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Please Give to the Max!

Tomorrow, Thursday, November 19, is Give to the Max Day here in Minnesota, a day designation for charitable giving to non-profits and worthy causes and I ask for your support.

For the international members of our network, your gift would recognize the leadership of the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism for the past 25 years in putting forth the norms and best practices of stakeholder capitalism, what we have come to call “moral capitalism.”

Last year, this approach to improvement of the human condition through innovation and rising living standards, funding more effective public governance and more robust civil society opportunities to advance our moral, social and cultural capacities to fulfill more inclusively our human instincts for moral and aesthetic expression in this morally silent cosmos was ratified by the Business Roundtable and World Economic Forum.

We have added dignity and depth to the agenda of sustainability and responsible enterprise and will continue to do so to the best of our collective abilities.

For the American members of our network, we have taken innovative leadership here in Minnesota to pioneer models of improvement in law enforcement – principles of community policing – and wealth creation among African American families using innovative FinTech smart phone applications.

We would be very grateful for your financial support, especially during this time of social confinements due to the coronavirus.

To contribute, please click here to make a donation suitable for you.

You can also give directly to us via PayPal, if you prefer.

If you would like to mail a check, our address is 75 West Fifth Street, Suite 219, St. Paul, MN 55102.

We also accept wire transfers.  If you would like to donate this way, please let us know.

Anything you can give would be greatly appreciated.

More Short CRT Videos on Relevant and Timely Topics

We recently posted more short videos on relevant and timely topics which I believe would be of interest to you.  They include:

How To Measure Company Value

On Market Control versus Competition

Business,Government and the Power of Last Resort

Business Values and the Value of Business

On Antitrust and Market Concentration

On Private Companies and Free Speech

You can find all our videos on our YouTube channel here.

Also, if you aren’t following us on Twitter or haven’t liked us on Facebook, please do so.  We update both platforms frequently.

CRT Appoints Five New Fellows

Recently, the Caux Round Table (CRT) appointed five new fellows. I would like to welcome them and give you their backgrounds. CRT fellows graciously volunteer to advise and consult with the CRT’s leadership to provide the best thinking on capitalism, its prospects and shortcomings. They bring to our attention new developments and opportunities for collaboration and outreach.

Eraj Weerasinghe

Eraj Weerasinghe has distinguished himself in the field of valuation, which is of great interest to the CRT in re-conceptualizing the asset value of companies to include social and human capitals. Eraj has worked on valuation for Duff & Phelps and Ernst & Young. He is now with Duff & Phelps in San Francisco, responsible for leading a valuation team with a global focus on the oil and gas, infrastructure and mining sectors.

From September 2014 to December 2019, he was in London with Ernst & Young as Associate Partner in valuations modelling and economics where he led a revenue business providing deal pricing and valuation advice to major institutional investors (Canadian and Australian pension investors) in energy infrastructure and oil and gas corporates.

Eraj has global experience in valuing investments across the infrastructure spectrum, including social infrastructure, regulated businesses, contracted assets, throughput infrastructure assets and infrastructure related businesses. He has provided deal pricing and valuations advice globally across the oil and gas value chain, from upstream exploration and production through mid-stream transportation and downstream, including refining, wholesale and retail marketing and trading of oil products, including LPG and oil field services. He is a regular speaker on valuation matters in oil, gas and energy infrastructure.

Eraj’s credentials include Charter Financial Analyst, Chartered Surveyor and member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He studied law at the College of Law in London and received a B.S. and M.Sc. from the London School of Economics.

Gaurav Vasisht

Gaurav Vasisht joined the Volcker Alliance, established by the late Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, in 2014 as Senior Vice President and Director of the financial regulation program. In this role, Gaurav advised Mr. Volcker and worked closely with numerous Volcker Alliance board members on financial regulatory matters. He also leads the development of regulatory reform proposals and promotes the Alliance’s policy priorities before the federal government, including the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, the House Financial Services Committee and an array of financial regulatory agencies.

At the Alliance, Gaurav has led the development and drafting of several reports and working papers, including Unfinished Business: Banking in the Shadows, a comprehensive financial reform proposal hailed by former Vice President Joe Biden as “a blueprint on how to make the financial system safer.” Gaurav also contributed to the brief amicus curiae of Ben Bernanke and Paul Volcker in support of defendant-appellant in MetLife, Inc. v. Financial Stability Oversight Council. He has testified before Congress on financial stability matters and presented before the G20’s Financial Stability Board on the effectiveness of too-big-to-fail reforms. Gaurav was Chairman Volcker’s liaison to the Systemic Risk Council, a private sector, non-partisan body of experts committed to addressing regulatory and structural issues relating to global systemic risk.

Prior to joining the Volcker Alliance, Gaurav spent a decade in New York State’s government. Most recently, he served as Executive Deputy Superintendent of the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS), heading the agency’s 300-employee banking division. In this role, he supervised all state-chartered depository institutions, most of the U.S.-based branches, agencies and representative offices of foreign banking organizations and all of New York’s mortgage bankers, brokers, servicers, money transmitters and finance companies. Gaurav also co-directed DFS’s anti-money laundering and international sanctions enforcement initiative, assisted in the supervision of independent monitors required under agency enforcement actions and vetted the applications of emerging financial technology companies for licensure under NYS banking law.

Gaurav is co-author of What Makes a Regulator Excellent?, a book edited by the University of Pennsylvania Law School and published by the Brookings Institution Press.

A graduate of New York University and St. John’s University School of Law, Gaurav has worked on pioneering initiatives discussed in leading law and policy textbooks and covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

He has been a Non-Resident Fellow at the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke University Law School, is a Contributor to Penn Law’s Regulatory Review and has guest lectured at law and business schools across the U.S., including Baruch, Duke, Georgetown, Penn, Vanderbilt and the University of California, Hastings.

Michael Wright

Michael Wright has spent most of his career as a senior executive and strategist in high technology which allowed him to pervade most industries and most cultures of the developed world. That experience includes both line and staff and includes all management levels, from product to functional, to c-suite to public boards. He is fortunate to be one of few senior executives who has expertise in both operations and strategy, as well as in governance and organizational architecture on a global scale.

He has raised millions for startups and publicly traded entities and been entrusted with the assets of nascent to large-cap global technology companies and been a successful entrepreneur. He has also lived management responsibilities from venture capital to public ownership and championed product and process development along with growing intangible assets. Michael developed and promoted strategic leadership training, innovation and high-speed transitions on the path to building high performance teams. And luckily, he had the foresight to build robust, future oriented, capacity in information technology and knowledge management, the basis for global competition in the 4th industrial revolution and exponential era.

He led successful startups to exits, including his own (WWK.com) and others, including August Technologies and Entegris.

His business strengths are the experiences and energy enabling him to encourage, mentor, connect and energize the entrepreneurial engine required to build out innovative ecosystems that can be quickly and robustly developed in the exponential era.

Michael is also a writer with over 40 published articles focused on the interaction of business and technology with human behaviors, values and belief systems.

Michael Hartoonian

Michael Hartoonian is a former Scholar-in-Residence at Hamline University and Professor and Director of the Institute for Democratic Capitalism in the (then) Department of Educational Policy and Administration in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. His research interests are in ethics, education and economics and their integration in a democratic republic, as well as identifying democratic value tensions in American history and contemporary life.

Michael received his B.A. degree in economics from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and his M.A., in history and education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His Ph.D., also from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is in curriculum and instruction-history and social sciences and administration. In 1992, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Ripon College, in Ripon, Wisconsin and in 2000, he received the Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award from Lawrence University.

Michael continues to write, lecture and consult in education, business and government throughout the U.S., Central America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. His experiences include being a classroom teacher, state (Wisconsin) content supervisor (social studies), school administrator and policy advisor for Wisconsin’s State Superintendent. He has been a Fulbright Scholar (Africa), member of the National (Humanities) Faculty, Director of the Danforth International Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Co-Coordinator of the Wisconsin Geographic Alliance. In 1995 and 1996, he served as President of the National Council for the Social Studies.

He has authored over seventy articles in such journals as the Kappan, Social Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, Pacific-Asian Education, The Social Studies, The Biological Sciences Study Journal, the Wisconsin Academy Review, The Good Society and has authored and contributed to several books on social studies education, U.S. history, international and global relations, curriculum integration, teacher education, the development of thinking and reasoning in children, democratic capitalism, civic virtue and citizenship. He is lead author of the book The Idea of America: How Values Shaped Our Republic and Hold the Key to Our Future. His newest book is Chased by the Memory: A Boy’s Struggle for Identity.

Isabella Bunn

Isabella Bunn is an international lawyer and policy advisor with a transatlantic background as corporate counsel, trade and investment director and endowed professor of business ethics.

Based at the University of Oxford, she is Research Fellow in Governance and Global Ethics at Regent’s Park College, Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture and Trustee of the Oxford Peace Research Trust. Isabella serves on the International Advisory Council of Oxford Analytica, a geopolitical consulting firm and as Senior Advisor to its Foundation.

Isabella’s academic background includes a B.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University, an M.A. in international relations and J.D., cum laude, from the University of San Diego, a M.Phil. in theology from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in human rights law from the University of Bristol. Her current research interests relate to corporate governance and values, business responsibility for human rights and sustainable development and justice in the global economy. At the British Academy, she is a member of the Corporate Advisory Group for the Future of the Corporation program. She is a contributor to the Human-Centered Business Model project, which originated with the World Bank’s Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development and is now based at the OECD Development Centre. She is also engaged with the U.N. Global Compact, notably the Action Platform for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Isabella has held several leadership appointments with the American Bar Association (ABA), including as Chair of the Advisory Council for the ABA Center for Human Rights, Council Member of the ABA Section of International Law and International Co-Chair of the Fellows of the ABA. In 2018, she was designated as one of the ABA representatives to the United Nations. Additional roles include a member of the Founding Executive Council of the Society of International Economic Law, member of the board of the Internet Bar Organization and member of the Council of Advisors of the Washington Institute for Business, Government & Society.

Please Join Us Next Friday for an International Zoom Round Table about the U.S. Election and What it Means

Even though we don’t yet know who the winner of the U.S. presidential election is, we want to invite you to share your perspectives about the election with us at 9:00 am (CST) next Friday, November 13.

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

Participation will be limited to the first 25 registrants.

The session will last about an hour and a half.

Caux Round Table’s Response to Summer’s Crisis Over Accusations of Systemic Racism in Minnesota’s Policing, Economy and Society

Below is an email we recently sent to the Minnesota Business Partnership, the business community here in Minnesota, about our efforts in responding to the death of George Floyd while in police custody last May.

I thought it would be of interest to you.

Dear Minnesota Business Partnership Members:

The death of George Floyd this past May 25th upsettingly surfaced for our community three very serious issues: 1) an assertion that systemic racism prevents Minnesota from doing justice to its African American neighbors after years of being disadvantaged and worse, by slavery, segregation and lack of equality; 2) a demand that policing and law enforcement be reformed to reduce unfeeling, unnecessary and sometimes deadly, discriminatory treatment of African Americans; and 3) a substantial gap in wealth and income experienced by many African American families compared to most other Minnesotans.

The Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism (CRT) has responded immediately and directly to each need for remedial change by drawing on its Principles for Business and for government to guide implementation of three initiatives.

First, to improve law enforcement, we have held two workshops on community policing under our Principles for Government using Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles of Policing of 1829 and recent focus group data regarding the character traits communities want to see in police officers in order to trust them. The data was collected by our associate Matt Bostrom, former Sheriff of Ramsey County, for his Oxford University dissertation.

Sir Robert Peel’s principles, created for the first modern police force, the London Metropolitan Police, were inspired by the moral standard that “public office is a public trust.” Peel’s principles demand that the police be the community and the community the police in the effort to provide public safety and prevent crime. Such a strategy for the prevention of crime requires trust of the police by the community and, reciprocally, trust of community by the police.

Earning the community’s trust of the police can be enhanced by hiring as police officers only individuals who have the character traits admired by the community. Matt Bostrom’s data permits hiring for character and then training for competence.

As a result of the last workshop, St. Paul City Council members Jane Prince and Rebecca Noecker have decided to press for a City Council resolution setting forth a modernized version of Sir Robert’s principles as the City’s vision of community policing and law enforcement – a first in the nation if it happens.

Prior to the tragic death of George Floyd, Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety, John Harrington, had retained Matt Bostrom to conduct focus groups among Minnesotans and then advise the Department of Public Safety on its hiring and training practices. The department is working to design a “Minnesota Model” of modern policing using the best practice of “hiring for character, training for competence.” The CRT is fully supporting the Commissioner in this pioneering improvement to law enforcement.

Secondly, on closing the wealth gap between African Americans and other Minnesotans, we are moving forward with a leadership group in St. Paul – Dr. Delores Henderson, Bishop Roz Caroll, Anita Spencer and Eric Clark – to bring a smartphone App to young people and families in the community to enable them to set up personal investment accounts in equity portfolios. The portfolios earn on average 6% a year so that compounding returns can make a difference in the acquisition of wealth and thus reward personal habits of saving and planning for the long-term.

The App has been developed by Newday Impact Investing in San Francisco. Several of the Newday equity portfolios available on the App use CRT metrics to rank companies according to alignment with a variety of moral standards – Protestant social teachings, Catholic Social Teachings, Jewish Halakhic norms and Qur’anic guidance. Company rankings are calculated by Magni Global Assets, LLC, a local asset management company.

The CRT introduced Newday to the St. Paul community leaders. We are also introducing Newday to community leaders in Minneapolis. Our initiative is being brought to the attention of Bernice King, daughter of the late Martin Luther King and Daymond John, one of the entrepreneurs featured on Shark Tank.

Thirdly, with respect to viewing American society through the lens of “systemic racism,” the CRT has recommended an alternate approach of “translation” or using “interpreters” to facilitate the building of community and not the alienation of some from others over different life experiences and divergent perspectives. In its international work over the past 35 years, the CRT has experienced the effectiveness of translation skills to bring strangers together, promoting collegiality and even very close collaboration, as better understanding of the other builds acceptance and trust.

The wise use of translation skills creates important social capital by reducing suspicions and anxieties.

Given this experience, we held an in-person round table on how Minnesotans should talk with one another about racism, asking if “racism” is even the right word to use, what words best frame our realities and what interactions most permanently further the common good?

The response of participants was enthusiastic. We are now scheduling future round tables in collaboration with Growth & Justice.

We are optimistic that each of these initiatives will produce constructive results. I look forward to reporting to you from time to time on our progress. I invite your support of our efforts.

Sincerely yours,

Stephen B. Young
Global Executive Director
Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism

Good Character and the Future of Our Country

The Caux Round Table has supported the Minnesota Character Council since its inception. We believe that just as good values produce good leaders in business, government and society, so does character produce social justice and sustainable prosperity.

As Heraclitus advised: ethos anthropos daemon – character drives our destiny.

Another sage insight from the Greeks is that “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first deprive of good judgment.”

Americans, at this time of testing and dissention, need once again to hold our virtue dear and put good character first. Good character will resolve the issues we have with each other more quickly, more easily and more effectively than is permitted by our current culture.

As we go to the polls tomorrow, we will exercise the responsibilities of citizens in a republic, responsibilities that demand character in our decision-making, in our compassion and in our resolve to serve our country well.

Our Minnesota Character Council has released a statement of purpose and an invitation to join its work. That letter can be read here.

An Impressive Recommendation from Herman Mulder

Our colleague in The Netherlands, Herman Mulder, has just published some sound and impressive recommendations for adjusting markets to accommodate “wealth” creation more comprehensively, as defined by the Sustainable Development Goals. I find his thinking closely aligned with the Caux Round Table’s vision of a moral capitalism.

You can read his piece here.

Herman now works with the Impact Institute. He is noted for being an advocate, expert in international law and a key player in the development of corporate responsibility, impact investment and ESG integration. Mulder is most notable for the initiation of the Equator Principles. He is currently a Chairman of the True Price Foundation, member of the board of the Dutch National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for MNE’s and the former Chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative.

A New Global Vision from Dan Runde of CSIS

Here is our recent podcast of finding possibilities with Dan Runde of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Dan is Senior Vice President, William A. Schreyer Chair and Director of the Project of Prosperity and Development at CSIS. He joins us to discuss the need for society to learn from current experiences and the tectonic shifts underway around the globe. Specifically, he connects education, inequality and corruption and their effects in a pandemic-impacted world.

Dan is a connector of ideas and people. His insights are very helpful.

More Short CRT Videos on Relevant and Timely Topics

We recently posted more short videos on relevant and timely topics which I believe would be of interest to you.  They include:

Uber, Capitalism, and the Law
Who Guards the Guardians?
When Company Culture Shifts
The Importance of Valuation

You can find all our videos on our YouTube channel here.

Also, if you aren’t following us on Twitter or haven’t liked us on Facebook, please do so.  We update both platforms frequently.