How can business help solve society’s biggest problems? Take on Tomorrow brings together leading experts from around the globe to figure out what business could and should be doing to tackle the greatest challenges facing the world; from privacy to climate change to crypto. Join hosts Ayesha Hazarika, columnist and senior political advisor in London and Lizzie O’Leary, business journalist in New York, and hear some of the brightest minds and boldest thinkers on how they’re taking on these problems, and how you could too.
Can capital help solve climate change?
24:55Can you make green by going green? Could incentives be reimagined to align the power of the profit motive with the interests of the planet? Several green initiatives involving trillions of dollars in assets are already reconfiguring capital markets. But can this approach work?Ayesha and Lizzie are joined by Alison Rose, the CEO of NatWest Group, and Andrew McDowell, a Strategy& partner with PwC Luxembourg, and former vice president of the European Investment Bank. We’ll learn why one of the biggest banks in the UK is prioritizing the fight against climate change, what it means in concrete terms, and what financial institutions around the world can learn from the decision.
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How should business adapt to support a world on the move?
24:50We live in a world of greatly increased mobility—of information, of goods and services, and of the world’s 8 billion people. We move for all sorts of reasons, and that movement can create challenges—but also opportunities. In fact, could a world on the move provide solutions to some of the challenges we face?This week, hosts Lizzie O’Leary and Ayesha Hazarika talk to Parag Khanna, author of Move, a book that examines current trends shaping migration and its historical precedents, and predicts an increasingly mobile future. Dion Shango, PwC’s territory senior partner for Africa Central and Southern Africa, discusses how those trends are playing out now—and what business should do to adjust and prepare.
How can we ensure the workers of tomorrow get the skills they need today?
25:23Though the global youth population has grown by 30% in the last 20, the number of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the labor force has actually fallen by approximately 12%. Even as many countries face labor shortages, the global picture shows deep youth unemployment and underemployment. How can business help close the gap? And can it do so in a way that gives people the skills to succeed and contribute to economic development in the future? Hosts Lizzie O’Leary and Ayesha Hazarika talk with Nadi Albino, from Generation Unlimited, about why upskilling youth is so important for the world, and with Chaitali Mukherjee, the people and organization lead partner with PwC India, about how and why businesses should respond, and what they are already doing in this area.
How do we ensure humanity stays ahead of technology?
22:37New technology, from alternative energy sources to digitization to artificial intelligence, is changing how we live, how we work, and how our businesses function. But what happens when those advances move so fast that we can’t keep up? And, if businesses and governments don’t understand the technologies, what happens to society? We talk with Azeem Azhar, entrepreneur, author, and founder of the future-focused podcast and newsletter Exponential View, about this “exponential age”—and the gaps it has created. These fast-moving technologies can also create opportunities for business. So, what do CEOs need to understand to be able to harness them? How do businesses use AI and other technologies responsibly, and what’s at risk if they don’t adapt to the pace of change? Annie Veillet, national data and advanced analytics lead partner with PwC Canada, weighs in on the risks and the upsides for business.
What’s the future of worker empowerment?
25:03People don’t want to be taken for granted. That’s the message coming from employees around the world, who are finding new confidence and empowerment in the shifting world of work. Their call to employers is to listen, learn, and engage. So, how can businesses and employees find fresh opportunities in this era of new expectations? And can they find ways to thrive together? Hosts Lizzie O’Leary and Ayesha Hazarika speak with Standard Chartered’s group head of human resources, Tanuj Kapilashrami, and the joint global leader for PwC's people and organization practice, Pete Brown, to dig into what workers really want and how today’s leaders can tap into the power of their people for the future.
What’s the role of tax in tackling climate change?
24:47If you want less of something, tax it more. That’s what many governments have been trying to do with carbon. But carbon pricing is controversial and difficult to implement technically. So, given the urgency to reduce the use of fossil fuels, reduce emissions and reach more aggressive climate goals, should businesses prepare for an expansion in carbon taxation? Should it be a priority for people who care about climate change? Hosts Lizzie O’Leary and Ayesha Hazarika talk with Danae Kyriakopoulou—from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment—about the role this kind of tool can play in the race to net zero, and with Ian Milborrow, a sustainability and climate-change partner with PwC UK, about what business needs to know.
What’s the point of stakeholder capitalism?
26:36Stakeholder capitalism is the idea that businesses have a responsibility to groups other than their shareholders. But is that really capitalism? Why are so many businesses embracing this idea? And, given that stakeholders often have conflicting views, can it work in practice? Lizzie and Ayesha are joined by Alison Taylor, the director of Ethical Systems at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and Richard Oldfield, PwC’s global markets leader, to discuss what stakeholder capitalism means for businesses and for society.
Can corporate reporting deliver change?
25:03The reporting of corporate data matters—and not just to accountants and stock analysts. The way in which companies make progress when dealing with climate change, building more diverse workforces, and complying with regulation has become a differentiating factor. Stakeholders of all kinds are demanding information that is more detailed, more readily measured, and more easily verified. Understanding how reporting builds trust is a key item on leaders’ agendas. This week, we get an important download on the power of reporting. We’ll hear from Emmanuel Faber, chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board; Eelco van der Enden, CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative; and Nadja Picard, PwC’s global reporting leader, and listen in on a panel discussion they held at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Then, Nadja joins Lizzie and Ayesha to discuss what it all means for society.
Will crypto revolutionize the financial system?
27:44There’s an old saying: people overestimate the impact of technology in the short term and underestimate it in the long term. Is that what’s happening with crypto? There’s a lot of news about cryptocurrencies, but are we paying too little attention to the long-term impacts of the underlying technology? Joined by Sheila Bair, the former chair of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Vicki Huff Eckert, a retired PwC US partner who served as vice chair for PwC’s US technology, media, and telecommunications sector, we’ll ponder how blockchain, and the cryptocurrencies that exist because of it, could affect financial systems and transform business and society—ready or not.