American Crisis Zoom Round Table – Friday, July 31

How has a society and culture so remarkable in the scope of human history for creating wealth and opportunity and maintaining ever expanding enjoyment of political and civil rights and entitlements under a constitutional democracy without relapsing into either anarchy or tyranny come to such a circumstance of division, polarization and crisis over racism – even after the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement and the emergence of middle classes in all ethnic demographics?

Have we failed in something profound so that John Locke’s optimism about human nature is being eclipsed by the pessimism of Thomas Hobbes and Sigmund Freud that society is only a veneer of repression of the urge to engage willingly in a war of all against all?

Here are some thoughts of Thomas Paine when the country was founded:

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
– The American Crisis

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”
– A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North America

“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.”
– The American Crisis

“Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.”
– Rights of Man

“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”
– The American Crisis

Please join us at 9:00 am on Friday, July 31, on Zoom to discuss the crisis we face.

To register, please email Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

Space is limited to 25 attendees.

Policing as a Public Trust Workshop – Friday, July 17

Register today.

We are challenged, not only in Minneapolis, but in Atlanta and elsewhere, to set appropriate expectations for our police officers. The challenge implicates virtue, ethics and morality at the level of organizations and individuals – topics of interest to the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism (CRT).

Some years ago, we provided ethical principles for government, specifically the principle that public office is a public trust. This is the principle long since applied in British constitutional practice. This standard would encompass policing.

Most likely not by coincidence, in 1829, Sir Robert Peel promulgated 9 ethical principles to govern the mission and behaviors of the new police force in London. His principles apply the standard of public trust to the relationship of the police to the community.

Separately, we have tried to draw attention to virtue and good character as the foundation for responsibility in the use of power. The then Sheriff of Ramsey Country, Matt Bostrom, advocated the practice of community policing to great success. Matt was a member of our council on character formed to promote character education in public education. John Harrington, when Chief of Police in St. Paul, and now Commissioner of Public Safety, also promoted community policing in his department.

Matt is now working on a Ph.D. at Oxford University on community policing and hiring for character to recruit the most qualified individuals for that approach to policing. Matt has conducted a number of focus groups to elicit community opinion on those character traits of sworn officers most influential in obtaining community trust in its police.

Given current demands for reform of policing, even “defunding” the Minneapolis Police Department, the CRT will convene a workshop on policing as a public trust, including a presentation of his research findings by former Sheriff Bostrom.

The workshop will be held from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Friday, July 17 at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul. Social distancing will be observed and participation will be limited to 25 participants. A box lunch will be provided. The fee for attendance is $25. Register here.

Please Join Us June 12 for Our First International Zoom Round Table

At 9:00 am (CST) on Friday June 12, the day before the Ides of June, we will be having our first international round table over Zoom and you are invited to join us.

I suggest discussing the topic of lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic to date on moral responsibility for business and government.

From recent Zoom meetings, I expect a high quality discussion from our participants. Certainly, the times have given us enough to think about and to offer in response our best suggestions for constructive action.

Space is limited to 25 attendees.

Please RSVP your interest in participating with Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net.

Additional information will be provided to registrants shortly before the event.

Please Join Us on Zoom This Friday to Discuss the Coronavirus

Next Friday, the Ides of May, we will be having our first round table over Zoom beginning at 9:00 am.

I suggest discussing the topic of risk and personal responsibility as we plan to re-balance the economy and protection of the vulnerable against the coronavirus.

My thoughts on procedure are:

1) Those who would like to participate register their intention with Jed.

2) We will close participation at 25. If more are interested, we will convene a second session.

3) I most likely will be host. Participants will stay on mute until recognized. I will keep a list of people in the queue as usual by noting who raises their hand on the screen or who send me a note on the chat function that they would like to contribute. Participants should signal a one-finger or a two-finger intervention as usual.

From recent Zoom meetings, I expect a high quality discussion from our participants. Certainly, the times have given us enough to think about and to offer in response our best suggestions for constructive action.

Please RSVP your interest in participation with Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net

Public Office as a Public Trust – A Workshop on the Ethics of Public Stewardship – Friday, April 10th

The Preamble to our Constitution holds that: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Beating at the heart of our constitutional democracy is the ethical proposition that “Public Office is a Public Trust.” But what does this mean? Where did the idea come from? Is it still true? How can we tell a good public servant from an unworthy one?

We’re delighted to invite you to participate in the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s (CRT) workshop on Public Office as a Public Trust scheduled for 8:30 am Friday, April 10th, at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The mission of the workshop is to promote good stewardship in office, thoughtful trusteeship and enlightened fiduciary practices using the CRT’s Principles for Government as best practices. The commitment of the workshop is taken from George Washington’s remarks to the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest may repair.”

The workshop will present historic, intellectual and moral foundations for the ethics of public stewardship, including the Bible, John Locke, Adam Smith, Max Weber and the Federalist Papers, among others.

The agenda will include:

  1. Pew Research Center findings on political polarization
  2. Movie High Noon: public trust and personal courage
  3. The Moral Sense: human nature and natural justice
  4. CRT Principles for Government
  5. History of trust responsibilities

The two main presenters will be Stephen B. Young, Global Executive Director of the CRT and Doran Hunter, Emeritus Professor of political science at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Congressman Dean Phillips will tentatively be joining us for lunch to speak about the Problem Solvers Caucus which he is an active member of.

Tuition is $50 per person (does not include cost of lunch).

To register, please click here.

Space is limited.

The CRT is an international network of senior leaders from business, government, academia and non-profit institutions who work together to improve private enterprise and public governance around the world.

For additional information, please visit: www.cauxroundtable.org

Moral Capitalism and Climate Change – Thursday, February 27th

At our November 22nd, 2019 luncheon event, the subject of climate change arose rather unexpectedly as a recurring theme in speeches and table conversations. When you pair that with other changes in the business zeitgeist, such as BlackRock (the world’s largest asset manager) CEO Larry Fink’s annual shareholder letter stating I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance because of climate change, you know we’ve begun to enter new territory at the highest levels of corporate leadership.

How does this new business thinking align with the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s Principles for Business? What is the direction a responsible business should take? Is it all doom and gloom or are there potential opportunities to explore? What do you think?

Please join us at 9:00 am on Thursday, February 27 at the University Club of St. Paul to discuss what business can do to address this issue.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please click here (link to Eventbrite page)

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Invitation to Brainstorm Topics for 2020 John Brandl Gathering – Tuesday, December 17th

You are invited to a roundtable discussion on Tuesday December 17, 2019, to gather input and prepare for the next “Annual Celebration of John Brandl & His Uncommon Quest for Common Ground” in 2020.

“What’s Keeping You Up At Night?” is the driving question that organizers of the annual Brandl lecture series invite you to respond to in an informal roundtable discussion from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in the Josie Johnson Community Room at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

With impeachment hearings roiling now and pivotal national and state elections looming ahead determining the fate of our country for many years to come, the organizers of the annual Brandl convocation — the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism, Center of the American Experiment, Citizens League, Growth & Justice and the Humphrey School — reach out to you to help determine a fitting topic and frame for a 2020 gathering in the ecumenical spirit of the late John Brandl, a remarkable scholar, public servant and friend.

We’ve planned and implemented 10 years of annual Brandl gatherings. In year 11, in honor of John’s memory and his uncommon quest for common ground, we invite all people of goodwill — with open minds, firm convictions and welcoming spirits — to join us in this planning discussion.

Representatives of each group will facilitate segments of the conversation.

There is no cost to attend.

To register, please click here.

Minnesota Business Leadership: Pioneering a Moral Capitalism – Friday, November 22nd

You are cordially invited to attend a special moment in the history of Minnesota business leadership.

At the Minneapolis Club from noon to 1:30 pm on Friday, November 22, the Minnesota-based Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism (CRT), with the endorsement of the Minnesota Business Partnership and Governor Tim Walz, will mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of our Principles for Business.

To mark the anniversary of this Minnesota contribution to global capitalism in our time, the CRT will initiate an annual Dayton Award for Distinction in Business Service. The first award will be presented to Douglas M. Baker, Jr., CEO of Ecolab, at this event.

In addition, Paul Polman, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever, will speak to us about his high regard for Minnesota companies.

Lunch will be provided.

Seating is limited.

The cost to attend is $100 per person.

You can register here.

2019 Global Dialogue: Registration Now Open!

I would like to invite you to join us for our 2019 Global Dialogue taking place Thursday, November 21 through Saturday, November 23 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Two items of special note:

First, Paul Polman, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever, will be speaking to us over lunch on November 22 on the 25th anniversary of the founding of our Principles for Business.

Secondly, we will be awarding the first Dayton Award for Distinction in Business Service to Douglas M. Baker, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Ecolab, also during lunch on the 22nd.

Registration information can be found here.

I do hope you can join us.

Public Office Public Trust Workshop – Thursday, September 26th

Last fall, we held an election in which the American people put what we are more and more calling “tribalism” on the front burner of our politics. While it is important to understand the passions and fears of our fellow citizens, our constitutional republic was not established to foster tribalism of any kind.

The Preamble to our Constitution holds that: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Beating at the heart of our constitutional democracy is the ethical proposition that “Public Office is a Public Trust.” But what does this mean? Where did the idea come from? Is it still true? How can we tell a good public servant from an unworthy one?

Those who were elected to office back on November 6th were chosen to hold public office. Before assuming such offices, they will be asked to take an oath to be faithful in the execution of that trust responsibility, faithful not just to those who voted for them but to all of us, our state and our country.

How can they more fully understand the law and the tradition setting forth the duties of office that will soon be theirs in service of our citizens? Through study and discussion as always since our founding as a nation.

We’re delighted to invite you to participate in the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s (CRT) workshop on Public Office as a Public Trust scheduled for 8:30 am on Thursday, September 26th, at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The workshop is a new initiative to encourage and professionalize elected and appointed public officials at all levels, as well as those who aspire to elective or appointive office, to live up to the highest standards of stewardship responsibility.

The mission of the workshop is to promote good stewardship in office, thoughtful trusteeship and enlightened fiduciary practices using the CRT’s Principles for Government as best practices. The commitment of the workshop is taken from George Washington’s remarks to the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest may repair.”

For some time now and to the great detriment of our state and country, a narrowness in serving the common good has dominated our politics, resulting in a system of government that is polarized, fractured and unable to effectively address even its most basic challenges. The workshop will train you in the tried and tested ideals of public service.

The workshop will present historic, intellectual and moral foundations for the ethics of public stewardship, including the Bible, John Locke, Adam Smith, Max Weber and the Federalist Papers, among others.

The agenda will include:

1. Pew Research Center findings on political polarization

2. Movie High Noon: public trust and personal courage

3. The Moral Sense: human nature and natural justice

4. CRT Principles for Government

5. History of trust responsibilities

The two main presenters will be Steve Young, Global Executive Director of the CRT and Doran Hunter, Emeritus Professor of political science at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Tuition is $50 per person and $20 for current students who present a valid student I.D. at the door (neither fee includes the cost of lunch).

Space is limited.

For more information or to register, please click here.

The session will adjourn at 4:30 pm.