Brave New World - How Can Corporate Governance Adapt?





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Oct 04, 2018
by Anna Rawe
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Brave New World - How Can Corporate Governance Adapt?

Fourth program of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum to explore how corporations can adapt to face new challenges Photo by Sergio Souza on Unsplash

As we move further into the 21st century, we move further away from the simplicity of the past and corporations face hard decisions that will shape the lives of the people within them. Decisions about new technology, new ways of managing shareholders and new expectations of the workplace must be made to meet new changes and prepare corporations for the future.

This year outcry against sexual harassment at work has made headlines all over the world, with the #metoo movement gaining global traction. This awareness has led to widespread recognition that corporations can no longer remain passive, and boards have to be responsive to any issues which arise.

Similarly demanding a response is the continued development of artificial intelligence (AI), as it promises to makes businesses more competitive and efficient while bringing to light new ethical and societal issues. This development is taking place while shareholders are pressing for greater involvement in corporate governance, and a long-term perspective must balance with short-term results.

Following on from last year’s program – The Courageous Director: Can Corporations Better Serve People, Planet, and Profit? - this year’s program of the Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance invites 40 leaders and executives to convene at Schloss Leopoldskron, in Salzburg, Austria, to work out how corporate governance can adapt to this “Brave New World.”

Brave New World: How Can Corporate Governance Adapt? is a three-day program, which will see participants address issues surrounding AI, diversity and equality and how boards can tackle these and other problems in a manner that looks forward to the company’s long-term growth, rather than just acting to ensure their short-term bottom line.

This year’s participants bring unique perspectives that might not always be found in the boardroom to explore ideas, ranging from disruptive technology to #metoo. This intergenerational group of participants brings diverse experiences from business, academic and legal backgrounds. Together, this group represents 13 countries from six continents. They will explore ideas in an intimate setting that encourages openness and interactivity.

Many of the participants are returning fellows of Salzburg Global Seminar, and continue the innovative legacy of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum. First held in 2015, the annual meeting of the Forum facilitates critical thinking on changing regulatory and economic environments, comparative practices, and the roles and duties of directors.

Charles Ehrlich, the program director at Salzburg Global Seminar responsible for this multi-year series, said, “If corporations too often ask how they can cope with the challenges and risks they see themselves facing, then they are already behind the curve.  In this fast-moving world, they should ask where they think they might be in five, ten, or 20 years - because they may unknowingly already be there. Directors of corporations will need new skills and broader focus, to ensure they are pro-active rather than re-active, pursuing both profit and public good in a rapidly changing global environment.”

The Salzburg Global program Brave New World: How Can Corporate Governance Adapt? is part of the multi-year series, the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum. The session is being held in partnership with Shearman & Sterling LLP and CLP Group. It is being sponsored by Bank of America, Barclays, BNY Mellon, Elliott, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft. More information on the program can be found here.




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