Hillary Clinton on stage


Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2019 NYTimes’s Dealbook Conference with financial pundit and author Andrew Ross Sorkin. At the eighth annual “Playing for the Long Term” conference, Sorkin spent the day interviewing some preeminent voices in business, politics and media on the biggest issues facing the world.


Here’s my take on the top three themes from the conference + reflective questions, plus leadership lessons worth remembering:


Top 3 Themes and Reflective Questions:

1. The Trust Deficit Continues

    • Trust in government, brands and even individuals wavers as we head into the 2020 election year. How can brands do better to repair trust with customers? What can news organizations, reporters and storytellers do to provide credible and objective facts without bias?

2. Technology Stealing Fire

    • When is enough technology enough? Alfred Russell Wallace (British explorer who conceived of the theory of evolution through natural selection) held the conviction that science and technology aren’t sufficient, that we need a system of ethics as strong as our curiosity, a sense of restraint equal to our restlessness. How do brand gatekeepers drive the world forward with cutting-edge technology that respects ethical and environmental boundaries?

3. Everyone is Working Around the Clock, at the Cost of Humanity

    • At least four of the CEOs/Founders of the companies who spoke discussed “working around the clock.” The technology boom has led to a culture of “all work, all the time” that is unhealthy and corrosive to society in the short and long-term. How do we restore a more normal work-life effectiveness where the ultimate barometer of success is judged by whether you’re a good well-rounded citizen, rather than a good worker?


Bill Gates on stage


Bill Gates, Microsoft Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Hillary Rodham Clinton, Former First Lady, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State and Presidential Candidate


Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb


Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber


Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Co-Chair of the United State of Women, Board President of When We All Vote


Kevin Systrom on stage


Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder of Instagram