James Ledbetter, Former Editor in Chief at Inc. Magazine interview with Matt Bird at Humanity 2.0 (Vatican City)
- Companies are most struggling with data privacy, AI and ethics
- Business leaders are starting to look outside of just profitability to ensure success
- How can we use businesses to more effectively govern people?
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: James Ledbetter, Former Editor in Chief of Inc. Magazine with Matt Bird
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back to the Traders Network Show and our continued coverage of Humanity 2.0. I’m Matt Bird broadcasting worldwide from the Vatican for Equities.com and its affiliate partners. My next guest needs very little introduction. He is the editor of Inc. Magazine, James Ledbetter. How you doing buddy?
James Ledbetter – Head of Content, Sequoia Capital (Former Editor, Inc. Magazine): 00:16
Matt, great to meet you.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:18
I’m going to shake your hand my friend. I’m a big fan of your work. I was surprised to see you here, pleasantly surprised to see you here. So, Inc. is a very well-established publication and brand. You’re consuming a lot of information here at the, at the Humanity 2.0. We’ve had a lot of influencers, one of my favorite guys, Greg Medcraft from the OECD we had on here earlier, I’ve known Greg for a number of years. You have the CEO BurstIQ, you’ve got Google, we’ve got Cisco. What’s the message is so far? What’s the big takeaway?
James Ledbetter – Head of Content, Sequoia Capital (Former Editor, Inc. Magazine): 00:45
I think as governments around the world struggle for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to deal with integration or because of authoritarianism or simply an alienation from their own population, other forces from society need to help out the need to kind of take over some of the responsibilities that have traditionally been the role of government. And I think business is a very important one of those to how can business be guided by some of these centuries old principles, ideas and guidelines for how to be more effective in terms of governing people.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 01:21
Do you think that along that vein, is it because when is a lot of it has to do with the legacy of one. Some of these things were established and where we’re at today are just the two different ecosystems, two different universes?
James Ledbetter – Head of Content, Sequoia Capital (Former Editor, Inc. Magazine): 01:37
Right. I mean you have a business sector that you know, for very long time was focused primarily on profits. Even though of course in lots of places in the world, there are also creating communities. But now that these priorities have become more imperative with things like climate change, things like artificial intelligence, I think a lot of business leaders are looking outside of that strict profit motive for other things they can do. Not only to be more effective in terms of preserving the planet and creating sustainable, but also it helps the bottom line.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:09
So, you know, watching the show are CEOs and regulatory makers and policymakers and so on and so forth. What message could you give them as an editor of a magazine, as somebody who helps that CorpCom message or the sustainability or corporate social responsibility messaging from your standpoint, what catches your eye and what these businesses could do to look at it from, there’s business and there’s corporate social responsibility and this is stuff that catches our attention.
James Ledbetter – Head of Content, Sequoia Capital (Former Editor, Inc. Magazine): 02:41
Yeah, I think it’s a great question. I think you’ve got to look really hard at all the places where your business touches people, right? As customers, as employees, as community stakeholders, and figure out what are the unique attributes of your product, your service, your brand that can be extended into a broader social mission. It’s consistent with the brand, consistent with the way that you make profit. And we’ve seen lots of creativity in this area. This is one of inks, sweet spots from Tom’s shoes, you know, buy one, give one model or Warby Parker, Kind snacks, getting into, you know, all kinds of nutritional areas. It’s a great way to push your business agenda forward, but also to do good within the community. And I think that any, you know, group of thinkers who helps business leaders do that is going to have a great role to play.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 03:32
I think it’s really well said, and you know, from a CorpCom perspective, those are material pivots from an organization that is newsworthy. I mean that stuff is relevant, that companies are making a change for good, no question about it. And its great cause content is being created on the heels of those changes within those organizations.
James Ledbetter – Head of Content, Sequoia Capital (Former Editor, Inc. Magazine):03:51
And I think, you know, new businesses and new business models will emerge as companies begin to take on these roles that traditionally were left to either the government sector or the NGO sector.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 04:02
Now are you going to be on a panel?
James Ledbetter – Head of Content, Sequoia Capital (Former Editor, Inc. Magazine):04:04
In a few minutes.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 04:06
What can we expect from you on your panel?
James Ledbetter – Head of Content, Sequoia Capital (Former Editor, Inc. Magazine):04:08
I think we’re going to get a good, in depth explanation of how companies are struggling with data privacy, with artificial intelligence, and with advancing ethical decision making in a corporate environment.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 04:19
Well listen, I wish you the best. In fact, I’m going to watch that panel and take a break from doing this for a minute. Everybody, this is the editor of Inc. \Magazine. James Ledbetter. We’ll be right back after these messages. Don’t go away.