Summit Agenda

Overview Kathleen Hutton

Summit Agenda

December 10-11, 2019 – Washington, D.C. 

Trust in America’s political and economic systems is fading. CEOs, academics and activists right and left see a threat in our nation’s growing economic inequality and stagnating middle class, and say capitalism needs a course correction. Trust in business and government continues to deteriorate – and these are connected. An increasing number of Americans blame business for its unaccountable manipulation of the market, crony capitalism, and corrupting influence of money on our elected officials’ decisions. Many Americans, especially young adults, now wonder if socialism would do a better job with the basics, from a living wage to a livable environment.

“I look at this as a systemic problem.  Half of our society is severely disadvantaged. We can’t allow that to continue, so that means you need policy solutions.” 

- Steve Schwarzman Blackstone CEO and Chairman  

Our view: Capitalism is still a dynamic force for progress and freedom, but it needs a reboot to operate successfully. It’s time for sustainable, innovative business strategies and public policies that combine market-based solutions, responsible business values and effective government oversight. In the past, American business has improved our quality of life and helped to restore confidence in our political and economic systems, and we can do it again ― by making capitalism work for all.  

Start now: Join ASBC, the leading national voice for sustainable business thought and advocacy, for our 2019 Summit. On Day One, you’ll hear from business and political leaders, journalists and activists representing progressive, moderate and conservative views on the future of capitalism. Does the U.S. need more government intervention, or less of a thumb on the scale for certain sectors? How can we better address monopolies’ effect on competition and innovation? Do we need an official industrial policy?

“Short-term economic growth does not guarantee a strong and prosperous nation. If we do not change our public policies to reflect long-term investment as a priority, we will not be able to compete globally or build the America our values demand. ”

-Senator Marco Rubio  

What policies and incentives would encourage capital markets to create well-paying jobs and support sustainable growth? What version of capitalism will work best for the U.S. in this increasingly interdependent world? Speakers and small discussion groups will explore how the rules governing our economy and political system can be reformed to vigorously address climate change, our crumbling infrastructure, and our declining standard of living.

On Day Two, we’ll go to Capitol Hill to meet with dozens of members of Congress and their staffs on environmental, workplace, and economic issues. We’ll advocate for policies that have been successfully applied in sustainably run businesses. And we’ll share ASBC’s view that fresh policies combining market-based solutions, responsible business values and robust government oversight will restore confidence in our country’s political and economic systems.

Would your success increase if we built a more competitive, innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy?  Come to Washington, DC December 10-11, 2019 and let’s get started.

December 10, 2019

7:30 – 8:45 AM  Registration:

Student Center, University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Avenue

7:30 – 8:30 AM Breakfast & High-Impact Issues Update

Enjoy complementary Continental breakfast and meet peers as you hear from business leaders in ASBC’s dedicated working groups. Get updated on the latest political dynamics and legislative opportunities on issues that will impact your company and America’s future including: sustainable packaging, the high-road workplace/employee ownership, safer chemicals, regenerative agriculture, diversity and inclusion, and climate/energy.  

9:00 – 9:10 AM Welcome

Opening remarks by ASBC CEO, Co-founder and Board Chair Jeffrey Hollender

9:10 – 10:00 AM Our Economic Future: Can Capitalism be Saved?

Among the ranks of top CEOs, alarm is spreading about the future of capitalism. These concerns are driven by rising income inequality, the depth of the Great Recession, tax cuts which boosted corporate profits over benefits to Main Street taxpayers, excessive industry consolidation, and regulations and laws that stifle innovation and competition.

“I’m a capitalist, and even I think capitalism is broken.”
- Ray Dalio, Bridgewater 

This plenary session will examine the root causes of these challenges and identify systemic reforms and policies to restore real competition and broad-based prosperity to our capitalist system. What new stakeholder and economic models can we scale to build community prosperity and foster family wealth with improved household wages and broadened ownership? What can we learn from the values of sustainable, responsible business leaders who are promoting these changes? And, how can we wed market-based solutions and smart government regulation to strengthen both our economy and democracy?

10:10 – 11:00 AM Bipartisanship Now: Can We Create a Radical Center?

“So much of what we’ve got to get done, from climate change to health care to changing tax code, is going to require us to change the way our politics work.”
- Senator Michael Bennet

While our politics has become increasingly polarized, there is a growing constituency in Congress and State Legislatures for finding middle ground. These reformers appreciate that neither the left or right has a monopoly on good ideas of how best to address our most vexing economic, environmental, and workplace issues.

Explore the nuanced factors that make these bipartisan efforts possible and learn how responsible business leaders can encourage policies that foster long-term fairness, sustainability, and a basis for restoring public trust in our economy.

11:05 – 11:25 Am Networking Break  

One-on-one Purpose-Driven Mentor sessions offer Summit attendees an opportunity to gain advice from seasoned business leaders. Space is limited.

11:30 – 12:25 PM Breakout Workshops – Can Capitalism Save Our Planet?

Scores of exciting ideas to foster market-based innovations and revive our broad economy are percolating in all areas and at all levels. We’ve identified a few of the big-picture initiatives that many experts think will make the biggest difference for the most people ― including America’s responsible business leaders, their customers, employees and other stakeholders. Hear from business leaders, trade associations, academic experts and Capitol Hill staff in your choice of these one-hour workshops:  

Workshop 1: What Will It Take to Solve the Climate Crisis?

Can our capitalistic society look beyond the next quarter, sharply reduce its resource consumption, and save our climate, communities and essential water supply? Can we find bipartisan support to invest in green infrastructure, clean energy and water quality technologies; mothball coal plants; and sharply reduce reliance on toxic chemicals and single- use plastics? What’s the best way to offset inequities, jobs impact and other regional disparities as we transition from fossil fuels? From a price on carbon that’s earned bipartisan support, to a more ambitious Green New Deal, what policies offer the best outcomes? How can business be part of the solution? Join us for a provocative discussion on an issue we cannot ignore.

Workshop 2: Can Capitalism Dig Out from Its Own Waste?

Public concern is growing over packaging waste pollution and its destructive impact on Earth’s environment. Throughout their supply chains, companies are taking aggressive steps to use less material and switch to bioplastic or compostable resources. But more needs to be done. State and city legislators are banning single-use plastics and adopting take-back programs, while Congress explores a national strategy to build out our recycling infrastructure. Join the discussion about product innovations, market-based incentives, and public policies to promote sustainable materials and foster a circular economy.

Workshop 3: The Future of Work: Why the High Road is the Only Road!

The on-demand “gig” economy offers new opportunities but has seriously eroded workers’ traditional benefits and protections. Globalization and automation deliver lower consumer prices but unreliable employment, inadequate benefits and lower wages. Calls for a livable minimum wage, fair classification to qualify lower-wage workers for overtime, and other policy measures reflect the public’s concern. What’s more, today’s young talents seek employers that offer equitable opportunities, good pay and benefits, a work-life balance, family-friendly policies and an ethical, public stance on social issues. So, what’s in it for employers? Learn why and how U.S. companies adopt “high-road” workplace practices, and how better public policies can encourage employees owning a piece of the economy, healthier business standards, restore the middle class, and let high-road employers be fully competitive.

12:30 – 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet & Keynote Presentation

Power up as you hear from our illuminating keynote speaker and refuel at this ample lunch buffet featuring delicious and healthful favorites in a thoughtfully sustainable setting.

2:00 – 2:50 PM Making Capitalism Work in States and Cities

While Washington struggles, states and cities are addressing some of the underlying challenges facing our economy. Governors, mayors and legislators are bravely reassessing the value of attracting low-wage businesses and firm-specific development tax incentives. They’re pursuing initiatives involving public investments, higher wages, skills-based education, job creation/training and green infrastructure. How can the Small Business Administration and capital markets support business activities that yield significant, positive social impact? And how can sustainable businesses and business groups change the conversation to focus on policies that value people and planet as well as profits?

“Capitalism, as it is currently playing out in America, is yielding such inequality that people start saying, this isn’t working. We have to find our way to a capitalism where, if you work full time, you’re not poor; you have health care and housing and your kids can go to a public school that’s decent. If we can get ourselves to that place, capitalism will be sustained”
- Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo 


3:00 – 3:30 PM Networking Break with Refreshments

Have a snack and a beverage as you connect with peers or get one-on-one advice from a seasoned business leader in a Purpose-Driven Mentor session (session space is limited).

3:35 – 4:30 PM Skill-Enhancing Workshops: Advocacy and Communication

Politicians listen to company leaders — but what set of business values have the last word when it comes to explaining “what business wants?” Join one of these workshops to enhance your ability to communicate about — and advocate for — a more responsible form of capitalism that will deliver a successful future for America.

A. How to Build Communications and Advocacy on Your Triple-Bottom-LineValues

Shareholders, customers and others are demanding that companies live their values, engage their stakeholders and stand up on social issues in an unprecedented manner. Today’s national conversation about equity and responsible capitalism offers opportunities – but also risks — for business leaders. This session offers insights and tools to help you communicate your triple-bottom- line story and become an effective policy advocate in your community, state capital, or Washington, D.C

B. How to Talk About Tough Issues: Race, Equity and Economic Justice

Over our history, capitalism’s rising tide has lifted many, but not all, boats. While the Obama Presidency encouraged the view that ours is a post-racial era, more recent events have not. As diversity in America’s society and workforce grows, so does the need for honest, productive discussions by business and civic leaders and policymakers. This session offers a safe space for participants to share their thoughts about race, privilege and inclusion in the workplace, and the unconscious biases and assumptions that each of us holds. We’ll also discuss the steps high-road businesses and policymakers can each take to create a more inclusive economy where capitalism works for all.

4:40 – 5:30 PM Capitalism + Activism: Deploying Your Brand as a Force for Good

Millennial business, political and civic leaders know how powerfully their business or personal brand can influence society’s views on racial justice, environmental stewardship, and equity. Raised in a social media- heavy environment, these purpose-driven entrepreneurs, elected officials and influencers are often more comfortable than their Baby Boom colleagues in taking a public stand on sensitive social, environmental and political issues. They are also often more comfortable embracing diversity and inclusion as necessary to their success. Increasingly, young business leaders are speaking out on climate change, toxic products, student debt, health care costs and discrimination. They’re also launching community-based, employee-driven impact programs. Hear how the next generation’s capitalism plus activism is advancing a more sustainable economy.


6:30 – 9:00 PM Reception & Awards Ceremony

“I’m a capitalist. Come on! I believe in markets. What I don’t believe in is theft.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren 

ASBC Office, 1001 G Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001

Enjoy a warm welcome this evening with drinks and bountiful hors d’oeuvres at ASBC’s headquarters. Then applaud as we present our annual Sustainable Leadership Award to some of the business leaders, legislators and other influencers who are making the world a better place every day. You’ll be in good company – and you’ll be inspired!


December 11, 2019
Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

Business attire is suggested for meetings and events on Capitol Hill.

8:30 AM Breakfast at U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill

Kick off an important day of meetings on the Hill with Continental breakfast and a practical learning session! After a presentation of insights by a member of Congress, ASBC’s advocacy professionals will prepare you to conduct productive meetings with elected officials and staff. We’ll also provide your individual and team assignments, coordinate “asks” to save time in short meetings, and equip you with helpful message-points materials.  

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Capitol Hill Meetings

Meet in ASBC-led small groups with selected Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

12:30 – 2:00 PM Lunch

Gather a few Summit friends and take a break for lunch, Dutch Treat. With ASBC’s provided restaurant listings, descriptions and maps, you’ll discover why D.C. is a world-class dining city!

2:30 – 3:30 PM Congressional Briefing on Sustainable Packaging and Circular Economy

Participate in this meeting as members of Congress and ASBC business leaders discuss legislative and industry initiatives to reduce waste and increase investment in our nation’s recycling infrastructure.

*Location on Capitol Hill to be announced.

5:00 to 6:30 PM ASBC Summit 19 Closing Reception

Join fellow Summit attendees for a little more networking as you enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the U.S Capitol Visitor’s Center.

ASBC’s board and staff thank our allies and sponsors for their support – and thank you for joining us as we continue to advance a more equitable, vibrant, sustainable economy – capitalism that works for all.