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Most of us think of ourselves as honest, but, in fact, we all cheat. From Washington to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, unethical behavior is everywhere. None of us is immune, whether it’s the white lie to head off trouble or padding our expense reports. In a presentation based on his most recent book The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, award-winning, best-selling author Dan Ariely turns his unique insight and innovative research to the question of dishonesty.

Generally, we assume that cheating, like most other decisions, is based on a rational cost-benefit analysis. But Ariely argues, and then demonstrates, that it’s actually the irrational forces that we don’t take into account that often determine whether we behave ethically or not. For every Enron or political bribe, there are countless puffed résumés, hidden commissions and knockoff purses. Ariely shows why some things are easier to lie about; how getting caught matters less than we think; and how business practices pave the way for unethical behavior, both intentionally and unintentionally. Ariely explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional and political worlds, and how it affects all of us, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards.

But all is not lost. Ariely also identifies what keeps us honest, pointing the way for achieving higher ethics in our everyday lives. With compelling personal and academic findings, Ariely will change the way we see ourselves, our actions and others.

We Are Predictably Irrational.

Do you know why we so often promise ourselves to diet and exercise, only to have the thought vanish when the dessert cart rolls by?

Do you know why we sometimes find ourselves excitedly buying things we don’t really need? Or at prices that we would otherwise concede are beyond our budget?

Do you know why we still have a headache after taking a five-cent aspirin, but why that same headache vanishes when the aspirin costs 50 cents?

Do you know why people who have been asked to recall the Ten Commandments tend to be more honest (at least immediately afterward) than those who haven’t? Or why honor codes actually do reduce dishonesty in the workplace?

Dan Ariely provides answers to these and many other questions that have implications for your personal life, for your business life and for the way you look at the world.

For businesses, these irrationalities help unlock our understanding of common behaviors and choices in shopping, pricing, investing and saving, employee recruitment and selection, office politics and a myriad of other choices and interactions.

As a bonus, you will also learn how much fun social science can be, and how to see more clearly the causes for our everyday behaviors, including the many cases in which we are predictably irrational.

Ben S. Bernanke (Exclusively WSB)

Drawing on his extraordinary career as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Dr. Ben S. Bernanke examines the current U.S. and global economic landscape and the key challenges facing the world today. His presentations are customized for each audience with conversational questions and answers from an interviewer.

The recent global financial crisis and the ongoing softness in much of the advanced countries—the EU, Japan and the U.S.—have shaken businesses’, investors’ and policymakers’ perceptions and confidence of a return to historic levels of stable growth. The fact that many emerging markets have been growing at annual rates two to three times those of the industrialized economies over the past two decades appears to confirm that the world marketplace is actually undergoing a structural transformation. What are the fundamental sources of these phenomena? Is this a one-time change, owning to a longer than normal business cycle that has yet to run its full course, or is it part of a long-term secular change?  What new risks and opportunities are presented? Harry Broadman’s on-the-ground insights about the genesis and implications of these shifts—and his surprising bullish view—will alter how audiences think about the future of the U.S. and the world economies and will shape the decisions they make.

To most Americans, negotiating and implementing international trade policy agreements is an enigma, which often breeds suspicion if not contempt for the process. Much is at stake for millions of U.S. businesses, workers and consumers. Demystifying the policymaking process, the institutions, the politics and the interrelationships among the stakeholders, both within the U.S. and our trading partners abroad, is essential to gain a better understanding of what are the benefits as well as the costs of various trade initiatives—past, present and prospective. With the overwhelming majority of the world’s customers located outside the U.S.—if not outside most advanced countries—trade is hardly only important to large businesses: small and medium-sized companies need to develop a strong understanding of international trade rules and opportunities in order to succeed in a global marketplace. How is trade policy actually developed in the U.S.? Who are the key parties that influence how those decisions are crafted?  How likely will a change in presidential administration engender a shift in the stance of U.S. trade policy in such a way that there could be profound impacts on companies, workers and consumers—not just in the U.S. but also throughout the world? What are the indicators to look for when trying to determine which direction trade policy is headed—particularly with a change of administrations in 2017? A former senior-level trade negotiator in both the Bush (41) and Clinton White Houses, as well as a drafter of key trade legislation while a senior staff member in the Senate, Harry Broadman shares a ringside seat overview of the decision-making process in Washington behind recent trade policy initiatives, including the negotiation of NAFTA and the WTO. He also highlights the trade challenges of the future, with respect to China and other major trading powers, and offers his insights on effective ways to take advantage (and avoid the pitfalls) of trade agreements as businesses operate abroad.

Corruption is one of the most pervasive and pernicious risks facing corporations, banks, private equity funds and other investors in the international marketplace. Not only can corruption add sizeable costs to the bottom line and damage reputations and brand images for many years, it can also result in very serious criminal penalties, including imprisonment and very large fines. Despite the fact that an increasing number of governments have been either strengthening existing sanctions against corruption or establishing wholly new anti-corruption regimes, rarely, it seems, does a month go by without the appearance of a news headline about a firm being charged with involvement in corrupt activities. At the same time, businesses often complain about the fact that because their rivals are not being held to the same corruption standards, unfair competitive advantages are being created, or that anti-corruption authorities don’t understand that for some cultures, certain business practices are not deemed as corruption but as traditional ways to carry out commerce. Drawing on his considerable experience counseling businesses on structuring corruption de-risking strategies as well as advising governments on the design and execution of anti-corruption reform programs, Harry Broadman shares his insights on the “dos and don’ts” and best practice approaches to mitigating the risk of corruption in foreign markets. What are the various laws, regulations and enforcement institutions both at home and in key markets abroad most pertinent to corruption issues? What are the most effective strategies for combatting incipient corruption?  What options are available to deal with competitors who are seemingly immune to corruption sanctions? How should a business’s compliance practices be designed and implemented? How can individuals or entities who are likely to present corruption vulnerabilities be systematically identified through due diligence at the very outset? What are the most effective responses to the discovery of corrupt activities? Which remedial steps are likely to have the largest payoffs? Broadman offers a window on the trends in the incidence of and responses to corruption in key foreign markets, e.g., China and Russia, and giving audiences the means to operate safely and successfully in the international arena.

Over the past several years, interest in Africa as a destination for investment has been growing at a startling clip. A few niche private equity firms were the first to make serious inroads into the continent more than a decade ago. Now, a growing number of multinational corporations and the largest private equity firms, as well as a variety of other institutional investors, have “discovered” Africa. Still, too few business leaders and policymakers in the U.S., the EU and other advanced countries are aware that for the past two decades, much of sub-Saharan Africa has been enjoying a relatively uninterrupted period of robust growth, where, on average, there’s been an annual increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of more than five percent over those 20 years. Moreover, while most investors, economists and policymakers forecast that Africa would suffer the greatest economic damage from the recent global financial crisis, the exact opposite was the case: pound for pound, the continent proved to be the most resilient region of the world economy. What’s behind the excitement over Africa? Is it a real opportunity or just the investment du jour? How are investors coping with the risks? And how do those risks compare with other regions of the world? Given the vast size, the large number and the heterogeneity of the countries on the continent, how do businesses and investors determine which ones are the standouts and which ones to avoid? Having spent time in more than half of the number of African states, Harry Broadman speaks authoritatively about the prospects for Africa’s long-term growth, the use of innovative approaches for mitigating risks, and how to assess and capitalize on new market opportunities on the continent. Broadman reveals pivotal developments and trends taking place in a number of African countries that disrupt long-held views about doing business in the region.

The conventional wisdom on Wall Street, inside the Capital Beltway, in the union hall and throughout the shopping mall is that it is inevitable that China will soon dominate the global economy. While at present, doubts are voiced due to the current slowdown in China’s output and the bubble in its real-estate sector, at the fundamental level those concerns are widely seen as temporary speed bumps in China’s inexorable march to be the world’s economic captain. A deeper understanding of the underlying structure and functioning of Chinese banks and enterprises, the framework governing policymaking in Beijing, the arc of the Communist Party’s stronghold over the economy, and the nexus of environmental, health and social challenges affords a different perspective. What are China’s real economic and policy risks?  What role does the absence of democracy in the country play in China’s economic fortunes?  How much has the Chinese economy in fact changed since the advent of reform in 1978?  Where are there opportunities for China’s long-term growth? Harry Broadman, who has worked throughout China at the field level since 1993, will excite audiences with this fresh perspective on the trajectory of China’s economic destiny.

Gordon Brown (Exclusively WSB)

Drawing from his candid memoir, My Life, Our Times, Gordon Brown opens up for the first time about his relationships with the past three U.S. Presidents, as well as with prime ministers and world leaders from Chancellor Angela Merkel to President Xi Jinping. He shares the lessons he learned from more than 30 years as a Member of Parliament and 13 as a Minister. And he describes how those lessons can be applied to the challenges the world is facing today: financial crises, rising nationalism and protectionism, and uncertain bilateral and multilateral relationships. You will walk away from this eye-opening presentation with unique insight into Brown’s personal life and professional career, and unbridled optimism for our collective future.

Gordon Brown (Exclusively WSB)

Drawing from his unrivaled experience as UK Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and chairman of both the G20 and the IMF Advisory Committee, Gordon Brown analyzes how each continent is coming to terms with globalization—and examines how we might manage the phenomenon better. He explores who might have the correct answers to peoples’ grievances about technological unemployment, stagnant living standards, and rising inequality: Is it America’s “responsible nationalism,” the bring-back-control movements across Europe, or China’s new attempts at global leadership? Brown argues that the way to national prosperity lies not just in getting decision-making right at the national level, but also in developing more effective ways of cooperating internationally.

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