2010 Speakers Recap
“If you really want to get it right, you have to make it emotional.”
Dr. Mehmet Oz Talks about Being a Catalyst for Change
Host of the “Dr. Oz Show” and one of America's foremost cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr. Oz delivered the keynote address to an audience of more than 1,200 at the Bentley/TIME Leadership Forum on April 22, 2010. “People don’t really change what they do in life based upon what they know. They change what they do in life based on what they feel. So if you don’t get people emotionally engaged in a decision – whether it’s losing weight or
paying attention to what’s happening in Africa- they’re not going to act on it.”
The event, held on the Bentley University campus in Waltham, Mass., was the sixth annual in a series designed to spotlight critical issues in business ethics, leadership and social responsibility. This year’s theme -- “The Business of Healing Our World: accountable Leadership in Action” -- explored the responsibility of individuals and businesses to take an active role in addressing social issues.
Dr. Oz shared his personal journey of taking a risk to make a difference in the field of healthcare. “At some point you’re going to meet a challenge in your life, when you realize that you’ve done what you need to do in that career. I think to myself, I’ve done 5,000 operations, and do I want my tombstone to say ‘Mehmet Oz did 10,00 heart operations’ or am I better off saying I did 5,000 heart operations and then took a chance and tried to make a difference in a different way.”
He challenged the audience to share their knowledge with the world. “Service leadership, to me, is the best way of passing it on. If we’re taught something that allowed us to do it a little bit better than we thought we could do it…it’s incumbent on us to find innovative, novel ways of making that message go one step further…to go one step past where we normally wouldn’t have been able to. It’s a wonderful opportunity in the history of our species to remember that fundamental lesson. Instead of disconnecting we begin to connect again.”
Following welcoming remarks from Bentley President Gloria Cordes Larson and TIME President and Group Publisher Mark Ford, TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel opened the forum with a message to students. “It’s not just about succeeding ...it’s about succeeding through doing the right thing and doing it in the right way. And that’s what’s so special about what [Bentley students] are studying here. It isn’t simply that information that you’re getting, it’s spiritual knowledge.” Other Forum moderators included Bentley faculty members Anthony Buono, professor of Management and Sociology and coordinator for the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility; Linda Edelman, associate professor of Management; and Andy Aylesworth, associate professor of Marketing.
Featured speaker Majora Carter, president, The Majora Carter Group, discussed how necessity drives innovation. “When we take on the challenge of solving the more complex problems of poverty and environment at the same time, we can uncover the keys to more powerful solutions for everybody,” she said. “ … I want you all to ask yourselves what you want to see for the future, because you can go out there and create it … Now is the time to start building tributes to our collective failures and again constructing monuments to our hope and possibility. I cannot wait to see what you all can do.”
Julie Cottineau, vice president, Brand, Virgin USA, posed the fundamental question: “Can business actually be a force for good?” She observed, “We still believe at Virgin that we can use our commercial power to actually help the planet and help the people and forward a more socially responsible agenda. But I really think in order to do that, it has to be about the leadership -- and the accountable leadership -- of a company. The phrase “social entrepreneurship” is not an oxymoron...you can make money and do good at the same time.”
The final morning keynote, Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation, noted how the power of a company can impact social issues. “Companies can do more than anybody… I’m absolutely convinced that there are things that we can fix…if we’re serious. We’ve got to think more holistically about the kinds of companies and what we need to solve the needs of the people.”
At a luncheon held to honor the Tomorrow25 – high school juniors honored by Bentley as the next generation of leaders – the featured keynote speaker was Ted Hoff, vice president, Center for Learning and Development, IBM Corporation. Addressing the winners, he said, “Find the institution that understands that accountable leadership is the right way to lead …continue your commitment to the kind of leadership you’ve all been showing.”
Chosen through a Bentley-sponsored international competition, the Tomorow25 have demonstrated initiative, citizenship, intelligence, technological savvy, cultural awareness, social responsibility, and a dedication to making positive things happen in their schools, communities and the broader society.