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Navigating the Issues with Carol Cone

In the face of global challenges and societal shifts, Carrie sits down with Carol Cone, a pioneer in social purpose, to explore the critical role of courageous leadership in navigating the complexities in the year ahead.

The imperative for companies to adopt a holistic approach that integrates business strategy with social impact initiatives is at the forefront. For Cone, that comes in the form of the “power of and” – the ability to simultaneously pursue short-term value while investing in long-term sustainability. It’s an example of cognitive dissonance, sure, but with examples like Eli Lilly’s commitment to affordable insulin and Macy’s alignment with diverse suppliers, it’s clear: the approach can work.

Carrie and Carol delve into the rapidly evolving storm of artificial intelligence (AI). While AI holds immense promise for augmenting human capabilities, what should we be concerned with when it comes to the potential for deep fakes and the need for ethical guidelines in this space? What happens when organizations approach the tools with training and understanding rather than fear? 

Climate change remains a pressing issue, and Carol highlights the growing number of companies investing in sustainability. She cites IBM’s Sustainability Accelerator as an example of how large organizations are leveraging their resources to support innovative climate solutions. At a smaller scale, she emphasizes the need for collaboration between businesses and non-profits to address supply chain issues and promote social justice.

As the demand for skilled labor grows, Carol discusses the importance of new skills development. She applauds IBM’s commitment to “new collar jobs” and their recognition that college degrees are not the only pathway to successful careers. Organizations like Per Scholas are bridging the gap by providing certification programs and job placement assistance at scale.

At a time of growing polarization, this week’s conversation is a reminder that complex challenges require nuanced solutions. By spotlighting leaders who hold long and short-term needs in careful balance, Carrie and Carol offer hope in the power of business to drive social progress when rooted in purpose. With care and conviction, they compel us to expand our perspectives, collaborate across sectors, and activate our highest values in service of the greater good. Our great thanks to Carol Cone for joining us this week.

Links & Notes

This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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