Top of Mind

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Yale’s Robert Shiller suggests that benefit corporations—hybrid organizations that build both profit motive and social impact into their corporate DNA—may “inspire loyalty, cooperation and real purpose, which helps create profits, too.”

For a deeper look at this new organizational model, see Yale Insights’ video interview with Andrew Kassoy of the B Lab, on the potential for B Corps to change business.

9:16 AM - 9 Jul 14
Marian Chertow & Shawn Heath & Rich Kidd & Manuel Gomez Pena — Sustainability leaders often have to interact with a wide range of stakeholders with varied interests and incentives. They need to figure out the best way to engage, communicate, prioritize, and implement—in other words, to persuade. According to a panel of sustainability executives, that can mean sidestepping the language and baggage of sustainability entirely. Read More
Gina Rosselli Boswell — The theoretical possibilities for big data are limitless, but putting so much information to good use requires big thinking. Unilever’s Gina Boswell explains the principles that the global company uses to effectively mine its data troves. View Video
Robert J. Shiller — Recent research, drawing on behavioral economics, suggests that donors make larger contributions to a nonprofit organization when they have a sense of active involvement in the organization's mission. In an op-ed for the New York Times, Professor Robert Shiller suggests that changes to legal and institutional structures could be powerful new tools to increase engagement and giving. Read More
Ranji Nagaswami — Millions of government workers in the U.S. are relying on pension plans for retirement, and yet these plans are underfunded by at least $1 trillion. Asset manager Ranji Nagaswami ’86 argues that addressing this challenge is about more than assets and liabilities—we have to look at how funds are run and, critically, how they think about risk. Read More
Olav Sorenson — Merger performance varies greatly depending on the number of pre-merger third-party ties connecting the acquiring firm to its partner, according to a new study by researchers at the Yale School of Management and INSEAD. Read More
Andrew Kassoy — Social enterprises seek to make profit while having a positive impact on communities. As a nascent and hybrid form of organization, social enterprises are vaguely defined. Might a certification process provide benefits for such organizations? Andrew Kassoy of the B Lab talks about the potential of the benefit corporation, or B Corp, to change the way business is done. View Video
George E. Newman & Ravi Dhar — Are Godiva chocolates made in Brussels, Belgium, where the company has operated since 1926, more authentic than the same chocolates made in the company’s Reading, Pennsylvania, facility? According to new research from the Yale School of Management, consumers view products manufactured at a company’s original factory to be more authentic and valuable than identical products made elsewhere. Read More
Roger G. Ibbotson & Ranji Nagaswami & Paula Volent & George Wyper — Investors put financial theory into practice every day. How efficient are markets? Can market participants advantageously match their capabilities to the right investments or leverage an information advantage? A panel of asset managers discusses how they see the theories playing out in real markets. Read More
Jed Bernstein — Performing arts organizations are contending with aging audiences and shrinking budgets, and looking for new ways to reach audiences. Yale Insights spoke with Jed Bernstein ’79, formerly a theatrical producer, as he prepared to begin his new job as president of Lincoln Center, the country’s biggest stage for classical music, opera, and dance and a pillar of New York City’s economy. Read More
Linda Schupack — Starting in the late 1990s, a series of television shows with a novelistic sweep, many of them produced by cable channels, have redefined the medium; at the same time, technology has given audience members new ways to engage with each other and their favorite shows. As AMC’s executive vice president of marketing, Linda Schupack '92 has had the job of selling two of the biggest hits of TV’s second golden age: Mad Men and Breaking Bad. She talked to Yale Insights about creating great marketing for great stories. Read More
Maureen C. Chiquet — The global luxury goods market recovered quickly from the financial crisis due in large part to growth in emerging markets, especially China. Chanel CEO Maureen Chiquet YC ’85 discusses how she shepherds the quintessentially French company in a fast-moving global market that may be transcending national identity. View Video
Daniel Esty & Richard Kauffman & Catherine Smith — The idea of “green banks”—public lending institutions designed to help finance private clean energy projects—has been around for a while, but states have recently begun establishing their own versions. With the federal government slow to innovate in the sector, state officials are hoping to provide crucial support for clean energy and spur economic growth. But to work, green banks require a rethinking of the nature of the private-public relationship. View Video
Richard Skolnik — The state of global health is never static. The past century has seen some of the greatest advances in life expectancy and overall health in human history. And yet huge disparities exist between rich and poor nations in measures such as infant mortality and life expectancy. Richard Skolnik, a global health expert, talks about how to use the data to inform better decision-making—and to save lives. View Video