Loading... please wait

2015 Concordia Annual Summit


As the world turned its attention to New York City this fall, Concordia celebrated its fifth anniversary of supporting public-private partnerships (P3s) for social and economic impact. On October 1st and 2nd, the Concordia Summit convened the world’s preeminent thought leaders and decision makers to address the world’s most pressing global challenges by highlighting the potential that effective cross-sector collaboration can have in creating a more prosperous and sustainable future.

Read the Summit Summary



vp portrait hires - 2015 Concordia Annual Summit

Day 1

October 1st - Grand Hyatt New York

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM RegistrationP3 Lounge

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM Opening RemarksPlenary West

12:15 PM - 12:40 PM The Future of Afghanistan: From Transition to TransformationPlenary West

Location: Plenary West

Afghanistan is currently a nation in transition. For the first time in Afghanistan’s history, the country has successfully managed a democratic political transition in the office of the presidency. After over a decade of war and American occupation, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have taken responsibility for the nation’s security. War-weary Afghans have called for peace, urging their new government to reverse the years of cultural and social devastation under Taliban rule. Yet despite these positive trends, Afghanistan remains a nation on the brink of transformation.

Indications of progress include the passage of the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law in 2009, the ability of the National Unity government to prevent the Taliban from gaining a foothold within the new administration, and the increasing participation of civil society groups in the political process. With a new set of challenges ahead, the National Unity government, led by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, recognizes that the future of the nation is dependent on whether its leaders can successfully overcome systemic problems and implement a comprehensive reform agenda.

12:40 PM – 1:00 PM The New Normal? Assessing the Health of the Global Economy Plenary West

Location: Plenary West

In recent months, global financial markets have been churning. The Shanghai Composite fell over 30% from June to July 2015, which called investors’ attention worldwide to more insidious macro issues in the Chinese economy. With share prices falling, slashed interest rates, and declining growth, the recent turbulence in the future of the China’s economy has come into question. Meanwhile, in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s strategy to spur economic growth has stalled, as Standard & Poor’s downgraded its rating of Japanese government debt. In Europe, the Greek-government debt crisis has threatened to destabilize the Eurozone, contributing to a debt burden and economic collapse similar in severity to the Great Depression in the United States. This all comes as the US Federal Reserve chose not to raise interest rates, only adding to growing uncertainty and market volatility. This session will explore questions surrounding the recent turbulence of financial markets and the future of the global economy.

1:00 PM - 1:15 PM The Concordia Partnership Index – Results and AnalysisPlenary West

Location: Plenary West

The Concordia Partnership Index ranks countries based on their readiness and need to engage in public-private partnerships. The inclusion of need indicators set the index apart from other indices that measure P3 environments. While the success of a P3 depends on a country’s political and market structures, the index recognizes that for a P3 to be truly impactful it must address a large-scale need.

The 2015 index will rank over 40 countries that represent a diversity of geographies, stages of development, and regime types. The ranking and its accompanying analysis provide governments with their countries’ relative attractiveness to private and nonprofit partners. Private and nonprofit organizations can use the index to identify countries where economic and social returns would be maximized.

This session will begin with the announcement of the 2015 Concordia Partnership Index rankings. After a brief review of key findings and trends, speakers will put specific countries’ rankings into context through an analysis of their political, economic, and social environments. Speakers will consider questions such as: What similarities and differences exist between top/bottom ranking countries? How well are current events reflected in the index rankings? What have specific countries done to attract investment? Which strategies for attracting investment have been most impactful? To what degree does political risk in adjacent countries affect a country’s investment appeal?

1:15 PM – 1:35 PM Private Sector Engagement in the Post-2015 Development AgendaPlenary West

Location: Plenary West

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” during his State of the Union Address. Just over 50 years later, the international community is evaluating future strategies at accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals. The challenges for the post-2015 Development Agenda are multifold: Increasing affordability and access to education and training, improving labor and technology in order to raise living standards, providing access to credit for small to medium enterprise development, building infrastructure and connecting populations to modern energy sources. These are among the most effective ways governments can achieve inclusive growth.

This year, the Concordia Summit will highlight actionable frameworks for inclusive growth that center on cross-sector collaboration and the leveraging of public-private partnerships, which not only create productive employment opportunities for traditionally marginalized segments of society but also provide aspiring entrepreneurs with access to basic services. For this session and the post-2015 development agenda, Mr. Andrew Liveris, President and CEO of Dow Chemical, will discuss the key components of the post 2015 development agenda and more specifically Dow’s commitment to meeting these goals. He will also discuss how the private and public sectors can partner to chart the path forward from poverty to prosperity.

This session will explore questions such as: Though experts forecast a dramatic reduction in low-income countries by the year 2035, what does this mean for the disparity of income within countries? Though philanthropy can test aid and development innovation, it cannot serve the entire population – how can government mechanisms utilize philanthropic innovation? Is there an inherent antagonism between capitalism and nonmarket mechanisms? Are charity and free enterprise in conflict when addressing international development goals? When leveraging technology in international development, what is the most exciting and impactful opportunity for technology to change lives of the poorest today?

1:35 PM – 2:00 PM "Beyond Business” – The Modern CEO Plenary West

Location: Plenary West

The role of business in society is changing. Philanthropy is no longer the primary way in which companies engage on social and environmental issues. Companies are increasingly incorporating corporate responsibility into their core businesses and in doing so are realizing both social and bottom-line benefits. CEOs are the drivers of this shift in business responsibility and strategy. Behind every modern company that embraces sustainable and socially-oriented practices is a transformational leader. From water security to workers’ rights, going “beyond business” is at the forefront of the 21st century CEO’s priorities.

As the opening session of the 2015 Summit, Concordia truly envisions this conversation as a way to set the stage for the entire conference. Muhtar Kent is an exemplary leader at the forefront of integrating sustainability and social responsibility throughout his entire corporation and will be showcased as a pioneering champion of social impact within the private sector. We envision Mr. Kent speaking to the opportunities and challenges associated with the adoption of sustainable practices, addressing questions such as: Why has sustainability been prioritized in the corporate agenda? How are companies being measured by their sustainability efforts? How can companies achieve triple bottom lines while still leading market competition? How does creating a shared value model open new opportunities to take social issues into account and even improve competitiveness?

2:00 PM - 2:10 PM The Path to EmpowermentPlenary West

Location: Plenary West

Concordia Leadership Council Co-Chair, George M. Logothetis, will provide remarks on the intersection between opportunity and ability and the balance between empathy and empowerment.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Concordia Strategy Sessions

Innovation & Technology: Internet as the New Battleground in the Fight Against Extremism

Programming Partner: Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Today, the power of social media has reached the hands of verbal architects behind numerous lucrative extremist groups, including ISIL. Various reports have confirmed the existence of thousands of Twitter accounts supportive of ISIL, which maintain an active presence on the web. With a 2015 budget of $2 billion, making it the world’s richest terrorist organization, ISIL’s recruitment efforts are powerful, slick, and more advanced and effective than any methods used by al-Qaeda. It is important to understand and analyze who these extremists are, their messaging strategy and the propaganda tools they are armed with, as well as how they target their potential recruits through advanced technology.

This session will be action focused, discussing practical steps to address questions such as: When faced with this well-equipped online presence, how can international policymakers, civil society, and the private sector work together to weaken the influence and reach of violent extremist recruitment efforts and propaganda? What communications strategies does the international community have in place to combat ISIL’s social media savvy? What is the impact of their ability to not only recruit, but proliferate their message internationally at the push of a button? How can cross-sector efforts combat the world’s most digitally equipped terror group?

Pathway to Action: Supporting Youth-Led Social Enterprises

Programming Partner: The Resolution Project

Youth-led social entrepreneurship offers creative solutions to some of the world’s pressing challenges.  Social entrepreneurship programs are among the most promising opportunities to address the unemployment crisis among the world’s youth.  Through these activities, young leaders are developing their leadership skills, receiving training in marketable job-oriented skills, and connecting to resources and networks they need, in order to realize their potential as social and economic entrepreneurs.  By collaborating across the public, private, and civil society sectors to provide young people with market-driven, sustainable, and high quality ventures, youth-led social entrepreneurship programs have enabled thousands of young people to build, scale, and lead small to medium enterprises across the world.  Above all, youth-led entrepreneurship programs are essential in providing youth with a leadership role in civil society, encouraging them to initiate and sustain community projects, and facilitating collaboration with their peers to improve their communities.

This session will explore questions including:  How do youth entrepreneurship programs build strong foundations for continued collaboration and leadership? How can social entrepreneurship programs engage youth in key national development fields?  How can youth-led social entrepreneurship become a catalyst for employment in countries that suffer from economic and political instability and high unemployment?  How can social entrepreneurs scale with the support of the social sector?  How can we move toward a more intentional approach to supporting emerging entrepreneurs?  How can the allocation of capital – financial, human, intellectual, and otherwise – be done more efficiently?

Igniting a Movement through Innovative Solutions

Programming Partner: My Brother’s Keeper Alliance

Addressing systematic barriers that face boys and young men of color will require working across sectors to invest in communities, spark innovation, and to change the narrative. Specifically, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance has highlighted six milestone areas that are paramount to successfully bridging the opportunity gap for BYMOC: 1) Entering school ready to learn 2) Reading at grade level by third grade 3) Graduating from high school ready for college and career 4) Completing postsecondary education or training 5) Successfully entering the workforce 6) Reducing violence and providing a second chance.

In this session, panelists will discuss tangible and actionable solutions that work towards the mission of improving life outcomes for BYMOC along these six milestone areas. Session questions will include: What solutions have already been proven successful and should be scaled? What areas of development and support need more substantial infrastructure to drive systematic change? What differences and/or factors must be taken into account at each critical milestone? How can cross-sector partnerships help provide holistic programs and necessary investments to create sustainable impact?

Innovation & Technology: International Disaster Response

Programming Partner: U.S. Agency for International Development

Technology is playing an increasingly larger role in the way we respond to international disasters. Critical and reliable real time data, shared digitally via a wide variety of technologies, is now being used to facilitate disaster response coordination and more among local and national governments, international relief organizations and the private sector. Two-way digital communication between government officials and frontline health care workers helped manage the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Social media and online platforms were critical to digitally mapping the impact and informing response efforts of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Using geolocation software, information shared between citizens and government agencies is assisting with monsoon flooding preparation, response and management in Jakarta.

This session will explore how technologies have strengthened the capacity and preparedness of governments, citizens and the international humanitarian system to respond to the needs of crisis-affected populations and the specific ways in which cross-sector collaboration is crucial, including: how can the private sector partner with local and national governments in order to effectively manage limited resources? What are some of the technologies available that are enabling a more integrated and better-managed response to domestic and international emergencies? How can public policy promote innovation in the field of disaster response?

Defending Our Children: Utilizing Innovative Technology to End Child Trafficking

Programming Partner: The McCain Institute

Child trafficking is, undoubtedly, the most horrific and offensive form of human trafficking. Every day, young girls and boys are bought and sold across America. They are abducted or lured by pimps at bus shelters, outside schools and through social media. As a result of recurring abuse and violence, child victims of trafficking develop the most severe forms of physical and psychological trauma. Having internalized beliefs of shame and unworthiness, child victims are the least likely to leave their traffickers. Despite this trauma and abuse, all too often, these children are referred to as “child prostitutes.” How can this be the case when most are not even of legal age to consent to sex at all, let alone commercial sex?

The McCain Institute, Rights4Girls and Google are seeking to change this with the “No Such Thing” campaign because there is no such thing as a “child prostitute.” These children are victims and survivors of child sex trafficking and should be treated as such. This session will call on members of the media, policymakers, and others to eradicate the term “child prostitute,” as well as explore the digital activism movement that leverages technology and utilizes an intervention-based strategy against child trafficking. At this year’s Summit, Thorn, Digital Defenders of Children, will discuss its latest deterrence tool; its newly designed hashtag and shortcode programs that have successfully identified, tracked and directly communicated with child trafficking victims throughout the U.S. with the ultimate goal of restoring freedom and integrity to their lives.

4:30 PM - 5:15 PM Employing the Future: The Imperative of Youth Employment in Creating Inclusive EconomiesPlenary West

Location: Plenary West

Programming Partner: The Rockefeller Foundation

According to the International Labor Organization, approximately 73 million young people are unemployed. As a generation that is three times more likely to be out of work, today’s youth, from Europe to the Americas, face growing instability and scenarios of what is typically referred to as “working poverty.” Building on efforts to productively engage and secure livelihoods for this generation of opportunity youth, international governments, the private sector, and civil society have attempted to re-shape traditional employment pathways for the next generation of workers.  By gauging pre-employment skill sets, offering on-the-job training, emphasizing skills acquisition and development, as well as designing retention programs, employers can successfully align skills training with current work opportunities. In healthcare, information technology, business and range of other sectors, the employer driven approach not only helps bridge the gap between unemployed youth and the employers that need skilled talent, but also works on the creation of a more inclusive economy. Moreover, employers not only witness a high return on investment in terms low turnover rates, but also create shared value in terms of increased diversity in the workforce, higher employee engagement, and corporate social responsibility.

This session will explore questions on employer-driven approaches to ending the youth unemployment crisis and actionable plans for creating models of inclusive prosperity.  Questions for exploration will include what is the business case for creating employer-driven employment pathways? What are the barriers to businesses and what obstacles stand in the way of creating employment pathways that can train, support, hire opportunity youth? What strategies are available for fostering innovation and talent in order to make youth more marketable to employers?

5:15 PM - 6:00 PM Democratic Governance in Latin America: Challenges and OpportunitiesPlenary West

Location: Plenary West

Programming Partner: Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Since the late 20th century, Latin America has become one of the few regions in the world almost exclusively governed by democratically elected leaders. Inclusive economic growth has lifted tens of millions into the middle class and inequality has fallen. Nevertheless, that progress is now at some risk. Violence is on the rise in many countries, economic growth is slowing, and major challenges to constructing and preserving democratic governance remain. High levels of corruption, income disparity, social inequality and press harassment continue to threaten Latin American society and degrade quality of life.

This panel will explore how Latin American governments can work with the private sector to overcome these challenges. What social and political reforms are necessary? Are local, “multilatina” and other companies doing their part? How can today’s political leaders work better to promote social cohesion and democracy, during an era when social media and other technological changes are transforming citizens’ relationship with their government? With a homicide rate that has more than doubled in some Latin American countries, how can elected officials address the rise in criminality? What role do journalists play in confronting corruption and strengthening Latin America’s human rights agenda?

4:15 PM - 4:45 PM Emerging Climate Economies: A Roadmap to Global Energy SecurityPlenary East

Location: Plenary East

Programming Partner: Greenwood Energy

Balancing economic prosperity and energy security with the need to reduce carbon emissions is a key challenge of the new climate economy. Since the Copenhagen talks in 2009, the world’s two largest economies and largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. and China, have agreed to cap or reduce their emissions. However, this December, at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), the litmus test of accountability will be the willingness of the world’s governments to reach an agreement.

This session will explore questions such as: How can decision-makers achieve their economic and social goals while simultaneously reducing the risk of dangerous climate change? What role can renewables play in emerging and developing economies? Can developments in renewables disrupt global commodities markets and fuel trade? Can governments do anything to encourage financing of renewable projects by small and large private companies?  How will differences in regulatory environments across the globe manifest in renewable development? As renewables are a growing percentage of the world’s energy production, how do governments and utilities providers account for unreliability of supply?

5:45 PM - 6:30 PM Innovation & Technology: Public Health Policy & Biological WarfarePlenary East

Location: Plenary East

Programming Partner: The McCain Institute for International Leadership

As part of an effort to understand the risks of biological warfare in an environment where technological advancement makes it more possible, the McCain Institute for International Leadership, in partnership with SIGA Technologies, a biodefense antiviral company, have established a decision center in Washington DC for understanding the consequences of a smallpox outbreak. Based on published research on the spread of the disease and its impact on human lives, this first-of-its-kind public opportunity opens the doors for decision makers to assess how to deal with outbreaks of highly-infectious fatal diseases such as smallpox.

This strategy session provides a multimedia interactive immersion into the possibilities for and consequences of a bioterror attack with a contagious pathogen. By examining the various policy options, the users are presented with the outcome of their decisions with respect to the number of people infected, the mortality, the time to contain the outbreak, as well as the implications for the economy and the labor market. 

Given the recent international attention and resources devoted to containing and eradicating the Ebola virus from West Africa, this simulation will provide unique insight on the potential public health challenges and mitigation strategies for smallpox and other contagious disease outbreaks of dramatically larger size and scale.

6:30PM - 8:00PM Cocktail ReceptionP3 Lounge

Day 2

October 2nd - Grand Hyatt New York

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Registration & BreakfastP3 Lounge

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM Beyond 2016: The Changing Face of the American ElectoratePlenary East

Location: Plenary East

For over two centuries, Americans have made their voices heard through a political process based on free and fair elections. But in recent years, the state of American politics has been defined by partisanship and polarization, as Democrats move further to left and Republicans move more to the right. This political polarization has been largely the result of changing demographics as seen in age group, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. Poll after poll finds that a growing percentage of registered voters nationwide feel their views are not accurately represented by their elected officials. With 59% of registered voters putting their support behind political outsiders who want to bring greater transparency to government, candidates claiming to be “outside the establishment” have gained increasing support from a base of disaffected voters. As such, the 2016 election may herald the transformation of the American political system— with victory being awarded to the candidate who best understands the changing face of the American electorate.

This session will explore questions on the 2016 elections and the potential transformation of the American political system, including: How much will voter disaffection help or harm the Democratic and Republican parties? With each election, is the American electorate increasingly comprised of a progressive majority?  With the Millennials reaching voting age, how will outreach to young voters impact the 2016 elections and those to follow? Which issues have emerged as central to the 2016 elections and how will voters judge the candidates on these issues?

9:00 AM - 9:40 AM Bringing Solutions to Scale in Women’s HealthPlenary East

Location: Plenary East

Programming Partner: Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Secretariat, George W. Bush Presidential Center

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® is the leading public-private partnership aimed at catalyzing the global community to reduce deaths from cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America by raising awareness of these diseases and increasing access to quality services to detect and treat them. Launched in September 2011, the partnership’s founders include the George W. Bush Institute, the United States Government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).  The partnership also includes corporate and foundation members – Becton, Dickinson and Company, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Caris Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Qiagen – and collaborating partners, such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation, LiveStrong Foundation, GE Healthcare, and the American Cancer Society. In addition, a consortium led by the CDC Foundation, entitled “Improving Data for Decision-Making in Global Cervical Cancer Programs” (IDCCP), is supporting the work of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon by developing global standards, tools, and guidance to enhance the quality, coverage and scale of monitoring, and evaluation of programs to prevent and control cervical cancer in our countries of engagement.

Having expanded over the last four years to five countries and 23 partners, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is working with local implementers to expand coverage of a full continuum of cost-effective interventions from prevention to palliative care.  This session will reflect how partnership’s vision is to promote innovation in the clinic, in service-delivery models, and in the application of new technology to serve more women more rapidly, which can be scaled-up and used globally to save more lives.

9:45 AM – 10:10 AM Pinnacle of Power: The Psychology of LeadershipPlenary East

Location: Plenary East

At the pinnacle of power, we often find history’s most controversial figures. From Joseph Stalin in Communist Russia to Nelson Mandela in apartheid South Africa, a leader’s character stands out as the driver of actions and policies that leave an indelible mark on history. Our present day leaders are no exception. Their success is measured largely by their ability to share a unique vision with the world, articulate and accomplish their stated goals, and most importantly, inspire and transmit strength to others in times of crisis. President Obama, Angela Merkel, Bashar Al Assad, Hillary Clinton, Ayatollah Khomeini, Xi Jinping — all have experienced significant events during their tenure that have come to define them. While politics teaches us that our leaders must use both their insight and character to inspire others towards collective action, history tells us a different story. Economic crisis, civil war, natural disasters, poverty and the global threat of terrorism have the power to both shape a presidency and define a legacy.

In this session, Nicholas Logothetis and Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia, will discuss the definition of leadership, the role of character and other factors that contribute to making leaders effective. Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga is a Concordia Leadership Council member and a prominent spokesperson on politics and science policy and a Professor of psychology and interdisciplinary scholar at the University of Montreal (1965-1998). Since the end of her presidency in 2007, she has been solicited as an invited speaker on social issues, moral values, European historical dialogue, and democracy. She has published 14 books and authored over 200 articles, book chapters, reports, and audiovisual materials.

This session will also explore leadership in the 21st century and the making of history by today’s most prominent leaders, with questions including: Both Presidents Obama and Xi have faced financial crises that have crippled their national economies, what do their responses tell us about their leadership styles? Women have historically played a unique role in the struggle for democracy and justice. Yet they are often interrograted on their right to lead and hampered by cultural, political, and social barriers that hold them to different standards than their male counterparts. How have Angela Merkel and Hillary Clinton succeeded in defining themselves in a political system dominated by men? With the signing of the Joint Plan of Action, Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has received an increasing amount of attention. Although many view him as a dangerous adversary, he has a significant role in the conflicts that currently plague the Middle East. What can we expect from a man so ideologically opposed to the culture and political system of the West?