Brave New World: How Can Corporate Governance Adapt?

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Mar 18, 2019
by Louise Hallman
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Brave New World: How Can Corporate Governance Adapt?

New report shares insights from the fourth annual program of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum

New technologies, societal trends, and some corporate stakeholders are increasingly challenging traditional principles of corporate governance. Even experienced directors may find it hard to fully understand the implications of such changes for the way they perform their tasks and how they evaluate risk. At the same time, new markets are emerging – not only geographic, but also in new products and services.

The fourth annual program of the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum, Brave New World: How Can Corporate Governance Adapt?, sought to address some of these challenges. Bringing perspectives and experience spanning six continents and 13 countries, for three days the 40 company directors and senior managers; judges, regulators, and policymakers; lawyers; academics; fund managers; and representatives of key civil society interest groups, explored the fundamentals of corporate governance and asked how boards can build an appropriate corporate culture, monitor adherence to that culture in this fast-moving world, and address the need to understand and rise to meet new challenges to traditional principles of corporate governance.

The Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum was launched in 2015 to enable critical thinking on the changing roles and responsibilities of directors across jurisdictions and cultures. The highly interactive program takes place in plenary and breakout sessions without any pre-designated speakers, panels, or formal presentations. Small group conversations allow for intense exploration of specific aspects of the general themes, returning to the plenary to refine conclusions. Adherence to the Chatham House Rule ensures an open and free exchange among peers.

This new report aims to capture that exchange and share it beyond the candid yet closed discussions of Schloss Leopoldskron and the Salzburg Global Corporate Governance Forum.

Download report (PDF)

Opening the report is an article from Salzburg Global Fellow, international technology strategist, advisor, and entrepreneur, Anastassia Lauterbach. Entitled “What questions should boards be asking about the potentially unintended ethical consequences of AI?” Lauterbach’s article also opened what is a new initiative for the Forum: a new monthly online discussion series – the Salzburg Questions for Corporate Governance.

Accompanying Lauterbach’s article is an executive summary of the discussions in Salzburg, authored by program rapporteur and Sherman & Sterling associate P. Sean Kelly. Fellows’ discussions, recommendations, takeaways, and questions focused on five key areas:

  • Artificial intelligence and corporate governance considerations;
  • Corporate social responsibility;
  • Establishing good corporate culture;
  • Adapting to the evolving role of the shareholder; and
  • The evolution of technology and the role of boards of directors.

Many of these areas of discussion will be further addressed in the Salzburg Questions series. To receive notifications of when each month’s article is published, please follow Salzburg Global Seminar on LinkedIn and sign up to our dedicated mailing list: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/corpgov/newsletter


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 program was held in partnership with Shearman & Sterling LLP and CLP Group, and sponsored by Bank of America, Barclays, BNY Mellon, Elliott, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft.