Issue 013 / CEO Resignations, Twitter’s Dilemma & A Cheap Fix for Climate Change

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 


This Week's Five Links

Twitter’s Dilemma: What to Do with Trump?Engadget
Twitter’s terms and conditions restrict hate speech and violence on its platform. Which leads to the question — could Trump’s incendiary Tweets lead to his account being suspended? Engadget conducted an analysis and solicited expert opinions.

Corporations in the Age of InequalityHarvard Business Review
An in-depth look at how company strategy and corporate trends have affected the rise of inequality in America. Researchers point to “firm inequality” — the consolidation of the best-educated and most-skilled employees within successful companies like Google, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey — as a key driver.

A Cheap Fix for Climate Change? Pay People Not to Chop Down TreesThe New York Times
Researchers conducted a controlled experiment in Uganda to see if paying landowners small sums not to cut down their trees could help curb deforestation and slow global warming. “Trying to solve this problem through strict laws doesn’t always work,” said Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action, a nonprofit that helped run the study. “You have to build a program that takes into account the needs of people on the ground."

Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber 
The full-text version of the “Google Memo” — software engineer James Damore’s much-discussed treatise arguing that the gender gap in tech is due to inherent psychological differences between men and women. 👉  Additional reading: The Actual Science of James Damore’s Google Memo (Wired).

Social Replication Toolkit 
Have an innovative solution to a social problem — but not sure how to scale it? This toolkit from the International Centre for Social Franchising contains a Replication Readiness Test and a set of tools intended to help scale social ventures.


Every member of Mr. Trump’s advisory councils should wrestle with his or her conscience and ponder Edmund Burke’s famous warning that ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’
— Larry Summers in Why Don’t All CEOs Quit Trump’s Advisory Councils? (Financial Times)

Spotlight: Lines Crossed

The business community took a strong stand against the U.S. president this week, with CEO after CEO resigning from Trump’s advisory councils after his shocking remarks on the white supremacist events in Charlottesville. Within a few days, business leaders had decided to disband the groups entirely (contrary to Trump's last-minute Tweet that he, in fact, decided to end them).

The move was bold — and unprecedented. “In American history, we’ve never had business leaders decline national service when requested by the president,” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, told The New York Times in an article that lends insight into the mass defection.

From reports, the CEOs felt tension between engaging with the president and enabling, or even emboldening, him. Many CEOs wanted to stick with him.

I’m typically a proponent of engagement. But over the past 210 days, lines have been crossed again, and again, and again. I cheered when I read economist Larry Summers’ point of view in the Financial Times

"Of course, CEOs might argue that while they also loathe all that is wrong with the Trump administration, they can be more effective by remaining involved. Give me a break. 

Anyone who thinks that by attending a meeting less than monthly with 30 people in a room they are moving the nation is engaged in egotistical self-delusion of a high order. Yes, technical advice on specific issues might be a valuable contribution. But there is no reason why providing such advice requires lending one’s prestige or that of one’s company to Donald Trump ...

There is a long tradition in American history of business leaders as statesmen and moral leaders ... This is the tradition that needs to be honored today."


Social Impact Jobs

Ben and Jerry’s - Assistant U.S. Activism Manager (Burlington, Vermont)
Ethical Trading Initiative - Consultant, India Office (Delhi, India)
Danish Fashion Institute - Business Manager (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Fashion for Good - Investment Manager (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Gap Inc. - P.A.C.E. Global Operations and Engagement Manager (San Francisco, CA) 
Impact Hub Latin America - Regional Manager, Scaling Program (Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil or Guatemala)
Moody’s - Senior CSR Associate (New York, NY)
Sustain Natural - Head of Growth (New York, NY)

Are you hiring for a job in corporate responsibility, sustainability or social impact? Let me know and I'm happy to include it here.


Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!