Published July 31, 2018

From the CEO

From its founding, the animating focus of the Milken Institute has been the power and potential of human capital. Given that focus, it is no surprise the Institute believes strongly in the value of all human capital and the right to build a meaningful life regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.

That commitment has never been more timely, and it had a prominent presence at this year’s Milken Institute Global Conference. The programmatic “tent poles” of that event are always-relevant tracks such as finance, economy and health. This year, our team also created an “equality track” that provided substantive conversations around this pervasive subject.

One of the highest profile sessions was “What's Next: Harnessing the Momentum of #MeToo and #TimesUp.” An array of leaders discussed what happens “after the hashtags,” and how this social revolution can deliver transformational and lasting impact. Panelists included actress Ashley Judd, Kerry Kennedy and a pioneer in gender equality, Harvard Law’s Catharine MacKinnon.

Another panel, “Educate, Elevate, Empower: Investing in Girls and Women,” brought leaders across industries to discuss the next chapter in investing in universal education for girls, closing gender pay gaps across industries, and elevating the percentage of women in the C-suite and boardroom. One panelist, Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, reminded us that “modern feminism must include men. We’re all in this together.”

“How to Be a Man in 2018” — perhaps the most provocative panel title of the conference — picked up on the fact that “we're all in this together.” One panelist, former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, eloquently shared the consequences of his abuse of steroids, and the better path he is now on.

These were just a few of the sessions at the Global Conference that provided a crucial platform for our 4,000 attendees to gain insight on these issues. Videos of all these panels are available for your viewing on the Institute website.

It’s vital to note that our engagement did not start — or conclude — with this year’s conference. Last September, we hosted a successful Women Leaders Summit in Singapore, and we will be doing so again this September. With our efforts in this area led by President and Chief Operating Officer Rich Ditizio, the Institute intends to use our ability to convene leaders from across sectors to focus attention on important issues and to help drive progress that has tangible outcomes. I look forward to updating you on our progress.

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Michael Klowden, CEO