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Kirabo Jackson: Investing in Education Delivers Exponential Results

We frequently hear the complaint: Our education systems – particularly public education – are broken. Invest in these approaches? That’s just throwing good money after bad. For example, investing in Head Start may make sense. In other cases, investing in K-12 might be the right approach. But coordinate and sustain ongoing investment in both? Forget it. Only, it turns, out: That’s not what the data show. And that’s not the conclusion of Kirabo Jackson, a Northwestern University professor,...


Nikhil Sinha: Creating a Global Silicon Valley

You know Silicon Valley – that magical place were people, ideas, investment, and opportunities have come together for years to generate the next generation of disruptive businesses. The big challenge for Silicon Valley has not been bringing all of those assets from around to the world to one place in Northern California – it’s been how to bring Silicon Valley to the world. Most specifically: How do you scale (to use a start-up word) the key elements around a start-up environment and...


Lee Clark-Sellers on Purposeful Innovation

Not only is innovation perhaps one of the most overused words in business, it also might be one of the most misunderstood. Many people think of innovation as “eureka” moments. It’s not. Those are “eureka” moments. Instead, as you’ll hear, innovation requires purpose, design, process, and, yes, the room to take some chances. Lee Clark-Sellers is the Innovation Officer at Ply Gem Industries. Sellers is systematically integrating innovation into the all areas of the company. And if you...


Josh Mohrer: A new model for the venture capital world

If you thought Uber’s network of cars is strong, you’ll be very interested to learn about a new network that two former executives are spinning off – and how they’re impacting the venture capital world. Josh Mohrer is one of those former Uber execs – he was the General Manager of Uber in NY, NJ, CT and PA and helped grow revenues there from zero to $3 billion. Now, with William Barnes, who led Uber’s West Coast ops, Josh is leveraging the entrepreneurial spirit that drove Uber and driving...


John Chambers: Connecting the Dots

You know that John Chambers has been a CEO. After all, he spent more than 25 years at Cisco, helping grow the company from $70 million when he joined in 1991, to $1.2 billion when he became CEO in 1995, to $47 billion when he stepped down as CEO in 2015. What you may not know is that Chambers is also – perhaps foremost – a teacher. In fact, it’s a big part of what he does now as founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, which describes itself as “mentors of digital innovation, who coach each...


Janet Cowell: Girls Who Invest

In many industries, the challenge of bringing more women into leadership roles – creating the opportunities to start and grow careers – remains. Financial services – alternative investments, in particular – is no exception. That’s the problem Girls Who Invest is built to address. The non-profit was founded in 2015 to inspire and empower young women to pursue asset management careers. Their goals: To see 30% of the world’s investable capital managed by women by 2030. How do they do this?...


Beth Comstock: Bringing Imagination to Your Business

If throughout its history GE brought good things to life, you might say that – along with a few select others – Beth Comstock brought imagination to GE. And if you listen to her, you will understand how to bring it your own business, too. Beth’s story, perhaps, might seem hard to imagine. She began in PR and rose to become a GE Vice Chair. Along the way, among other roles, she served as GE’s first Chief Marketing Officer in 20 years and operated GE Business Innovations. She has also left...


Jules Coleman on balancing social benefit with the bottom line

it sounds like the set up for a bad comedy routine: What is the role of morality in business -- business ethics -- today? But in an age where reputation matters – where a business’ brand and customer connections can be ruined almost faster than you can “Tweet this” – not just understanding, but doing, the right thing is more than nice… it’s a business imperative. But what is “the right thing?” For example, how should businesses balance social benefit with bottom line revenue? For whom...


Tim O'Connor, Bain & Co: What's Next for Private Equity?

For Private Equity, last year was a rocket ship. Five years of record-level fund-raising left the industry flush with capital: So called Dry powder – uncommitted funds sitting ready to invest -- hit a record high of $1.7 trillion. And for good reason. Even if PE firms found something to buy, chances are it was pricy: Buyout purchase price multiples rose to new highs. Meanwhile, with nearly 8,000 PE firms registered globally, the challenges to standout continue to grow. So what’s next for...


Michael Moe: Finding the Star Companies of Tomorrow

Where do ideas and investment intersect? Michael Moe is founder of GSV, a modern merchant bank that invests, advises, and partners with the fastest growing, most dynamic companies in the world… what they call “the Stars of Tomorrow.” As you’ll hear, GSV – which stands for Global Silicon Valley – runs various investment vehicles, including the publicly traded GSV Capital. You may know of some of the companies in the GSV vehicles have invested in: Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, Lyft, Dropbox,...


Pamela Cantor on the Science of Adversity

As we consider the various challenges any nation faces, teaching our children – preparing them with the tools required to be successful, active players in a continually evolving society – is likely one of the most important and hardest. The challenge is particularly great for children who experience various forms of trauma, including poverty. What’s required – from new insights to teacher training to school design and beyond – to help them succeed? It turns out, science has something to...


Sally Helgesen on Women's Leadership

For anyone in the workplace, the question of how to move to the next level is complex and often personal. As leaders and managers seek higher responsibility and authority and impact, we often find that the very skills that got us to where we are now aren't especially useful in moving forward. For women in the workplace, this challenge often can be even more complicated. Few people have thought, written, or spoken more on the subject than Sally Helgesen, world renown women's leadership...


Chris Whittle: Reforming Education, Globally

It is impossible to have followed Education for the last 40 years and not know Chris Whittle. He’s a serial education entrepreneur – a “reformer,” as he puts it – and as you’ll hear, he’s not done yet. After various bold ventures – founding Edison Schools, co-founding Avenues: The World School in Manhattan – Whittle is now preparing perhaps his biggest venture yet: What he calls the first modern school. It’s a global vision – K through 12 education for the globalized, connected world....


Views from World Economic Forum in Davos with Roberto Quarta, CD&R

In our continuing discussions on Davos – looking not only at what happened at The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting recently, but perhaps more importantly, what business leaders globally might expect its ongoing impact to be – we spoke with Roberto Quarta. Quarta is a longtime partner with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and serves as Chairman of CD&R Europe, based in London. He also is Chairman of global media giant WPP, as well as Chairman of Smith & Nephew, a FTSE 100 listed global...


David Novak: Views from World Economic Forum in Davos

The World Economic Forum held its annual meeting recently in the little Swiss ski town of Davos. There was plenty of snow this year, but no one focused much on hitting the slopes. This was one of the most anticipated Davos gatherings in years. The reasons are obvious: There’s a lot going on in the world today and plenty of questions: What were the reactions – and more importantly, what should business leaders globally make sure to understand? To find out, we spoke with David Novak, a...


Josh Lerner on Private Equity, Employment, and Management

It’s an age old question across all types of investing: can you have it all? In other words, can investors get the twin benefits of doing well and doing good? For the various private equity participants, the question has become more urgent over the last several years, particularly around ESG, Environmental, Social and Governance issues. As requirements around doing good increase from politicians, LPs, employees, even GPs, the need for GPs and LPs to deliver it all continues to rise. Put...


Inside the Mobile Economy with Anindya Ghose

What happens when we tap or swipe on your phone? According to industry estimates: Only some 3 and a half trillion dollars of economic value added – about 4.5% of global GDP. Welcome to the mobile economy. And if you want to understand this massive and growing engine of global economic growth, there is perhaps no better tour guide than Anindya Ghose. Anindya is the Heinz Riehl Chair Professor of Business at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He is also the author of...


How Family Firms Ensure Long-Term Value Creation with Claudia Zeisberger of INSEAD

The question seems simple: How Can Family Firms Ensure Long-Term Value Creation? But as a new report – based on interviews 123 Asia-based family firms and 14 private equity professionals – shows, the answer may be more complicated. The report is titled “The Institutionalization of Family Firms,” and it covers a significant driver of the global economy. As the study notes: “As family firms account for 70% of GDP in the global economy and 60% of global employment, the importance of long-term...


Estimating the Size of the App Economy with Morgan Reed

How important – how big and growing – is the App Economy? It’s not just the economic value, estimated at nearly $150B a year. The App Economy has added some 110K software jobs to the U.S. workforce, with 83 percent of those located outside of Silicon Valley. But how will this growth continue? How can the app economy extend beyond social media and games? How will it balance a reliance on Big and personal data with increasing calls to protect individual privacy? And what about the promise of...


What is Private Equity? - Claudia Zeisberger of INSEAD

For years, Claudia Zeisberger has found herself being asked what might seem like a straightforward question: What is Private Equity. It also might seem like a surprising question, given that global private equity assets under management run at about $2.5 trillion. It’s not like we’re talking about some hidden asset class. But the question came frequently and in different forms – sometimes about doing PE deals, other times about managing PE investments, still others about Fund Management...