Do Values Matter...Now?

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Some say we’ve lost our truth north…as individuals, as companies, as countries.  We’ve abandoned the values that formed the basis for our behavior.  We’re more focused on what benefits us and our families, without much regard for our communities or our country.  Is that so?  If so, what has caused it and what are the ramifications of such a fundamental shift in behavior?  Does it threaten democracy itself?  

You may feel such fears are overblown, that we are still operating from a set of values we believe in and are proud of.  If so, what are some examples?  Who is getting it right?

In this episode of The Reed Smith Conversations, you’ll hear from people on all sides of this issue…tell us what you think!

Our panelists on this podcast

Chris Anderson

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Chris Anderson is the Curator of TED, a nonprofit devoted to sharing valuable ideas, primarily through the medium of ‘TED talks’ – short talks that are offered free online to a global audience. 

Chris was born in a remote village in Pakistan in 1957.  He spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his parents worked as medical missionaries, and he attended an American school in the Himalayas for his early education.  After boarding school in Bath, England, he went on to Oxford University, graduating in 1978 with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics.

Chris then trained as a journalist, working in newspapers and radio, including two years producing a world news service in the Seychelles Islands.

Back in the UK in 1984, Chris was captivated by the personal computer revolution and became an editor at one of the UK’ s early computer magazines.  A year later he founded Future Publishing with a $25,000 bank loan. The new company initially focused on specialist computer publications but eventually expanded into other areas such as cycling, music, video games, technology and design, doubling in size every year for seven years.  In 1994, Chris moved to the United States where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine and creator of the popular video game users website IGN.  Chris eventually merged Imagine and Future, taking the combined entity public in London in 1999, under the Future name. At its peak, it published 150 magazines and websites and employed 2,000 people.

This success allowed Chris to create a private nonprofit organization, the Sapling Foundation, with the hope of finding new ways to tackle tough global issues through media, technology, entrepreneurship and, most of all, ideas. In 2001, the foundation acquired the TED Conference, then an annual meeting of luminaries in the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design held in Monterey, California, and Chris left Future to work full time on TED.

He expanded the conference’s remit to cover all topics, including science, business and key global issues, while adding a fellows program, which now has some 300 alumni, and the TED Prize, which grants its recipients “one wish to change the world”.  The TED stage has become a place for thinkers and doers from all fields to share their ideas and their work, capturing imaginations, sparking conversation and encouraging discovery along the way.

In 2006, TED experimented with posting some of its talks on the Internet. Their viral success encouraged Chris to begin positioning the organization as a global media initiative devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’, part of a new era of information dissemination using the power of online video. In June 2015, the organization posted its 2,000th talk online.  The talks are free to view, and they have been translated into more than 100 languages with the help of volunteers from around the world. Viewership has grown to approximately one billion views per year.

Continuing a strategy of radical openness’, in 2009 Chris introduced the TEDx initiative, allowing free licenses to local organizers who wished to organize their own TED-like events. More than 9000 such events have been held, generating an archive of 80,000 TEDx talks.  And three years later, the TED-Ed program was launched, offering free educational videos and tools to students and teachers.

The TED organization is based in New York where Chris lives with his wife Jacqueline Novogratz.


Ranajoy Basu

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Ranajoy has several years experience in structured finance, securitisations, derivatives, debt capital markets and debt restructurings. He has advised a wide range of participants, including arrangers, originators, servicers and trustees, in connection with the securitisation of a wide variety of assets in numerous jurisdictions. His experience includes Covered Bond transactions, standalone RMBS deals, emerging market securitisations, infrastructure financings, segregated asset pool programmes, Master Trust programmes, ABCP conduits, Medium Term Note programmes, renewable energy project bonds and synthetic securitisations. He is dual qualified in England and India.


Tamara Box

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Tamara Box is an internationally recognised expert in financial structuring and in strategic financial advice, with more than 24 years of experience establishing and growing successful businesses in several jurisdictions.   As the Managing Partner, Europe & Middle East at international law firm Reed Smith LLP, she is a member of the six partner senior management team of the global firm and also responsible for the six offices in Europe and the Middle East, including more than 500 lawyers.  Tamara sits on the global board of the firm, one of the largest law firms in the world with over $1.1 billion in revenues and more than 27 offices in the US, Middle East, Europe and Asia. 

An American citizen who is dual-qualified to practice law in both the US and the UK, she has worked and lived in the US, Asia, and Europe, while advising clients all over the world, including in the Middle East, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, the UK and Asia. 

She has lived in London since 1997 and has established herself not only in legal and financial circles but also in areas of sponsorship, mentoring and networking.  She is a founding member of the Steering Committee of the 30% Club, a group of Chairmen and CEOs dedicated to increasing the gender balance of corporate boards and the executive pipeline.  Tamara is a member of the Court of Governors of the London School of Economics (LSE) as well as a member of the Audit Committee of the LSE.  She is also a member of The Committee of 200 (C200), an invitation-only membership organisation of the world’s most successful women business leaders. 

Tamara is the chair of the “Women of Influence” campaign for the charity Cancer Research UK, which both fundraises to support women scientists in the world of cancer research and provides cross industry mentorship to such female scientists. Finally, Tamara also sits on the Advisory Board of Theirworld, an international children's charity founded by Gordon and Sarah Brown that seeks to change the lives of children all over the world through various health and education initiatives.

Her expertise in finance has contributed to her receiving numerous awards, including being nominated every year since its inception in 2011 and the only two time winner of “Best in Structured Finance” at Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Awards.  She is annually included in the list of The Legal 500’s Legal Experts, the Chambers’ UK Guide, and the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and was recognised as one of the “Hot 100” by The Lawyer magazine for 2014.   She was also nominated by clients for an award for leadership in client service by The Lawyer magazine in 2014.  She was named a top 30 Inspirational Woman and Champion of Diversity by Brummel Magazine in 2015.  She was awarded Rising Star Champion in the We Are the City Rising Star Awards in 2016 and also won the Women of the Future’s Mentor of the Year award in 2016.

Tamara holds an honours degree in Monetary Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science as well as an honours degree from Georgetown Law Centre in Washington, D.C. 


Peter Cappelli

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Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources.  He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, served as Senior Advisor to the Kingdom of Bahrain for Employment Policy from 2003-2005, and since 2007 is a Distinguished Scholar of the Ministry of Manpower for Singapore.  He has degrees in industrial relations from Cornell University and in labor economics from Oxford where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has been a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution, a German Marshall Fund Fellow, and a faculty member at MIT, the University of Illinois, and the University of California at Berkeley. He was a staff member on the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Commission on Workforce Quality and Labor Market Efficiency from 1988-’90, Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, and a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on Post-Secondary Improvement at Stanford University.  Professor Cappelli has served on three committees of the National Academy of Sciences and three panels of the National Goals for Education.  He was recently named by HR Magazine as one of the top 5 most influential management thinkers, by NPR as one of the 50 influencers in the field of aging, and was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.  He received the 2009 PRO award from the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruiters for contributions to human resources.  He served on Global Agenda Council on Employment for the World Economic Forum and a number of advisory boards. 

Professor Cappelli’s recent research examines changes in employment relations in the U.S. and their implications.  These publications The New Deal at Work: Managing the Market-Driven Workforce, which examines the decline in lifetime employment relationships, Talent Management: Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty, which outlines the strategies that employers should consider in developing and managing talent (named a “best business book” for 2008 by Booz-Allen), and The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders are Revolutionizing Management (with colleagues), which describes a mission-driven and employee-focused approach to strategy and competitiveness.  His 2012 book Managing the Older Work (with Bill Novelli) dispels myths about older workers and describes how employers can best engage them. Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs identifies shortfalls with current hiring practices and training practices and has been excerpted in Time Magazine(online) and reviewed in the Wall Street JournalThe New Yorker, and most major business publications. Will College Pay Off? explores the relationship between college degrees and jobs, identifying the factors that determine whether investments in college degrees will lead to good jobs. It was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and excerpts appeared in Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and other publications.  Related work on managing retention, electronic recruiting, and changing career paths appears in the Harvard Business Review where the article Why We Love to Hate HR was the cover story of the August,2015 issue. The Performance Appraisal Revolution with Anna Tavis appear in the November issue of HBR in 2016


Ken Doctor

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Ken Doctor is an analyst with a ringside seat at the greatest story ever told about the global news media industry. As a media analyst and consultant for his own Newsonomics company, he fully employs more than 40 years of experience across a wide range of media. His quest: find and share new sustainable business models that will employ the next generation of journalists.

He’s become a go-to speaker, press source and consultant for legacy and emerging press around the world, talking about emerging Newsonomics.

Ken can be found at @kdoctor on Twitter. He writes regularly on the business of media change for The Street, POLITICO and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab.

He is at work on his second book, following “Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get,” which has been translated into Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Russian. All of his work is freely available on his the Newsonomics.com website.


John Fairhurst

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John Fairhurst was appointed Executive Director of Programs in July 2015. Prior to this he was the COO at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a Geneva based organisation focusing on improving nutrition in developing countries, primarily through public private partnership and increasing the impact of markets that the poor access.

His career has bridged the private sector and not-for-profit sectors and his drive has been to bring a greater convergence of the value that both provide. He helped establish and manage the program portfolio of the largest private foundation on international development in the UK, the Children's Investment Fund (CIFF). He has worked for Oxfam as a Regional Manager in East Africa overseeing development and humanitarian programs in an area covering from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Eritrea, as well as working as the Country Director in Afghanistan, and in Northern Sri Lanka. He was also a board member of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a major mines clearance organisation.


Safeena Husain

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Safeena Husain is the Founder and Executive Director at Educate Girls – a non-profit organisation that aims at tackling issues at the root cause of gender inequality in India’s education system.

After graduating from the London School of Economics, Safeena spent 15 years working with grassroots projects in Ecuador, Mexico, Bolivia, South Africa & Asia. In India, Safeena chose the agenda closest to her heart – girls’ education. Safeena together with a local team, conducted a 50- school project in Pali district, Rajasthan. Post its successful test phase, Safeena established Educate Girls as an NGO in 2007. With focus on enrollment, retention and learning, in the last eight years, Educate Girls has metamorphosed into a 12,000+ schools program with over 3.8 million total beneficiaries of its programmatic interventions.

Safeena’s efforts to bridge the gender gap in education in India have been widely recognized. Under her leadership, Educate Girls has received the prestigious 2015 Skoll Award, 2014 WISE Award, the 2014 USAID Millennium Alliance Award and the 2014 Stars Impact Award and the India Development Marketplace Award in 2011 from the World Bank. Moreover, in 2013, she received the British Asian Trust’s Special Recognition Award from HRH Prince Charles for outstanding contribution in education.


PD Villarreal

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Elpidio (“PD”) Villarreal is Senior Vice President - Global Litigation of GlaxoSmithKline.  He leads a team of approximately 50 lawyers, paralegals and other professionals, and has responsibility for all of the Company’s non-patent litigation.  Prior to joining GSK, PD was Vice President for Litigation at Schering Plough from 2005 to 2009.  From 1995 to 2005, PD was Senior Litigation Counsel for the General Electric Company.  Before GE, PD was a partner at what is now the Dentons firm in Chicago.  He is a 1982 graduate of Columbia University (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a 1985 graduate of the Yale Law School.  He clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago for the Late Honorable Luther M. Swygert.