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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues



Firms continue to strive for greater representation on corporate boards. One California law, attempting to mandate such greater representation, has encountered a recent setback. Two experts discuss obstacles to more diverse corporate leadership and offer approaches for surmounting them.

Does the quality of startups increase when the quantity drops? Does entrepreneurial experience help or hurt a corporate job candidate? Do diverse teams make for better startups? The 2022 Trends in Entrepreneurship report brings together our global network of affiliated experts to address these questions and more – with key findings highlighted in this week’s insight.

Much has been written about the disproportionate number of women who have suffered pandemic-related job losses during COVID-19, but a related consequence has not been as well explored: the serious disruption of women’s careers, particularly in fields in which “path dependence” matters for success. In this Kenan Insight, we examine this more subtle asymmetry in the pandemic’s impact as indicative of far broader issues for women’s advancement in the workplace.

Join our panel of experts who will share their technological, legal and social expertise to answer the questions raised by the real-world performance of risk assessment instruments.

Most organizational leaders have come to recognize that hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is a business imperative. But many struggle to achieve their diversity goals. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how organizations can measure their “organizational equity” — that is, their internal distribution of power and resources — and build a diverse workforce that leads to greater organizational success.

In a recent Triangle Business Journal article, Urban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Jeanne Milliken Bonds discuss why Americans are increasingly turning to companies with purpose and ethics, and provide a corporate reputational equity checklist to help organizations move toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices.

On Thursday, Oct. 29, architect, politician and former mayor of Charlotte Harvey Gantt joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for an exclusive fireside chat. Gantt discussed his career, the current political climate and the social justice movement in the U.S. This virtual experience was part of the Dean’s Speaker Series.

In our previous Kenan Insight, we outlined the major findings in our recent report, Seven Forces Reshaping the Economy. This week, we explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has upended education and childcare, ushering in changes to both that will last far beyond the current crisis.

For African Americans and individuals from other historically underrepresented groups, work cultures can be difficult to navigate. In a new white paper, The Seven "What Matters" In a System Not Designed for Us, Urban Investment Strategies Center Director Jim Johnson draws upon his 40 years of experience in academia to offer strategies for individuals in these groups to thrive within work cultures that do not fully embrace and may even be antagonistic to diversity and inclusion.

Join our panel of industry and academic leaders, who will share their technological, legal, organizational and social expertise to answer the questions raised by emerging artificial intelligence capabilities.

AI applications are ubiquitous – and so is their potential to exhibit unintended bias. Algorithmic and automation biases and algorithm aversion all plague the human-AI partnership, eroding trust between people and machines that learn. But can bias be eradicated from AI? Dr, Fay Cobb Payton, Professor of Information Systems & Technology at NC State’s Poole College of Management and a Program Director at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Computer and Network Systems moderates a discussion between Timnit Gebru, research scientist and the co-lead of the Ethical AI Team at Google and the co-founder of Black in AI; Brenda Leong, senior counsel and director of artificial intelligence and ethics at the Future of Privacy Forum; Professor Mohammad Jarrahi, associate professor at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science; and Chris Wicher, Rethinc. Labs AI Research Fellow, former director of AI Research at KPMG’s AI Center of Excellence and Vice President of Watson Engineering at IBM.


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) allowed for the creation of Opportunity Zones (OZs) — specially designated census tracts encompassing low-income neighborhoods meant to stimulate investment through large tax incentives. But critics say the program has not spurred additional investment as much as rewarded politically connected investors. In this Kenan Insight, we investigate what role, if any, bias and political party affiliation plays in the selection of OZs.