During the 2016 IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland, Jess Thornton from Australia carried the weight of her nation as she attempted to win the 400m final leading up to the Rio Olympic Games.
Yet, in the midst of these Olympic-level stakes, just as the competitors came to the line, she took a moment to respectfully acknowledge Salwa Nasar from Bahrain. Nasar had recently made the heart-wrenching decision to leave her native Nigeria, where poverty robs young women of talent and potential, for the opportunity to break-out and flourish in Bahrain. Her choice was a refusal to leave her potential unrealized and Thorton’s brief moment of praise reverberated around the world.
Startups with big missions are all the rage, but here’s what it takes to build mission into a 140-year old financial giant.
Lata N. Reddy is Senior Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion & Impact at Prudential Financial, and Chair and President of The Prudential Foundation. In this concise Shift Forum talk, Reddy outlines how a 140+ year old company has hewed to its original mission by incorporating “corporate social responsibility” directly into its business practices.
Lata Reddy: It’s great to be here. I’m going to talk about how it is that a legacy company makes the shift to this new vision of capitalism that we’ve been talking about. For us at Prudential, the new vision is really rooted in the past and in the belief that everybody should have the opportunity to be financially secure.
The author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup wants to reinvent how stock markets work. Everyone thinks he’s nuts. But we currently fund US innovation with Russian mafia money and autocratic sovereign wealth funds, so….
Equity markets are literally the beating heart of capitalism, and Eric Ries wants to reinvent them. Is he crazy, or on to something big? Read on (or watch the video) for one of the most stimulating and insight-laden sessions of this year’s Shift Forum.
John Battelle: All right. I’m really pleased that Eric Ries is coming and speaking with me. He has an idea for markets that is very important for all of us to consider. He’s well known, of course, for his book, “The Lean Startup,” and his follow-up to that book.
Instead of being “that one person who made it out,” Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs went back to his hometown to see if he could be the change he wanted to see.
Upon taking office in January 2017, Michael Tubbs became both Stockton’s youngest mayor and the city’s first African-American mayor. He’s also the youngest mayor in the history of the country who represents a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. The changes he is trying to effect are bold, inspiring, and made for a riveting presentation at NewCo Shift Forum earlier this year. Below is his talk and a transcript edited for clarity.
John Battelle: When I heard about our next speaker, I reached out through formal channels, but he called me on his cell phone, which was really cool. “Hey, it’s Michael. What’s up?” I ask, “Mr. Mayor, would you please come and speak at this conference?”
A number of consequential business stories broke over the past few days, but it was hard to hear it over the braying contest between our president and his detractors (or the second and third day analysis pieces on Facebook’s journey to DC). So for your Monday morning, a review of the stories we’ve been reading since late last week. No Trump, no Comey, and very little Zuckerberg.
No one seems to know exactly why Sorrell stepped down, save “personal misconduct.” If this is how advertising agencies handle things, they deserve to be put out of their misery entirely. No transparency, no public accounting, and therefore no institutional learning and transformation. Utterly unsurprising, unfortunately.
The Chief Brand Officer of P&G on Facebook, Google, and bringing true diversity to marketing.
It isn’t easy being the CMO of any massive business — tenure is short, the demand for growth from Wall Street is relentless, and your budget is often the first to be cut. But that budget is also expected to drive that growth — an often contradictory challenge. Marc Pritchard, the Chief Brand Office of P&G, has been a CMO for more than ten years — so he must be doing something right. At the Shift Forum earlier this year, Pritchard explained his strategy for managing through significant disruption. When he started in his current role, Facebook was a tiny player, Twitter was a toy, and YouTube had no ad model.
What a difference a decade can make. In the transcript and video below, hear Pritchard on the Facebook/Google duopoly, the role of marketing as a change agent in society, and how he navigated a bruising proxy fight with a renown Wall Street raider.
The smartphone has reached more people and delivered more value faster than any technology ever seen. Much of the world has had to adapt to this arrival, but software design suffered the greatest reckoning. As the smartphone ascended, developers finally adopted reasonable design principles, realizing that they could not pack every feature ever seen into the smartphone experience. This recognition of the value of design — and especially, minimal design — is a good thing.
The Facebook CEO will testify in front of both the Senate and the House next week. Will it be memorable — or simply more of the same?
April 10 and 11, 2018 will likely create the kinds of memories for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that his own platform will remind him of for years to come. My guess is he’ll pass on the opportunity to “relive” those memories, or share them with his millions of followers. The whole thing will likely just be too painful to recount.
Then again, Zuckerberg’s testimony next week in front of a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, could prove to be the highlight of his already storied career. No matter what, it’s a historic moment — the world’s largest and most celebrated social media company, in the throes of an existential crisis driven by allegations of massive election fraud, being called to account by the world’s most powerful government, victim of samesaid fraud. It’s going to be riveting.
Four world leaders discuss the fate of democracy in North America. Put bluntly: They’re concerned.
Partnering with the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, the largest forum of former democratic leaders, the NewCo Shift Forum convened a two day workshop in February featuring world leaders from Canada, Uruguay, Latvia, Bolivia, and Finland. Four of them then joined us on stage at the main conference for a captivating conversation, hosted by John Heilemann, on the state of democracy in the United States. Given the warning on this very topic delivered by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright today, this conversation feels ever more timely.
Below is a transcript, edited for clarity, and the video of the event. I introduce the topic and the speakers first, then hand it over to Mr. Heilemann for the dialog.
Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, in a wide ranging conversation on the role of an iconic retail brand in the age of Amazon
The Starbucks brand is ubiquitous — especially for anyone who’s visited a major city around the world. But what’s less well known about the iconic company is its long term commitment to, in its CEO’s words, “redefine what it means to be a public company.” To kick off the second annual Shift Forum, we invited Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, to join us in conversation about the challenges and opportunities driving a company that, even in an age of Amazon, opens one new store somewhere in the world every four hours. Below is the video interview, in full, and a transcript, edited for clarity.
John Battelle: Please join me in welcoming Kevin Johnson. He’s got his Starbucks cup. You are on brand, brother. [laughter]