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Episode Info:

LRN’s Ben DiPietro talks with Ethical Systems Executive Director Alison Taylor about how COVID-19 is changing the world; what it means for ethics, compliance, ESG, and corporate activism; and how prescient her husband Peter Christian Hall was when he was years ahead of reality when he wrote a book about a pandemic and New York City.


“It’s not so easy to do benchmarking, and look at what your peers are doing, and then just copy that. We would argue that you really need to experiment, we really need to come up with something bigger and better, and that academics have many great ideas that can be applied and used by companies with the right mindset and creativity.”

- Alison Taylor


Alison Taylor is executive director at Ethical Systems, a research collaboration on ethical culture, housed in New York University's Stern School of Business. Previously, Alison led BSR’s sustainability practice, and oversaw the supply chain practice and the Sustainable Futures Lab.

She focuses on approaches to sustainability through risk management, strategy, stakeholder engagement, transparency, ethics and governance, and organizational change.


Taylor has worked as a senior managing director at Control Risks, and for Transparency International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and IHS Global Insight. She has experience in strategic intelligence, market entry assistance, risk consulting, due diligence, internal investigations, enterprise risk management, and ethics and compliance. She speaks and writes regularly on risk and organizational culture.


She is a board member of the ethics organization Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption. She is an adjunct professor at Stern School of Business.


What You’ll Learn on This Episode:

[1:33] How did Alison become interested in risk ethics and culture?


[3:24] What prompted Alison’s move to become the executive director at Ethical Systems and what are her goals there?


[5:08] What impact is the Covid-19 crisis having on Alison’s company and her transition to executive director?


[6:36] What are the biggest changes that will come from the Covid-19 crisis?


[12:27] Will the current culture lead organizations to be better corporate citizens, or is it going to lead to a culture of survivalism?


[16:15] How has Alison’s husband’s book (American Fever) affected the way they are living through Covid-19.


Find this episode of Principled on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Sound Cloud, Podyssey, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

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