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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 t [...]


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....


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


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...


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...


How the Internet Can Help Stop Human Rights Abuse

This is special edition of Working Capital Conversations. Sadly, there is no shortage of work these days for global human rights abuse investigators. From Syria to Yemen to Sudan and beyond, the horrible ways in which humans torture, starve, and kill other humans seems unending. We all condemn the horrors, but most of us find ourselves with little opportunity to do anything directly. Today I’m talking with someone who does. Alexa Koenig is Executive Director of the Human Rights Center...


Investing Into Uncertainty — Lessons from Endowment Investing

Warren Buffett once said on CNBC: “The world—there’s always uncertainty. Now the question is, what do you do with your money?” Buffett may have been talking about public markets – even personal – investing. But even on the institutional side, given that we are continually surrounded by uncertainty and given that stuffing cash under a mattress – while relatively certain – carries no financial return, how should today’s institutional investors think about uncertainty? More specifically, is...


Strategic Conversations: ‘The Biology of Corporate Survival’

A recent Harvard Business Review piece by Martin Reeves and Simon Levin laid out the case. It’s titled “The Biology of Corporate Survival.” Numbers explain why it matters: After reviewing the histories of more than 30,000 U.S. public firms over 50 years, the authors found that “Businesses are disappearing faster than ever before.”


Economics of Successful Partnerships: Josh Lerner

The premise behind any business partnership seems obvious: Build a structure and set of rules around performance and profits that not only create agreed upon fairness, but more importantly, position the partnership for long-term success.