2020 Event
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
8:00–8:45 a.m.
8:45–9:15 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
9:15–9:45 a.m.
Opening Keynote
Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, The Blackstone Group
9:45–10:00 a.m.
Keynote: Q&A
10:00–11:00 a.m.
Session One
Panel: Value Creation and Corporate Purpose
Should corporate values focus on shareholder value or other stakeholders as well? What duties do companies have – and to whom are they owed? The Business Roundtable’s move to reshape the way corporations operate through a commitment to an economy that serves all Americans represents a shift from the guiding principle of shareholder value maximization of the last 40 years. The decision was met with guarded optimism and much debate from boards and leading think tanks. In this session, business leaders will discuss what the role of the corporation should be and for which stakeholders, the challenges that lie ahead, and the implications for deal making and strategy.
11:00–11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Session Two
Panel: Human Capital and the Redesign of Work
With the rise of the gig economy, remote working arrangements, automation and artificial intelligence, new workforces and paradigms of what an office can – and should be – are being born overnight. These paradigms are changing the full 360 degree of the workforce – where we work, how we work and why we work. This discussion will focus how companies are devising new ways to attract, retain and develop employees in the face of technological change and how employees, customers and suppliers communicate and collaborate – this will focus on companies with blue collar employees, and what they are doing in the face of automation. It will also discuss the philosophies behind these new methods and question whether they ultimately lead to greater productivity.
12:15–1:30 p.m.
1:00–1:30 p.m.
Lunchtime Keynote: Success as a Business Leader
Beth Ford, President and Chief Executive Officer, Land O’Lakes
1:30–2:45 p.m.
Session Three
Panel: Diversity and Inclusion – Business Case Studies on Successes and Challenges
The value of diversity and inclusion (D&I) has become well recognized; however, achieving meaningful diversity across organizations remains a challenge. We will look to businesses that are innovators in the D&I field to learn what has worked well and where challenges remain. What are the changes needed to create a truly diverse and inclusive business environment?
2:45–3:30 p.m.
Session Four
Debate: The Regulation of Big Tech – What Does the Next Decade Look Like?
You might feel déjà vu as you read about consolidation in the tech sector and corresponding debates among policymakers about the need for tougher antitrust law, huge fines, or other regulations. A similar conversation focused on Microsoft in the 1990s. But while regulators targeted Microsoft, the industry reinvented itself and produced FAANG. Have we reached a point for regulators to focus on these tech giants, or is this time different because of the importance of networks and economies of scale? Is it possible that consolidation is a necessary evil, allowing these firms to create products (e.g., Google’s big-data services) that would be impossible without consolidation? Or are we focused on the wrong issue, because the industry is again about to reinvent itself? The past decade has been the story of open source. Now industry leaders are talking about open data. Will that be the next revolution? What are the implications for the rest of the business world?
3:30–4:00 p.m.
4:00–4:30 p.m.
Session Five
Teach-In: The New Cold War – US–China Relations and Implications for Global Business
While China remains inarguably the most lucrative market for investments and production, the practice of doing business in China is far from easy. From a highly regulated consumer marketplace that favors state owned entities to intellectual property infringement to political unrest within the region, there is much cause for concern among foreign companies operating there. Furthermore, the deterioration of U.S. – China relations has forced businesses doing or looking to do business in China to find ways to hedge the political risks. This session will examine the challenges foreign companies face and strategies to successfully mitigate these risks while operating in the world’s second largest economy.
4:30–5:30 p.m.
Session Six
Panel: Where are We Headed? Growth Amid a Looming Downturn
An uncertain Brexit process, the upcoming U.S. election, a looming global trade and currency war, and increasing debt levels. Threats to economic stability globally abound. No matter how good the business environment seems, governments are preparing for another global recession. This discussion will focus on what businesses and governments are doing and can do to avoid a global recession. What lessons have been learned from the financial crisis? How can global businesses best position themselves to manage risk in the face of China / U.S. trade tensions, political uncertainty in Europe, sustainability, and other concerns – while still delivering for consumers, the communities in which they operate, and shareholders.
5:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks
Cocktail Reception