ASCEND Summit 2022

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Virtual Conference

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Come join ASCEND and the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School on January 21, 2022 for the virtual ASCEND Summit 2022! The COVID pandemic and the social justice movement have both raised profound questions about the values of American business. In response, many companies have vowed to do better by their employees and their communities. At ASCEND 2022, we will be bringing together some of the world’s leading executives, researchers and activists to discuss what has really changed and to ask what should be the values of American business. Come join the conversation.

Featured Speakers Include:

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(Clockwise from top left)

Caroline Feeney, CEO of U.S. Insurance & Retirement Businesses at PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL, INC.;

Ella Bell Smith, Professor of Business Administration at TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT DARTMOUTH;

Michael Bass, Chief Communications Officer and Executive Vice President at NBA;

Nilka Thomas, Chief People Officer at LYFT;

Shiva Rajgopal, Professor of Accounting and Auditing at COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL;

Jenna Johnson, Head of PATAGONIA, INC.

In collaboration with:

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Tentative Agenda (All Times Eastern)



The View from Washington, D.C.

  • Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)

Leadership in the Time of COVID

  • Ella Bell Smith, Professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  • Larry Dunivan, CEO at Namely

Corporate Communications in Times of Change

  • Jonathan Adashek, Chief Communications Officer at IBM
  • Nilka Thomas, Chief People Officer at Lyft


Keynote Conversation

  • Caroline Feeney, CEO of U.S. Insurance & Retirement Businesses at Prudential, Inc.


Change From Within: Employee Activism in the Workplace

  • Abhinav Gupta, Associate Professor at University of Washington
  • Arisha Hatch, Vice President and Chief of Campaigns at Color of Change
  • Cher Scarlett, software engineer and leader of #AppleToo movement

Keynote Conversation

  • Jenna Johnson, Head of Patagonia, Inc.

Who Do We Include?: A Conversation on Diversity in the Workplace

  • Rebecca Cokley, Program Officer in the President’s Office at Ford Foundation
  • Elizabeth White, aging solutions advocate and author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal”

How Do You Drive Change?

  • Shiva Rajgopal, Professor at Columbia Business School
  • Kristin Hull, Founder, CEO & CIO at Nia Impact Capital
  • Ken Pucker, Advisory Director at Berkshire Partners

Closing Keynote

  • Rachel Drori, Founder and CEO at Daily Harvest

Thanks and Closing

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