’s government affairs, corporate citizenship and sustainability initiatives. He first joined the insurance sector in 1989, and since has held a series of industry-focused lobbying, communications, sales and public affairs roles as well as serving as managing director at Hamilton Place Strategies. Bouchard attended Syracuse University and the George Mason University School of Law.
Will you highlight Zurich’s commitment to sustainability? Our boldest commitment is probably to ensure that we help limit future global warming to 1.5 degrees. This demands a fundamental redefinition of our role in climate-related issues, both in terms of taking ownership of the need to act, as well as broadening the playing field where we think we can have an impact. We’ve done the same in our commitment to guide all our people through the changing world Francis Bouchard of work, as well as in our promise not to COMPANY BRIEF Zurich Insurance share our customers’ data. Group (zurich.com) is a leading multi-line insurer How do you define resilience and what are that serves its customers in global and local markets. the key characteristics of a resilient company? With about 55,000 employees, it provides a wide On a technical level, we define resilience as range of property and casualty, and life insurance the ability to achieve one’s desired goals and objecproducts and services, in more than 215 countries tives despite suffering a shock. What’s more revealand territories. Zurich’s customers include individu- ing, though, is understanding the interconnectivity als, small businesses, and mid-sized and large com- and interdependence of the system, or systems, panies, as well as multinational corporations. The in which that shock happens. In other words, resilGroup is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, ience is rarely a solo act – it’s more a team sport that where it was founded in 1872. The holding com- requires multiple stakeholders to balance likelihood pany, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. (ZURN), is and impact against immediate expectations and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level competing priorities. Companies, or even countries, I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program that see those connections and consciously balance which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. those factors are the ones that are most likely to continue to progress even if they suffer a shock. What have been the keys to Zurich How does Zurich’s deep understanding of Insurance’s industry leadership and how risks help inform resilience? has its focus on resilience been a differenWith risk and resilience central to what we do, tiator for the company? it’s hard to disentangle cause and effect. However, The key to any meaningful form of leader- there are at least three primary ways we use our deep ship is authenticity, so it’s important to recognize understanding of risks to help enhance resilience. The that Zurich’s leadership on resilience topics is a first is through our core products and services, keeping direct extension of our mission and how we view in mind that one of the fundamental roles we play in our role in society. Remember, insurance compa- society is to send risk signals through insurance rates. nies are, quite literally, in the resilience business. As risks increase, the price of insurance increases. This, Extending that role into managing and anticipating in turn, drives incentives to reduce risk and improve risks, and delivery of our capabilities in new ways, resilience. To reinforce this virtuous cycle, the industry is the journey we’re on. has established groups like Underwriters Laboratory, How do you define your role and key the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the areas of focus? Institute for Business and Home Safety, all of which aim We have three clear pillars for our sustain- to reduce risk and improve societal resilience. ability focus: climate change, work sustainabilIn those geographies or economies where ity and confidence in a digital world. In each of insurance is not as prevalent, we deliver that knowlthese areas, we take our knowledge, capabilities, edge in other ways to encourage resilient behavnetworks and influence and apply them in ways iors. For example, our Flood Resilience Alliance. We that help mitigate the risks posed by these massive have partnered with NGOs and academic institusocietal transitions - for our people, our customers tions to develop an engineering-based framework and society more broadly. In short, we’re applying for vulnerable communities to assess their expoa risk lens to what we see as some of the most sure to floods and the options available to address disruptive challenges facing society. it. We’ve now applied this framework to over 200 VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
communities and have helped to improve countless lives – not through insurance, but through the rigor of thought that underpins the insurance mechanism. A final “delivery” mechanism we deploy is our people. Over and over, we are advising governments, speaking at conferences and working with nonprofits to expose, assess or address resilience issues. In each case, our people are standing on the shoulders of 50,000 risk experts and 150 years of risk management to share our knowledge and advance the cause of resilience. We share an ethos of wanting to create better futures together with our various partners and it shows in the many causes and communities we’ve supported. What do you see as the role of the insurance industry in addressing large-scale societal risks like the global pandemic? Unfortunately, the pandemic has been a reminder that insurance cannot be the only answer to some catastrophic risks. In this case, insurers played a limited role due to the lack of credible frequency or severity data available and the inability to diversify risks. We’re also seeing a limited industry role after large-scale weather events where increasing numbers of people are uninsured or unprepared. It’s what we call the “protection gap”, and it’s become a major focus of industry leaders who recognize their role in society not as selling insurance, but as preparing society to be resilient against risks. With the fast-approaching effects of climate change, the growing specter of large-scale cyberattacks and, now, the very imaginable impact of global pandemics, it has become critical that governments, insurers and other stakeholders reassess their respective roles in managing catastrophic exposures. This includes recognizing the critical role that adaptation and other resilience measures must play. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? In some ways, it’s as innate as our fight or flight instinct, or our knee-jerk rebalancing act when we trip over a rug. There’s a core human yearning to protect one’s health or well-being, and it’s absolutely amazing what the human spirit can endure. However, instincts can only take us so far. When the source of risk, and the steps needed to protect oneself from that risk, are complex, people lose the will to take personal responsibility. We only react to the risks we can manage – the rest we leave to providence or politics. That’s where the complexity of resilience needs to be taught since both the risk and our response to it are fundamentally dependent on unseen, yet changeable, forces. In the end, it’s about strengthening our understanding of the factors underpinning resilience so that we realize we can manage more and leave less to fate.
A Constant State of Evolution An Interview with Kristine Tompkins, Cofounder and President, Tompkins Conservation EDITORS’ NOTE Kristine McDivitt and culture that has disconnected Tompkins, for mer CEO of the itself from the hard and cold facts Patagonia clothing company, is the that without healthy ecosystems, there Cofounder and President of Tompkins will be no future for humans and the Conservation. Alongside her late husnatural world. band, Douglas Tompkins, she helped How do you describe your leadestablish 13 national parks in Chile ership style and what do you see as and Argentina, conserving 14.5 milthe keys to effective leadership? lion acres. Tompkins Conservation My nickname during my tenure has also worked to advance ideas as CEO of the Patagonia company in restorative agriculture and create was the Benevolent Dictator. I am economic opportunities related to very inclusive as a leader but rather Kristine Tompkins nature-based tourism. She serves relentless when it comes to results in various positions of global leadand accomplishing difficult goals. My ership in conservation, including as Chair of interest was as much in the art of putting teams National Geographic Society’s Last Wild Places together as it was with what we were producing campaign. She received the Carnegie Medal and selling. I’ve carried these same characterof Philanthropy in 2017 and serves as the UN istics as a leader directly into our conservation Environment Patron of Protected Areas. work for the last 27 years. How critical ar e metrics to track ORGANIZATION BRIEF Activists, advocates, the impact of Tompkins Conservation’s biologists and builders, the people of Tompkins work? Conservation (tompkinsconservation.org), founded Essential. We at Tompkins Conservation by Kristine and the late Douglas Tompkins are keenly conscious of the ecological clock (1943–2015), are working to confront the ticking loudly in our heads. The climate crisis, twin crises facing life on Earth: climate chaos and collapsing ecosystems. More than a quarter century ago, Tompkins Conservation committed itself to working on the ground in the Southern Cone of South America. From northern Argentina to southern Chile, the organization is creating landscape-scale conservation projects that focus on restoring an area’s full complement of native species. Where did your interest in conservation develop and will you discuss the key areas of focus for Tompkins Conservation? It’s hard to pinpoint those shifts in your life that aren’t especially noteworthy at the time but were tectonic and changed the direction of your life. Certainly, working with Yvon and Malinda Chouinard as we began the company Patagonia in the early 1970s was central to my understanding that all was not well in the natural world. Our family was raised on our great-grandfather’s ranch so that lifestyle also led us outdoors and I’ve stayed outdoors, in a manner of speaking, ever since. Everything we do at Tompkins Conservation is based in the central belief that all life has intrinsic value. Everything we undertake is done to fight the onslaught of the industrial economy 74 LEADERS
episodes like COVID-19 and the extinction crisis are breathing down our necks evermore stridently. Every acre saved and every species reintroduced or protected is the measure we go by in tracking our impact. How do you define resilience and what are the key characteristics of a resilient organization? There can be no resilience in any system in the absence of flexibility in the system. At Tompkins Conservation, we believe that we live in a constant state of evolution, of change. As an organization, as an ecosystem, resilience resides at the center of surviving an ever-changing world and sets of circumstances. This is also reflected in how we design conservation territories. With climate change factors shifting quickly now, we are not looking at a single area for conservation, we’re looking at how the system will likely function 100-200 years from now – protecting areas to enable healthy ecosystems long term. Will you discuss your thoughts on the role of biodiversity and its links to public health?
Jaguars getting to know each other before mating at the Jaguar Reproduction Center on San Alonso Island in the Ibera Wetlands. So far, two cubs have been born at the Center. They will be released in 2021 along with other rescued jaguars to form a foundational population for this top predator, extinct in the wetlands for 70 years, and eventually play a role in the region’s emerging economy of nature-based tourism. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Reintroduction specialist Marianela Masat works with a giant anteater with pup released in the reintroduction program in the Ibera wetlands. The giant anteater, threatened by hunting, dog attacks and habitat loss, was the first species reintroduced to the wetlands. She wears a radio collar that tracks her location.
Throughout human history we’ve had a buffer zone from deadly diseases like COVID19 – extensive tracts of undisturbed nature. By razing forests and destroying other natural habitats and by replacing native species with domestic and invasive species, we have displaced these pathogens from their natural hosts and created a shortcut for them into human populations. Each of us, directly or indirectly, has experienced the havoc unleashed on society by the wholesale destruction of nature. If there was ever a moment to awaken to the reality that everything is connected, it is now. The course of every individual human life may be affected by the actions of others around the globe. The fate of humanity collectively is tied, inextricably, to the health of nature, encompassing all the other creatures who share the planet with us. We have a common destiny – to flourish, or to suffer – together. We often think of public health as a social construct and, of course, the question of the access of public health services is major. If there is an inherent absence of a healthy ecosystem – the access to clear air, clean water – no amount of health services will ever conquer the real depth of the public health issue. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I believe we’re born with certain personality traits that may encourage strength and resilience but there are millions of examples in war, in times of strife, that build the fibers of resilience within us. Military recruits are trained to develop a certain kind of strength to withstand adversity, but resilience in the truest sense of the word comes from something deeper. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
What do you see as the responsibility of leading organizations to be purpose-driven and to give back to their communities? The greatest failure of both public companies and the private sector is their general unwillingness to behave ethically, using their strengths toward human dignity and health for all life. Of course, there are shining examples of companies who stretch the definition of generosity, leadership and commitment to excellence, but the vast majority fail in a number of critical
ways. Think about the industrial globalized economy and its impact on virtually every section of civilization worldwide. Sovereign states are beholden to corporate necessities while the health of ecosystems are measured only in their ability to supply high levels of production. I come from the business world and I’m very clear that the single most dangerous threat to our future is born out of this unstoppable train. What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers during this uncertain time? For many years I spoke at leading business schools in the United States – Wharton, Stanford and others. At the end of every session, someone in the class would ask me what I would do if I were them and I always said the same thing. When I was young, just starting out in business, we didn’t know what we know today – we didn’t know that ecological systems were central to the well-being of all life. It was easier then. Your problem now is that you do know what’s going on. Once you know something, you cannot turn your back to it – this is the challenge for young people today. If you make the wrong decisions about what to do with your life, you do so knowingly and this forces you to take long hard looks at yourself in the mirror. At this particular moment, the extenuating circumstance is so extreme that we must all do whatever is required to take care of ourselves in terms of daily life, but also use this time to think deeply about what is happening to us and, more importantly, why it is happening. We will do no good for ourselves or anyone else if we do not have the presence of mind to think deeply about the pandemic, our deep social unrest, the onslaught of our changing climate and the extinction crisis. We are far past the time when sitting on the sidelines is an option.
Guanacos at sunrise in Patagonia National Park, created with the donation of land by Tompkins Conservation in 2018. This native camelid used to roam the Patagonian steppe in great numbers. While its population has been largely reduced and displaced by ranching, the Chacabuco Valley in the National Park is home to thousands. LEADERS 75
Straight News An Interview with Bret Baier, Anchor and Executive Editor, Special Report with Bret Baier, and Chief Political Anchor, FOX News Channel EDITORS’ NOTE Ranking the How do you define the purpose of highest-rated cable news pr oyour show and what have been the gram in its time slot and conkeys to its success? sistently one of the top five shows I took over Special Report from in cable news, Br et Baier celemy mentor and friend Brit Hume brated his 10-year anniversary almost 12 years ago. The purpose of of anchoring Special Report in the show is to bring news from the January 2019. He joined the netU.S. and the world to viewers fairly work in 1998 as the first reporter and completely so they can feel in the Atlanta bureau and is now they have a good sense of what’s based in Washington, D.C. For happening and can trust that they the 2012 and 2016 political seacan make their own decisions about Bret Baier sons, Baier served as co-anchor how they view something without of FNC’s America’s Election being told how to feel or think. Headquarters. He also hosted 13 Hours At Most of the show is straight news. The panel Benghazi, a documentary featuring exclu- is a balanced analysis of the news of the day sive interviews with the American security from all sides and then the show ends on the operatives who fought on the ground during brighter side with good news, which we all the attacks in Benghazi. Additionally, Baier need. That equation has enabled the show has anchored more than two dozen politi- to become one of the top shows on cable cal specials on FNC, r eported fr om Iraq and the only one that primarily is made up 12 times and Afghanistan 13 times, trav- of straight news. eled the world with various administrations How important is it for the news to and military officials and reported from 74 focus on the facts and truth in order to countries. Baier was awarded the 2017 Sol maintain public trust? Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Very important. I look at myself – anchorJournalism. Prior to his anchor role, Baier ing and as the executive editor of the show – was named chief White House correspondent like an ice hockey goalie trying to prevent in 2006 and covered the second term of the bad pucks from getting through. There are Bush administration. Before that, he served a lot of bad pucks (bad information) on the as national security corr espondent cover- Internet and social media, so facts need to ing military and national security affairs, as lead the day. How each side deals with that well as defense, military policy and the intel- is also part of the equation. We present all ligence community from the Pentagon. As sides and then let the viewer make the ultiFNC’s Southeastern correspondent from 1998 mate decision empowered by what we can to 2001, he covered a range of stories, includ- say definitively are facts and how each side ing the 2001 Timothy McVeigh execution and portrays them. the 1999 Elian Gonzalez story. He has also provided a series of reports from Cuba and covered more than a dozen hurricanes. Prior to joining FNC, Baier worked for WRAL-TV (CBS 5) in Raleigh, North Carolina, WREX-TV (NBC 13) in Rockford, Illinois and WJWJ-TV (PBS 2) in Beaufort, South Carolina. A graduate of DePauw University, he has a BA in political science and English. He is also the author of four New York Times Best-Sellers, Three Days in January, Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love, Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire, and his most recent book, Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win World War II, which was released in October 2019.
How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I have written books about Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Roosevelt (FDR) and I studied their leadership styles. I would say Eisenhower summed up how I look at leadership: Surround yourself with good people, empower them to be great, welcome dissenting views and have people articulate their case one way or another, and then make a decision while always lifting up others along the way. Don’t make things about you – make it about the team and always give credit to others. Great leaders don’t succeed because they’re great – they succeed because they bring out greatness in others. How do you define resilience and what do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the crises the world is facing today? I look at resilience as toughness – the ability to bounce back when you hit a bump in the road, the ability to dig down and power through tough times, the grit and determination that has made America the nation it is. Hard work has been a part of our DNA. I think, especially in today’s world with the challenges that we’re facing, someone who outhustles and outworks others will get ahead. What has been your impressions of the media coverage of the global pandemic? Media has evolved in its understanding of the virus as the medical community has and there is a lot we are still learning. It’s a scary virus and the number of deaths from it has been horrific. There is a delicate balance that needs to
“Great leaders don’t succeed because they’re great – they succeed because they bring out greatness in others.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The purpose of the show is to bring news from the U.S. and the world to viewers fairly and completely so they can feel they have a good sense of what’s happening and can trust that they can make their own decisions about how they view something without being told how to feel or think.”
be struck. We should present what we know and what we don’t know about the virus and then discuss what public policy decisions are being debated, but we shouldn’t stoke fear for ratings – the virus is scary enough on its own. What needs to be done to drive true change around the issue of racial inequality and social injustice? I cover these important issues. I cover how lawmakers and community leaders deal with them. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I know we will continue to report on all sides of this important issue fairly and hopefully whatever the ultimate answers are, we can arrive at them peacefully.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? I began in a small TV market and bounced around the country until I started with a new cable network called Fox News. The Atlanta bureau started in my apartment with a fax machine and a cellphone. Twenty-four years later, I look back at my work trajectory and especially the early days as resilience. But really the biggest challenge in my personal life has been being with our son Paul as he has fought congenital heart disease. Paul was born with 5 congenital heart defects – his heart was pumping the wrong way. After 3 open heart surgeries and
9 angioplasties, Paul is a strong 13-year-old boy and the tallest kid in his class. During the many hours spent in hospital rooms, I saw Paul’s resilience, my wife Amy’s resilience, my 10-year-old son Daniel’s resilience, and mine. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? I have a long list and would highlight the doctors and nurses on the front lines of this pandemic and the men and women of the US military who serve our nation in faraway lands with not a lot of thanks. These people exemplify the resilience that makes us a better and safer nation.
Building Resilience An Interview with Ricardo Lara, Insurance Commissioner, California Department of Insurance (CDI) EDITORS’ NOTE Raised in East Los Angeles by immigrant parents, Commissioner Ricardo Lara made history in 2018 by becoming the first openly gay person elected to statewide office in California’s history. Commissioner Lara previously served in the Califor nia Legislature, representing Assembly District 50 from 2010 to 2012 and Senate District 33 from 2012 to 2018. Commissioner Lara earned a BA in Journalism and Spanish with a minor in Chicano Studies from San Diego State University.
hundreds of financial reviews and examinations of insur ers doing business in California. CDI annually r eceives mor e than 170,000 consumer assistance calls, investigates more than 37,000 consumer complaints and, as a result, recovers more than $84 million a year for consumers. CDI also annually receives and processes tens of thousands of r eferrals r egarding suspected fraud against insurers and Ricardo Lara others and conducts criminal investigations resulting in thousands of arrests every year. In 1988, California voters passed Proposition 103, a citizen-led iniD E PA R T M E N T B R I E F T h e C a l i f o r n i a tiative. Pr oposition 103 expanded CDI’s Department of Insurance (insurance.ca.gov) authority as well as changed the Insurance was created in 1868 as part of a national Commissioner fr om an appointee of the system of state-based insurance regulation. Governor to an independent statewide offiToday, CDI is the largest consumer protection cer elected by popular vote. CDI enforces the agency in the state. With annual direct pre- insurance laws of California and has authormiums of $310 billion, California is the larg- ity over how insurers and licensees conduct est insurance market in the United States and business in California. the fourth largest insurance market in the w o r l d . N e a r l y 1 , 4 0 0 d e d i c a t e d e m p l o y - What attracted you to public service and ees work at CDI to oversee more than 1,400 interested you in becoming Insurance insurance companies and license more than Commissioner of California? 420,000 agents, brokers, adjusters, and busiGrowing up in Southern California, I expeness entities. In the normal course of business, rienced our climate and clean air crisis firsthand. CDI annually processes more than 8,000 rate I saw the unequal impact that pollution has on applications, issues approximately 200,000 Latino and immigrant communities like the licenses (new and renewals) and performs one where I was born. What drove me to seek
public office was witnessing the anti-immigrant politics that swept California in the early 1990s, and realizing the disconnect between the strong, resilient community where I grew up and the rhetoric I heard from many elected leaders. That rhetoric was not just completely at odds with reality, it was a threat to the health and safety of millions of Californians because it blocked us from making real progress. When I served in the California Legislature, I created the only state-level laws to reduce super-pollutants like methane, black carbon and refrigerant chemicals. I saw a huge opportunity to influence the insurance industry to take on the threat of climate change which we are seeing now in record-setting wildfires and heat waves. Insurance is in the business of risk and it needs to be doing much more to foster resilience and mitigation. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I have always set extremely ambitious goals for myself and my staff. I am not satisfied if we are not swinging for the fences on every issue. When someone tells me an issue is too complex, or too “controversial,” or the time just isn’t right, that just makes me work harder. I think I get that from my parents. Don’t try telling my mom she can’t do something. She will prove you wrong every time. Making good policy is about mastering the details, but it is also about articulating a clear
“Having the right insurance can be part of building resilience, for families, business and government. I am pursuing a dual strategy of building resilience while also reducing the risk of loss.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“I saw a huge opportunity to influence the insurance industry to take on the threat of climate change which we are seeing now in recordsetting wildfires and heat waves. Insurance is in the business of risk and it needs to be doing much more to foster resilience and mitigation.”
vision. As a leader you can’t be a control freak. You have to trust your team to bring you the right data to make good decisions. How do you define resilience and how critical has resilience been in addressing the challenges facing California? Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. That quality really describes California, where we have had our share of disasters and recessions, and always come back stronger. But to be resilient you need to have resources and support. You need healthcare for your family. You need to have financial reserves. When you are living too close to the edge, it is hard to avoid being pushed over. Having the right insurance can be part of building resilience, for families, business and government. I am pursuing a dual strategy of building resilience while also reducing the risk of loss. That is where the insurance industry can play a much bigger role than it has in the past. What do you see as the contribution that California can make to build a more resilient world? As one of the world’s largest economies that has faced pollution as a major public health issue for decades, California has pioneered many strategies to increase community resilience. Our investments in healthcare have brought the number of uninsured people to a record low. Our targets for reducing super pollutants and transitioning to a clean energy grid and clean-air vehicles are driving market
changes toward better technologies. California is pursuing these strategies in partnership with other states and NGOs. The federal government is currently absent in all of these areas or working actively to reverse them, which is why statelevel actions are so encouraging in this moment. California is already an international partner with other subnational governments through the Under 2 MOU and with other countries through the Conference of Parties, Sustainable Insurance Forum, and in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program. What role can insurance regulations and innovations make to increase climate resilience? I am actively working with several partners on climate innovations. We have launched the first state-level partnership with the United Nations’ Principles for Sustainable Insurance to create a sustainable insurance road map that will guide us for the future. This road map will have achievable goals for reducing insurance industry fossil fuel investments and mitigating climate risks. I also just launched a database of green insurance products that are available for consumers and businesses not just in California, but internationally. This was a key recommendation of a recent national report for regulators, and we are the first to do it. It includes things like insurance for green retrofits to rebuild after losses and we are already working with our UN partners to continue to build this database.
I joined the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance which was created this year to confront the rising threat of heat waves. I called for us to name and rank heat waves, like we do other natural disasters. We have the example of hurricanes and typhoons, and in California we have “red flag warnings” of extreme fire conditions. Heat waves already claim more lives than all other climaterelated disasters, and they are predicted to be a growing threat particularly to urban areas. If we had a similar naming and ranking system for heat waves, we could get the public’s attention, provide more effective forewarning, and put policies in place to better protect them. What is the role of nature-based solutions and how do they intersect with insurance strategies? Nature can be an ally in our fight to become more resilient. I talk a lot about protective “natural infrastructure,” such as health forests and wetlands that can serve as a buffer against wildfires and storm surges. We need strategies to protect and restore these in the event of a loss, just as we would for a home or business. When I was in the Legislature, I wrote the nation’s first climate insurance law, which I have now implemented at the Department of Insurance. We have a working group that will soon be coming out with recommendations regarding the impact of wildfires, sea level rise, and extreme heat. I am looking forward to this report later this year and how it will address nature-based solutions.
“Nature can be an ally in our fight to become more resilient. I talk a lot about protective ‘natural infrastructure,’ such as health forests and wetlands that can serve as a buffer against wildfires and storm surges.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Culture and Resilience An Interview with Richard Kurin, Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large, Smithsonian Institution EDITORS’ NOTE Richard Kurin natural disaster in Nepal and the is the Smithsonian Distinguished U.S., and by human conflict in Mali, Scholar and Ambassador-atEgypt, Iraq and Syria. Kurin serves Large. As a member of the as Smithsonian liaison to the U.S. Smithsonian’s senior leadership President’s Committee for the Arts team, Kurin focuses on strateand the Humanities and the White gic direction, institutional partHouse Historical Association, and is nerships, public representation, a member of the U.S. Department of philanthropic support and speState Cultural Heritage Coordinating cial initiatives. Prior to his curCommittee. An anthropologist with a rent role, Kurin served as Acting doctorate fr om the University of Provost and Under Secretary for Chicago, Kurin specialized in the Richard Kurin Museums and Research from study of South Asia, conducting years 2015, and from 2007 as Under of fieldwork in India and Pakistan. Secretary for History, Art, and Culture. During He has held Fulbright and Social Science the preceding two decades, he directed the Research Council fellowships, taught at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced Heritage with its annual Folklife Festival on International Studies, and authored six books, the National Mall and the Grammy-winning including Reflections of a Culture Broker: A Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. He also View from the Smithsonian, Hope Diamond: produced major national celebration events The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem, associated with the opening of museums and and the best-selling Smithsonian’s History of monuments, presidential inaugurals and the America in 101 Objects. He has been honored Atlanta Olympics. Kurin served on the U.S. by Harvard University’s Peabody Museum, National Commission for UNESCO and helped the International Council of Museums, the draft an international treaty, now ratified by American Anthropological Association, the 170 nations, to safeguard living cultural her- American Folklore Society and the Cosmos itage. He led efforts to save heritage in Haiti Club. He is an elected fellow of the American after the 2010 earthquake and has overseen Academy of the Arts and Sciences and a senior projects for saving heritage endangered by fellow at the Atlantic Council.
Smithsonian and international partners train cultural first responders from around the world to save heritage in disaster and conflict zones. 80 LEADERS
INSTITUTION BRIEF The Smithsonian Institution (si.edu) is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo – shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world. The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765– 1829) according to his wishes “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” How do you define your r ole at the Smithsonian and what are your key areas of focus? I have had numerous roles at the Smithsonian over the last four decades, from directing several national museums and programs to Under Secretary. Currently I concentrate on strategic direction, partnerships, philanthropic support and special projects like saving cultural heritage in the wake of disasters. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? I have long relied upon collaborative processes, the honest give and take of ideas among stakeholders, the need to provide ample room for creativity and risk-taking, and a focus on achieving results. I am a good listener and lifelong learner, and unafraid to carefully consider criticism and assessment by all involved and improve as need be. How do you define resilience? In the natural world we think of resilience as the capability of environments, species and organisms to adapt and survive. For humans, it’s the same, but with an added measure of control over our future. We bring conscious deliberation, choice and motivation to bear in building reliance for individuals and groups. Simply, resilience is a means of keeping hope alive in the face of adversity. Culture and resilience are inextricably linked. What is the role of culture in resilience and what is the role of resilience in culture? Particular cultures give a flavor to how humans live and adapt as there are many different ways of doing things and succeeding, and the key actors may vary given diverse social structures and institutions. Fostering resilience in the Amazon rainforest and in Chicago are quite different. Building resilience in Lagos invokes different VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Culture is central to resilience, and its restoration in various tangible and intangible forms – such as buildings, performances, visual arts, literature, religious practice, culinary and media arts – helps regenerate and stabilize civic, economic and social life after major disasters and other traumas.”
UN troops, Haitian and American conservators rescue artistic treasures from the earthquake’s rubble.
skills and considerations than in Vanuatu, so the tools and specific desired ends are culturally dependent. All extant cultures have been successfully resilient because they have survived and adapted over time. This typically occurs by building upon traditions through innovation and creativity, often spurred by cultural interchange with others. When cultures become too isolated, when they fail to innovate, or when the interchange with others is destructive, they die. You have traveled the world helping preserve cultures. How has resilience factored into this work? At the Smithsonian, we have been documenting cultures and aiding the survival of their languages, arts and knowledge systems for a very long time. More recently, we’ve mounted major efforts at preserving endangered heritage in the face of natural disasters and human conflicts such as saving Haitian material culture after the 2010 earthquake and saving Iraqi heritage in the wake of ISIS’ assault on museums, archaeological and historical sites. The affected VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
populations – cultural professionals, artists and community members – have viewed these efforts as restoring history that was ripped away from them; as re-enforcing their sense of identity, value, and standing; and giving them spirit and hope at the most trying and challenging of times. Culture is central to resilience, and its restoration in various tangible and intangible forms – such as buildings, performances, visual arts, literature, religious practice, culinary and media arts – helps regenerate and stabilize civic, economic and social life after major disasters and other traumas. As a cultural anthropologist living in these unprecedented times, how has your work changed as a result of COVID19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world? The pandemic, racism and other ills isolate people and damage social cohesion. In the face of disease and fear, we have seen heroic efforts by the healthcare community to serve their fellow human beings. In the face of racial prejudice and mistreatment,
we have seen folks – young and old, and of diverse backgrounds – on our city’s streets raising their voices to bring us together. So many people have been so creative in figuring out how to bring people together digitally, and though this is still at what I would consider an early stage, I’ve been moved by digitally united choruses, concerts and conferences, teachers using digital classrooms, and web-based visits, explorations, and discoveries. The crises are pushing us to invent new forms of social interaction. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? In the cultural fields, I see Yo-Yo Ma giving stirring digital performances to comfort people given their loss. LL Cool J has been a great public presence, putting out the message that we are all in this together. I see José Andrés mobilizing so many to appropriately feed needy bodies and souls. I’m proud of the role my colleagues have played. We tragically lost Congressman John Lewis recently, someone whose very life defined resilience. He inspired Lonnie Bunch, who was the leader of the national museum and is now the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who has through numerous appearances helped the nation better understand race in American History. In addition, professionals at our American Indian museum have helped foster greater respect for Native people in the face of denigrating stereotypes, and our biologists have continued their work in studying numerous zoonotic diseases and the transmission of viruses like the coronavirus so we are better prepared to deal with them in the future.
Nepalese and Smithsonian conservators save cultural treasures following the 2014 earthquake. LEADERS 81
Migration, Climate and Resilience An Interview with Tiziana Bonzon, Manager, Climate, Migration and Resilience, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) EDITORS’ NOTE Tiziana Bonzon has Reference Centers and IFRC technical more than twenty years of experience and regional experts. This includes with the IFRC, during which she coordibuilding capacities and developnated and provided operational support ing tools and methodologies so that for the response to large humanitarian National Societies can deliver approcrises in several countries, led the negopriate services that are relevant in their tiation, design and implementation of communities; investing in research global institutional funding agreements, and analysis to improve our collective and carried out several thematic evalunderstanding of migration and resiluations at country level. Prior to her ience trends and patterns; pursuing current position, she has served as innovative approaches that enhance Global Lead, Migration & Displacement; service delivery and positioning; and Tiziana Bonzon Head of Country Cluster Central promoting coordination and cooperaAfrica in Yaoundé; Unit Manager, tion with all RCRC Movement compoPolicy and Programme Support; Senior Officer, nents as well as with external actors. Planning and Grant Management; and Officer, What are IFRC’s priorities in regard to Disaster Management Information Systems. the issue of migration? Bonzon earned a Bachelor’s degree in foreign lanThe movement of people, whether volguages, interpreting and translation from the untary or involuntary, is one of the defining University of Novara/Fédération Européenne des features of the 21st century. People are on the Ecoles, Zurich; a diploma (IDHA) in humanitarian move for a variety of reasons – some have choassistance from The Center for International Health sen to move to new countries to be with famand Cooperation at Fordham University, and from ily, for employment, for education, for a better the University of Geneva; and an MBA in leadership quality of life or because of local beliefs, while and sustainability from the University of Cumbria. others are displaced within and across borders by disasters, the adverse effects of climate ORGANIZATION BRIEF The International change, war, violence, conflict, and persecution. Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent In many cases people move due to a combinaSocieties (ifrc.org) is the world’s largest human- tion of choices and constraints. itarian organization which provides assistance These events cause great hardship and without discrimination as to nationality, race, traumas, often resulting in the death of people r eligious beliefs, class or political opin- affected by these situations. People are also ions. Founded in 1919, the IFRC comprises 192 moving in an irregular way across countries member Red Cross and Red Crescent National and regions. While such movements may not Societies, a secretariat in Geneva and more be framed as “crises,” human suffering exists than 60 delegations strategically located to sup- because people are exposed to a variety of risks port activities around the world. There are more (abuse, trafficking, exploitation) in a context societies in formation. The Red Crescent is used where restrictive policies are in place to stem in place of the Red Cross in many Islamic coun- the flows of migrants and amidst polarized pubtries. The IFRC vision is to inspire, encourage, lic perceptions. facilitate and promote at all times all forms of The International Federation of the Red humanitarian activities by National Societies, Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has a with a view to preventing and alleviating long-standing commitment to working with human suffering, and thereby contributing to and for migrants and displaced persons. Our the maintenance and promotion of human dig- RCRC national Societies present in 192 countries nity and peace in the world. play a crucial role in addressing the humanitarian consequences of migration and displaceWill you provide an overview of your role as ment around the world, both in emergency and Manager, Climate, Migration and Resilience non-emergency contexts, and to strengthen the for IFRC? resilience of migrants, displaced persons, and My role is to provide leadership in host communities. The presence of the IFRC the field of migration, climate, and resilience in all countries along migratory routes means that in close collaboration with our Red Cross we are uniquely placed to engage with and and Red Crescent (RCRC) National Societies, address the needs of migrants and displaced 82 LEADERS
populations during their journeys, and ensure they have access to essential services, whatever their legal status. Much action by the IFRC is tailored to emergency contexts. This includes situations of disasters due to natural and technological hazards causing the displacement of people within countries, as well as more complex situations leading to large scale cross-border population movements, including refugee flows, as exemplified by the response to the influx of displaced persons from Myanmar to Bangladesh, in the context of the Venezuelans migrant and refugee crisis, and in Turkey, among others. In non-emergency contexts, the presence of well-known and trusted National Societies in virtually every country in the world and along the migratory routes allows us to engage with and address the needs of migrants and displaced persons at all stages of their journeys, keeping into account the needs of host communities and the families who stay behind. In such contexts, IFRC globally engages in a range of activities to promote migrants’ engagement, access to services, social inclusion and protection. What role does xenophobia play in your migration work around the world? Migrants often face suspicion, hostility and xenophobia. We have seen over the last few years a rise of anti-migration sentiment in host countries, with migrants being portrayed as “stealing” jobs and draining social services. There has been an extremely worrying rise in the use of demeaning language to describe migrants, and of threatening or disaster imagery to describe migration – invasion, flows, floods, mass influx, hordes, etc. Narratives around migrants can and do impact on how people are treated by communities through which they travel or where they live, can impact on how people feel about themselves, can impact on laws and policies, facilitating or undermining the ability of neutral humanitarian actors like ourselves to provide assistance to people in need. Those in need are children, pregnant mothers, young men and women with families, older people, people who could contribute skills and ideas and energy to societies. What they need are to be rescued if lost at sea or in the desert, basics like food and healthcare and shelter. But laws and policies, often influenced by public perceptions, are making providing these basic services itself a criminal act. From our perspective, saving a life should never be a crime. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Media attention to the issue of immigration is polarized and migration is often discussed in terms of national interest and security consideration. Political rhetoric on migration most often does not reflect reality and ignores facts and figures. Such rhetoric shapes public perceptions of migration. The IFRC plays an important role in countering xenophobia and promoting social inclusion of migrants, both in acts and speech. National Societies can help overcome barriers of exclusion and discrimination and reduce the potential for community tensions. Public authorities, other institutions and the general public may have assumptions about migrants that differ from what the migrants themselves see as their interests, needs and capabilities. Equally, migrants can have misperceptions or misunderstandings regarding the laws, customs and conditions in their host country. National Societies can reduce these gaps. In response to an increase in xenophobia and racism in some communities, many National Societies are taking steps to promote enhanced cooperation with public authorities to promote respect for diversity. Social cohesion programs, awareness raising campaigns, school education, volunteering activities and community engagement frameworks have been developed to enhance respect for diversity, cultural awareness and to benefit the psychosocial and physical well-being of migrants. Our experience shows that in fact, communities are often far readier to help than we may realize. The process of integrating migrants and refugees into a host country is a two-way process, a mutual commitment from newcomers and the citizens of their host nation to respect and accept one another. Successful integration can also help build more secure, vibrant and peaceful communities. The recognition of the positive aspects of migration helps to address false impressions of migrants and ensure that their contribution to their host society is valued. How does resilience factor into the migration work of the IFRC? In countries of origin, the IFRC is committed to strengthen the resilience of individuals and communities with high levels of migration so that communities can recover from crises, and prepare for, resist and overcome shocks. Such work is undertaken to reduce the underlying causes of vulnerability on the basis of humanity and impartiality, and not with the aim of controlling migration. Resilience programs may include a range of different activities, such as community-based livelihoods and incomegenerating initiatives or disaster risk reduction, food security programming, integrated primary healthcare and so on. These types of activities are also extended to returning migrants to facilitate their reintegration into societies, while addressing protection issues and situations of exclusion and discrimination. The IFRC has an increasing role to play in terms of preventing the conditions that may lead to displacement caused by disasters due to natural hazards and the effect of climate change, and by supporting preparedness for and effective response to large-scale VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
population movement, in camp and non-camp settings, strengthening quality and capacity, and taking account of the longer-term needs of the concerned populations. In transit countries, the IFRC provides humanitarian support to migrants, whatever their legal status, in order to address their most urgent needs. Activities vary, but often include the provision of essential items such as food, hygiene kits and clothes, shelter, emergency accommodation, and more targeted support such as provision of information to particularly vulnerable groups. The establishment in strategic locations of Humanitarian Service Points (HSPs), a flagship IFRC initiative aimed at providing a neutral space that offers a welcoming and safe environment to people on the move, is instrumental in guaranteeing access to essential services to migrants along their journey. In countries of destination, ensuring access to services for migrants is a key dimension of the work of the IFRC. Apart from the provision of direct assistance, IFRC supports the integration of migrants into new societies through the provision of information, assistance and services tailored to their contexts and needs, and by supporting social protection systems and community-led safety nets, which are key to building community resilience. How do you define resilience and how critical is it when doing humanitarian work? We live in a world of interrelated and complex challenges: the impact of the climate crisis; increasing social tensions, discrimination, exclusion and marginalization; migration and displacement due to both situations of conflict and disasters, but also to increasing poverty, precariousness and social inequalities; and health threats, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges increase vulnerabilities and erode individual and community resilience. Resilience has become a priority for many humanitarian and development organizations. The IFRC specifically focuses on community resilience as “the ability of communities (and their members) exposed to disasters, crises, and underlying vulnerabilities to anticipate, prepare for, reduce the impact of, cope with and recover from the effects of shocks and stresses without compromising their longterm prospects.” Our research and work has shown that resilient communities have six specific characteristics: they are knowledgeable, healthy and can meet their basic needs; are socially cohesive; have economic opportunities; have well-maintained and accessible infrastructure and services; can manage their natural assets and are connected. To strengthen these characteristics, we work in a holistic way, recognizing that communities are multi-dimensional systems within wider systems. We also invest in enhancing the understanding of risk and its consequences and we adopt a demand-driven, people-centered and inclusive approach. Our programming, whether related to disaster risk reduction or climate change adaptation or migration, is not a stand-alone one but
rather aims at integrating and incorporating the appropriate analysis and information (scientific data, social data, policy analysis, communitydriven information) into our assessment of risk and vulnerability so that relevant interventions that are inclusive of social and humanitarian dimensions can be implemented. How has your work around migration been impacted by COVID-19? As local actors with a global reach, and as part of the largest humanitarian network, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies bear witness to the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 and its associated control measures on migrants, including people seeking asylum and refugees, which amplify vulnerabilities and exacerbate challenges in accessing essential services. The pandemic has highlighted and compounded the specific vulnerabilities of migrants, with many of them being particularly marginalized and at risk of multiple hazards as they face increased barriers in accessing health and WASH services (water, sanitation and hygiene), and information due to their legal status, language or cultural barriers, or social stigma. From the outset of the pandemic, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as auxiliaries to the public authorities, have been on the ground working to prevent, address and respond to the pandemic and to reduce the economic, social and psychological impacts of the virus, while promoting and advocating for an inclusive approach. Public health responses are only as effective as the extent to which they ensure everyone, including the most vulnerable, has access to the necessary support to comply with prevention measures. Stopping the virus is in everyone’s interest and how each country treats and supports the most vulnerable will affect how the virus spreads and how well the country recovers from the pandemic’s multiple effects, including its social and economic impacts. Do you feel it is critical to have collaboration and strong global alliances in order to build a more resilient world? The challenges of today are far too complex to be dealt with by a single entity or organization. New approaches and combined efforts are needed to respond and adapt to global changes. Effective collaboration and global partnerships and alliances are critical to reach scale, diversify action and achieve co-benefits for communities and the society. The IFRC is a respected influencer in its role, analysis and policy positions on resilience as well as on migration and displacement matters at the global, regional and local levels, and it contributes as a thought leader to shaping the agenda on issues of particular importance including climate-induced displacement. Cooperation between science and academia, humanitarian and development practitioners, as well as policy decision-makers, and the private sector is essential to reach ambitious targets, optimize resources, shape common narratives in a humane way, and coinvest in building a more resilient world.
The Growth of Gaming An Interview with Chance Glasco, Founder, The Game Consultants, and Co-Founder, Doghead Simulations EDITORS’ NOTE Chance Glasco You recently founded The is a video games consultant with Game Consultants. Will you pro20 years of industry experience. vide an overview of The Game Prior to his start in the video games Consultants’ business? industry, Glasco graduated from After 20 years of experience Full Sail University in 2001, where working in the video game industry, he was later inducted into their I knew that I didn’t want to stick with Hall of Fame for his contributions working on only one aspect of the to students and the game industry. industry. While I worked in the aniGlasco’s first project after gradumation department on Call of Duty, I ation was working on the Steven also had the opportunity to travel the Spielberg and Dreamworks franworld to help promote new releases, Chance Glasco chise, Medal of Honor. After a sucworking closely with media, developcessful first game, he and other ers and publishers outside of the developers left their jobs to from a new studio, United States. My passion for other areas of Infinity Ward. The Oklahoma-based game stu- development and production, as well as a vast dio would go on to create the Call of Duty fran- network of industry professionals, lead me to chise, which has become the best-selling video want to create The Game Consultants. game franchise of the new millennium and sold The video game industry is going to grow over 300 million copies to date. He would go on to a $200 billion market by 2023 with more than to work on six Call of Duty titles, including the three billion gamers in the world. E-sports athModern Warfare series. Glasco was Co-Founder letes, streamers and game developers are finding of Doghead Simulations (dogheadsimulations.com), themselves increasingly more in the spotlight known for their virtual reality conferencing and in the eyes of the mainstream. Interest from application, rumii. His efforts to re-humanize non-gaming companies and organizations consocial media and remote work through virtual real- tinue to rise, but they’re uncertain on how to ity have been used to provide therapy to victims of leverage their resources to create a game that human trafficking, conduct virtual classrooms for will reach their intended audience. The Game students in quarantine, and connect Tanzanian Consultants was created to help facilitate game tribes to high school students in the United States. development for non-gaming companies. Glasco has regularly been featured as a keynote or What led you to start Call of Duty and guest speaker in many international gaming and how do you define its mission? technology conventions around the world. In 2000, I landed my first professional job as a game developer, working on the What was your vision for creating Doghead Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg franchise, Simulations and what were the keys to its success? When we formed Doghead Simulations, I was living and working remotely in Rio de Janeiro. For our first product, we were originally prototyping a virtual reality bartending game, but with having an extremely poor and slow Internet connection, video conferencing wasn’t an option for collaboration. As a result, we had the idea of meeting in virtual reality in order to collaborate while using significantly less Internet bandwidth. After testing out our simple prototype, we realized that in addition to having a lagfree and smooth experience, virtual reality created a sense of social presence among those attending the meeting. We quickly pivoted to this new and exciting product as soon as we saw its day-to-day usefulness.
Medal of Honor. Despite a successful product launch with Medal of Honor, Allied Assault, we were unhappy with our current employer so 22 of us left and formed a studio called Infinity Ward. Here we were tasked by our new publisher, Activision, to build a first-person shooter franchise that would compete with Medal of Honor. After Call of Duty 1 and 2, I worked on the franchise through the Modern Warfare series and Ghosts. Twenty years later, the Call of Duty franchise has sold over 300 million copies and is valued at over $20 billion. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? In some ways my leadership style is unconventional. While I do try to consume media to educate myself in being a better leader, the last thing I want to do is come across as someone who has memorized all of the tips and tricks of leadership and social engineering. If you focus on making yourself a better person, one that people want to be around, the results you’re looking for will come naturally. It doesn’t matter how many New York Times best sellers you’ve picked up at the airport, focus on improving the source of your leadership abilities and not just finding a way to get the results you want. Being humble is often an underappreciated quality, especially among those in leadership and executive positions. Humility is being successful in your career while still being able to admit that the only time you’ve been on a private jet was that time you were in LEADERS Magazine.
“Studies have shown that playing games
may strengthen a range of cognitive skills
such as reasoning, memory, perception and spatial navigation. All of these skills can potentially come in handy when enduring real-life challenges.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The video game industry is going to grow to a $200 billion market by 2023 with more than three billion gamers in the world.”
How do you define resilience and what are the key characteristics of a resilient organization? Resilience is the ability to quickly recover from hardship and difficulties. While life doesn’t typically become easier, we do become stronger and more resilient as we face obstacles. When the unexpected occurs, resilience allows us to adapt and survive. 2020 could easily be called “The Year of Resilience.” If you weren’t sure if your company or organization was resilient last year, you certainly know now. A resilient organization can come across the unexpected variables of roadblocks and conflicts and adapt quickly to overcome them. It allows organizations to quickly adapt and redeploy their tools, resources and strengths to take account of a different and possibly more strenuous situation. What role does gaming play in building resilience? Video games are all about enduring and overcoming obstacles through problem solving, strategy and timing. Studies have shown that playing games may strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as reasoning, memory, perception and spatial navigation. All of these skills can potentially come in handy when enduring real-life challenges. In multiplayer games, players need to collaborate efficiently if they want to be victorious. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I don’t believe that resilience is something that people are born with, but rather something
acquired through life experiences and education. Typically, those who have lived the most obstacle-free life will have the most difficult time overcoming obstacles once they arrive. On the contrary, those who have grown up in less than ideal environments will typically face circumstances that build more resilience. While you don’t want to create unnecessary obstacles, leaders and risk-takers are much more likely to have opportunities to do so. How do you see the gaming industry changing as you look to the future? Video game popularity will continue to aggressively grow until every single living generation has grown up with video games from a young age. What was once often deemed as “for kids” by much of society in the 20th century, video games have now become part of popular culture. We’ll have at least a $200 billion industry by 2023 and traditional console and PC games will continue to grow alongside newer technologies like virtual and augmented reality. Games will grow increasingly social, especially with the rising popularity of virtual and augmented reality. The term “video game” will be an insufficient term to describe the complexity of what these experiences have evolved into. VR headsets will soon have retina resolution and rendering technologies like ray tracing that will continue to blur the line between reality and virtual reality. The sense of presence one gets in a virtual environment will be almost identical to the sense of presence one has in a real physical environment.
“As VR experiences become increasingly realistic, we’ll see, and arguably are currently seeing, the first signs of what a lot of us know as The Matrix. Massive multiplayer role-playing games will become social spaces that are often preferred over bars, restaurants or other traditional social spaces.”
As VR experiences become increasingly realistic, we’ll see, and arguably are currently seeing, the first signs of what a lot of us know as The Matrix. Massive multiplayer role-playing games will become social spaces that are often preferred over bars, restaurants or other traditional social spaces. What do you see as the responsibility that leading companies have to give back to their communities and society? If you’ve created a tool that’s useful to society and nobody is using it, then is it really all that useful? With Doghead Simulations, I found that so many doors of opportunity would open when we used our virtual reality conferencing software to help others at no cost to them. When lockdown initially started, we decided to make our software free for several months in order to give people a better option than video conferencing while working at home during the pandemic. In addition, we were able to work with the anti-human trafficking nonprofit, More Too Life, to study the benefits of VR therapy for victims of human trafficking. With this study, we discovered that victims of human trafficking open up more quickly with therapists with VR therapy than in a face-to-face setting. Sometimes it’s good to remember that there are 7.5 billion people on the planet, and helping a handful of them for free is not going to eliminate the rest of your market. What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers during this uncertain time? If you’re focused on working in the video game industry, you’re in luck. As arduous as 2020 has been, the video game industry is one of the few industries that has actually seen considerable growth. With more people staying home during the pandemic, many are fulfilling their desires to socialize through multiplayer gaming. If this is the career path you’re taking, make sure you stay plugged into game developer communities and constantly take advantage of all of the free tutorials and learning material available online. In general, make sure you balance your social media efforts with real face-to-face interactions and networking. While having a social media presence is usually important these days, don’t let it consume too much of your time. It’s easy to get caught up in the image of being successful without getting the experience and opportunities you actually need.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The Power of Learning An Interview with Anthony W. Marx, President and Chief Executive Officer, The New York Public Library EDITORS’ NOTE Anthony Marx is committing to pay for the operations. President of The New York Public Today there are 215 public libraries in Library, the nation’s largest library New York City, and before the pansystem, with 88 neighbor hood demic, in total we saw just under 40 libraries and four scholarly research million physical visits per year, makcenters. Before joining the Library, ing libraries the most used civic spaces Marx served as president of Amherst by far. As the nation’s largest public College from 2003 to 2011, during library system and the world’s most which time he tripled enrollment used library, our $350 million annual for low-income students. Earlier in operating budget is supported 60 his career, Marx was a political scipercent by the city, which now faces ence pr ofessor and dir ector of huge cuts, and by an endowment and Anthony W. Marx undergraduate studies at Columbia essential private support. University. Marx has a BA from How has The New York Public Yale, an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School Library adapted the way it works based on at Princeton University, and a PhD, also from new technology and digital advances? Princeton. With no way of being able to foresee the current crisis, we have significantly invested for INSTITUTION BRIEF The New York Public a decade in our digital offerings and could shift Library’s (nypl.org) 92 locations include four seamlessly to all online, thanks to our first-ever research centers focusing on the humanities Chief Digital Officer and his 50-person team. and social sciences, the performing arts, black That may be more than all digital staff at all history and culture, and business and indus- other libraries combined. Virtual applications for try, and a network of neighborhood libraries library cards soared when we closed branches throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten in March, as patrons checked out hundreds of Island. Throughout the system, the Library pro- thousands of circulating library books available vides free and open access to its physical and on SimplyE, our app designed to meet patrons’ electronic collections and information, as well as needs consistent with privacy against public or to its services for people of all ages, from toddlers for-profit surveillance. Publishers, authors’ orgato teens and adults. Research and circulating nizations, and vendors have cooperated in the collections combined total more than 51 million formation of the largest publicly available e-book items, among them materials for the visually research library anywhere. With Google having impaired. In addition, each year the Library now agreed for the first time to share their scans presents thousands of exhibitions and public of millions of books, we can now offer those to programs, including classes in technology, lit- anyone in the world. Our unique special colleceracy, researching, and English for Speakers tions are also available online, with additional of Other Languages (ESOL). The Library serves documents to be provided on request. some 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually. In addition, the Library’s website receives 32 million visits annually from more than 200 countries.
“The basic mission of
Will you discuss the history of The New York Public Library and how The New York Public Library has evolved? The Library was founded as a research collection in 1895 by three New Yorkers, the city’s richest man, greatest collector, and leading politician, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden respectively, whose combined Trust still “runs” the library. In 1901 the then richest man in the world, Andrew Carnegie, gave one of the largest gifts in the history of philanthropy to create the city’s branch libraries in every neighborhood, with the city 86 LEADERS
spreading learning and ideas for free to everyone has only gained in import.”
We have also had to shift our education programs, which had almost two million annual visits, to online. That includes pre-K literacy, homework help, and after-school, the City’s largest free computer skills and English language programs. As we look at continued remote learning for students home from school, we know there will be many opportunities for us to support students, teachers, and parents. Just one other example: about two million New Yorkers cannot afford broadband at home, which means now they cannot attend school, do homework, or their jobs. Before the pandemic we were lending thousands of free WiFi hotspots. Now we know we need a much bigger solution. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? Leadership means being able to foresee the future as best as possible, which is clearly so much more difficult in our current uncertainty, and to shift efforts toward that future. Just presiding won’t do. I embrace that challenge and have been fortunate to find myself first at the helm of a college and now at a library ready to rethink. The key to that process is the team we have gathered, every one of which is absolutely best in class. To benefit from their wisdom, I try to listen and encourage debate about the big issues and leave them be on everything else. I do not always live up to that ideal, but I know I can and do fully rely on my senior colleagues. That trust is based not only on their effectiveness, but also on our shared values and commitment to public learning and opportunity, which must remain the key guide, especially in turbulent times. It helps that we can raise significant private support to fund innovations. How do you define resilience and how is resilience ingrained in the culture of The New York Public Library? As my friend Adrienne Arsht reminds us, resilience is everything, the gumption to not just survive, but to learn and improve ourselves and our communities. That is what the library has always been in business to do. We have always been the first port of call for waves of struggling immigrants who have given this city its greatest strength, our diversity. Carnegie knew we were the essential step ladder for success, as libraries had been for him even before he came to America. The library has remained foundational to this go-getter city, a place defined by its resilience and the resilience of our people now tested anew. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? For me, resilience is based on your personal commitment to what you are doing. I am fortunate to have an incredibly interesting and challenging job where we can really serve the public, at scale, and across all the economic, racial, and cultural divides. I find that so energizing, even more now. The fit for me is perfect, since I am a fanatic about the power of learning, and have been since early days helping to set up a college in the midst of a near civil war in South Africa. When I might waiver, I am always reminded of the true resilience of that country in its fight against apartheid. When Amherst lost a third of its endowment in 2008-2009, or when the library was hit by the pandemic, protests and budget cuts this year, thinking back to those who have faced down harder struggles kept us going. In neither did we lay off our valued colleagues, the college maintained our record-breaking financial aid and the Library has invested even more in digital and educational programs. Has your work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world?
Day to day has changed completely, of course, with non-stop zooming from home and in the last months distanced visits to our operations as they begin to reopen, carefully. Everyone is scared and angry and that means we need to communicate more, especially when we cannot reach out to support everyone in person. We are prioritizing health in a way we never have before, even as we continue to learn how to ensure safety. While before we were running both an analog and digital library with a budget designed for just the former, now we have to reopen physically while massively expanding digitally in uncharted waters. All that said, the basic mission of spreading learning and ideas for free to everyone has only gained in import. That has not changed. The pandemic has made more visible our racism and deepened the racial divide of this country and around the world, even as it has inspired so many to rethink and get engaged. These are not new issues for us, for they are etched into the founding of the country and all our institutions, and we all have to do so much better at thinking what inclusion and respect really mean and making those real. The Library has always undergirded such efforts by collecting and sharing the historical and cultural record
upon which we build, and now we do that fully online, adding to our offerings, for instance from the Schomburg Center in Harlem, the world’s foremost repository of African American and diaspora culture. We need to find other ways to engage the citizenry in this and other pressing issues and, if we can, also bring together those of differing views to reopen conversations that have retreated into echo chambers. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? I confess that we seem to see more resilience locally and in our communities, and everywhere that people are coming together to learn the lessons of this last year and rethink how we can more equitably ensure housing, food, and education, how we can restore the reality and faith in the American dream, and how we get past our divisiveness and political dysfunction. I hope we will see more of that on the national and global level. Meanwhile, I remain so inspired by our front line staff who have and continue to face a pandemic and come into work to serve the public, even after they suffered tragedy in this pandemic. That is real resilience, and reminds us why all the folks we “lead” are truly essential to what we all need to achieve together.
The New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The Epitome of Resilience An Interview with His Excellency Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, Greece EDITORS’ NOTE Kostas Bakoyannis a resilience lens, we view a policy was born in Athens to New or initiative in its systemic role. Democracy politicians Dora, first Resilience is about maximizing woman mayor of Athens, and Pavlos the possible co-benefits of a policy Bakoyannis. He served as mayor of or initiative and ensuring that we the town of Karpenisi in Evrytania don’t create additional risks, now or and was then elected Regional in the future. We aim to bring differGovernor of Central Greece in the ent players into the process, across 2014 local election. In June 2019, sectors, to ensure diversity, flexibilhe was elected Mayor of Athens ity and redundancy. With different and began his term on September stakeholders in each project, we 1, 2019. Bakoyannis studied hiscreate ownership by people in and H.E. Kostas Bakoyannis tory and international relations outside of government to ensure at Brown University and graducontinuity and social cohesion. ated from Harvard University with a Masters in Resilience, finally, is about creating Public Administration. adaptive policies that help “future-proof” cities to face the physical, social and economic What attracted you to public service and challenges of the 21st century. We don’t have interested you in becoming Mayor of a surplus of time or money. We must spend Athens? wisely to build economic development and Mayor of Athens is my third local/ sustainability, to promote health and wellberegional government post in Greece. I find it ing, to build government transparency and inspiring to work close to the people, to try accountability, and to reduce the gaps of to make their everyday lives better. I’ve been economic and social inequalities. the Mayor of Athens for almost a year now. It What do you see as the contribution is a unique honor to serve this city. Athens is that Athens can make to build a more more than its ancient heritage; it is a modern, resilient world? dynamic metropolis that has emerged from a Athens is one of the world’s oldest cities, decade of economic crisis with a newfound with a recorded history of continuous inhabconfidence and optimism, yet it is a fractious itance spanning well over 3,000 years. This is community and very demanding of its politi- the epitome of resilience. Being reflexive and cal leaders. It is my hometown, after all, and understanding the past is a valuable resilient I am inspired by the challenge to make it attribute: we are, for example, planning to better. start using and to learn from an ancient masHow do you describe your leadership terpiece of blue infrastructure, an aqueduct style and what do you see as the keys to that Hadrian built in the second century AD effective leadership? to bring water to Athens. The Athenian presI believe in an ambitious vision for the ent of complexity and diversity and its scale future, the dedicated work of a talented and are also resilient attributes. Athens is a city effective team, a bias towards innovation and that stands between the Global North and the meaningful change, and mustering the politi- Global South, so resilient solutions that work cal will to address entrenched problems with- in Athens can be more easily scaled up or out ideological blinders. This also requires down, adapting to a more or less rich envian openness to all kinds of stakeholders. ronment. We have observed that sometimes How do you define resilience and solutions that work in Sweden or Canada how critical is resilience in addressing are hard to adapt for less technologicallythe crises facing the world? advanced, poorer cities. For me, resilience is a process of underAthens plays a unique role in interstanding the challenges that my city faces and preting the origins of democracy. How finding the most intelligent and integrated does Athens’ history provide an example ways to deal with them. A city is a system of of the resiliency of democracy? systems; a challenge, such as the pandemic, COVID-19 has dramatized the crucial brings to the forefront the systems’ interde- importance of mature democracies in our glopendencies as well as weaknesses. Through balized world – the need for the rule of law 88 LEADERS
and the rule of reason supported by transparency, accountability and a bias for collaboration. Athens has, in the last 10 years, faced and survived a prolonged economic crisis, a large migration influx, unprecedented temperatures with lethal fires and flooding, and a global pandemic. These challenges brought the rise of a neo-Nazi party and widespread populism across the political spectrum, but our democracy prevailed and is stronger: we are now going through a post-populism era. Our trajectory might provide an example to countries currently undergoing populist and authoritarian convulsions. Athens has been a destination for many migrants. How has the migrants’ plight impacted the city? The immigration influx peaked a few years ago during a time when the city was deep in recession. The city struggled to support the needs of both the destitute immigrants and those in the local population who were suddenly impoverished. We have realized that all policies regarding the provision of basic needs to immigrants should be extended to our local residents as well. This can be challenging as international funding is often specifically targeted toward immigrant populations while local resources are limited. There has been, internationally, a trend away from cross-border collaboration, a rise in nationalism, and a tendency for nations to increasingly go it alone. What do you think this means for the future, particularly in the face of farreaching crises like the pandemic and climate change? To deal with today’s global crises we need more democracy, humility, and an openness to innovation and collaboration across borders. It is evident that the many authoritarian rulers around the world today are ineffective at solving problems and are dangerous to their own people. What we need for the far-reaching crises of today is forward-thinking and proactive policies that build resilience. We need to establish farreaching international networks that can offer cross-sector support and to foster innovation and social cohesion locally. Now, more than ever before, it is critical to have collaboration and strong global alliances in order to build a more resilient world.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
A Different Type of Bank An Interview with Julie Davitz, Head of Impact Solutions, Bank of the West/BNP Paribas EDITORS’ NOTE A globally-connected with and promote diversity. Our CEO leader and changemaker with over 20 Nandita Bakhshi is among just 2 percent years of experience in the impact sector, of female CEOs in banking globally, and Julie Davitz is passionate about helping more than half of her executive leaderinvestors, philanthropists, foundations, ship team are diverse. Today, as the U.S. nonprofits and businesses mobilize economy deals with the pandemic, our their resources to realize their vision for bank is uniquely positioned to help drive change. She also sits on the President’s a sustainable recovery that breaks from Council of Ceres. In 2011, Davitz the “old normal” and ensures resilience. founded Julie Shafer Development + How do you describe your leaderPhilanthropy with the goal of providing ship style and what do you see as the efficient, thoughtful and effective strakeys to effective leadership? Julie Davitz tegic planning for donors and grantI start with equality and respect. ees. Earlier in her career, she served as Regardless of title, I believe we’re all the the Director of Development for the Institute for same and bring unique skills, perspectives, and Neurodegenerative Diseases after having been the knowledge to each issue and project. Collaboration Executive Director of Silver Giving Foundation. She and coordination are crucial, particularly within a began her career as the Marketing and Sales Director global institution like ours. With the pandemic, I find for Shafer Vineyards. Davitz holds a BA in interna- myself and my colleagues actually working more effitional relations and art history from the University ciently and effectively from home without losing our of California, Davis and an MA in family and child regular communication dynamic. Above all, client sercounseling from the University of San Francisco. vices are top priority. Educating teams and colleagues to advise and support clients beyond expectations is C O M PA N Y B R I E F B a n k o f t h e W e s t of primary importance. (bankofthewest.com) knows money deposited in What do you see as the role of financial a bank has the power to finance positive change so institutions in building resilience in vulnerit takes action to support activities that help protect the able places around the world? planet, improve people’s lives, and strengthen comFinancial institutions play a fundamental role in munities. It is working to redefine banking for a bet- building resilience in vulnerable communities, both ter future by focusing on areas where it believes it can around the globe and close to home. To have impact, have a real impact: supporting energy transition, help- I believe a global perspective and diverse leadership ing enable women entrepreneurs and financing inno- is key. As I mentioned earlier, Bank of the West is led vative start-ups. As the bank for a changing world, by a female CEO who happens to also be a woman Bank of the West is committed to sustainable finance of color and an immigrant. The majority of her leaderalong with its parent company, BNP Paribas. Through ship team are diverse and collectively they speak 10 Digital Channels and offices across the U.S., Bank of different languages. When your bank has such incredthe West provides financial tools and resources to more ible diversity and embraces a broad worldview, it can than 2 million individuals, families and businesses. make a real impact. One way that manifests itself for us is by joining forces with Grameen America to offer Will you provide an overview of Bank of the micro-financing to support more than 12,000 womenWest/BNP Paribas and what have been the owned businesses. It also means collaborating with keys to its industry leadership? Forest Whitaker’s Whitaker Peace & Development Bank of the West brings a unique global per- Initiative to promote nonviolence among youth in spective to banking as part of BNP Paribas. We com- Los Angeles-area schools, while our parent company bine regional expertise with worldwide capabilities BNP Paribas supports similar efforts with Whitaker’s thanks to the fact that BNP Paribas operates in foundation in South Africa. more than 70 countries. Bank of the West operates Have your clients shifted in their demands as a fundamentally different type of bank. Bank of for sustainable investments, both environmenthe West, and BNP Paribas, have a focused strategy tally and socially? to accelerate the energy transition that’s needed to Clients are increasingly thinking about climate combat climate change. Bank of the West is one of change and social equality. This is especially evithe only major U.S. banks that has chosen to restrict dent in 2020, but has been true for the last few the financing of fossil fuels, big tobacco, palm oil years. They’re asking to invest with a lens on strucand other activities harmful to the planet. We lead tural social and environmental change. It’s often to VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
their financial benefit as we find that companies strong on sustainability, internal equality, and longterm thinking frequently have better track records, longevity, and returns. Thanks to our global reach and emphasis on positive banking, we are in a strong position to provide clients with the service they increasingly seek. How do you define resilience and sustainability and are they interrelated? Resilience is the ability to withstand difficulty; sustainability is the ability to withstand difficulty over time. You cannot have sustainability without resilience and, in the long run, the inverse is true as well. Longterm resilience requires a holistic approach to business; there’s a reason that the UN has 17 Sustainable Development Goals, many of which don’t relate to the environment specifically. There are goals around peace, gender equity, education, poverty, and more. A truly sustainable company looks beyond the impact of its own bottom line to the impact of its business practices and output. We cannot have a truly sustainable world if we’re marginalizing certain groups of people, or creating more harm than good. As conservationist David Brower put it, “There is no business to be done on a dead planet.” As a business leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture within your organization? Communication is key. I believe lack of communication can lead to burnout which corrodes resilience within a team. We foster a positive learning mindset; if something doesn’t go as planned, the reaction should be a constructive one about what lessons we can draw. We try to create a culture of teamwork and adaptability so each individual knows they aren’t alone and so we as a team remain flexible. Finally, we believe we are a fundamentally different type of bank that is providing world-class service to our clients while making a positive impact on society and the planet. That powerful why is motivation that fuels resilience when we encounter obstacles. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? Resilience can absolutely be taught, but it’s easier if you have a seed to start with. I’m from a farming family that immigrated to the U.S. from Italy. Anyone with exposure to farming knows that resilience is core to agriculture. I believe that helped shape me. My sons didn’t have the same childhood experience, but they had me to help teach and guide them on how to weather downturns. Today they are thriving, independent men. There are millions of stories just like that, so I believe resilience can certainly be taught.
Tackling Uninsured Risk An Interview with Alex Kaplan, Executive Vice President, Alternative Risk, AmWINS Group, Inc. EDITORS’ NOTE Alex Kaplan COMPANY BRIEF AmWINS Group, leads AmWINS’ strategy around Inc. (amwins.com) is the largest indethe development of parametric pendent wholesale distributor of spesolutions and other bespoke covcialty insurance products in the United erages, on both a standalone basis States dedicated to serving retail insurand in conjunction with other traance agents by providing property and ditional and non-traditional solucasualty products, specialty group bentions for client risk transfer. He is efit products and administrative seralso r esponsible for developing vices. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the new products and capital sources company operates through more than for AmWINS, its retail customers 115 offices globally and handles and their clients. Prior to joining pr emium placements in excess of Alex Kaplan AmWINS, Kaplan spent 11 years at $21 billion annually. Swiss Re, where he most recently served as Head of North America for the com- Will you provide an overview of AmWINS pany’s Public Sector Solutions unit. Kaplan Group and what excited you about the has deep expertise in government and pub- opportunity to join the company? lic finance. He began his career by serving on AmWINS Group is the largest indepenthe staff of the Committee on Ways and Means dent wholesale distributor of specialty insurin the U.S. House of Representatives working ance products. What this means is that we on tax and economic policy. From 2006 to work to match all forms of risk from around 2008, he served as the Deputy to the Assistant the globe with risk takers. Based in Charlotte, Secretary for Legislative Affairs for the United North Car olina, the company operates States Department of the Tr easury under through more than 115 offices globally and Secretary Henry Paulson. Kaplan received a places more than $17 billion of premiums into BA degree in economics from Hobart College. the market each year.
“What excites me the most about working with the firm is the ability to witness how risk is changing and converging in new ways as the world evolves and being able to build solutions to address these challenges.”
What excites me the most about working with the firm is the ability to witness how risk is changing and converging in new ways as the world evolves and being able to build solutions to address these challenges. Will you highlight your role and key areas of focus at AmWINS? As part of the Alternative Risk team within AmWINS, I take unique challenges that may not be addressed by the standard market and build bespoke solutions as well as the financial capacity behind them. My chief goal is to tackle what is otherwise uninsured risk around the globe, build solutions that solve real problems and distribute them at scale. My focus and personal interest lie in the parametric insurance realm. Parametric insurance is relatively new in relation to the age of the industry but growing at an amazing pace. It is different than traditional insurance in that parametric insurance is based on an index of the environmental or physical characteristics of a particular risk, such as the wind speed of a hurricane. The confluence of data digitization, computational power and technology allows us to address these new challenges in the most creative ways and only now are we beginning to really scratch the surface of what is possible. Over the last 15 years, much of the development was focused around natural catastrophes, namely hurricanes and earthquakes. This converged with developments in the weather space. Now, with the ability to process vast amounts of disparate data sets to identify previously unseen trends and anomalies, we are expanding into cyber, casualty and risks that previously evaded detailed analysis, such as “disgrace insurance.” With these trends converging, I believe we will begin to develop solutions that are rapidly responsive to risks in a holistic way, allowing for more meaningful and complete recovery across all segments of our economies. Additionally, given the direction we are going, we’ll be able to upend the historical paradigm of insurance by prefinancing losses before they lead to loss. Imagine being able to anticipate an imminent catastrophe and reduce the impact by funding risk mitigation to prevent the loss in the first place. As you can tell, I’m quite bullish about the value we can create here and my focus is set on building these solutions with my colleagues and the global market. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Additionally, given the direction we are going, we’ll be able to upend the historical paradigm of insurance by prefinancing losses before they lead to loss. Imagine being able to anticipate an imminent catastrophe and reduce the impact by funding risk mitigation to prevent the loss in the first place.”
The world is facing a number of crises from the global pandemic to climate change to migration to social injustice. How is your approach to managing risk being impacted by these crises? These crises put an acute lens on the issues the industry broadly has been raising for decades. Personally, coming from a prior role with a large global reinsurer, the need to view the world and how it will change in the decades ahead is deeply ingrained in me. The confluence of urbanization, globalization and climate change shifts how we should all look at risk. Today, a risk anywhere is a risk everywhere. The linkages and ripple effects of these events have global implications. It is our duty within the insurance industry to help others understand these implications and how these risks can metastasize into our personal lives and businesses. The ongoing crises have illuminated this for everyone and now we are working to find new and creative ways to help manage these exposures so that everyone can move forward with their lives despite these inevitable setbacks. This is the definition of resilience. What do you see as the role of the insurance industry in addressing the global pandemic? There are numerous ways in which the industry plays an important role in pandemic risk and how we address COVID-19 is no different. First, consider that 6 percent of global GDP is spent annually on life insurance premiums alone. That’s an astonishing figure, dwarfed only by the total size of the underlying risk. Given this exposure, the industry must have an acute understanding of epidemiology and changes in societal patterns which impact the spread and severity of events. On top of this, the industry plays a critical role in supporting the supply chain of medical equipment, protecting the balance sheets of organizations impacted by the disruption and so on. That said, as we’ve seen with COVID-19, the economic implications can be broad and diverse and there is clearly room to improve coverages and understanding to help communities and entities weather these events more robustly. How do you define resilience and what are the key characteristics of a resilient company? To me, resilience is the ability to understand and adapt to how various externalities influence your future desired state. We all have a clear vision of where we want our lives or businesses to lead, but rarely do we contemplate fully how external factors, known and unknown, can set VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
us off that course. While we can’t anticipate all risks, we must be thoughtful and go through the creative exercise of “If this, then what.” We must stop planning to the last crisis because the next one will undoubtedly be different. A resilient company is one that brings all facets of the organization together to understand and plan for various risks. Too often these functions are siloed and operate independently. Every organization should have a “Chief Risk Officer” that explores the interconnected nature of functions and the existence of structural deficiencies and gaps. I equate this to the 12 U.S. intelligence agencies pre-9/11, each one fulfilling their core objectives with limited insight into the role of the others. This led to the creation of the Director of National Intelligence in the White House to facilitate coordination identifying redundancies and eliminating gaps. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I believe everyone is born with some elements of resilience, but in my experience, true resilience is only achieved through adversity in some form. In my view, human nature, by design, can react to rapid change. This is core
to our evolution as a species. However, we are seemingly incapable of adjusting our behavior to slow moving risks, such as climate change. This is why it is so critical to create movements around resilience to help foster the understanding of how our world is changing, what the long-term implications are, and how we must adjust accordingly. What advice do you offer young people interested in building a career in the insurance industry? In general, I think insurance unfairly gets a bad rap. As a friend once told me, insurance is an institution of society, not an industry. Insurance is the idea of communal support for a common goal, people and communities understanding their shared risks and working together in groups to help minimize the inevitable impacts. Insurance is the reason fire departments and seat belts are ubiquitous. That said, anyone starting out in this industry has endless opportunity to find the topic that interests them. This industry touches every facet of life. Explore and find the issues that interest you most and identify ways in which the world is changing with respect to that issue and work to find new solutions that create broad societal value.
“Every organization should have a “Chief Risk Officer” that explores the interconnected nature of functions and the existence of structural deficiencies and gaps.”
A Resilience-Focused Approach An Interview with Walter Cotte, Americas Regional Director, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies EDITORS’ NOTE Walter Cotte, who Will you provide an overview of joined the International Federation the work of the IFRC? of Red Cross and Red Cr escent Our main goal is divided into two Societies (IFRC) in January 2013, as main lines, to strengthen the humaniUnder Secretary General of Program tarian response worldwide through and Operations, has more than 50 our network of 192 National Societies years of humanitarian and developand in order to do that, enhancing ment experience. Previously, Cotte their organizational capacity, augwas the National Executive Director menting their capacity of absorption, of the Colombian Red Cross Society and strengthening their auxiliary role from 2008 to 2012. His past leadto the national authorities. As IFRC, ership roles with the organization we are considered the Secretariat of Walter Cotte include Head of Operations and the National Societies that enables us Disaster Management (1994-2008), to have a collective impact and create and Head of Volunteers for Relief and Search operational and influential networks at the local, and Rescue (1985-1994). His Red Cross and national, regional and global level. Red Crescent experience includes a six-month Our Strategy 2030 envisions three global assignment to the IFRC as its Head of Operations goals that aim to contribute to the Sustainable in Asia Pacific. He has served as a consultant Development Goals (SDG): with the United Nations Disaster Assessment 1. People can anticipate, survive, and and Coordination system and the International quickly recover from crises. Search and Rescue Advisory Group, was a mem2. People lead safe and healthy lives with ber of the Colombian Government’s National dignity and have opportunities to thrive. Disaster Board and a member of the board of 3. People mobilize for inclusive and peacethe Colombian National Fire Association. Cotte ful communities. studied Social Management and Administration There are significant threats facing humanat the CUN University of Cundinamarca, and ity and we must tackle these head on. Industrial Safety at the National Council of Safety. 1. Climate Change: changes to our climate He also has a high level of training and special- and environment are already contributing to an ization in disaster management from Tadeo increase in the frequency, intensity and unpreLozano University and in “Better Programming dictability of severe weather events, as well as for Peace Process” from the National University the decline of biodiversity. Our focus over the of Colombia. coming decade will be on reducing the current and future humanitarian impacts of climate ORGANIZATION BRIEF The International and environmental crises and supporting peoFederation of Red Cross and Red Crescent ple to thrive in the face of it. In the Americas S o c i e t i e s ( i f r c . o r g ) i s t h e w o r l d ’ s l a r g - region we are developing a “Climathon” project est humanitarian organization which pro- in which the climate change effects are faced vides assistance without discrimination as through different lines of action that will help to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or to build resilient communities. political opinions. Founded in 1919, the IFRC 2. Disaster and Crisis: disasters are precomprises 192 member Red Cross and Red dicted to become more common, more costly, Crescent National Societies, a secretariat in more complex and, sadly, more concentrated in Geneva, and more than 60 delegations stra- populations least able to cope. In the region we tegically located to support activities around have faced several disasters such as the earththe world. The Red Crescent is used in place of quake in Haiti, the recent Dorian Hurricane in the Red Cross in many Islamic countries. The the Bahamas, Population Movement in the borIFRC vision is to inspire, encourage, facilitate ders and inside of Mexico and the U.S. as well and promote at all times all forms of human- as the Northern Triangle in Central America, itarian activities by National Societies, with a civil unrest in more than eight countries in view to preventing and alleviating human suf- the region, and irregular flows of Venezuelan fering, and thereby contributing to the main- migrants traveling throughout the continent tenance and promotion of human dignity and among many other difficult situations caused by peace in the world. the high-level of inequity and exclusion. 92 LEADERS
Our main objective is to help communities, local systems and institutions, making sure that they will be able to respond and to mitigate the vulnerabilities and disadvantages resulting from all types of crises and disasters that affect the most vulnerable so that they are able to succeed and to install Early Warning Systems (EWS) at a local level and early actions that can create an environment of prevention, awareness and preparedness to better respond at a very local level. 3. Health: despite significant global health gains and major medical advances, people continue to face a complex mix of interconnected risks to their health and well-being. Infectious diseases and the risk of epidemics and pandemics are a major public global health concern. At the IFRC, we want to make sure that all people have safe and equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). To do so, we will expand our integrated community-based healthcare and first aid as well as water, sanitation and hygiene programs to meet the unmet needs of vulnerable or marginalized groups. With the COVID-19 outbreak we have learnt that we also need to significantly invest in epidemic and pandemic preparedness building trust, ownership and engagement and placing communities at the center of response and in every process. To do so, our Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA) approach lets us better understand the communities and how we can help them in an efficient way. We are able to achieve this through volunteers and campaigns to build community connections, to promote positive mental health and wellbeing, and reduce loneliness as well as provide psycho-social support particularly in vulnerable communities. The Red Cross services in health range from ambulance services, prevention and prehospital care. We believe in a holistic system where prevention and the public health system play a key role along with health in emergency, water and sanitation. Health is one of our main priorities in our programs and operations, and nowadays we consider it to be very important to focus as well on mental health and how we can create Psychosocial Support networks for our staff, volunteers and communities in need. 4. Migration and Identity: movement of people, whether voluntary or involuntary, is one of the defining features of the 21st century. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Resilience is the ability to adapt and cope with disasters, shocks, stresses and crises. But beyond that, to create and sustain enabling environments for resilience, we must nurture localization approaches and view our communities as resilience champions in order to most effectively identify and address underlying vulnerabilities.” The risks that people face when they are on the move are growing. These include exploitation and abuse at the hands of traffickers and other criminal groups, as well as deprivations caused by policies that limit access to basic services and care. Migrants are also prone to suffer exclusion and xenophobia acts from local communities. The RCRC Movement delivers services to the migrants’ routes, at boarder points and also in the host countries. We promote protection for vulnerable groups – women, children, people with disabilities and asylum seekers. We believe migrants should have a dignified way of living, providing them opportunities and seeking their inclusion. RCRC also focuses its efforts to provide livelihoods to people on the move, advocate through humanitarian diplomacy for their respect, and work for their basic needs, among others. 5. Values, power and inclusion: we seek to eliminate any source of exclusion, marginalization and violence through a cross-cutting approach. Each of these challenges interact with each other, complicate each other and, in many cases, will worsen each other. Climate change is a prominent risk driver and there is a clear call to make this a major focus of our efforts in the coming decade. Migration will become more of an issue the world will have to find solutions for. The severity and frequency of disasters will increase and conflicts will continue to be protracted, but new crises will also emerge including those from digital threats. We not only face unsolved health challenges, but many new or increasing threats as well; loneliness, Non-Communicable Diseases and the threat of pandemics; and finally, we bear witness to increasingly polarized, unequal and xenophobic societies and we must double down on our efforts to promote peace and inclusion. We will increasingly have to do this in dense, overburdened, complex urban environments and in a context where financing, volunteering and resources are harder to attain. To do so, the RCRC Movement will always work through our 7 Fundamental Principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality which characterize our humanitarian imperative and allow us to have unified values with our National Societies to deliver humanitarian assistance in the best way. VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The implementation of this strategy relies on the Red Cross National Societies that reach 160,000 municipalities at a global level with the help of 14 million volunteers worldwide. We facilitate the work at the community level to create networks and connection systems. We are making our way to create a better system of accountability and community engagement so we can work hand in hand with different sectors and stakeholders. For example, we have alliances with the private sector, especially with companies implementing Corporate Social Responsibility, to drive the changes that will create a better future for all, and we also constantly coordinate with the UN system, multilateral organizations, Governments, the Academy, among other stakeholders that allow us to have strong partnerships and work together for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) accomplishment. We are a trusted network since we are neutral, impartial and independent which allows us access in the communities. How do you describe your leadership style and how do you focus your efforts in your role? For me, leadership is fundamental not only to generate an impact on others, but to understand that we are surrounded by amazing people. My leadership is based on understanding that people have different capacities and that as long as they are empowered, they are critical, they are persevering, they are good team players, and they are supportive, many things can be achieved together. That is why my leadership style is based on collective leadership, which guides through characteristic values such as being equitable, constantly and strictly focused on results and positive impact for communities and systems. At the same time, “the human touch” in leadership is part of my way of working which is dedicated to show who we are as human beings and how we want to reflect our values in the professional aspect, thinking always about the community and how we can help the most vulnerable. That is why, for me, leading by example and action is what represents a leadership style that stems from the base of the organization, where the spirit of volunteerism and solidarity are my core and where examples of good leaders maintain our humanitarian imperative clearly and sincerely, closer and silently effective in the medium and long-term.
I truly believe in a democratic and coaching leadership style. This engenders trust and promotes team spirit and cooperation from staff. It allows creativity and helps people to grow and develop. I actively include people in the decision-making process before making a final decision. I see people who work with me as offering a reservoir of talent that can change today’s world and be further developed in anticipation of a challenging future. I seek opportunities to harvest leadership processes from a multilayer and multisectoral network to unlock and develop one’s potential. This leadership approach has led us to be innovative and create solutions for communities, systems and entities in our day-to-day work at the IFRC. It also keeps us focused on the long-term results by generating a positive chain of good actions that together fulfill our humanitarian objectives. This leadership seeks to go beyond the IFRC and the Red Cross Movement and includes work with the public, private and academic sectors. This type of leadership is based on generating alliances and replicating good practices in the world to create an expansive and resilient network to help solve the problems of exclusion and inequity. How do you define resilience and how critical is resilience to the culture of the Red Cross? Resilience is the ability to adapt and cope with disasters, shocks, stresses and crises. But beyond that, to create and sustain enabling environments for resilience, we must nurture localization approaches and view our communities as resilience champions in order to most effectively identify and address underlying vulnerabilities. The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has a systematic resilience-focused approach to all programs and services so I can attest that it is not only part of the culture, but informs each level of our planning and implementation processes. Our resilience approach has evolved over the years, and continues to do so, recognizing that risks are everevolving and require agility and bridging the humanitarian-development divide in order to adequately respond to the immediate needs and imminent threats as well as those that we may not always be able to fully anticipate and prevent. LEADERS 93
What role do you feel the IFRC can play in building a more resilient world? Our volunteers are an ever-present network serving as a neutral and independent bridge between communities and different national systems and give a global voice to vulnerable people. The Red Cross is characterized as a system of agglutination of local to global systems where we can represent the interests of all. The Red Cross and Red Crescent network serves as an independent auxiliary to its government, including having permanent observer status with the United Nations. This privileged role allows the Red Cross and Red Crescent the ability to advocate for and shape policies that ensure a more resilient ecosystem. For example, we know that good legislation is critical to reducing disaster and climate risks. Law can set the stage for early warning, financing, community empowerment and accountability, or it can obscure and obstruct the necessary steps. Since 2012, the IFRC and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been working on a joint project to research, compare and consult on the efforts of various countries to strengthen how their laws support the reduction of disaster risks, particularly at the community level. In June 2014, they launched a major new study examining 31 countries and in December 2015, they launched a new tool, The Checklist on Law and Disaster Risk Reduction and its accompanying guide, The Handbook on Law and Disaster Risk Reduction, to provide practical guidance on this area of law. These macrolevel changes help to ensure systems changes are in place which ultimately impact the local communities in which we live and serve. We can create a way to build residual integrated and comprehensive resilience in the future by further serving as a convener and localization-enabler to facilitate inclusive approaches to fostering resilience regardless of an individual’s age, gender, race, creed, health, economic status or education. What is the contribution the IFRC Americas team is making to build a more resilient Latin American region? Our region, ranging from the North to the South, is comprised of 35 countries representing diverse realities and risk exposure. Disasters in the Americas are very common, with an increased frequency of 3.6 percent in the last 50 years, costing billions in economic losses and human lives every year. Nevertheless, it is not only major disasters which contribute to developmental delays and the rising cost of living in the region. Adopting what we refer to as the ‘Road Map to Resilience’, Red Cross National Societies in the Americas have expressed their unified efforts to: 1. Make every effort to ensure that our disaster and crisis management system, from the local to the global levels, provides communities and individuals affected by disasters and crises with relevant, effective, high-quality and coordinated response and recovery, in accordance with their functions within national systems, as a key contribution to community resilience. 2. Build alliances that lead us to achieve the One Billion Coalition for Community. Through 94 LEADERS
the Coalition, the IFRC and its partners will help individuals, households and communities around the world to improve their understanding of risk and take action to strengthen their safety, health, and well-being. The IFRC in the Americas ‘runs 3 humanitarian marathons’ that seek to have a replicated positive effect in communities, systems and networks: 1. Climate change and resilience (Climathon) 2. Migration, Protection Gender and Inclusion (Migrathon) 3. Health, water and sanitation (Healthathon) Our contribution as the IFRC is to ensure investment in institutional strengthening of all of our National Societies so that they may develop their capacities to support communities in taking active steps to strengthen their resilience and to ensure risk-based analysis, planning and decision-making in Red Cross programs and actions.
“Establishing and nurturing alliances with communities and public authorities in accordance with our auxiliary status is at the core of our humanitarian mandate.” Has the role of humanitarian organizations changed due to COVID-19 and its farreaching effects? From June 1 to 30, 2020, the Americas region doubled the number of COVID-19 cases reported, becoming the geographical epicenter of the pandemic, notwithstanding the significant sub-regional differences, especially regarding the Caribbean, where the English and Dutch speaking countries (islands) have managed to contain the transmission. The number of deaths in these 30 days represented an increase of 60 percent and 6 out of the top 10 countries with more cases of affectation are in the Americas region according to WorldMeters. The situation, apart from numbers of cases and deaths, continues to impose an increasing overload on healthcare systems, especially those that are already structurally weak. The potential collapse of healthcare systems is of particular concern in Central America and some areas of the Andean region. This continues to force the adoption of extraordinary measures of auxiliary support to the health authorities through human and material resources.
As IFRC, we have acquired extensive knowledge managing disasters and Disaster Risk Reduction initiatives using a Preparedness for Effective Response (PER) approach. However, it is clear that having the experience supporting contexts with natural and human disasters, a pandemic like COVID-19 is a challenge that our or any organization was not prepared to deal with alone. That is why we believe that “we are in this together” and our National Societies continue their tremendous work in community engagement and advocacy, healthcare, health promotion, hygiene access and promotion, and in mental health and psychosocial support. However, as the pandemic continues, efforts must continue to be made to control transmission, avoid the impact of discontinuation of essential health services, and strengthen psychosocial support for individuals and communities. At the same time, special attention must be paid to the fatigue and stress of the front line aiders with increased vulnerability, reinforcing biosafety protocols and having a very strong approach on “protecting the ones that protect.” We are also working on the study and analysis of the negative effects of the pandemic, in particular on mental health, livelihoods and the development of healthy and sustainable local markets through joint initiatives with other organizations such as the UN. Do you feel it is critical to have collaboration and strong global alliances in order to build a more resilient world? No one entity can handle the pandemic and the problems that afflict our society alone. We must increase our capacity to integrate resources, leadership, methodologies, personnel and vision to create optimal solutions that are replicable and expandable at a cost that can be assumed by the local communities and the supportive systems. Our global IFRC Strategy 2030 articulates that, as a movement, we will and must “go beyond resilience, to ensure that individuals and communities can thrive” and “work as a distributed network” by deepening our collaboration with various organizations, the public and private sector, academia, communities and others to learn, collaborate and act to improve scale and scope when developing longer-term interventions that address humanitarian needs. Establishing and nurturing alliances with communities and public authorities in accordance with our auxiliary status is at the core of our humanitarian mandate. The rapid expansion of the network of alliances with environmental organizations, research institutions, disaster management agencies, the private sector and beyond has contributed to the creation and implementation of pioneering initiatives that are relevant and appropriate to the targeted context whether they aim to bridge the digital divide, invest in early warning and early action, public awareness and education, or assessments and training. The range is, in fact, limitless. We embrace the opportunities to collaborate with partners, especially now when the complexities of risks necessitate alliances in order to curtail the magnitude of exposure. Without it, none of us will scratch the surface.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Resilience of Objects, Cultures and Ideas An Interview with Limor Tomer, General Manager, Live Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art EDITORS’ NOTE In her current galleries and through its exhibitions position, Limor Tomer has overand events, revealing both new ideas hauled the Metropolitan Museum’s and unexpected connections across performing arts program; built a time and across cultures. diverse, powerful team that curates, How do you describe your presents, and promotes more than leadership style and what do 100 events annually; produced you see as the keys to effective TEDxMET in 2013 and 2015; leadership? increased the department budget by My leadership style is grounded 40 percent; increased both earned in recruiting, training and nurturing and unearned income significantly; extraordinary people. I look for qualiand solicited and received many ties such as curiosity, inventiveness Limor Tomer major gifts. Tomer has also served and low tolerance for error balanced as an Adjunct Professor teachwith empathy in my staff. I believe ing entrepreneurship in performance at The what makes a strong leader is the ability to New School. Additionally, she was an Executive have an empowered team of individual thinkers Producer, Music, at New York Public Radio and rather than simply “project managers.” an Adjunct Curator, Performing Arts, at The Whitney Museum. Born in Israel, Tomer moved to the United States at age 13. She earned both her BA and MA from The Juilliard School and studied for her doctorate in aesthetics at New York University. INSTITUTION BRIEF The Metropolitan Museum of Art (metmuseum.org) collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge and ideas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City – The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Will you provide an overview of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens, businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy in its two iconic sites in New York City – The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. These items are also available for millions of people to experience through The Met online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects: every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Encyclopedic museums like The Met are primarily about cultural resilience and consider resilience from multiple perspectives – resilience of objects, cultures and ideas.”
How do you define resilience and how is resilience ingrained in the culture of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Encyclopedic museums like The Met are primarily about cultural resilience and consider resilience from multiple perspectives – resilience of objects, cultures and ideas. The Met is actively building resilience through projects such as the Indian Conservation Fellows Program, as well as through generous support like Adrienne Arsht’s recent transformative gift which will provide funds for performances that champion resilience through art by engaging with artists of varied backgrounds, perspectives and voices.
How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? For me, the ingredients of personal resilience include adaptability, as well as a high tolerance for change and creativity. Also, a certain amount of “give,” or knowing when to bend (a tree that bends will survive the storm better than one that is rigid). These personal qualities have allowed me to navigate our ever-changing cultural and professional landscape. Do you feel that resilience and music are linked and what do you see as the role of the arts in resilience? Performing artists – composers, choreographers, actors, and musicians – must have tremendous amounts of personal and professional resilience as the landscape is always changing. They serve a unique and essential purpose in our society: they help “metabolize” our collective experience and allow us to gain multiple ways to understand social, cultural and political forces. Has your work changed as a result of COVID-19 and the anti-racist movement across the U.S. and the world? We at MetLiveArts – the performance series at the Museum – have been lucky to be able to work with ever-broadening circles of progressive artists who are pushing the envelope in dance, theater, opera, music and related hybrids. We have always engaged with artists from underrepresented communities, global communities and non-conforming artists. The combination of the profound isolation many of us are feeling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the demand for justice and equality at this moment, fortifies us and allows us to reinscribe our commitment to challenge existing assumptions about power and creativity, and to even more forcefully embrace multiplicity of points of views, experiences and voices. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? At any given moment, I am in touch with dozens of artists, some at the beginning of their career, some already established leaders. To me, all the artists I have worked with and am currently working with are the most resilient and influential artists working today. Artists who I turn to for leadership and perspective on our world include Anna Deveare Smith, Bill T. Jones and Julia Bullock. Each, in their chosen métier, through their life experience, personal struggles and artistic achievement, opens the door of understanding our changing world.
Island Earth An Interview with Kate Brown, Executive Director, Global Island Partnership EDITORS’ NOTE Kate Brown is a policy at the local level and within local passionate advocate for islands with context. It recognized that island issues extensive experience in all island were common but that many islands regions globally, and brings with were separated by language, political her an extensive network of island status (territories, independent counleaders, blue sky thinkers and peotries, subnational jurisdictions) and ple dedicated to supporting islands. similar barriers. They needed an She has experience working inside organization that could start to recongovernment, nonprofits and internect islands around solutions to comgovernmentally along with a keen mon problems. As time went on, the sense of the most important eleleaders of the partnership expanded ments of the international policy the focus of GLISPA to include island Kate Brown setting space relevant to islands as resilience and island sustainability and well as what is needed for implethe partnership now connects a broad mentation to happen. Brown previously served range of islands who are early leaders on taking as an Action Strategy Advisor for the Secretariate action on these issues. We have supported many of the Pacific Environment Programme, a island political commitments to be both realized Development Officer for Agriculture Western and implemented and provide a space for island Australia and an Australian Youth Ambassador leaders and island champions to work together for UNFPA – Subregional Office for the Pacific and inspire and challenge each other. (Fiji). She is originally from New Zealand and Islands are a special place to work – they lived for eight years in Apia, Samoa. She now have many problems within a bounded system r esides in New Zealand. Br own holds a and have the ability to trial solutions at a scale bachelor’s degree in journalism and politics that can be learned from and replicated in bigfrom Curtin University. ger countries. They are often defined by their size and their population but when you look ORGANIZATION BRIEF The Global Island at the area they are responsible for it is a really Partnership (glispa.org) is a platform that enables large footprint on the earth’s surface, much of island leaders and their supporters to take action it ocean. We like to think of the earth itself as to build resilient and sustainable island commu- an island, thus island earth, which has finite nities. Led by the Presidents of Palau, Seychelles resources and which we need to manage approand the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Prime priately for our future. We can learn a lot from Minister of Grenada and Premier of the British what islands are doing. Virgin Islands, its mission is to promote action In 2020 the Global Island Partnership is to build resilient and sustainable island commu- focusing on three things: nities by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration for all islands. Since its launch in 2006, the Partnership has engaged high-level leaders to catalyze $150 million for island action and assisted more than 35 countries to launch or strengthen major sustainable island commitments. It has more than 40 members and 55 friends as part of the island resilience movement.
• We mobilize high-level political will for island commitments and action on resilience and sustainability. • We build and strengthen partnerships that implement global conservation & sustainability goals on islands, especially the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). • We help our members strategize to bring global attention to and support for island solutions and initiatives, especially at major international meetings and conferences. How do you describe your leadership style and what do you see as the keys to effective leadership? My leadership style is one focused on living by my values of truth, fairness and justice which in practice is to demonstrate integrity in relationships and interactions at all times, to be honest, to appreciate all perspectives and to make sure that I am engaging with everyone. I am also a New Zealand indigenous woman (Mãori) and have a unique perspective that comes from my cultural upbringing which is very Polynesian – consultative, listening, collaborative and group problem solving as our culture focuses very much on the group rather than the individual. This links to how I measure success. I believe that we see success when we lift up all important voices, but I don’t measure importance based on people’s position, connections or wealth. I believe for too long that all of these styles of leadership I mention above have been discounted because they ar e not what many see as the hard-charging more
“Island nations need to operate at multiple levels in order to build resilience – they
Will you provide an overview of Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and its areas of focus? The Global Island Partnership is a partnership that was convened in 2006 by two island Presidents, the President of Seychelles and the President of Palau, with the idea of developing a partnership that would enable islands to work together to implement global biodiversity-focused 96 LEADERS
need to work together to advocate for their
needs and concerns and to identify, share and deliver scalable, integrated solutions.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“Islands are a special place to work – they have many problems within a bounded system and have the ability to trial solutions at a scale that can be learned from and replicated in bigger countries.”
masculine style of leadership which we recognize as the model “leadership” based on stereotypes, movies, or literature. We are at a moment where we can recognize that this may not be as effective as these other leadership styles and that a more feminine version of leadership can be equally if not more effective. Effective leadership recognizes that diversity of voice is critical for addressing the issues we face in the modern world – this diversity includes gender, sexual orientation, cultural, ethnic, racial, economic and so on. It also shows that leadership is not about telling people what to do, but rather pulling together the right people to set a strategy or plan and then enabling it to be implemented, adjusted and improved upon. It is not about asserting yourself in everything, it is about holding people accountable for what they say and do, for highlighting successes and mitigating and learning from failure. As a leader, it is critical to live by your values, as too often we see the vast hypocrisy of people going along to get along or who want to advance their careers so they never speak up. You have to be prepared to stand up for things, to do things differently than what everyone else might be doing and to speak up where necessary. I want to be a change maker, I want to work in organizations and with people who are trying to change the world for the better, I want to make a difference to people’s lives – these are the things that influence how I lead. For me, leadership is about people and if people are on board, we can do anything.
How do island nations, which are facing such challenges, including sea-level rise and economic crisis, build resilience and protect their cultural heritage? Island nations need to operate at multiple levels in order to build resilience – they need to work together to advocate for their needs and concerns and to identify, share and deliver scalable, integrated solutions. Climate change is having catastrophic impacts on island communities. These are compounded by rapid growth of urban centers, pressure on limited land and water resources, and dramatic biodiversity loss. Island economies, particularly Small Island Developing States, are vulnerable to climate-related severe weather events, sea level rise, catastrophic natural disasters and other external shocks. While many islands are successfully managing new public health risks presented by COVID-19, they face economic disaster as a result of tourism disruption and the related loss of livelihoods and government revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated other issues islands are grappling with including cyclones, which recently hit Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands in the Pacific with hurricane season having started in the Caribbean. As the international community is considering how to recover from the current crisis, and reflect on previous catastrophes, islands can provide key examples of building resilience and reducing risk. They are taking bold and innovative approaches around new mechanisms including finance and insurance, policy tools among other initiatives.
“Islands have a lot going for them – their people are resilient and are natural leaders in integrated, resilient solutions by virtue of their often-limited geographic area and resources.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Over the past ten years, island leaders and their supporters have come together to tackle island priorities, but development approaches tend to be “siloed” and treat issues in isolation. These don’t tend to recognize that problems in islands are interconnected and require multisector solutions and partners. Islands urgently need more distributed and resilient infrastructure systems to reduce risk, provide reliable services, and help vulnerable communities adapt. This includes both green and grey infrastructure. It has also become increasingly clear that island responses on their own will not be enough. Public resources alone are insufficient and new partnerships are needed to mobilize large-scale investment in sustainable development initiatives in islands. Islands have a lot going for them – their people are resilient and are natural leaders in integrated, resilient solutions by virtue of their often-limited geographic area and resources. There is an ability to coordinate across sectors and between islands toward common goals. Islands have long been leaders in launching high ambition commitments and are leading on SDG implementation. Islands have the ability to demonstrate how we can deliver in a locally and culturally relevant way on our global agreements and the Sustainable Development Goals, and ultimately achieve island and global resilience. There is also an opportunity for islands to lead on the SDGs, uplifting the islander worldview globally for sustainable development solutions which take into account the multiple challenges they face. We need to uplift, communicate and scale island solutions globally and the important message of hope, island values and tangible solutions. Our partnership has been lucky to have been working for the last 8 months (since the pandemic struck) on a new island leadership initiative focused on the sustainable development goals called the Local2030 Islands Network. In this we have convened a series of webinars where we have identified and shared some of the examples of how islands are facing the pandemic and the resulting economic impacts including looking at the lessons from places who have been through devastating hurricanes and how they have looked at rebuilding. All of our webinars are focused on the idea of building back better. Where LEADERS 97
“Nonprofits themselves will also adapt and change so we are supporting resilience in our clients and building resilience in our organization and in the system itself.”
are the examples where islands are thinking about this and putting it into action? How can these examples be used to inspire other islands? What responsibility do developed nations have to small island states when it comes to climate resilience? There is a large imbalance in the burden of climate change at the global level where many of the countries least able to respond to the impacts of climate change are burdened with the most impacts. Some islands in fact will not exist as they are now and will become uninhabitable. Developed nations need to recognize they have responsibility for these impacts, that they benefit disproportionately from their development status and that small island states need special consideration as identified 25 years ago during the Barbados Programme of Action which identified the sustainable development priorities of small island states. This includes financing action and it includes debt relief for countries heavily impacted by climate change impacts and who are also heavily indebted. With COVID-19 there has been a sharp fall in tourism revenues and remittance flows, heavy debt-servicing burdens, high risks to ensuring food security, severe constraints to the fiscal space and vulnerabilities to natural disasters brought about by climate change. It will be extremely difficult for small island states to withstand a double impact when they are hit by hurricanes or cyclones. Scaled-up international development cooperation is critical for ensuring that SIDS are able to stay on track towards sustainable development in the context of climate resilience. What do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the global crises the world is facing today? Resilience, in all its meaning, is critical to addressing global crises. Strengthening resilience enables an individual, an organization and a country to adapt to changing circumstances. It is moving from being a victim of your circumstances to recognizing a situation and responding to it in a way that helps you survive and thrive. It is a constant process of adapting and learning which you can apply to reduce future impacts, to mobilize the human and financial resources needed and it creates a space for real creativity. I see examples of this in my work all the time: 98 LEADERS
Dominica’s effort to build back after the devastating impact of a hurricane and to become the world’s first resilient island. Seychelles effort to undertake a debt swap for climate adaptation which addresses their debt issue while at the same time conserving marine resources and mobilizing resources for local project implementation managed by local people through the Seychelles Climate Change Adaptation Trust. These are a few examples, but I think islands are real resilience leaders because they have always had to be this way by the very nature of island life. Island life is bounded by the resources available on the island and most are vulnerable to natural disaster. Once we start to listen to the experiences and solutions of island people instead of defining them by the size of their population or of their island we will see a real richness of thought and action and we will put the relationship between developed and developing countries back in balance. Islands shouldn’t be seen as just aid or development assistance recipients, but their knowledge, expertise and solutions should be valued for their importance in combatting our global challenges. Many of the islands we work with have mobilized domestic resources for addressing some of these challenges and are asking the international community to help them address the gaps. I see this as a step-up approach rather than a handout. If we learn more about the history of many of the places we are talking about, we would also understand what brings them to their current economic development situation. How critical is resilience to driving impact in nonprofit work? This is absolutely critical. Nonprofit organizations should have the goal of eventually doing themselves out of a job – our role is to equip the individuals and organizations we work with and support them with the tools and knowledge to be able to be resilient to what comes their way. Nonprofits themselves will also adapt and change so we are supporting resilience in our clients and building resilience in our organization and in the system itself. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? I believe it’s a mix of both. Some people are naturally resilient and others need to be given tools and training to achieve it. Sometimes people don’t recognize it within themselves. We need to create a resilience mindset in the
individual and the same type of approach in the organizations and governments that people exist within. Building resilience of an individual is never enough on its own. Resilience is more than just addressing climate issues. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? I am relentlessly positive. A person who views a glass as half full rather than half empty – this to me is an important space to be in. In our work we have been focused for the last decade on identifying bright spots, things that are working and that can be scaled and replicated. This is very much my personal passion. I believe that we are much better placed to do more when we build on what is working rather than always identifying what is not. I have been through a lot of trauma in my life – particularly when I was a child, but I have always refused to be defined by that. I believe that we will thrive when we build on our strengths and where we adjust for what isn’t working or won’t work. From my very humble beginnings, I have benefited from learning from others and from working with others who think like me and believe that all things are possible. I sincerely believe this. You recently moved back to New Zealand from Washington D.C. What has the experience been moving during a global pandemic? I actually moved right before the pandemic and am forever blessed to be a New Zealander. We recently celebrated our 100th day without any community spread of COVID-19. Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has been a global leader even before the pandemic and she demonstrates many of the qualities that define New Zealanders – common sense, pragmatism, a sense of community and kindness. I have moved to a place that is where my whãnau (extended family) is from which lies on the Pacific Ocean. My ancestors have lived here for generations and when I am here, I feel connected to that world, to my history and also to many of the modern issues we find ourselves in. Moving internationally with children is stressful but it seems like the alternative would have been far worse. My children are back at school, playing sports and we are living life normally like we were before the pandemic hit. I have left one child in the U.S. so am kept up to date on the situation there. As I said, I am very lucky on the timing of my move home.
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
The Role of the Arts in Resilience An Interview with Anna Deveare Smith, Director / Producer, The Anna Deveare Smith Pipeline EDITORS’ NOTE Anna Deavere land a TV show that runs for nearly Smith is an actress, playwright, 20 years such as Grey’s Anatomy. Most, teacher, and author. Her most recent however, have short-term employplay and film, Notes from the Field, ment, and no one can predict what looks at the vulnerability of youth, will yield fruit. Hence, many work in a inequality, the criminal justice sysvariety of media. In my case, I am an tem, and contemporary activism. academic as well. This was a big deciThe New York Times named the sion to make, and for years being an stage version of Notes from the Field actress and being a tenured professor among The Best Theater of 2016 and did not work well. You have to declare Time magazine named it one of the what and when you will teach months Top 10 Plays of the year. HBO prein advance. At my level, as an actress I Anna Deveare Smith miered the film version in February might get a job and not find out until a 2018. Looking at current events from week or even a couple of days before multiple points of view, Smith’s theater combines what my schedule will be. I was able, however, the journalistic technique of interviewing her to figure out a way to put it all together. The subjects with the art of interpreting their words center of my work is the kind of theater that I through performance. Her plays include Fires In create. From that, a variety of other opportunithe Mirror, Twilight: Los Angeles, House Arrest, ties have come my way. So, for me, I focus on and Let Me Down Easy. Twilight: Los Angeles what I am doing at the moment. was nominated for two Tony Awards and Fires in the Mirror was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. Smith co-stars on the new ABC / Shonda Rhimes series, For the People. She also appears on the hit ABC series Black-ish. She previously starred as Gloria Akalitus on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, and as the National Security Advisor on NBC’s The West Wing. Films include The American President, Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia, Dave, Rent, and The Human Stain. In 2012, President Obama awarded her the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal. She was the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for achievement in the arts. In 2015, she was named the Jefferson Lecturer, the nation’s highest honor in the humanities. She was the 2017 recipient of the Ridenhour Courage Prize and the 2017 recipient of the George Polk Career Award in Journalism. Smith is the founding director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University, where she is also University Professor at Tisch School of the Arts.
“Artists should be
the ones who are not in the spotlight, to
have an understanding of what keeps people going when rewards
Did you know at an early age that you were attracted to the arts and had a creative side? I was attracted to the arts, but the attraction did not lead to anything substantive until I was 23 years old. You are involved in many different projects. Will you highlight your work and key areas of focus? It is true that I am involved in different projects. This is not odd for performing artists. Some are fortunate enough, for example, to VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
are in short supply.”
What interested you in teaching and working with the next generation of leaders? I like teaching because I like people and I like process. There’s no way to market or
support process in the arts, other than through teaching environments. I also like new ideas, and I’m fascinated by what my students bring into the room. I’ve taught since 1974 and I never grow tired of meeting new people and learning about their imaginations. This may or may not indicate that I’m working with the next generation of leaders, per se. Your work has been pivotal to helping people understand racial inequality and what it can mean for people’s lives and livelihoods. How have the events of recent months impacted your work? The events following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks have certainly impacted my work and my personhood, but it is too early to say how. How do you define resilience and what do you see as the role of the arts in resilience? I’m studying resilience at the moment so I’ll have a better answer a year from now. For now, I think it’s the ability to withstand and resurrect regardless of your circumstances. Art can give people courage. This is a mystery. You can’t promise it and I don’t think we as artists should promise it. It’s such a personal and mysterious moment – the moment when a work of art unearths a potential that you may not be aware of. Regrettably, in an era that is possibly overly interested in pathologies, we think of works of art “triggering” troubling thoughts or feelings. There are even warnings in some theaters that this triggering may happen. Works of art are sometimes, and probably not that often, if you think of a lifetime, going to suggest something to the viewer or participant that is otherwise discreet. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? Oh, you can’t be in a sometime profession – and that’s what I’d call the arts, except for the one-percent lucky few – a sometime profession. You can’t survive in a sometime profession without resilience. Artists should be studied, particularly the ones who are not in the spotlight, to have an understanding of what keeps people going when rewards are in short supply. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? We just lost one of the most resilient – the late Congressman John Lewis.
The Responsibility of Journalists An Interview with Jeff Goodell, Author and Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone EDITORS’ NOTE Jef f Goodell and TV have been undermined by the (jeffgoodellwriter.com) is a New rise of the Internet, especially sites York Times bestselling author and like Facebook and Twitter, which a Contributing Editor for Rolling basically turns anyone with a phone Stone. Goodell was a fellow at or a computer into a journalist. That New America in 2016 and 2017 is a wonderful thing in some ways and is currently a Senior Fellow because it elevates the voices of at the Atlantic Council. As a compeople who have been shut out by mentator on energy and environtraditional media outlets. But it is also mental issues, he has appeared on a big problem because it means there NPR, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, ABC, is no such thing as “journalistic stanNBC, Fox and The Oprah Winfrey dards” for these new voices. In the Jeff Goodell Show. He was awarded a 2020 past, journalists were, in some sense, Guggenheim Fellowship in General arbiters of truth and reality. They were Nonfiction. Goodell has a BA from the University authors of the first draft of history. No longer. of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from Truth and reality are up for grabs now, which Columbia University in New York. is both exciting and terrifying, but it also makes the role of a professional journalist all the more What interested you in a career in journalism? important. It’s no longer just about reporting My mom says that when I was four years great stories and telling them with accuracy old, every time I asked her a question and she and style. It’s also about figuring ways to break answered, I’d follow up with, “Why” and when through the noise so that those stories can be she answered that, I’d ask again, “Why?” This heard. could go on, my mom tells me, for hours. So How do you describe your leadership I guess I was born curious. Journalism doesn’t style and what do you see as the keys to feel like a job to me, even when it’s brain- effective leadership? numbingly hard work. It feels like an extension As a print journalist, the only people I of who I am. Plus, I’m a bit of an adrenaline really have to lead are my readers. To do that junkie. I had a very brief career as a profes- effectively, I’m hyperconscious of the fragile sional motorcycle racer so the endless deadlines pact the exists between writer and reader – as a that are part of life as a journalist were a thrill writer, I have to gain your trust and your attento me. tion and hold it. I have to give you something What do you see as the state of journal- of value for the time you spend on the page ism today? with me. Some writers do it with verbal tricks To paraphrase the old line from Charles and pyrotechnics, others with salacious gossip, Dickens, “It is the best of times, it is the worst of and still others by providing vital, life or careertimes.” The old business models for newspapers saving information. Myself, I think of the books
“Resilience is a complicated word, but basically, I take it to mean the opposite of brittle. We live in a rapidly changing world, not just because of the rapid movement of information and the increasing velocity of our economy, but because the climate crisis is destabilizing the very operating system of our planet.” 100 LEADERS
and articles I write as the beginning of an intelligent conversation that we will have together over the years. As a journalist, it’s my job to venture out into the world and then to report back to you what I have found and how I have made sense of things. You might agree or disagree, you might find some of what I have to say ridiculous or imprudent, but hopefully it will provoke you to think about things in new and unexpected ways. You are writing a book on extreme heat. What interested you in writing the book and what are the key messages of the book? Extreme heat is one of the most obvious consequences of how we are changing the Earth’s atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Burning oil, gas, and coal creates CO2, and CO2 traps heat in our atmosphere. The science of this is beyond dispute, it is as real as gravity. And yet, even among scientists and political and business leaders who are well-aware of the climate crisis, the impacts of heat itself has not gotten much attention until very recently. I think there are several reasons for this: first, unlike, say, coastal flooding, heat is not as easy to visualize, so it doesn’t get much media attention. Second, the people who are hit hardest by extreme heat are also the most out-of-sight in our society: the poor, the elderly, the vulnerable. But as temperatures continue to rise, that’s changing (it’s 130 degrees in Death Valley as I write this, the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth). Extreme heat is emerging as one of the most deadly aspects of the climate crisis, a profound physical force that will literally shape where and how we live on Earth, and it will not shape all lives equally – extreme heat is an engine of environmental and racial injustice. As for key messages of the book, it comes down to this: modern humans have evolved over the past 12,000 years or so in a relatively cool, stable climate. Scientists call it “the Goldilocks climate” – not too hot, not too cold. Thanks to the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, that is changing. We are moving out of the human niche we have evolved in and into a radically hotter world, with rapidly melting ice sheets, changing disease vectors, and extreme heat waves both on land and sea. In my book, I want to explore the implication of this extreme heat on our cities, our bodies, our minds, and on the natural world around us. It’s not just a VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“In the past, journalists were, in some sense, arbiters of truth and reality. They were authors of the first draft of history. No longer. Truth and reality are up for grabs now, which is both exciting and terrifying, but it also makes the role of a professional journalist all the more important.”
question of how we will survive and thrive, but who will survive and thrive. How do you define resilience and what do you see as the importance of resilience in addressing the crises the world is facing today? Resilience is a complicated word, but basically, I take it to mean the opposite of brittle. We live in a rapidly changing world, not just because of the rapid movement of information and the increasing velocity of our economy, but because the climate crisis is destabilizing the very operating system of our planet. The world is getting hotter, the seas are rising, storms are getting more intense. All this will drive more migration (not just of humans, but of all living things, from trees to mosquitoes, as they seek out more hospitable climates), more conflict, more turmoil, more change. To adapt to all this, and more importantly, to thrive in this new era, we will have to build cities and institutions and lives that are flexible, that embrace change, and that look forward to the world as it will be, rather than back toward the world as it was. In this new era, leaders will have to rely on science and data to explore not only how things are changing now, but how they will change five, ten, twenty years into the future. In virtually every endeavor, from career-building to environmental conservation, success today means imagining and preparing for a very different tomorrow. How critical is it for the media to focus on data and science when addressing the global pandemic and do you worry that partisanship and politics have been driving forces in the coverage?
Well, in my view, it is extremely critical for the media to focus on data and science when addressing not just the pandemic, but also the climate crisis, vaccines, and a whole host of other issues. But “the media” is hardly a monolithic beast these days. Some big cable networks, like Fox News and MSNBC, are obviously driven by partisan politics. But even here, there are differences. MSNBC makes no pretense of its political point of view, but maintains high journalistic standards of accuracy and fact. Fox News is not only partisan, but unabashedly spreads lies and disinformation if it serves their political purposes. And even within these networks, there are big differences: on Fox, Chris Wallace is an excellent journalist; Sean Hannity is a carnival barker who will say whatever it takes to pump up his ratings. The point of this is two-fold: first, that it’s very difficult to generalize about “the media” in the information swamp we all live in. Second, it’s important for us all to become savvy news consumers. That is, to get outside of our everyday information silos and same diverse news sources, and to ask tough and often uncomfortable questions about where that news is coming from and what the agenda of the news source may be. What needs to be done to drive true change around the issues of racial inequality and social injustice? That’s pretty simple. We need to elect leaders who will fight hard for changes in the laws that define and reinforce these inequities and injustices. That is the only way real change will happen. For most of us, that means getting
“I’ve come to believe that personal resilience is in some way connected with love. If you love what you do, you will stick with it, you will find a way to get it done.”
involved in local politics, raising your voice on issues you care about, and most important of all, voting. How has your personal resilience helped to drive your work? When I was in college, I took a writing class with a famous writer who would brutally criticize any student’s work he thought was weak, lazy or dishonest. Often students left the class in tears. One day, I asked him why he was so tough on our work – didn’t he think it was his job to encourage us to develop our voices as writers? He shook his head and said, “No, I feel like it’s my job to discourage as many people as I can from becoming a writer. It’s a tough life and if I can discourage you now, it might save you a lot of misery later. Besides, if you have what it takes to make it as a writer, you won’t listen to me anyway.” I’m not sure exactly what the moral of that story is, but I think about it often. I’ve come to believe that personal resilience is in some way connected with love. If you love what you do, you will stick with it, you will find a way to get it done. Just as if you love your wife or your husband or your partner, you will find a way to stick together in hard times. The real trick, in work and in life, is finding what you love. Who are some of the resilient leaders you see today? In the political realm, U.S. House majority leader Nancy Pelosi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have all been through tough times and grown stronger because of it. And of course Joe Biden, who has lost too many family members to tragedy and disease, has proven that suffering can indeed make you stronger. I also have huge respect for the grassroots leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as young activists who are making sure that leaders in rich, developed nations around the world don’t neglect their responsibility to take dramatic action to address the climate crisis. But when I think of resilient leaders, I think of Mrs. Inch, my fourth-grade science teacher, who managed, year after year, to herd 30 kids into a classroom and teach them about the wonders of biology and physics. And to do it with such devotion and enthusiasm that, even now, decades later, I can still hear her voice in my head saying, “Every frog is a little miracle of nature.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The Great Good Place” An Interview with Mitchell Kaplan, Founder, Books & Books EDITORS’ NOTE Mitchell Kaplan, admired, those from the past and those a Miami Beach native, founded stores I continued to visit when I was Books & Books in 1982. Located in younger. Stores like Shakespeare and Coral Gables, Florida, Books & Books Company in Paris, where James Joyce expanded to its present location in and the Lost Generation found a home, 2000. Housed in a MediterraneanThe Gotham Book Mart in New York styled building, the bookstore hosts City, where Borges was read to on each over sixty events a month, consisting of his trips to the city when he develof author readings and signings, demoped blindness, and City Lights in San onstrations and workshops, live music, Francisco, home to the Beats and where reading and discussion groups, proAllen Ginsberg first read Howl, became gramming for children and families, my north stars when I envisioned what I Mitchell Kaplan and a variety of other communitywanted Books & Books to become. From based events. All of this is achieved in that Coral Gables store we now have five an old world setting of floor-to-ceiling wood book- more stores in South Florida and an affiliated partshelves, wood floors, and a courtyard café, man- nership with Judy Blume and her store in Key West. aged by James Beard-award winning Chef Allen The notion of the “great good place” Susser. In April 2005, Books & Books opened a loca- informs everything I do, and I think that attitude tion inside the Bal Harbour Shops Mall, specializing is what has led to our sustainability for almost in high-end art and design books and continues forty years. People love to congregate outside the tradition of the Coral Gables and Miami Beach of their home and work; that has become excrubookstores with a full schedule of author events and ciatingly clear during this pandemic. A bookprograms. I The Café/Bookstore Books & Books at store, my bookstore, is just such a place. We the Adrienne Arsht Center opened in 2015, and have cafes, we present authors and we make in 2016 Books & Books partnered with the Studios our space available to groups of all kinds. All of Key West and opened a store under the guid- of this helps build community and community ance of Judy Blume and her husband, George. makes us all stronger and able to face whatever Books & Books is also conveniently located at challenges we must. Miami’s International Airport. In the spring of How do you describe your leadership 2017, Books & Books opened another community- style and what do you see as the keys to centered bookstore in Pinecrest, a city in Miami-Dade effective leadership? County, at the Suniland Shops. A new location opened recently in Coconut Grove on Main Highway. Books & Books was named Bookstore of the Year in 2015 by Publishers’ Weekly. Kaplan is a co-founder of Miami Book Fair and serves as the Chairperson of its Board of Advisors. He is the former President of the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and also served on the Board of ABFFE, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. In 2011, Kaplan received the National Book Foundation’s prestigious “Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.”
I try my hardest to not be a controlling leader and that was initially hard. I started my business from scratch and for a long time I was its only employee. As the years have rolled on, I believe that my biggest leap forward is my ability to delegate. With that comes the need to allow others to make mistakes without completely dispiriting them. I love it when I feel I can teach those who work with me what I know, and I love it even more when they do what I do and do it better. It’s also extremely important that they develop a kind of passion and the satisfaction that brings. Bookselling isn’t the most lucrative field, but it can be the most satisfying and that’s what I want to foster in others. What are the keys to independent bookstores remaining relevant and current with the disruption taking place in the industry? There has never been a more important time to be an independent bookseller in an independent bookstore. Like much of what’s happening in retail, much is broken in the world of publishing. What’s not broken is the ability to publish important, relevant and vital books that are so important as the world is in the process of remaking itself. Distribution is the main problem facing our industry. How does an author’s book find its readership? With so many books published, guides – responsible and
“Like much of what’s happening in retail, much is broken in the world of publishing. What’s
not broken is the ability to publish important,
Will you provide an overview of Books & Books and what have been the keys to its success? I founded Books & Books in 1982. I graduated college with a BA in English and after a brief stint in law school and teaching high school for three years, I found a small store in Coral Gables, Florida, that I was able to convert to a bookstore. My inspiration came from all the bookstores I 102 LEADERS
relevant and vital books that are so important as the world is in the process of remaking itself.”
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“The notion of the ‘great good place’ informs everything I do, and I think that attitude is what has led to our sustainability for almost forty years. People love to congregate outside of their home and work; that has become excruciatingly clear during this pandemic. A bookstore, my bookstore, is just such a place.”
trusted guides – are necessary to get the word out about what’s new and what’s important. This happens best through an independent bookstore and, even more important, through a vibrant, diverse and economically healthy independent channel. When the means of distribution is centralized, as it is through Amazon, we run the risk of having one of the more fundamental means of getting ideas and important voices under the control of very few. The healthiest way to keep our ongoing discussions alive and to find the voices of emerging thinkers and literary artists is to ensure that there are thousands and thousands of guides offering what publishers and writers have to contribute to our national discourse. How has Books & Books adapted its business to address the challenges from the pandemic? Almost overnight, Books & Books has moved into the virtual world. We’ve always had a website and encouraged some online ordering, but our site was mostly informational. As we had to lockdown and were closed for many weeks, we made sure to let our community of customers know how important it is to support us if we’re still to be a force for good in South Florida. We ramped up our ability to take orders online, we moved our in-person events to virtual online events, and our community has responded. Although we’re operating at a fraction of the business we had before the worst of the pandemic, with expense trimming and with some early government support through PPP loans, we’re working our way through all of these challenges. What kept us going, I believe, was that we’ve always kept a dialog with our customers and that’s what we continue to do and I know that everyone, even when not going out in the same way they once did, appreciates even more the importance of places they identify with. How important is it for Books & Books to be an active member of the communities it serves? This is why I do what I do. Serving our community is why I opened a bookstore; it’s why I cofounded the Miami Book Fair, to bring authors and their readers together to create the next generation of readers, to find audiences for writers who feel isolated because of their color, gender, nationality or economic standing is, for me, the greatest gift I can give and is the most rewarding calling I have. In the future, I hope to find ways to double down on all of this; there’s lots of work that still needs to be done VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
and I’m working on ways to open up bookselling to neglected parts of South Florida and to put books in the hands of young people who still don’t have the means to develop libraries of their own. How do you define resilience and what are the key characteristics of a resilient company? Resilience is baked into everything a bookstore owner does. I opened during an economic downturn in the early 80’s, I had to overcome the rise of the “super store” phenomenon, the discounters put thousands of stores out of business, and then the internet and internet shopping behemoths like Amazon continued the slaughter. Resilience is the ability to be tough and to find ways to overcome obstacles and the only way I could rouse the spirit to fight these good fights was because of the passion I have to be a bookstore owner. I would not allow myself to be defeated. That has meant that I had to be wily, constantly environmentally scanning, knowing what innovations were out there in retail and in the book business, but also knowing who my allies are and having a very clear vision of what Books & Books is and to stay the course even in the face of such adversity. I continue to be guided in the firm belief that there is a community of people who want what Books & Books has to offer and we must make sure to communicate with them every opportunity we have.
As a business leader, how are you able to build a resilient culture within your organization? Listening to every stakeholder in my company is the most important thing I can do to build resiliency, while at the same time be as transparent as possible about every aspect of the bookstore’s business. Its successes, failures and challenges allow everyone to buy into the stores’ ability to find solutions to problems and to have everyone feel empowered to make changes. When employees understand just what Books & Books is about and have a clear sense of our culture, I give them latitude even when they make mistakes. A sense of pride in what we do must give members of the Books & Books team the same kind of satisfaction it gives me. Do you feel that resilience is something a person is born with or can it be taught? This is the hardest question of all. The nature versus nurture question has never been adequately answered as far as I know. There are those who have a can-do attitude in the face of any challenge and there are those who shy away from any difficult situation. I guess I believe that unless someone is so pessimistic and set in their ways, good patterning by a leader and developing a work culture where one can safely take chances on making decisions that might turn out badly can influence whether or not someone will face problems with the necessary resilience.
“Resilience is the ability to be tough and to find ways to overcome obstacles and the only way I could rouse the spirit to fight these good fights was because of the passion I have to be a bookstore owner. I would not allow myself to be defeated.”
Resilience Books Compiled by the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive Jim Afremow
Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness Rich Hanson; Forrest Hanson
The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice - Crossing Antarctica Alone Colin O’Brady
Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery Daniel Aldrich
Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back Anne Marie Healy; Andrew Zolli
Taking the Helm Dawn Riley; Cynthia Flanagan
We Fed an Island José Andrés
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand
The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why Amanda Ripley
Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance Alex Hutchinson
Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration David Roberts
The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them) Lucy Jones
One Hundred Victories: Special Ops and The Future of American Warfare Linda Robinson
Surviving the Extremes Kenneth Kalmer
The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life Ben Sherwood
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou Tears of Salt: A Doctor’s Story Pietro Bartolo; Lidia Tilotta Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity Drew Brees The Greatest Generation Tom Brokaw The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown
American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation of Manhattan of 9/11 James Kendra; Tricia Wachtendorf
Island of Hope, Island of Tears David Brownstone; Irene Frank; Douglass Brownstone
Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery Scott Kelly
The Fighters C.J. Chivers The Resilience Advantage: Stop Managing Stress and Find Your Resilience Richard Citrin; Alan Weiss Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina Misty Copeland Operation Thunderbolt Saul David The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland Jim DeFede Maiden Tracy Edwards; Tim Madge Notes on a Shipwreck Davide Enia The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back David Hallberg Emotional Intelligence: Resilience Harvard Business Review 104 LEADERS
Endurance Alfred Lansing Isaac’s Storm: A Man, A Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History Erik Larson Eyes Wide Open Isaac Lidsky Long Walk to Freedom Nelson Mandela Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead Jim Mattis; Bing West Cast Away: True Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis Charlotte McDonald-Gibson Resilience: Faith, Focus, Triumph Alonzo Mourning; Dan Wetzel The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives Viet Thanh Nguyen Find a Way: The Inspiring Story of One Woman’s Pursuit of a Lifelong Dream Diana Nyad
The Land Between Two Rivers: Writing in an Age of Refugees Tom Sleigh Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch Sally Bedell Smith A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster Rebecca Solnit My Beloved World Sonia Sotomayor Clutch: Excel Under Pressure Paul Sullivan Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency James Tobin Night Elie Wiesel My Life: Queen of the Court Serena Williams Endurance Frank Worsley I am Malala Malala Yousafzai VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
Resilience Playlist Compiled by the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center “Hello” Adele
“Color Esperanza” Diego Torres
“Circle of Life” from Lion King
“Hold On” Alabama Shakes
“That’s What Friends Are For” Dionne Warwick
“What a Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong
“Girl on Fire” Alicia Keys
“God’s Plan” Drake
“Vivir Mi Vida” Marc Anthony
“Rise Up” Andra Day
“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls
“Hero” Mariah Carey
“Tomorrow” from Annie “Wake Up” Arcade Fire “Respect” Aretha Franklin “One Brick at a Time” from Barnum “Long Promised Road” Beach Boys
“One” Ed Sheeran “I’m Still Standing” Elton John “Hero” Family of the Year
“Change” Mavis Staples “Heal the World” Michael Jackson “The Climb” Miley Cyrus
“Don’t Stop” Fleetwood Mac
“Float On” Modest Mouse
“Dog Days Are Over” Florence and the Machine
“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” Monty Python
“The End” Beatles
“Don’t Rain on my Parade” from Funny Girl
“Let It Be” Beatles “Lean on Me” Bill Withers
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” Gerry and the Pacemakers
“Light” from Next to Normal
“Get Up, Stand Up” Bob Marley
“Survivor/I Will Survive Mashup” from Glee
“Seize the Day” from Newsies
“Coming Out of the Dark” Gloria Estefan
“Stand By Me” Otis Reading
“I Will Survive” Gloria Gaynor
“Happy” Pharrel Williams
“I Am What I Am” Gloria Gaynor
“Steam Heat” Pointer Sisters
“Electricity” from Billy Elliott “It’s My Life” Bon Jovi “The Joke” Brandi Carlile “My City of Ruins” Bruce Springsteen “The Impossible Dream” Brian Stokes Mitchell “Just the Way You Are” Bruno Mars “I Feel the Earth Move” Carole King “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel “La Vida es un Carnaval” Celia Cruz “That’s the Way It Is” Celine Dion
“The Fighter” Gym Class Heroes “History Has Its Eyes on You” from Hamilton “Let It Go” Idina Menzel “No One Is Alone” from Into the Woods “Get Up Offa That Thing” James Brown
“Smile” Nat King Cole
“The Show Must Go On” Queen “Don’t Stop Me Now” Queen “Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime “Fight Song” Rachel Platten
“Fire & Rain” James Taylor
“Will I” from Rent
“We Shall Overcome” Joan Baez
“The Cup of Life” Ricky Martin
“Imagine” John Lennon
“A Change is Gonna Come” Sam Cooke
“You Raise Me Up” Josh Groban
“Up!” Shania Twain
“Fighter” Christina Aguilera
“Don’t Stop Believing” Journey
“Never Give Up” Sia
“Viva La Vida” Coldplay
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” Judy Garland
“Climb Every Mountain” from Sound of Music
“I’m Here” from Color Purple
“Soon It’s Gonna Rain” Julie London
“Glory” Common and John Legend
“When You Walk Through a Storm” Kari Ragan
“Carry On” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“Walking on Sunshine” Katrina and the Waves
“True Colors” Cyndi Lauper
“Rise” Katy Perry
“You’ve Gotta Have Heart” from Damn Yankees
“Stronger” Kelly Clarkson
“You Will be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen
“Raise You Up/Just Be” from Kinky Boots
“Eye of the Tiger” Survivor “Light My Fire” The Doors “New Slang” The Shins “I Won’t Back Down” Tom Petty “Stuck in a Moment” U2
“Born This Way” Lady Gaga
“Riptide” Vance Joy
“Shallow” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“Defying Gravity” from Wicked
“Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Misérables
“One Moment in Time” Whitney Houston
“All I Do is Win” DJ Khaled “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” Diana Ross
“One Day More” from Les Misérables
“Singin’ in the Rain” Debbie Reynolds “Survivor” Destiny’s Child
VOLUME 43, NUMBER 4
“When You Believe” Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey LEADERS 105