Date(s) - 05/14/19 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Chicago Council on Global Affairs
As consumers today are faced with countless brands competing for their dollars and loyalty, they are increasingly choosing ones that align with their beliefs. The 2018 Edelman
Earned Brand study reveals that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers around the world now buy on trust, a remarkable increase of 13 points since 2017. These belief-driven buyers will choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on where it stands on the political or social issues they care about. As consumers seek greater accountability, how can brands create shared value, while also turning a profit? What is the circular economy, and how can sustainability and transparency not only improve bottom lines, but our planet?
John Edelman spearheaded and continues to lead Edelman’s global citizenship function, including corporate social responsibility (CSR), pro bono and volunteerism, supplier diversity, partnership engagement, sustainability, and reporting. Edelman also serves as president of the Daniel J. Edelman Family Foundation and co-leads the global diversity and inclusion council with Marie-Claire Barker, Edelman’s chief talent officer. Under Edelman’s leadership since 2010, Edelman has made significant progress in its CSR agenda, including being the first public relations firm to become Carbon Trust certified and, most recently, achieving an EcoVadis Gold rating for the highest quality of CSR management. The Veterans Leadership Council awarded John the 2017 Veteran Supporter of the Year. In 2015, he received the Commitment to Service award by Give an Hour for his dedication to mental health awareness. The Holmes Group awarded the Silver Sabre for PR Agency Citizenship to him in 2012. Edelman won a PRSA Silver Anvil in 2000 for excellence in internal communication, in recognition of the firm’s global launch of the company’s mission, vision and values program. Edelman holds a master’s degree in marketing and public management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s in political science from Brown University. He currently is a member of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, an honorary board member of Student Veterans of America and sits on the advisory board of Ethical Corporation.
James Ossman is the senior director of Workplace and Strategic Sourcing at Etsy, the global marketplace for unique and creative goods. In this role, Ossman leads Etsy’s real estate and workplace functions, the sustainability team, and enterprise-level purchasing. Ossman is also a leader of Etsy’s Impact Committee, the body responsible for defining and overseeing Etsy’s strategy for social, economic, and environmental impact. Prior to Etsy, Ossman was the senior operations manager at The Earth Institute at Columbia University where he worked with companies, governments, and UN agencies to implement economic development programs. He has spent time living and working in India and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Ossman holds an MS in sustainability management from Columbia University and a BA in international relations from George Washington University.
Céline Semaan Vernon
Céline Semaan the founder and CEO of Slow Factory, a design innovation lab focusing on sustainable practices and manufacturing with a positive impact on planet and people. She is an ambassador of cultures whose research and work are located at the intersection of fashion and politics. Forced to flee her country as a child, she has been raised between the East and the West, finding herself advocating for peace, equality, and human rights along the way. Semaan is a writer whose work has been published in The Cut, Elle USA, Refinery 29 and studied in universities. A designer recognized and exhibited in museums around the world, she is a thought leader trailblazing and championing fashion activism, a term she coined in 2012. Semaan is a sustainability expert, and her work focusses on solutions from a postcolonial perspective. She is a Director’s Fellow at MIT Media Lab and is on the board of Fashion Revolution USA and AIGA New York.
Cristina Alesci, Business and Politics Correspondent, CNN
Cristina Alesci is a business and politics correspondent for CNN, covering financial markets, economic policy and campaigns. Alesci reports on how average Americans, big business, and Wall Street are impacted by the Trump administration’s trade and tax policies. Her most recent work tells the story of workers who are coping with large scale layoffs in the Midwest, the stock market turbulence, global growth, and the trade war between the US and China. Alesci has interviewed some of the world’s most influential policymakers, investors and executives, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, highlighting his efforts to stave off climate change and exploring his potential presidential ambitions. Other recent interviews for CNN have included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Alesci has also reported extensively on government ethics. During the 2016 Presidential election, her stories highlighted the potential conflicts of interest faced by each of President Trump and Secretary Clinton. Since the election, she has reported on the conflicts posed by the family businesses of both the President and his son-in-law, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. She joined CNN from Bloomberg Television, where her coverage of high-profile deals made headlines and moved markets. Alesci was responsible for breaking news on some of the biggest deals of the decade, including Facebook’s initial public offering, the buyout of Neiman Marcus and the fight to take Dell private. While at Bloomberg, she also covered the sports, music and entertainment industries, and contributed to Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets Magazine.