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Building Back Better: Purpose, Responsibility and Leadership

Posted on 05 August 2020

On Tuesday 21 July 2020, together with The Athens Democracy Forum, we hosted a "Building Back Better" Digital Session.

Hosted by Alexander Rhodes, Head of Mishcon Purpose, our speakers included (in order of participation):

Mete Coban, My Life My Say
Steven Erlanger of The New York Times
James Libson, Mishcon de Reya
Vian Sharif, FNZ, part of the Generation group of companies
Dr Dhananjayan Sivaguru Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB
Liz Alderman of The New York Times
Professor David Teece, Berkeley Research Group Institute
Professor Mariana Mazzucato, University College London
Valerie Keller, Imagine
Professor Anthony Julius, Mishcon de Reya and University College London

The event explored the impact of COVID-19 and the enormous economic and social sacrifices that it has brought. With the perspective the lockdown has allowed, we explored the following questions: what is the future we want, what are we building towards and how different is this from where we were headed under the old "normal"? Having looked at that point on the horizon, how do we get there?

During the session, we showcased cartoons by Patrick Chappatte, the multi-award winning editorial cartoonist. For 20 years he was a cartoonist for the International Herald Tribune and The New York Times.

During the event we discussed that a better future will depend on a new social contract, which secures participation and fairness. That the innovation required to propel us there needs new public-private models, where the public has a greater stake in success and the private is driven by longer-term value horizons. We also recognised that abandoning iteration did not mean throwing away the good in what we have, but that we must be discerning in our choices. This includes getting real about climate change.

We will be pursuing the issues raised and their implications for our clients and invite interested parties to join us in this work.

The conversation will continue at the Athens Democracy Forum, to which we are the proud Legal Partner, on 30 September – 2 October.

Time codes

00:17 – Mishcon Purpose, idea & format - Alexander Rhodes, Mishcon de Reya

03:30 - Opening speech: The vision - Mete Coban, My Life My Say

07:29: Fairness: a Just Transition - Chaired by Steven Erlanger of The New York Times, with James Libson, Mishcon de Reya; Vian Sharif, FNZ, part of the Generation group of companies; Dr Dhananjayan Sivaguru Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB

17:23: Progress: Bold action - Chaired by Liz Alderman of The New York Times, with Professor David Teece, Berkeley Research Group Institute; Professor Mariana Mazzucato, University College London; Valerie Keller, Imagine

29:50: Closing speech Professor Anthony Julius, Mishcon de Reya and University College London

34:27: Closing remarks and thanks - Alexander Rhodes, Mishcon de Reya 

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