As we anxiously await the arrival of the signs of spring in Cambridge
after a long, snowy (and now very wet!) winter season, the pace
and scope of activity here at the Center for Business and Government
accelerates and expands.
Faculty seem to arrive in my office daily with their latest publication
(Lew Branscomb dropped by with his new book with Phil Auerswald,
Taking Risks: How Innovators, Executives and Investors Manage
High-Tech Risks) or new idea for some cutting-edge conference,
research project or funding opportunity.
Staff are working flat-out to arrange a major conference later
this month that we're hosting along with the National Commission
on Entrepreneurship on public policy and high growth companies.
We're also busy planning for a serious and methodical examination
on economic policy-making during the '90s that Jeff Frankel is
organizing for late June; and they continue launch a number of
events that engage prominent decision makers in stimulating discussions
(including former Premier Tang Fei of Taiwan, Mario Monti of the
European Commission and Taichi Sakaiya, former Japanese Minister
of State for Economic Planning).
Each day seems to bring with it another headline or crisis -
the electricity meltdown in California, the challenge of sustaining
productivity improvements in a now-sputtering new economy, the
controversy around global warming and the Kyoto Protocol. Each
seems to speak to the need for doing what we do: providing guidance
to business, government and leaders of civil society on how we
can find approaches that better align markets with social values
and in a way that engenders greater public trust and confidence.
I'm regularly visited by colleagues and new associates from other
centers here at the Kennedy School, from around Harvard University,
and throughout the world who are looking for ways to collaborate
with us or to tap the talents of our faculty in helping them address
opportunities and obstacles at the edge of new frontiers of teaching,
applied research and engagement.
We're also enthusiastically awaiting the arrival of Harvard's
new President, Larry Summers, whose extraordinary career represents
the epitome of what CBG is all about and what we aspire to advance:
academic and intellectual excellence, public sector leadership,
and understanding and active engagement between the worlds of
business, government and civil society. We couldn't hope for a
leader of our University who better captures, appreciates, and
promotes the agenda that we work on here at CBG.
An exciting and exhausting time indeed!
A word or two about some coming attractions and new people at
CBG that I hope might attract your interest and involvement:
· John Ruggie, former Dean of Columbia University's School
of International and Public Affairs, arrives at the Kennedy School
this month as the Evron and Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of International
Affairs, and takes up residence within CBG. Most recently, John
served Assistant Secretary of the United Nations, where he was
the principal architect of the UN Global Compact. We are honored
to have John in our ranks and look forward to his contribution
and involvement in many areas, including promoting public values
through private initiative and through voluntary public/private
· Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter joins
Michigan Gov. John Engler, Congressman Ed Markey and Sen. Thomas
Carper from Delaware at a major Forum event associated with our
conference on entrepreneurship and public policy that Associate
Professor David Hart has developed. The Forum, open to the public
on April 10 at 6 p.m., will confront the question: "Entrepreneurship:
What's Government Got to Do With It?"
· Professor Bill Hogan, former Congressman Phil Sharp
and Rick Sergel, president and CEO of National Grid USA (formerly
New England Electric System), will help illumine the West Coast
electricity crisis in "California Blackouts: Could It Happen
Here," a Forum event on April 9 at 6 p.m. Bill and his team
from CBG's Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG) will also be
holding an important executive session with industry, policy and
academic experts in Philadelphia earlier in April 4
· The following week, on April 17, CBG hosts another Forum
event with Ray Anderson, CEO of the Interface Group, speaking
on "The Greening of Corporate America," at 8 p.m.
· We have a number of CBG luncheon presentations during
the month of April, including Shelley Metzenbaum of KSG on April
5, speaking on "Performance-Focused, Information-Driven Environmental
Protection: Lessons from the Charles River;" Mary Schapiro
from the NASD, on April 12, speaking on "Self Regulation:
A Capital Markets Success Story;" and Walter Mattli of Columbia,
on April 26.
These are just some of the events and activities that CBG is
promoting and hosting during a very active month of April - too
many to list in one short message.
The life of the Center is animated by ongoing faculty research,
teaching and outreach on many other fronts. For instance, Associate
Professor Cary Coglianese has assembled a world-class faculty
advisory group for CBG's Program on Regulatory Policy including
Alan Altshuler, Lew Branscomb, Akash Deep, Mickey Edwards, Jeff
Frankel, Tony Gómez Ibáñez, John Dunlop,
Howell Jackson, Bill Hogan, Sheila Jasanoff, Elaine Kamarck, Robert
Lawrence, Henry Lee, Fred Schauer, F.M. Scherer, Hal Scott, Philip
Sharp, Malcolm Sparrow, Rob Stavins, W. Kip Viscusi and Richard
This month, Professor Rob Stavins will launch the new Environmental
Economics Program at Harvard University based in CBG; Professor
Dale Jorgenson continues to do important, groundbreaking work
through his chairmanship of the National Research Council Board
on Science, Technology and Economic Policy at the National Academy
of Sciences; Professor Robert Lawrence, having recently arrived
back at KSG from his stint with the Council of Economic Advisors
in Washington, is planning a new Program in International Trade
at CBG; Professor Tony Saich is exploring new programs and linkages
with institutions throughout Asia, including the Central Bank
of China; Jack Donahue continues to provide leadership to CBG's
Kearns Program on Business, Government and Education and, with
Professor Dick Light, is planning a major conference for the fall
on the digital divide; and Paul Brest, President of the Hewlett
Foundation, and I are hosting a two-day "charette" on
the "state of the art" of corporate citizenship in June.
We have recently completed an inventory and analysis of CBG's
research, teaching, and engagement activities at the request of
Dean Joseph Nye. This was a healthy exercise that sharpened our
focus on our core mission. In my somewhat biased opinion, CBG
has enormous assets, most especially our talented faculty, fellows
and staff. Society needs our engagement and leadership and we
are responding to the challenges and opportunities, both domestically
and globally, with an ambitious array of programs that are benefiting
society's understanding of issues at the critical crossroads between
the public and private sectors.
To continue our progress, we need and welcome the engagement
of many partners. You've taken time to read this message, so you're
obviously interested in our activities. I encourage you to pursue
that interest by getting more deeply involved with CBG and to
let me know how we can do even better going forward.