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Second-year University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student Wesley Prewett is currently living in Washington, D.C. and working with Enclude, a capital advisory firm dedicated to building a more inclusive and sustainable financial system by offering solutions that prioritize economic growth and investor returns with social transformation.
“The impact investing world is built around the idea that you can make money investing in companies whose main focus is not just making money but also having a social impact,” Prewett said. “We are trying to ensure there is an ecosystem for people who want to use their money to do good rather than just seek returns.”
Prewett is assisting Enclude’s clients with the development of social impact funds, built around mission-driven projects or companies. For the Russellville, Ark. native, Enclude is the latest in a series of stops with socially-responsible businesses and organizations.
Previous to Enclude, Prewett worked with Southern Bancorp in Little Rock, an organization that “balances profit with purpose.” He conducted a feasibility study to examine if Southern Bancorp Community Partners, the nonprofit loan fund attached to Southern Bancorp, could utilize a number of government loan-guarantee programs to build their small-business lending capacity.
For his International Public Service Project in the summer of 2018 he worked with Zoona, a mobile technology company developing financial products for underserved consumers in Zambia and Malawi. As an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, he conducted economic impact research on a Mozambique chicken farm through the Global Community Development program.
The common thread across each organization is the effort to inject moral responsibility into the financial industry.
“Both organizations (Enclude and Southern Bancorp) understand that the most realistic way we shape the world around us is by the way we spend our money,” Prewett said. “Southern Bancorp and Enclude both are they trying to shape their respective industries and prove that, through their business models, it’s possible to distribute capital in a way that is sustainable, equitable, and just.”
How were you originally connected with Enclude?
I met a couple of Enclude people last July or August when I was working at Southern Bancorp, so I knew Enclude, knew what they did, and was excited to learn about the company and how they operated. I continued to follow Enclude’s work and the impact investing industry and then Laurie Spengler, the CEO of Enclude, spoke at the Clinton School in May. I watched the live stream of the speech from South Africa and I was really impressed. I reached out to Dean Rutherford and told him I was potentially interested in working for Enclude. He sent her an email and connected me.
What has made this a priority for you?
I was a finance major at UA and had kind of decided it wasn’t really for me. I wanted to use my degree to help people. I eventually found that one way to do that was through development finance. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on mobile money in Africa and I thought it was really interesting work. I didn’t realize that the financial sector had such high potential to change people’s lives. I looked for ways to use my education to help people and started looking for companies and organizations that were changing people’s lives with socially-responsible financial services.
How do you see you work playing out long-term?
I want to continue to work in impact investing or development banking. Everyone is saying right now that you need to vote to make sure your voice is heard. While I think voting is important, I think the most important way to make sure your voice is heard is to direct your money to causes you care about who you bank with, what you invest in, what you buy at the store. You vote more with your wallet than you ever will with your ballot. I want to stay engaged with that ecosystem and make impact investing accessible so people can use their money to do good.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Dean James L. “Skip” Rutherford III will participate in the discussion “What 2018 Means for 2020: A Conversation on the Midterm Elections” at Lyon College on Thursday, December 6.
Rutherford will be joined by Lyon’s William Jefferson Clinton Professor of International Politics Bradley Gitz for the 4 p.m. discussion in the Maxfield Room of Edwards Commons on the Lyon College campus. The event, sponsored by the Lyon College political science department, is free and open to the public.
The event will be streamed live through the Lyon College Facebook page.
“Midterm elections are generally viewed as referendums on the sitting president and the president’s party,” said Rutherford. “What made 2018 unique was the significant increase in voter turnout when compared to previous mid-terms.”
As for his predictions, Rutherford said, “The Democrats won the national popular vote by large margins in 2016 and 2018 and likely will again in 2020, but Democrats will still face an electoral college challenge in 2020. Based on the 2018 vote, there are still some of the same toss-up states but others that probably should be added or removed from the list.”
When asked about the midterm election results and his predictions for 2020, Gitz, a freelance political columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, said, “I would argue that November 6 was a generally good day for Democrats and bad for the GOP… On the other hand, the Democrat take-over of the House might also actually boost Donald Trump’s re-election prospects (if he indeed chooses to run) by giving him the perfect foil of a Democratic House run by Nancy Pelosi.”
Like Rutherford, Gitz looks forward to the conversation.
“This is a case of two friends with great interest in politics but sometimes different views getting together to discuss what the midterms on November 6 mean for the next two years, including for the re-election prospects of President Trump,” he said. “It will be interesting to hear how Skip [Rutherford] sees things.”
Lyon College’s John Trimble Sr. Professor of Political Philosophy Scott Roulier will moderate the discussion.
Elaine Frigon (Class 9), has been named in-house legal counsel for Simmons First National Corporation. Frigon earned a concurrent Juris Doctor at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law.
Tony Nickerson (Class 12) has been named Ouachita District Executive for the Quapaw Area Council of Boy Scouts. Based in Little Rock, Nickerson is working in a six-county area: Clark, Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Pike, and Saline.
Amanda Cullen (Class 10) is enrolled in the Informatics Ph.D. program at the University of California, Irvine.
Andrea Price (Class 7) released her first book, “Everyday Prayers for Servant Leaders,” which includes a hundred prayers on unique topics that are important for servant leadership.
Clinton School Graduates in the News
Tatiana Riddle Hendrix (Class 9), currently working as a program officer for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, recently traveled to Vietnam to meet with customs and port officials.
Andre Breaux (Class 8) has been named to the 20 Under 40 Acadiana Leadership Team by the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.
Katie Milligan (Class 7) is among 31 fellows welcomed to the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy. The fellows will participate in the 10-month program to improve their skills in community leadership and policy development, promote regional collaboration and help drive economic growth in DRA’s eight-state region.
Acadia Roher (Class 6) published a recent blog post through UA Little Rock and its Mapping Renewal Project.
Clinton School Alumni Profiles
Announced as the new President and CEO of the Urban League of Arkansas in October, Clinton School graduate Marquita Little (Class 3) is in the early stages of a new role that is the culmination of her nearly 20-year career in public service.
Clinton School of Public Service graduate Christine Sumner (Class 5) is working in New Zealand with the Royal NZ Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Sumner, who recently completed her Ph.D. in Applied Animal Biology/Animal Welfare at the University of British Columbia, began her position in the NZSPCA’s Science and Education Department in September.
Announced as the new President and CEO of the Urban League of Arkansas in October, Clinton School graduate Marquita Little is in the early stages of a new role that is the culmination of her nearly 20-year career in public service.
“I’ve done a little of everything in terms of direct service work, systems building work, and working in a public policy and advocacy capacity,” Little said. “The Urban League really brings all of those pieces together for me.”
A civil rights organization with a mission to assure that all Arkansans have equal access to opportunities, the Urban League of Arkansas focuses on four key areas: health and wellness, housing, jobs, and education.
In addition to working on advocating and changing systems, the Urban League provides direct services in the form of health and job fairs, among others. The organization looks at what a community needs and works to offer those services, in addition to being a catalyst for broader changes.
The Urban League as a national organization is more than a century old. The Central Arkansas chapter, one of the nation’s earliest, enjoyed a 50-year history before closing its doors roughly two decades ago. In the past five years, conversations about the importance of reestablishing the organization were initiated. It reopened its doors in 2015 with a new statewide presence, including satellite offices in Helena and Springdale.
One of Little’s first major initiatives will be the Urban League’s annual luncheon on December 5. The luncheon will recognize community leaders and will feature keynote speaker and fellow Clinton School graduate and State Representative Vivian Flowers. The luncheon will also be Little’s first opportunity to publicly share her vision for the future of the Urban League.
“I’m very excited about the luncheon,” she said.
Little, who most recently worked as a health policy director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, has enjoyed a long and diverse career in the nonprofit sector.
She spent nearly a decade working in public policy with Arkansas Advocates and the Arkansas Department of Human Services. She was a program evaluation consultant with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission and handled case management and counseling work with Youth Villages in Memphis. Her career started in direct service – working with Habitat for Humanity in Dallas as part of AmeriCorps VISTA.
Little first heard about the Clinton School as an intern for Congressman Vic Snyder. Snyder and his staff paid a visit to the Clinton School in the summer of 2005.
“I thought: ‘This is really awesome.’ That was in the early stages of the Clinton School forming, but I knew I wanted to apply.”
What attracted you to this position with the Urban League?
I have had an interesting and fulling career in what I would term public service. I’ve spent my entire career either in the nonprofit sector or in government.
I’ve spent the last eight years focused on public policy work. But, I started in the nonprofit sector providing a lot of direct service work in communities. I’ve done it all in terms of direct service work versus systems building work and then working in a public policy capacity. The Urban League brings all of those pieces together for me. It’s a perfect marriage.
Do you have goals for the Urban League?
I’m certainly a “see it, fix it” kind of person. But I’ve learned that it’s important to learn the lay of the land before you try to fix everything. That is actually one of my most valuable lessons from my time at the Clinton School. Whether you’re listening to a community and trying to implement a program or change a policy, or whether you’re listening to the people who helped to build the Urban League, and the people who’ve been a part of bringing the organization back and recognized its importance, I think you have to listen initially and find your place and space.
There’s a long history and legacy to build on. And I want to make sure that I am respectful of that history, fully grasp the importance of it, and really can live that out in a way that well-represents the organization and the people of Arkansas and the national brand of the Urban League.
What were some of your standout experiences at the Clinton School?
Honestly, I think the most valuable experiences for me – and part of this is because Little Rock is home for me – are the relationships that I’ve built. I have lots of stories about people that I met through or at the Clinton School. There’s just so many of those types of stories and connections, and through them I’ve been able to build this network of great people. The faculty, the dean, everyone has continued to be helpful throughout my career. That’s been the most valuable aspect – building and being able to nurture those relationships.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) recently named and convened 20 individuals who will serve on a newly established Solidarity Council on Racial Equity (SCoRE). These inaugural members are luminaries and thought leaders from advocacy, the arts, entertainment, business, education, and media.
Three council members – Dr. Manuel Pastor, john a. powell, and Dr. David Williams – have previously served as Scholars in Residence at the Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy.
Established in 2009, the Scholars in Residence program is a designation extended to researchers, practitioners, and senior executives who have demonstrated exemplary contributions in the field of community philanthropy. Each joins The Center for one week at the Clinton School, during which time they write an essay on community philanthropy, interact with students, and faculty and present their work as a part of the Clinton School Speaker Series.
Below is a closer look at each scholar.
Manuel Pastor, Ph.D., Director, Program for Environmental And Regional Equity
October 15-19, 2012
Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California where he also serves as Director of USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and co-Director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). Founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In recent years, his research has focused on the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities in the U.S., resulting in articles published in Economic Development Quarterly, Review of Regional Studies, Social Science Quarterly, Journal of Economic Issues, Journal of Urban Affairs, Urban Affairs Review, Urban Geography, and elsewhere. He has also conducted research on Latin American economic conditions, with articles published in journals such as International Organization, World Development, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Research Review, and Foreign Affairs. His most recent book, Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton 2010; co-authored with Angela Glover Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh), documents the gap between progress in racial attitudes and racial realities, and offers a new set of strategies for both talking about race and achieving racial equity.
john a. powell, J.D., Director, Haas Center for Diversity and Inclusion
March 26-30, 2012
john a. powell is an internationally recognized scholar on race, poverty, and regional equity. Powell serves as the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, as well as the Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law. Under his leadership, The Kirwan Institute has taken a national leadership role in researching, developing, and advocating for regional solutions to problems associated with racialized space. He is also the Director of the Haas Diversity Research Center (HDRC), which supports research to generate specific prescriptions for changes in policy and practice that address disparities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomics in California and nationwide. powell has developed an “opportunity-based” framework for thinking about how an individual’s destiny is affected by a complex and interconnected web of opportunity structures that significantly affect their quality of life. Previously, Powell founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He has also served as the director of Legal Services of Greater Miami and was National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
David Williams Ph.D., Professor of Public Health, Harvard University
April 7-8, 2011
Dr. David R. Williams is the Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. His first 6 years as a faculty member were at Yale University where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health. He is an internationally recognized authority on social influences on health. His research has focused on trends and determinants of socioeconomic and racial disparities in health, the effects of racism on health and the ways in which religious involvement can affect health. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. He has been involved in the development of health policy at the national level in the U.S. He has served on the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Committee on Vital and Health StatisticsandonsixpanelsfortheInstituteofMedicineoftheNationalAcademyofSciences. Dr.Williams has also played a visible, national leadership role in raising awareness levels of the problem of health disparities and identifying interventions to address them.
Sumner, who recently completed her Ph.D. in Applied Animal Biology/Animal Welfare at the University of British Columbia, began her position in the NZSPCA’s Science and Education Department in September.
In electing to move to New Zealand to continue her career, the diversity of animal welfare issues the NZSPCA handles appealed to Sumner, as did the chance to live in a different part of the world. In her new role, she uses a full range of skills developed from her experiences working with animals as well as with different groups of people.
“I have always been concerned about animals; the family pets were always sleeping with me at nights as a kid,” Sumner said. “And I have always worked with animals. Even when I was doing teenage summer jobs, it was with animals.”
She studied primates as an undergraduate at New York University and, after graduating with a degree in anthropology, worked for five years as an animal keeper at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. She moved on to Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary in Louisiana for six additional years before enrolling at the Clinton School in 2011.
She notes that a Master of Public Service was an unusual fit for someone pursuing a career in animal welfare. But, having worked with animals daily for more than a decade, she was ready to “study humans.”
“Animal welfare For me, it was kind of stepping away from the non-human animals and studying how people in organizations integrate welfare into what they are doing.”
As part of the Clinton School’s field service curriculum she traveled to Uganda to work with Heifer International, conducting qualitative research support for an organization implementing subsistence farming practices on a chimpanzee conservation site.
The school’s commitment to qualitative research was a game-changer for her approach, and even impacted the research for her Ph.D.
“I think there was this very academic side but also this applied side that’s rooted in wanting to know more from people’s perspectives,” Sumner said. “Understanding that you’re not the expert in the room of other people’s lives and really embracing that.”
After finishing the final piece of her field service work with The Sustainability Consortium, Sumner returned to Heifer for a seven-month fellowship researching the implementation of animal wellbeing recommendations on projects in the Philippines, Cambodia, Honduras, Peru, Malawi, Zambia, and Ghana.
What can you tell us about the position you’re in now?
I’m a Scientific Officer with the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, one of the organizations that uses the title of SPCA. Down here in New Zealand, SPCA just officially turned a year old as one national institution. It’s exciting, it’s really exciting. As a scientific officer, we are mostly a support department for the rest of the organization.
In becoming one big SPCA, a huge part of the motivation was to become more effective at what they’re able to do to improve welfare in New Zealand. They philosophically take an evidence-based approach to advocating for improvements in animal welfare. Therefore, they have a science team that works for the organization.
Where you always interested in animal care?
I was always a keen little kid, always into animals. I grew up in an animal-loving family. I have always worked with animals, even when I was doing teenage summer jobs, it was with animals. In undergrad, I studied primates and then I started working in captive management fields like zoo and the sanctuary world. It wasn’t until I was working with animals in captivity that animal welfare really started to materialize as something specific. It wasn’t until then that I really started thinking deeply about what humans do to animals and how that impacts the outcomes for animals.
What are some of the skills you took from the Clinton School?
I came into my job with all these project management skills. The Clinton School is so great at that. It’s not a thesis-based program but I came in with all the professional side stuff heavily developed. You develop a project and organize it and work with others and map that out and really achieve outcomes of a project, so that was really a key attraction to me.
There are so many moving parts (in project planning) and the Clinton school really demystified it for me. It taught me how to develop an entire plan and what that means, even thinking through: Who needs to be sitting at this table? Who are we missing? Who are we not talking to right now? Also, mapping out stakeholders. Who are the people that we need to target? Planning everything and developing timelines and communicating with people – that I’m glad I learned.
The event is set for 5:30 p.m. at 601 Main Street in Little Rock. It will be streamed live on The Rep’s Facebook page.
Emerson will be singing “Fever,” a song made famous by Peggy Lee in 1958 and since covered by Elvis Presley, Madonna, and Beyoncé among others.
“This is a big deal for The Rep. This is just a huge revival, reopening,” Emerson said.
A graduate of Wright State University with a degree in musical theater, Emerson has worked as a professional actress with Actors Equity Association, performing on national tours, cruise ships, and regional theaters. She previously worked for The Rep as an actress, performing in “White Christmas” in the fall and winter of 2012.
Growing up in Jonesboro, Ark., she developed an interest through The Foundation of Arts. She says those early lessons from theater helped shape her views on public service.
“I believe you develop empathy as a performer, studying other people and putting yourself in their shoes,” Emerson said. “It forces you to see situations through the eyes of people different from yourself. The performances on stage can help create those same changes of perspective for the audience.”
In the spring, she’ll teach classes as part of Education at The Rep, which strives to engage, inspire, and empower Arkansas students of all ages through the involvement in theatre arts.
“It’s a big, exciting night for The Rep,” Emerson said of Tuesday’s Reveal Party. “It’s one of the only Equity houses in the state of Arkansas. It’s a really cool part of our community where Arkansans can interact with professional actors, kids and adults alike.”
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service second-year student Connor Donovan is serving as a research analyst for the United States Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, this fall. Donovan arrived in Beijing in late September and began work on October 10.
Donovan’s work includes studying the latest U.S.-China trade friction and its impact on U.S. companies and entrepreneurs and recommend ways the U.S. government may mitigate negative effects of higher import tariffs.
He will also help identify trade barriers to U.S. exports to China, analyze the impact of these barriers, and work with Foreign Commercial Service Officers and other trade diplomats at the Embassy to assist U.S. companies, especially small- and medium-sized exporters, with overcoming such barriers through commercial diplomacy and trade promotion activities. These activities may include, among others, trade missions, single-company promotional events, and matchmaking between U.S. companies and potential Chinese private sector business partners.
“I have had the opportunity to take on several projects as they have arisen, including taking notes during U.S.-China Foreign Commercial Service consultations or escorting guests in and out of the embassy during special events,” Donovan said. “However, day-to-day I have primarily been focusing on a larger research project related to fair trade between the United States, China, and the rest of the countries involved in the World Trade Organization (WTO).”
The U.S. Commercial Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, is an official Foreign Service agency, with offices in 65 major global markets and across the United States, including in Arkansas. Among its main goals are to increase U.S. economic growth and job creation through promoting U.S. exports and facilitating private foreign direct investment into the United States.
Donovan spent the summer of 2017 in France working with CESi Engineering School to help plan for the creation of a technopôle – a center of high-tech manufacturing and information-based quaternary industry – in the city of Angoulême.
He graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 2013 and UA Little Rock in 2017 with a degree in international business with a Chinese concentration. In addition to being voted the university’s Student Government Association President as a senior, Donovan was the recipient of the Whitbeck Memorial Award in May 2017 as the top graduating senior. He helped to establish the Arkansas Association of Students, an organization representing SGAs for public universities and community colleges in Arkansas.
“My internship experience has solidified my overall desire to pursue some sort of career that will enable me to build intercultural relationships with and between others,” Donovan said. “As I have experienced through my internship here at the embassy and through projects I have witnessed or have been a part of back in Little Rock, lives can be enriched and beneficial outcomes can be reached for all when we actively and passionately pursue building cross-cultural communication, understanding, and collaboration.”
Starting a new tradition at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, students enrolled in the Executive Master of Public Service degree program have submitted a piece of digital media – podcasts, documentaries, online lectures, etc. – that they recommend for others.
This year’s submissions include topics ranging from veteran homelessness and leadership to conversations with Jane Goodall and Paulo Freire. Eleven different TED Talks made the list, including two from Brené Brown.
Some choices were reflective of the students’ specific professions and personal interests. Kristina Root, who works as a superintendent at Mississippi River State Park, selected the podcast “Diversity in Parks.” For Valerie Carpenter, who has a strong interest in veteran homelessness, recommended a conversation on the topic from NPR.
From NPR, a tale of two cities. In New Orleans, there are signs of hope that veteran homelessness can be solved. But Los Angeles presents a very different picture.
On any given night, more than 450,000 people in the United States are locked up in jail simply because they don’t have enough money to pay bail. The sums in question are often around $500: easy for some to pay, impossible for others. This has real human consequences – people lose jobs, homes and lives, and it drives racial disparities in the legal system. In this powerful talk, Robin Steinberg outlines the plan for The Bail Project — an unprecedented national revolving bail fund to fight mass incarceration.
“A Conversation with Jane Goodall” – The Milken Institute
Conservation superstar Jane Goodall talked about her early life and the need to protect other species and our environment and ecosystems at #MIGlobal.
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
The Hunting Ground – Netflix
This exposé tackles the disturbing epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and school officials’ efforts to cover up the crimes.
Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.
“A Conversation with Paulo Freire” – The International Literacy Institute
Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire’s last public interview, given to The International Literary Institute in 1996.
Photographer Boniface Mwangi wanted to protest against corruption in his home country of Kenya. So he made a plan: He and some friends would stand up and heckle during a public mass meeting. But when the moment came … he stood alone. What happened next, he says, showed him who he truly was. As he says, “There are two most powerful days in your life. The day you are born, and the day you discover why.”
When a kid commits a crime, the US justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if saddling young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time. In this searching talk, Adam Foss, a prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston, makes his case for a reformed justice system that replaces wrath with opportunity, changing people’s lives for the better instead of ruining them.
Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.
In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.
“Diversity in Parks” – Park Leaders Show
Park Leaders is about connecting the gap between the wisdom of those who did with the passion of those who will.
Trust is the foundation for everything we do. But what do we do when it’s broken? In an eye-opening talk, Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei gives a crash course in trust: how to build it, maintain it and rebuild it — something she worked on during a recent stint at Uber. “If we can learn to trust one another more, we can have unprecedented human progress,” Frei says.
Organizations are often run according to “the super-chicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It’s a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”
We give scientists and engineers great technical training, but we’re not as good at teaching ethical decision-making or building character. Take, for example, the environmental crisis that recently unfolded in Flint, Michigan – and the professionals there who did nothing to fix it. Siddhartha Roy helped prove that Flint’s water was contaminated, and he tells a story of science in service to the public good, calling on the next generation of scientists and engineers to dedicate their work to protecting people and the planet.