Business and Markets

Economic Crises: A Crucible for Change?

March 31, 2020  • Business and Society Program

As we face new economic upheaval in 2020, what lessons can we learn from the last global financial crisis? This episode looks at a seeming paradox: the 2008 financial crisis was a wrenching turning point for countless individuals and communities, but in the business world, it reinforced decades-old trendsfrom layoffs to political mobilization. This year’s global economic crisis gives business an opportunity to reset perceptions that have festered since the last crisis.

The Business 20/20 podcast is a series that explores the changing relationship between business and society from 1999 to today. Each episode unpacks a key event—from the Seattle WTO protests to the global financial crisis and beyond—to find insights for the future. Produced by the Aspen Institute’s Business & Society Program and hosted by Michelle Harven.

Follow the Business & Society Program on @AspenBizSociety and subscribe to the Business & Society Newsletter.

Episode Notes


Maureen Conway, Rana Foroohar, Adam Winkler


Michelle Harven

Writing and Production

Written by Keith Schumann with input from T.A. Frank, Miguel Padró, Felicia Davis, and the Business & Society Team.

Recorded by Ben Eyler and edited by Jesse Krinsky.

The Business & Society team wishes to thank the audio technicians and everyone involved in the production of this episode, including:

  • Austin Madert
  • Lorry Saunders
  • Dan Lebiednik
  • Daniel Woldorff
  • Larry Buhl
  • Lucy Huang
Music Samples Featured in this Episode

Chad Crouch – Algorithms (Excerpted form of the track; used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License)

Chad Crouch—Negentropy (Excerpted form of the track; used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License)

Kai Engel—Dark Alleys (Excerpted form of the track; used under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 International CC BY 4.0)

Tobacco Road – Storyblocks Audio

Archival Audio

CNN, September 15, 2008

CNBC, September 15, 2008

Associated Press, September 29, 2008

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