Panel #2

Dr. Nancy Adler, Joel Chadabe, Dr. David Lank and Dr. Pablo Suarez

Leading Beautifully

Dr. Nancy Adler

Abstract: Twenty-first century society yearns for a leadership of possibility, a leadership based more on hope, aspiration, innovation, and beauty than on the replication of historical patterns of constrained pragmatism. Luckily, such a leadership is possible today. For the first time in history, leaders can work backward from their aspirations and imagination rather than forward from the past. Responding to the challenges and yearnings of the twenty-first century calls for levels of inspiration, creativity, and a passionate commitment to beauty that, until recently, have been more the province of artists and artistic processes than the domain of most managers. The time is right for the artistic imagination of each of us to co-create the leadership that the world most needs and deserves.

Bio: Nancy J. Adler is the S. Bronfman Chair in Management at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She conducts research on global leadership, cross-cultural management, and the arts and leadership. She has authored more than 125 articles and produced the films, A Portable Life and Reinventing Our Legacy. “When Knowledge Wins”, her article with Anne-Wil Harzing (2009), was named the Academy of Management’s (AMLE) Outstanding Article of the Year. She has authored and edited ten books, including, International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior (5th edition, 2008), Women in Management Worldwide, Competitive Frontiers: Women Managers in a Global Economy, and From Boston to Beijing: Managing with a Worldview. In addition to her research and writing, Adler consults with major global companies and government organizations on projects in Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business, and was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada. She has been recognized with numerous awards including the Prix du Quebec, the Center for Creative Leadership’s Applied Research Award, the World Federation of People Management Associations’ Georges Petitpas Award, ASTD’s International Leadership Award, SIETAR’s Outstanding Senior Interculturalist Award, the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award, and the Sage Award for scholarly contributions to management. In addition, Canada has honored Professor Adler as one of the country’s top university teachers. Nancy is also a visual artist and has been an artist in residence at The Banff Centre. The most recent exhibitions of her paintings were in Montreal (“Reality in Translation: Going Beyond the Dehydrated Language of Management”) and The Banff Centre (“Serendipity Suite”). Her latest book, Leadership Insight (Routledge) includes 27 of her paintings. Her paintings are held in private collections in Asia, the Americas, and Europe.


Ear to the Earth

Joel Chadabe

Abstract: Ear to the Earth is an annual festival and worldwide network that is based on the idea that listening to the sounds of the environment can engage us with the world. As our friend Mark Moffett wrote, “Modern ecologists may have reached a limit on how effectively they can convey messages to the public, and they may now need to draw upon the emotional vibrancy offered by the arts.”

Bio: Composer Joel Chadabe is a pioneer in interactive music systems. His music has been performed at Human Voice in a New World (New York City), Xenakis and a Changing Climate (La Tourette, France), Electronic Music New York (Brooklyn College), Suono Aperto (Conservatorio G Rossini, Pesaro, Italy), ElectroWorks Festival (Athens), Ear to the Earth (New York City), Tevereterno (Rome), HörZeit-SpielRaum 2005 (Berlin), NYU Interactive (NYC), New Mix (Palais de Tokyo, Paris), and other venues worldwide. His music is recorded on EMF Media, Deep Listening, Lovely Music, and other labels. He is the author of  Electric Sound, a comprehensive history of electronic music and his articles have been published in Organized Sound, Leonardo, Contemporary Music Review, Computer Music Journal, and other leading journals and magazines, and anthologized in books by MIT Press, Routledge, and other publishers. He co-authored the first digital sequencer. As president of Intelligent Music, he pioneered interactive music software. He has received grants from NEA, NYSCA, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Fulbright Commission, and he is the recipient of the SEAMUS 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Chadabe is Professor Emeritus at State University of New York, visiting faculty at NYU, and president of Electronic Music Foundation.


The “Art” of Entrepreneurship – The Use of Images to Give Concepts a Lasting Form in a Teaching Environment.

David Lank

Abstract: Traditional business courses emphasize concepts that lend themselves to measureable outcomes, quantifiable assertions, formulae and cookie-cutter applications. SWOT Analysis, Discounted Cash Flows, templates for Shareholder Agreements, these are the kinds of things that academia has grown comfortable in pre-packaging for students at all levels. But realities also include such nebulous indefinable concepts as Inspiration, Sensitivity, Ethics, Aesthetics, Beauty, Cooperation, Listening – none of these lend themselves to neat or precise measurement and, frustratingly for dwellers of academic silos, they cannot be reduced to formulae that can be replicated. And yet, after a half-century career in venture capital which included the participation in the funding and founding of 151 companies, I am absolutely convinced that the so-called “soft” skills are exactly what have differentiated successful from unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

The challenge has been, therefore, how to give form to softly defined concepts? My approach has been to integrate into the classroom setting a concise written “themed topic handout” with a piece of art, a photograph or some other visual image. The actual picture may be a thousand years old, or from a totally different culture, but the concept that is being depicted is exactly the same as the topic under discussion in a modern business context. This approach was introduced more than a decade ago, and over the intervening years more than 80 handouts have been created which have been given to a 1000 students in courses on entrepreneurship, launching new ventures, managing the small business enterprise and leadership. In addition handouts were produced for an inter-disciplinary course on the current chaos in the music industry which drew top students from Law, Computer Science, Management and Music. The impact on students has been astonishing.

Bio: David Lank joined the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in 1999 as a professor of venture capital & entrepreneurship in the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies and became Director of the Centre in 2005. He created and taught courses at the graduate and undergraduate level on Launching New Ventures, Managing the Small Business Enterprise, and Entrepreneurial Leadership. He was awarded McGill’s Outstanding Teaching Award for Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Management for 2007.  In 2010 he received the Principal’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching, having been named the University’s Outstanding Lecturer. During his teaching career he pioneered interdisciplinary courses with the Faculty of Management and the Faculties of Music, Architecture, Environmental Studies, and Law. He retired in December 2010 and is now Emeritus Director of the Dobson Centre.  As an author, Mr. Lank has written thirty books on subjects ranging from wildlife art to trekking in the Himalayas, gourmet food to scientific spoofs on the Atlantic salmon, the Canadian arctic to Victorian natural history. The majority of titles have dealt with aspects of animal art and artists from Canada, the United States, New Zealand, England and Switzerland. On 1996 he was awarded the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest non-military award for his work in contributing to Canada’s patrimony.


Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre

Dr. Pablo Suarez

Abstract: Why do people suffer and die due to droughts, floods, hurricanes and other climate-related events that are fairly predictable?  A key challenge is how to help vulnerable people to access, understand, trust and utilize the tools offered by science and technology (such as forecasts about likely extreme events). The Red Cross / Red Crescent Climate Centre has been collaborating with filmmakers, musicians, game designers and people from other creative disciplines to help people and organizations understand and address the humanitarian consequences of climate risks – linking knowledge with decisions.

Bio: Pablo Suarez is Associate Director of Programs for the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, as well as consultant for Oxfam America, visiting fellow at Boston University, and research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. He has consulted for the United Nations Development Programme, the World Food Programme, the World Bank Development Economics Research Group, and about twenty other international humanitarian and development organizations, working in more than 45 countries. His current work addresses institutional integration across disciplines and geographic scales, and the use of innovative tools for climate risk management – including the design and facilitation of participatory games fo learning and managing complex dynamic systems. Pablo holds a master’s degree in planning, and a Ph.D. in geography.