COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. In response to the public health emergency, Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken is engaging a range of industry leaders and medical experts to help us better understand and confront a crisis that has not only altered our current day-to-day but will change the course of how we work, socialize, and fight disease for years to come.
Ep. 125: Leadership, with BTG Pactual’s André Esteves
“We need to attack extreme poverty. Of course, the pandemic brought additional challenge to that. But, we provided emergency aid for an extensive part of our population, around 60 million people. Of course it's a fiscal challenge, but we did more on a relative basis than all the other countries.”
As one of Brazil’s wealthiest men, André Esteves could easily keep his head down and just take care of business. But the senior partner of BTG Pactual – the largest investment bank in Latin America, with more than $70 billion of assets under management – is determined to give back. As a board member of Conservation International, he champions protecting the Amazon and its extraordinary biodiversity. As a philanthropist, he and his partners are empowering the next generation of Brazilians by building a new university, the Institute of Technology and Leadership.
“Our corporate sector needs coders, programmers, data scientists, and we need to help provide this kind of qualified labor force,” he tells Mike. “But, beyond teaching technology, the intention here – and that's why it has ‘leadership’ in the name – is also teaching that you only create wealth if you work very hard, wake up very early in the morning. And you don't need government for that.”
Ep. 124: Accomplishments, with Secretary Elaine Chao
“Asian Americans are now beginning to find our voice. We’re learning that we need to be full participants in our democracy. The rise in violence and hateful rhetoric against the Asian American community during the COVID 19 pandemic has brought this community to a greater realization of the need to participate more fully in our country’s institutions, and be more vocal and visible.”
As the excited 8-year-old girl watched the land of her birth recede from her view as her cargo ship pulled away from shore, Elaine Chao could only dream of the opportunities awaiting her in the U.S. After learning English and earning excellent grades, she would receive an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and eventually rise to become the first woman of Asian heritage to serve in a President’s cabinet, first as the 24th U. S. Secretary of Labor, and most recently as the 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Along the way, she served as Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission, President and CEO of United Way of America, and Director of the Peace Corps.
“As I review my life’s journey,” she tells Mike, “I don't look back upon the accomplishments so much as the rich gifts that I am now blessed to possess, which is love of family and friends, the respect of peers and colleagues, the ability to have led an impactful life, and, hopefully, the continued ability to make a difference in the world.”
Ep. 123: Priorities, with Anheuser-Busch’s Michel Doukeris
“In protecting our business, we are not talking about protecting AB’s business, but everybody in the chain that was relying on AB to maintain their business continuity. And that came from the farmers to the people in our breweries, to the wholesalers that we service to the retailers that they service and for the consumers, that they would need to have some sense of normalcy.”
An event like a pandemic can make one reexamine personal and professional priorities. For Brazilian-born Michel Doukeris, it was a chance to bolster his 165-year-old company’s commitment to its customers. When hand sanitizer was in short supply, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch quickly shifted brewery production to fill that need. When the American Red Cross saw blood donations decline, the venerable company used its partnerships with major sports franchises to allow their arenas to be used for that vital purpose. That kind of altruism also extends to the company’s supply chain – and to its competitors.
“We want to be the company that contributes the most for our retailers and wholesalers for their business growth,” he tells Mike. “It’s about working with our employees and our communities to be strong. … And it's about having a leadership position in the overall industry, making the industry better, making the industry healthier and making sure that we are contributing through innovation to make this industry a vibrant one for the next 100 years.”
Ep. 122: New Dimensions, with HP’s Enrique Lores
“We all have learned the things that a few months ago we thought were not possible were really possible. … As I think about manufacturing, I think about two big changes. First is the creation of more decentralized manufacturing networks, where companies will be able to produce closer … to where their customers will be. The second big change will be driven by personalization.”
After launching his 30-year career at HP with an internship, Enrique Lores was named CEO in November 2019. In between, he learned virtually every facet of the iconic company, helping it achieve its current status as a leader in the technology sector. For HP’s future, the Madrid-born Lores sees increasing market share in the biomedical sector, as personalized medicine drives demand for 3D printing.
“We are building microprocessors for fluids,” he tells Mike, “and with them we will be able to do diagnostics and measure and identify potential diseases. We will also be able to create personalized medicine. So if you are going through a difficult treatment, we will be able to create a specific medicine designed only for you, and that medicine will be built in your home, at your home. That ability and option to drive the democratization of the healthcare space is one of the most inspiring efforts that we have in the company. Not only because of the business it will create, but also because of the impact it will have in the world.”
Ep. 121: The Novelist and the Neurologist, with John Grisham and Neal Kassell
This Podcast Features:
Founder and Chairman, Focused Ultrasound Foundation
“Once I realized the potential of this non-invasive surgical procedure to save countless lives and improve the healthcare of millions of people, I realized how important this work can be and is.” —John Grisham
Friends and neighbors for 25 years, author John Grisham and neurologist Neal Kassell are on a mission. Together, they are raising awareness – and funds – for a promising, non-invasive procedure known as focused ultrasound. While the FDA has approved the therapy for seven specific treatments, Kassell (who successfully treated both of President-elect Biden’s aneurisms) believe that millions could benefit from broader applications of the technology:
“Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, OCD, depression, a lot of work now on epilepsy, stroke,” he tells Mike. “The other major area that has us really excited is cancer and cancer immunotherapy, particularly glioblastoma and pancreatic cancer, as well as metastatic melanoma. [What] we need in addition to financial capital is human or intellectual capital. … The ultimate force multiplier for human capital is collaboration. So, we spend a lot of time fostering collaboration.”
Ep. 120: Foresight, with Julie Sweet
“The crisis happened at a time of exponential change in technology that was already transforming the way we work, how we engage with clients, how we make decisions. … And then you instantly had behavioral change at a scale that we've never seen in the past.”
Julie Sweet believes large companies should be flexible and light on their feet. Case in point: her own Accenture. When she became CEO of the multinational professional services company in 2019, she instituted sweeping changes to its operating model and invested billions in a new cloud system, which left their half million employees in 120 countries in a much better position to withstand the pandemic. It is this kind of foresight that led the New York Times to call her “one of the most powerful women in corporate America” and Fortune to rank her number one on its “Most Powerful Women in Business” list.
“I am talking to many companies now who say we want to move as fast as we did, “she tells Mike. “And my simple question is, ‘What have you changed?’ Because large organizations in particular can’t operate in crisis mode forever. What do they need to change to compete and to be successful in what I call the new reality?”
Truly love hearing solution based conversations during uncertain times.
Great content from experts
Enjoying listening to a variety of industry experts share their insights. Grateful to hear positive and actionable plans
Great, easy-to-consume updates
Enjoying listening to these episodes as they come out. Episodes are a great length and the diverse group of guests provide fresh, interesting takes on these challenging issues. These interviews are easy to understand and consider this crisis from multiple angles.