LinkedIn Series, Corporate Leadership

The Complexities of our Digitally Connected World

Reposted from Dan Hesse's LinkedIn series on Executive Leadership and Corporate Responsibility. The following was published August 16, 2015. 


Today’s New York Times front page story on AT&T highlights one of the many dilemmas raised in a speech I delivered in March titled “Is a Digitally Connected World a Better Place?” The speech was one of two keynotes from the New York Global Leaders Forum annual gala; the second delivered by NSA Chief Admiral Mike Rogers in which he discussed cyber security.

In my address, I posed a question to the audience:

“Which CEO is more patriotic, the one who provides all of the information the government requests to help catch a criminal or prevent a terrorist attack, or the CEO whose company creates tools that make it difficult for law enforcement or the government to acquire a customer’s information, believing protecting civil liberties is a higher calling?”

It’s a very tough question.

The talk explores the plusses and minuses from our digitally connected world in areas such as education, the news, the environment, economies, health care, music, safety, aging, privacy and national security. Creating a “Goldilocks Solution” (getting it “just right”) will require open, thoughtful debate, dialogue, and compromise, which the American political system could use more of in many areas.