Around the Institute

Heroes and Villains: Leading Business, Politics, and Civil Society in the 21st Century

May 21, 2013

From the Mid-America Club, eighty stories above Millennium Park and Lake Michigan, the Socrates Program held a reception to engage Chicagoans with the Aspen Institute, hosted by Clare Muñana, Aspen Institute Trustee and President of Ancora Associates. John Rogers, Founder and CEO of Ariel Investments spoke with MIT professor Leigh Hafrey on business ethics.  Members of the audience inquired about the challenge of moving from awareness to impact as well as different generational views on corporate social responsibility. The following day nearly twenty seminar participants gathered at Ariel Investments to delve into the seminar, “Heroes and Villains: Leading Business, Politics, and Civil Society in the 21st Century.” The group discussed the limitations and the potential of “doing good” in the respective sectors from a philosophical and practical standpoint.  

How must we lead in the 21st century, in politics, business and civil society? From human nature to global systems, financial services in ancient Greece to the current economic downturn, endangered-peoples movements to extreme sports, Thoreau, and social media, “Heroes and Villains” captures the challenges and solutions we have already articulated for the new century. Starting with participant input on the nature of values-based leadership today, we will look at dominant issues in government, corporations, and the larger culture, and identify cross-sector frameworks for successful, ethical decision-making. 

Moderated by Leigh Hafrey, senior lecturer, Communication and Ethics, MIT Sloan School of Management