Stakeholder Governance: From Theory to Practice

  • This event is archived.

3 hours CLE available.

Hosted by the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford Law School in collaboration with the Coalition and the Framework for Inclusive Capitalism

Join a distinguished group of speakers for an exploration of the issues and challenges facing boards and companies that are seeking to design or implement stakeholder engagement initiatives. This event will consist of the following three sessions:

  • 9:00am – Corporate ESG: Talk versus Action
  • 10:15am – Workforce Policies in the Age of Stakeholder Governance
  • 11:30am – Building the “S” in an ESG Framework

Detailed descriptions of each session and session speakers are below.

Corporate ESG: Talk versus Action
9am – 10am PST

Many companies have moved beyond the debate over whether to take into account the interests of stakeholders other than shareholders, and are grappling with the practical challenges of effectively implementing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) – oriented reforms. What concrete steps are companies actually taking to advance their ESG agendas, and what obstacles do they face? How are companies weighing and prioritizing the potentially competing interests of different stakeholder groups? How are companies evaluating the practical and policy limitations of corporate reform as a means to improve social and environmental outcomes? In which areas is action by governments essential to achieve improved social and environmental outcomes, and in which areas are corporations able to partner with governments to achieve these outcomes? Join a prominent panel of speakers on the front lines of stakeholder-oriented capitalism for a discussion of the potential and limitations of corporate ESG-oriented reform efforts.

Curtis Milhaupt
William F. Baxter-Visa International Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

Dambisa Moyo
Board Member, 3M, Chevron, Conde Naste, Oxford University Endowment Investment Committee

Sunya Norman
Senior Director, Global Impact, Salesforce

Ashley Walter
Partner, Orrick

Workforce Policies in the Age of Stakeholder Governance
10:15am – 11:15am PST

Over the past few decades, worker productivity has become divorced from worker pay, with productivity rising exponentially and pay largely stagnating. Economic inequality, whether measured through the gaps in income or wealth between richer and poorer households, continues to widen. In addition, the rise of a “gig” economy has eroded traditional economic relationships between workers, businesses, and clients and led to the hiring of more independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. Workers typically don’t have a role in decision-making that affects them and the companies they work for. In an effort to amplify their voices, some tech workers are waging collective action campaigns and embracing unions. Join a distinguished panel of speakers to examine whether and how a redefined corporate purpose that purports to benefit all stakeholders could – and should – impact corporate policies and practices around workers. Panelists will address a variety of topics, including whether workers should have a greater voice in the governing process and the form that representation should take, how employees in the gig economy should be classified, tech worker unionization, and issues around fair compensation.

William B. Gould IV
Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law (Emeritus), Stanford Law School; Former Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board

Megan Driscoll
Equal Pay Advocate; Founder & CEO of Megan Driscoll Consulting

Loren Kaye
President, California Foundation for Commerce and Education

David White
National Executive Director of SAG-AFTRA

Building the “S” in an ESG Framework
11:30am – 12:30pm PST

Companies hoping to report on their “S” or social performance face a high hurdle. Social metrics are primarily concerned with the company’s own or its suppliers’ treatment of employees, and the company’s impact on the communities in which it operates. These types of social impacts, risks, and opportunities may be difficult and costly to track, measure, and compare across industries.

How can companies achieve high-quality reporting on social impacts? What improvements must be made to the processes for promulgating and auditing this data, as well as to the regulatory enforcement landscape, in order to produce accurate, objective, and verifiable social metrics? How should companies, investors, and other stakeholders deal with social impacts that cannot be accurately measured? How does certification fit into this discussion? Join a distinguished panel of speakers to learn practical tips for building the infrastructure needed to produce high-quality social metrics.

Maha Eltobgy
Senior Director, Head of Investors Industries, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

Colleen Honigsberg
Associate Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

Avedis Seferian
President & CEO, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)

Genevieve Taft-Vazquez
Global Director, The Coca-Cola Company


CLE Handouts (Session Material)
Time Event
9:00 am Corporate ESG: Talk versus Action
Companies Must Decide What Stakeholder Capitalism Means To Them. Sarah Keohane Williamson.

How to Reconcile Your Shareholders with Other Stakeholders. Paul Strebel, Didier Cossin, and Mahwesh Khan. MITSloan Management Review.

Stakeholder Capitalism and the Pandemic Recovery. Sanford Lewis. Shareholder Rights Group.

The Expansion of Corporate Responsibility. Robert Madsen and Curtis J. Milhaupt. American Purpose.

The Future of the Corporate Moving from balance sheet to value sheet. World Economic Forum in collaboration with Baker McKenzie.

Uber Should Take a Lesson from the Film Industry on How to Treat its Workers. David White.

10:15 am Workforce Policies in the Age of Stakeholder Governance
Big Tech Unionization: A Primer. Michael Clauser, Logan Finucan, and Elliot Silverberg.

CEO pay remains stratospheric, even at companies battered by pandemic. David Gelles.

Gig Workers As Employees: Why Ameria Won’t Follow the U.K. Anytime Soon. Tom Spiggle.

Lifting Labor’s Voice: A Principled Path Toward Greater Worker Voice and Power Within American Corporate Governance. Leo E. Strine, Jr., Aneil Kovvali, and Oluwatomi O. Williams. Legal Scholarship Repository. University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

Opinion. Gig Economy workers must be ‘in the room where it happens’. By William B. Gould IV.

Opinion: This company pays its workers a $70,000 minimum salary and that’s helping it weather the coronavirus crisis. Dan Price.

Shareholder campaign pushes Citigroup and others for worker representation on boards. Amelia Lucas.

Uber Will Push to Shape Director of Biden Gig Worker Regulation. Erin Mulvaney. Daily Labor Report. Bloomberg Law.

Uber Should Take a Lesson from the Film Industry on How to Treat its Workers. David White. SAG-AFTRA.

Will the voters side with the continued exploitation of gig workers? By William B. Gould IV.

11:30 am Building the “S” in an ESG Framework
Biodiversity, Supply Chain Rank Among Biggest ESG Themes in 2021. Saijel Kishan and Alastair Marsh.

Making “Stakeholder Capitalism” Work: Contributions from Business & Human Rights. John Ruggie, Caroline Rees, and Rachel Davis (Harvard University).

Measuring Corporate Virtue – and Vice. Paul Brest and Colleen Honigsberg. Frontiers in Social Innovation, Harvard Business Review Press, Forthcoming 2021.

Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism: Towards Common Metrics and consistent Reporting of Sustainable Value Creation. World Economic Forum.

Using ESG Tools to Help Combat Systemic Racism and Injustice. Adam O. Emmerich, David M. Silk, and Sabastian V. Niles, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.


Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

Admission Restrictions

This event is open to the public.

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