In Focus: A closer look at many of today’s most important issues

Tackling society’s greatest challenges requires close cooperation between the business, academic and non-profit worlds. These videos introduce you to a number of individuals and organizations who are forging these partnerships. They discuss the issues they face and share their visions for a sustainable and inclusive future for everyone.

Part of our ESG strategy and our platform is stakeholder engagement, and we consider it to be a critical part of the decision-making process at our company. It gives us perspectives from those who live in the communities, who experience some of the challenges that we face as a global economy.” -Andrew Plepler, Bank of America

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A green thumb holds the key to reducing carbon emissions

Mark Tercek, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy

“It’s possible to reduce carbon emissions by a third simply by restoring the natural world,” notes Mark Tercek, President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy. He explains how governments and philanthropists can work with corporate partners on large-scale projects, such as replanting forests, that protect biodiversity, improve water quality and strengthen communities.

All you need is love…and a good story

Dave Isay, Founder of Storycorps

As the divides in our nation become ever more evident, the simple act of listening to another person can help “bind us together again as a country,” says Dave Isay, Founder of StoryCorps. He explains the power of “a story that comes from someone’s heart” to connect people of disparate backgrounds and beliefs.

Mentorship is a two-way street

Nathaniel Cole, Executive Director of Urban Alliance DC

For many students in high school, envisioning the next step in their lives and careers can be a daunting prospect. One way of connecting them with valuable lessons and experiences that can help them become productive in their working life is through mentoring. Nathaniel Cole, Executive Director of Urban Alliance DC, talks about how mentoring programs can help young people explore opportunities they might not have otherwise imagined, while also enabling companies to see the value in local talent.

Investing in second chances

Maria Kim, President and CEO, Cara

Since its inception 25 years ago, the Cara Program has found permanent employment for more than 5,000 people, many of whom were struggling with homelessness and poverty. Maria Kim, its president and CEO, lays out the importance of investing, both personally and professionally, in people affected by poverty, and how setting them on a path of economic inclusion can rebuild families and lift up generations.

Economic prosperity in the Latino community

Janet Murguia, President and CEO of Unidos US

Latinos, the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S., need access not just to jobs but to capital in order to achieve prosperity, maintains Janet Murguia, president and CEO of UnidosUS, an advocacy group. She stresses the importance of her organization’s partnerships with businesses that want to create upward mobility for everyone.

Social justice starts with understanding

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO, Anti-Defamation League

For more than 100 years, the Anti-Defamation League has fought not just anti-Semitism but all forms of bigotry. As its CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, points out, the key is to connect people through every means available: the education and law enforcement communities, the private sector, and government.

America’s most resilient cities

Austan Goolsbee, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

The U.S. cities that have been able to weather economic downturns are, not coincidentally, the ones that have invested significantly in training their workforce. As Austan Goolsbee, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, notes, the skills themselves are only one of the ways that workers—and communities—benefit.

In Chicago the future is female

Mark Tebbe, Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

More than 30% of new businesses in Chicago are started by women—the highest rate of any U.S. city—thanks to efforts such as ChicagoNEXT, which focuses on creating opportunities in technology. Its chairman, Mark Tebbe, makes the point that “in order to be competitive in today’s environment, we need to include the entire community.”


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