FiRe 2019 Speaker Spotlight
Nobelist Susi Snyder is one of those rare humans who is both highly accomplished and surprisingly humble. As the sitting president of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Susi with her team rallied a diverse coalition of NGOs in 100 countries to sign a landmark agreement promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. Working alongside the Red Cross and like-minded governments, ICAN not only reshaped the debate on nuclear weapons, but also generated significant momentum toward elimination, an accomplishment for which it was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
As if that weren't enough, Susi also serves as project lead for the Dutch organisation PAX's nuclear weapons project and coordinates Don't Bank on the Bomb, a research and advocacy campaign. Previously, she served as the secretary general of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) at its Geneva secretariat, and she is currently president of the WILPF United Nations office.
A 2016 Nuclear-Free Future Award laureate, Susi was named Hero of Las Vegas in 2001 for her work with Indigenous populations against US nuclear weapons development and nuclear waste dumping. We're delighted that Susi is joining us at Future in Review 2019 from Utrecht, Netherlands, for a conversation on how to solve society-level problems.
It isn't easy being the CEO, even - or maybe particularly - of a small company. After all, in a startup, unlike an F500, you have to have most or all of the skills it takes to both run - and operate - a company: fundraising, management abilities, sales, marketing, tech, accounting and finance, product design ... The list is endless.
CEOs of big companies have their own share of issues, even while others are doing the above jobs, including company culture, communications with their many constituencies, running the board and managing their leads, keeping the palace revolts down to a roar, legal and securities issues, finance, sales, and avoiding PR disasters on social networks.
No one should sign up for the job if they don't deeply want it, and no one should expect any pity, or even empathy, for taking it. It is its own unique honor, challenge, and reward.
Even so, CEOs are public figures, and need a thick skin to go with the job.
In this week's issue, I'm going to take a look at the general quality of large-firm CEOs over the last few decades, and ask the rather tough question: How did the good do so well, and how did the others go so horribly wrong?...