Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité in Today’s Terms

Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité in Today’s Terms

Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité in Today’s Terms

Saturday, December 12, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy, President and CEO of ICSB

crossroads (n) – a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences

Over the past year, we’ve seen the entire world take a step back and reconsider the situation in which we find ourselves. It has been a year full of tremendous upheaval and uncertainty, but with this uncertainty has come an enormous possibility of change. The type of change that challenges us and calls us to create something more. Throughout history, there have been moments like these, diversions in the road that ultimately led to the betterment of the world and the people living in it.

One of the most impactful of these moments was the French Revolution. On July 14th, 1789, the storming of the Bastille marked a turning point in the French struggle for Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité. Bastille Day is an annual holiday marking the significance of that day and the Fête de la Fédération that celebrated the unity of the French people on July 14th, 1790. The remarkable courage that the French people showed, by daring to imagine a world that was better than the one they found themselves in can offer us a guiding light in these unprecedented and trying times.

The French people found themselves at a crossroads when they decided to create a new and more equitable government form. They recognized that the decisions they made would impact countless people’s lives that would come after them. We face similar circumstances today. The volatility and uncertainty in the business ecosystem have forced us to reconsider some of our foundational approaches to entrepreneurship and development. The decisions we make in these upcoming weeks and months will have far-reaching consequences for an entire generation of consumers, investors, and entrepreneurs. So what can we learn from the decisions made by those on Bastille Day?

The storming of the Bastille represented a broadening of horizons and a genuine leap of faith. The French people’s situation was unprecedented, and they took advantage of that unusual nature to push progress forwards. But it would be a mistake to assume that all of that progress was equal.

One of the French Revolution’s landmark results was writing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, a profoundly influential document. Inspired by the Enlightenment philosophers, the Declaration was a core statement of the French Revolution’s values. It significantly impacted the development of popular conceptions of individual liberty and democracy in Europe and worldwide. But the document had one major flaw. It prioritized the experience of men and disregarded the role and plight of women in the country.

Entre Marie Gouze, a French playwright and activist, became increasingly outspoken against the slave trade in 1788 and began distributing political pamphlets. Incensed by the exclusion of women in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, she wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in 1791, where she challenged the practice of male authority and the notion of male-female inequality. Although it failed to impact the Revolution significantly, it remains a deeply influential and important document that shows the commitment to gender equality that existed amongst feminists at the time, while helping us see today that progress is not always.

Here at ICSB, we believe that centering women entrepreneurs and their experiences are vital in reimagining and reworking the current business ecosystem in a more just way. Like Marie Gouze, we need to stand firm in the truth that including and empowering women is not a suggestion or a recommendation, but a necessity. The challenges we face are enormous, but so is the potential that comes with overcoming those challenges. If reconstructing a humane entrepreneurship system in the face of a devastating pandemic is our charge of the Bastille, let us not make the same mistakes as those who came before us. Let us acknowledge, encourage, and follow the women throughout society for the sake of a better future.

We welcome you all to introduce our 2021 World Congress event next Wednesday, December 17th, at 10 am EST. The crossroads faced throughout this year forced us to make a crucial decision. It is the results of our decision that you will see scattered throughout the changes to the ICSB World Congress event. We are unbelievably excited for you all to join us on this journey together. All are welcome to join and can register by following this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/icsb-world-congress-2021-webinar-registration-132196131187

We want to thank our ICSB World Congres 2021 Hosts: IPAG Business School and École supérieure des sciences commerciales d’Angers (ESSCA).

https://www.essca.fr/en

https://www.ipag.edu/en

Article by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business

Productive Entrepreneurship

Productive Entrepreneurship

Productive Entrepreneurship

Saturday, December 5, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

Reflection on OECD’s International Compendium of Entrepreneurship Policies Report

The challenges we face are enormous, however, as is our capacity for change and growth. This current moment is an opportunity for real institutional change, but only if we face these challenges together.

This past Monday, we joined forces with the OECD to discuss how the entrepreneurial community grapples with the ongoing uncertainties caused by the pandemic. The webinar started with welcoming remarks from Céline Kauffman, Head of SME and Entrepreneurship policy Division, OECD, and Ayman El Tarabishy, President and CEO, of ICSB.

The global response to these issues will dictate the business ecosystem’s structure for decades, as mentioned by Professor Colin Mason, University of Glasgow, UK, and OECD report contributor. We remain steadfast in our belief that empowering entrepreneurs is key to facilitating a successful response to this ongoing crisis. Today, it seemed important to look at an array of currently unfolding strategies and propose a few of our own.

Across the world, countries are continuing to propose bold and innovative solutions to the myriad of financial issues that have come in the wake of COVID-19. Torsten Anderson, Deputy Director General at the Danish Business Authority, talked about the Danish success in strengthening their entrepreneurship support network and transition to an ecosystem approach. Ana Costa Paula, Head of Unit, Business Policy, Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition – Portugal, talked about the Portuguese focus on technological infrastructure and the benefits of strong start-up markets. We are all aware of Australia’s success by directly transferring large amounts of aid to small businesses to bolster their resiliency and ability to adapt, as outlined by Vicki Stylianou, Head of advocacy and policy at Institute of Public Accountants. Institute, Australia, and an ICSB Board member.

Although these approaches are uniquely tailored to each country’s specific situation, they have one fundamental similarity: they rely on broad policy interventions to strengthen small businesses and entrepreneurs’ ability to respond effectively to the evolving business ecosystem. Governments worldwide are shaping powerful and efficient ecosystems bypassing sustainable policies that aim to grow their humane and productive entrepreneurship capacity. Mr. Andrew McDonald, Chair, Small Business Investment Committee, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), stressed the importance of tailoring responses by stage of business and region.

The OECD’s International Compendium of Entrepreneurship Policies covered in the webinar session presented superbly by Jonathan Potter, Head of Entrepreneurship Policy and Analysis Unit. The OECD has a multi-layered approach to these policy interventions. The first layer is policy intervention for institutional conditions or conditions that deal directly with the business or employees. This usually involves easing regulatory barriers and changing your employees’ or consumers’ attitudes or behaviors. Addressing regulatory barriers is crucial, especially throughout the uncertain context within which we currently find ourselves. Small businesses are faced with a capital shortage and need to address their capacity and flexibility. Freeing them from unnecessary regulatory burdens will provide a crucial boost during a volatile time. The second layer is the most important one. Financial resources must get into the hands of small businesses and entrepreneurs to take advantage of other policy interventions like removing regulatory barriers. Big businesses have been prioritized to stabilize the economy as it suffered its worst economic shock ever. However, as we enter a recovery period and build back, investing in small businesses is the best way to revitalize and repair the global economy. The third layer of the Compendium builds on this idea. By providing holistic regional and national policy initiatives directly to small businesses, we hope to foster a sustainable and automated small business ecosystem that will evolve alongside a changing world and provide innovative solutions to whatever problems may arise.

These recommendations by the International Compendium are directly aligned with our entrepreneurial growth values through Humane Entrepreneurship’s lens. At ICSB, we believe that sustainable, humane, or “productive” (as referred to by the OECD) entrepreneurship is the best way to respond to the challenges we face as a global community. We believe that empowering atypical and non-traditional actors is necessary to unlocking our full potential, and we recognize the importance of education and community in achieving these goals. These conferences and gathering spaces, digital or material, are a window into the future of a humane and prosperous business world. The challenges we face are enormous, however, as is our capacity for change and growth. This current moment is an opportunity for real institutional change, but only if we face these challenges together.

Learn more about the OECD’s work and their recently published International Compendium of Entrepreneurship Policies here.

 

Sustainable start-up: Between candor and big lies

Sustainable start-up: Between candor and big lies

Sustainable start-up: Between candor and big lies

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

(This is a case study based on real proceedings. Names have been anonymized, and organizational contexts and events have been disguised. Any similarity to real institutions and organizational contexts is coincidental.)

Sustainable start-up: Between candor and big lies

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

(This is a case study based on real proceedings. Names have been anonymized, and organizational contexts and events have been disguised. Any similarity to real institutions and organizational contexts is coincidental.)

Start-ups are tricky and not least so in the wicked world of tech sustainability.

This story is about a young engineer suddenly finding herself immersed in an entrepreneurial setting where she struggles to balance her idealistic vision of sustainable technology solutions with the hardcore realities of business-as-usual.  

Entrepreneur, oh really?

I´m a millennial who grew up between the US, Denmark, and Spain, and ended up studying chemical engineering in Copenhagen. I did my master’s in biotechnology and then gained my Ph.D. in Materials Science in Barcelona based on a project funded by the Spanish Research Council. I defended my thesis about a year and a half ago based on research on the interface between biology and materials science, using surface modification to control cell behavior.

I´ve always been curious, but I never thought about or planned to become an entrepreneur. Though I´ve heard plenty about it since my parents rarely had “real jobs”, rather, traditional employment like most other parents, but instead always talked about projects, cash flow (or lack of it), and start-up opportunities. They always told my siblings and me about the joy of doing what you want and when you want. And particularly the latter stuck with me (Read more…).

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, by OECD

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, by OECD

Last week, we released the new OECD Digital Economy Outlook, our comprehensive analysis of emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges in the digital economy.

In addition to covering policy developments and the latest data, this year’s report includes a special focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic could mark an inflection point in the digital transformation.

Read Key Findings in Our Blog

Read the full report

Find out more in our slide presentation

Digital technologies have played a key role in nearly every aspect of the COVID-19 response – everything from teleworking and distance learning to AI-powered diagnostics and track-and-trace apps. But the pandemic has also amplified concerns around security and privacy while shedding light on persistent gaps in digital access, use, and skills.

In a special brief, we discuss how policymakers can seize this opportunity to steer the digital transformation towards a more inclusive and resilient post-COVID future.

Read our brief on COVID-19 and digital divides

Women to the Front

Women to the Front

Women to the Front

Saturday, November 28, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy and Analia Pastran

Today, we celebrate Women’s Small Business Saturday.

As an extension of small business Saturday, we want to highlight the critically important work that women have done and continue to do in the business ecosystem. We believe that this year’s Women-owned Small Business Saturday comes at the perfect time to highlight the potential and necessity of empowering women entrepreneurs and small business owners. Women make up the bulk of small business employees and have succeeded at creating a robust, innovative, and crucial small businesses ecosystem despite historical and current challenges to their participation in the business world. There are realistic, concrete solutions to these challenges that allow women a real place to transform the business world positively.

The first few solutions are mostly technical. Women have traditionally been excluded from capital markets and been forced to do much more with much less. Creating incentives for banks and other financial institutions to offer low-interest loans and additional capital to women entrepreneurs and investors will immediately increase women’s impact in the MSME ecosystem. There must also be networks between businesses so that this impact can be distributed and multiplied in a just and sustainable way. We believe strongly in the idea that women should make decisions for women. We believe creating an infrastructure of communication and support between women-led-MSMEs will provide ample opportunities for their impact to grow.

In a similar vein, the challenges women have faced have not been restricted to the workplace, and too many women have had to choose between their career and family life. There needs to be childcare support and other social services offered to women to compensate them for the disproportionate share of domestic and household labor that falls on them. This labor has been completely hidden within a system that does not incentivize or prioritize domestic caregiving as particularly valuable. Investing in these resources will alleviate some of the weight from the various social pressures that have hindered women’s advancement within the business ecosystem.

Although implementing the resources listed above would drastically improve the situation, it would not solve everything. For too long, women have not been taken seriously by their male counterparts. Entrepreneurship is a male-dominated sector. With the men disproportionately represented within the power structure, women have struggled to succeed, even in the circumstances in which they have adequate access to capital and other resources. We must lead the way in changing the culture of entrepreneurship to value and prioritize women’s experiences in much the same way we are trying to lead the way on prioritizing humane and sustainable entrepreneurship. These goals are not in opposition to one another. In many ways, they depend on each other to succeed. Although women’s historic mistreatment needs to be rectified, being forced to invest and innovate frugally has given women the unique perspective and skill set to thrive in an increasingly unstable environment. Men have traditionally valued expansion and growth over humane and sustainable investment. Empowering women, especially in leadership, is one of the most straightforward, most cost-effective ways businesses can improve themselves. We do not have to reinvent the wheel to create a more prosperous and equitable world. We have to recognize the value of those who have been overlooked for far too long and put those people in the best places to succeed.

Today, many of you may notice that the ICSB.org site has been painted red. In many cultures, the color red is said to represent life, passion, and courage. What better color exists to represent the lifelines that hold up our world, women? At ICSB, we are launching more women-led programs, centering more women-owned businesses, and curating all women’s opportunities to join together in an entrepreneurial community that we have all long-awaited. We recognize that there can not be we in the entrepreneurial community until we all step up and begin breaking down the barriers that continue to hold women back from their fullest potential. Women are core to our work in creating sustainable patterns of change and focusing Humane Entrepreneurship. Today and every day, we honor the Womenpreneurs who are core to every social, economic, and cultural structure. We say thank you, and we commit ourselves to create an environment for WE.

I want to share my colleague’s, Professor Analia Pastran, opening remarks for ICSB’s first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Conference held recently. They are remarkable remarks and well-timed.

Greetings to everyone! We are delighted to be opening the First ICSB Women Entrepreneurs Conference (WE).

I want to share with all of you how this activity started. After a Spanish webinar entitled “Women entrepreneurship, which challenges and barriers?” that I did with Dr. Ines Gabarret, Diah Yusuf from Indonesia called us telling us that we needed to repeat that experience in English, so we got another three bold women, Dr. María Fernanda Andres, Shoroke Zedan and Vicki Stylianou, and we began to dream big. We started a WhatsApp group on August 20, 2020, having our meetings every Thursday from NYC, Paris, Buenos Aires, Jakarta, Cairo, Melbourne. Six cities, six women, organize the First ICSB Global Conference of WE and daring to dream big!

After 65 years of the history of ICSB, this is the first global conference from women to women. This is a milestone! And as the US Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris, said, “while I may be the first, I won’t be the last,” This may be the First ICSB Global WE Conference, but it won’t be the last.

From the beginning, we got the Chair of the Board of ICSB, Ahmed Osman, ICSB President and CEO, Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy, and of Incoming Chair of ICSB, Dr. Winslow Sargeant. Three men support women’s ideas and the new winds of change like the slogan HeforShe but trespassing the campaign and becoming a reality in our lives.

As women, our resilient attitude comes from the many validations we need to go through until our ideas are accepted. We are passionate and creative in solving these times’ challenges, and we are very optimistic about the future that we want for our communities.

That is why we need more Womenpreneurs around the world. That’s why we are organizing this Global Conference to showcase Women Empowerment’s concrete actions across the globe.

Many thanks for joining us in this movement: “Women Dare to Pursue Creative Solutions for Greater Global Impact.”

WE MOVE FORWARD.

View more about Womenpreneurs here

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business

Prof. Analia Pastran
Co-Chair WE Conference
Founder & CEO Smartly Social Enterprise on the SDGs

Ayman El Tarabishy

Ayman El Tarabishy

President & CEO, ICSB Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business

Analia Pastran

Analia Pastran

Co-Chair WE Conference Founder & CEO Smartly Social Enterprise on the SDGs

Women Entrepreneurs – Global Impact

Women Entrepreneurs – Global Impact

Women Entrepreneurs – Global Impact

Saturday, November 21, 2020, by Ayman El Tarabishy

Adjusting our metrics and measurements of success towards sustainability and humane investment, centering women, specifically through the expansion of womenentrepreneurs and women-led MSMEs.

This past week, members from around the business world gathered for the first ICSB Global Women Entrepreneurship (WE) Conference, a space designed for women that dare to pursue creative solutions for greater global impact. This conference comes at a crucial juncture, as MSMEs and entrepreneurs navigate an emerging and constantly changing business ecosystem. As we come together to reconsider and reimagine our world, it is clear that women play an increased and vital role in creating new, sustainable business practices. We hope that this conference, unique in its goals and ambition, will be the first of many such endeavors designed to take advantage of this historical moment and provide adequate resources and investments for women entrepreneurs and MSMEs.

Some of the themes we have stressed this year at ICSB have included sustainability, humane entrepreneurship and investment, flexibility, and resilience. Women have consistently been at the forefront of progress in all of these fields, and they have largely done so without significant investment from traditional business actors. We believe that resources like the WE Conference will help us all take advantage of the unique situation we find ourselves in by prioritizing and centering women’s experiences in the business ecosystem. Women have been working and innovating throughout history, even as the market has traditionally under-valued their labor. They have been forced to adapt creative and sustainable solutions with limited access to capital and no formal recognition within the system. Women overwhelmingly are the managers of their household, a chore far more cumbersome than most business management positions. They have experience in investing frugally to maximize services in the face of economic pressures.

Women have consistently met challenges with creative, quick thinking that has mostly prioritized sustainable, community-driven solutions to issues, which are precisely the values and experience we need to be centering at this moment. We can see this through the benefits that companies have brought in after hiring and promoting women executives, which have consistently been between a 15% and 69% increase in profits (Kathy Frey, WE Conference, 2020). Simply put, women are one of the top growth economies in an ecosystem looking for new growth opportunities.

With the dual challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and the looming instability that will accompany climate change, we have to begin changing how we view, understand, and carry out humane entrepreneurship and sustainable investment. Women have traditionally invested more of their finances in childcare and family development resources compared to men. Today, they spend on average 3x the time men do on domestic care and unpaid work. They have consistently been forced to produce more with less and have had to be sustainable and resilient to succeed. One of the most basic steps we can take to empower women in the business ecosystem is to have women decide for women.  Women’s autonomy is often overlooked because the struggles they face are hidden, a fact we saw throughout the world as many women were left out of stimulus packages passed in response to the COVID crisis. We must recognize that it is impossible to transition to sustainable, humane standards of entrepreneurship and investment without empowering and centering all women. Once we show women the support they deserve and are put in positions to influence and direct the activity in the business ecosystem, we will see improvements in every part of our society.

The process of transition to a business ecosystem that is more just, equitable, and profitable will not be an easy nor fast one. We have not been perfect here at ICSB, but we hope that this year’s WE Conference is the first of many such resources targeted towards women and their evolving role in society. As we adjust our metrics and measurements of success towards sustainability and humane investment, centering women, specifically through the expansion of women entrepreneurs and women-led MSMEs, will be crucial. We hope to bring attention to both educational and practical resources of which both aspiring women entrepreneurs and investors to take advantage. We want to be part of the process of change here at ICSB, and we hope our WE Conference is a blueprint for additional resources for women that creates space for them to thrive and be autonomous in the evolving business ecosystem. As Cecilia Tham declared at the WE conference, “Success is not defined by others, it’s how we want to be.”

ICSB congratulates and warmly thanks the WE Conference Chairs: 

  • Shoroke Zedan, Partner, Envisage Consulting, Egypt
  • María Fernanda Andrés, C-Level Executive / Chief Business Developer at Aceleradora Litoral, Argentina
  • Inés Gabarret, Associate Dean at ESSCA School of Management, France
  • Diah Yusuf, Founder at Indonesia Prima, Indonesia
  • Analia Pastran, Founder and Executive Director of Smartly Social Entrepreneurship on the SDGs, USA
  • Vicki Stylianou, Head of advocacy and policy at Institute of Public Accountants, Australia

Article by:
Ayman El Tarabishy
Deputy Chair, Department of Management, GW School of Business
President & CEO of ICSB

It is Entrepreneurship Time: Ecosystem Building: An Idea Coming of Age?

It is Entrepreneurship Time: Ecosystem Building: An Idea Coming of Age?

It is Entrepreneurship Time: Ecosystem Building: An Idea Coming of Age?

Monday, November, 16, 2020 By Ph.D.Norris Krueger, Expert Entrepreneurship Developer. Senior Subject Matter Expert for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Learning, OECD/EU, United States

It is Entrepreneurship Time: Ecosystem Building: An Idea Coming of Age?

Monday, November, 16, 2020 By Ph.D.Norris Krueger, Expert Entrepreneurship Developer. Senior Subject Matter Expert for Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Learning, OECD/EU, United States

Do we grow local economies bottom-up or top-down?

At a seminal OECD workshop in 2013 in the Netherlands, leading thinkers came together and discussed this issue. One side focused on creating optimal enabling conditions wherein entrepreneurship would emerge. The other side focused not on this institutional perspective but instead on a functional approach wherein the community grew from the entrepreneurs and their champions. [Mason & Brown 2014[1]] One intriguing observation was that civic officials and large institutions (including universities) strongly favored the top-down approach. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurial community of entrepreneurs, investors, and entrepreneurial champions favored the latter, often vehemently. Self-serving biases aside, it is clear that the more one works closely with entrepreneurs, bottom-up becomes preferred.

To that end, major supporters of entrepreneurship turned their interest to the entrepreneur-led, bottom up model (to use Feld’s fortuitous phrase). In particular, the Kauffman Foundation realized the need to explicitly work to reduce or remove the hurdles to starting, running, and growing ventures for everyone. This model of “zero barriers” is intended as a “rising tide” strategy that empowers everyone.[2](Read more…).

Can You Afford Your Disease? How the Presidential Election will Determine the Future of the Free Market

Can You Afford Your Disease? How the Presidential Election will Determine the Future of the Free Market

Can You Afford Your Disease? How the Presidential Election will Determine the Future of the Free Market

Friday, November 13, 2020, by Jordyn Murphy JHBL Staff Member and ICSB Board Member

This chart shows how pharmaceutical spending (measured in USD per capita) in the United States is significantly higher than in other countries.

Image Credit: https://data.oecd.org/healthres/pharmaceutical-spending.htm 


For 68% of American voters, the cost of healthcare, including pharmaceutical drugs, was an important facet in determining whether they would vote for President Trump or Former Vice President Joe Biden.[1]  In fact, many Americans have stated they are willing to pay higher taxes and forgo new drug developments if it meant a decrease in prescription drug costs.  This isn’t surprising, as over 70% of Americans currently take at least one prescription drug, and every 1.25 hour, seven Americans die because they can’t afford their prescription drugs.[2]  The coronavirus pandemic has only intensified the use and need for prescription medicine.  With Joe Biden’s election to the Presidency, voters wonder if true reform will come from his healthcare plan.

The pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable industry in America.  Americans spent $460 billion on prescriptions in 2016.[3]  So why do drug prices continue to rise exponentially? Pharmaceutical companies would tell you the prices reflect the cost of research and development (R&D), but the real answer is simple: because the free market allows it.

If each American had a dollar for every time the pharmaceutical industry defended their price hikes in the name of R&D, they likely would be able to afford their prescriptions.  However, most big pharmaceutical companies do not do their own R&D.  In fact, most drugs are the product of small startups or biotech companies based on the scientific research by the NIH, a federally funded agency.  Once a drug is discovered, big pharmaceutical companies such as Merck, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer acquire the company and prepare it for the market.  Further, in what is referred to as a legal monopoly, when the drug’s patent is getting ready to expire, companies make small tweaks (i.e., changing the side of a molecule) to obtain a new patent.  For example, Prilosec became Nexium with very little change to the drug itself and no additional health benefits for patients.  When generic companies create generic versions of these drugs, the large pharmaceutical companies pay the generic companies to delay releasing their product for a set amount of time (referred to as pay for delay).

If money isn’t spent on R&D, where does it go?  Marketing.  The United States is only one of two countries in the world that allow direct to consumer marketing.  Pharmaceutical companies spend 19 times as much on marketing and advertising than they do R&D.[4]  For example, in 2016 alone, Pfizer spent $2.3 billion in off-label promotion and kickbacks[5] to doctors.  Aside from marketing, pharmaceutical companies also spend a considerable and unfathomable amount of money on executive pay.  While on paper, an executive might make $18 million, the company buys back its stocks so the executives can cash in on their stock options with their total salaries coming to $250 million a year.[6]

So how do you tackle the most profitable industry in America?  We can’t rely on corporations gaining a moral compass.  As Allergen showed in 2017, when they transferred their patents to the Mohawk reservation to gain sovereign nation protection, they’re incapable of morality.[7] Corporate law forces corporations to be answerable to their shareholders and maximizing profits.

President Trump tried reform recently when he issued an executive order titled “Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First.”  This order directed the Department of Health and Human Services to use the “most favored nation” approach to test international pricing with certain high-cost drugs covered under Medicare Part B and insufficient competition under Part D.  Ironically, “the statutory provision that allows the Medicare program to test different payment approaches is part of the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump Administration is currently attempting to overturn.”[8]

The first real step is price regulation through negotiation reform.  The U.S. is the only industrialized country that operates on a system that allows pharmaceutical companies to charge whatever they want.   Medicare is forbidden from negotiating prices with drug companies, a practice employed by Britain, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland.  The legislature must create a pricing committee that negotiates prices with pharmaceutical companies.  Additionally, through the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, the government must prevent big pharmaceutical companies from obtaining new patents on the existing drugs by making nonsignificant developments.

Further, the tax deduction for marketing expenses must be stopped, as outlined in Joe Biden’s healthcare plan.  Reform will not be easy when the pharmaceutical companies spend over $3 billion a year in lobbying, outspending every other industry by 44%.  For example, Mitch McConnell, Republican majority leader, has received more than $200,000 from pharmaceutical companies in this most recent election cycle.  Looking forward, it will be important to elect government leaders who cannot be bought.


Jordyn Murphy is a second-year law student at Suffolk University Law School with an interest in corporate law, specifically asset management. Jordyn currently interns at Primark U.S. with the General Counsel and is a board member for the International Council for Small Business.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are the views of the author alone and do not represent the views of JHBL or Suffolk University Law School.


Sources:

[1] https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/08/13/important-issues-in-the-2020-election/

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_ncGqyAfY

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_ncGqyAfY

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_ncGqyAfY

[5] Kickbacks are essentially bribes to doctors to incentivize them to prescribe medications to patients at high rates and high dosages. Kickbacks have included tickets to basketball games, vacations, tennis lessons, etc.

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_ncGqyAfY

[7] Allergen transferred legal ownership of one patent to the New York Mohawk Tribe. The Tribe then licensed the patent back to Allergen for ongoing payments. Allergen was sued by another pharmaceutical company and argued that federal law prohibited the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from reviewing the patents because they were protected under the Tribe’s sovereign status. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling that sovereign immunity does not apply to patent review proceedings. The Supreme Court denied certiorari.

[8] https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2020/10/15/491425/little-late-trumps-prescription-drug-executive-order-not-help-patients/

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/kickbacks-and-fraud-in-our-health-care-system-43547 

https://blog.petrieflom.law.harvard.edu/2020/09/23/the-promise-and-pitfalls-of-trumps-most-favored-nation-approach-to-drug-pricing/#more-29213 

https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/08/13/important-issues-in-the-2020-election/ 

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2020/10/15/491425/little-late-trumps-prescription-drug-executive-order-not-help-patients/  

https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/health_glance-2015-5-en.pdf?expires=1604603042&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=E732605FD9298C9871813184671C44FE  

https://data.oecd.org/healthres/pharmaceutical-spending.htm 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZ_ncGqyAfY 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/27/us/politics/coronavirus-drug-pricing-legislation.html  

https://joebiden.com/healthcare/#  

Current Status of Museums and Digital Platforms: Passion and Persistence

Current Status of Museums and Digital Platforms: Passion and Persistence

Current Status of Museums and Digital Platforms: Passion and Persistence

Wednesday, November 11, 2020, by Lenore Miller

Being the Change, You Wish to See

Those of us in the museum field, as evident in the dialogue between Hilary-Morgan Watt and Lenore Miller, are passionate about presenting art and we can call upon the entrepreneurial spirit for persistence in creating new models of experience. Digital platforms and social media are a form of outreach highly prized now, and in the future.

Museums and other cultural institutions are vulnerable due to closures and financial perils, and yet have been able to pivot effectively to represent on social media. Museums are adapting to the pandemic restrictions by utilizing social media as never before. Hilary-Morgan Watt brilliantly outlined how social media has stepped up to the challenge while museums have been shuttered. In the Spring, museums designed campaigns that creative and talented staff organized campaigns to engage audiences virtually. These were meant to uplift, providing a “light lift” for museums and way to humanize the museums’ missions by sensing the public mood.

Some exhibition themes are easier to translate to digital platforms than others. Open air components, such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, have been able to offer visitors immersive outdoor experiences. For example, Lee Ufan’s sculpture installation was environmental and related to the museum’s architecture, and could best be experienced by moving around in space. In contrast, however, Jimmie Durham: Still Life with Spirit and Xitle, a somewhat humorous work consisting of a car smashed by an animated boulder, could be experienced through a photograph, yet its presence in the front of the museum expanded the conversation with Lee Ufan’s installations.

A museum staff using social media effectively to augment its mission’s outreach is not new, but has become essential strategic thinking out of necessity. Staff well versed in utilization of social media have become essential players and more numerous. In our webinar Hilary-Morgan Watt described the “lay of the land” how museums have embraced social media during these uncertain times. One example that was innovative for the contemporary art museum, was introducing the personality and private studios spaces of artists to audiences through video and Zoom presentations. In the example of envisioning Pat Steir’s studio, one piece of a creative’s “content is repurposed,” stated Hilary-Morgan Watt. This is effective and vital. It opens another dimension to the appreciation of the
sustained hard work that artists do. Many successful artists are busy with their process, and the ability to glimpse inside their studios was most effectively caught by the Hirshhorn’s videography.

Artists reputations can grow and spread in popular culture through social media, as in the case of Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors” and the “Obliteration Room” (February – May, 2017) “This extremely popular exhibition was amplified by visitors’ and staff’s participation in social media,” read the website. So, using social media has just stepped up in its versatility for the current state of affairs. And one must remember that by digital means, the museum can track its successes, and yes failures. Support museums and make your voice heard through comments, as they are heard!

While museums are closed or visitation reduced, are we losing our ability to engage in “sustained looking” at works of art? The experience of close examination of works of art — the subtle textures, details, and yes “presence” — is the most enriching experience of a museum visit. By oneself or with others. The collecting and preservation of artifacts will not be replaced by the digital experience, but it adds an accessible way of visiting the museum’s treasures. The local reach of a small museum can become global. Its educational mission reaching new and diverse audiences. But being “old school” I still want to be present to experience the interaction among works of art as they have been curated and displayed.

Lenore Miller

Lenore Miller

Curator Emerita, the George Washington University Museum and ICSB Master Teacher

As director of university art galleries and chief curator, Ms. Miller led the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery team while also overseeing GW’s art collection. Throughout her time at GW, she also taught courses on exhibition design, art history survey and design for the fine arts.

Hilary-Morgan Watt

Hilary-Morgan Watt

Digital Engagement Manager for the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

With 15 years of experience in museums and galleries, Ms. Watt has led digital strategy workshops across the Smithsonian and lectured at the State Department, George Mason University, and Georgetown University. A transplant from the Pacific Northwest, she completed her B.F.A. at Southern Oregon University and completed her Masters in Museum Studies from the George Washington University (GWU). She is an active member of ArtTable and an adjunct professor at GWU, teaching “Museums & Social Media” in the Graduate Museum Studies program.

Economic and Social Crises and the Power of Data

Economic and Social Crises and the Power of Data

Economic and Social Crises and the Power of Data

Monday, November, 9, 2020

Economic and Social Crises and the Power of Data

Monday, November, 9, 2020

How Entrepreneurship can be part of economic revival

In 2020, a social crisis, unprecedented in our modern society for its rapid and wholesale impact, descended upon the World, inflicting its force in nearly every corner of the globe, causing widespread loss of life and threatening the economic welfare of every community. We might have rationally thought that advances in medicine, technology, and communication would make us immune to an out-of-control virus. Perhaps we should be able to control the outbreak of a disease, no matter how aggressive. But the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that much of this control is in retrospect, when we realize how extensively we were caught off guard, how we didn’t act when we should have. No longer able to anticipate and pre-empt, we can only react, taking the knowledge we have and amassing our understanding to minimize further social and economic damage. It was too early, in the spring of 2020, to think about the lessons we would take forward, but there will be lessons.

The social and economic costs of the COVID-19 pandemic have been viewed, by some, as tradeoffs. Do we accept some deaths as perhaps inevitable or, at the very least, a cost we must endure to avoid the economic consequences? Or do we avoid human loss at all costs, particularly when it is a family member, close friend, or a medical professional that risked their life to save others? Fundamentally, though, we recognize that we cannot have a functioning economy with an unrestrained health crisis. Nonetheless, we have to fight the social battle with all our might while recognizing that the economic fallout could have devastating results for society. Recognizing that entrepreneurs and business owners are critical to the functioning of every economy, most policy makers realize that small business has to be part of this conversation (Read more…).