John Hope Bryant and work of Operation HOPE featured at OECD 50th Anniversary Forum tomorrow in Paris: "Restoring Trust in the System"

May, 2011


Tomorrow, Operation HOPE founder, chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant,  also a bestselling business author (Love Leadership: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World), a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama, co-founder of Global Dignity, and a member of the founding class of the Forum of Young Global Leaders community for the World Economic Forum, will speak amongst a distinguished group of global leaders on "Restoring Trust in the System."  The session will open with a keynote by Iveta Radičová, current prime minister of Slovakia.

Bryant will focus on the power of financial literacy, as a new civil rights issue for every citizen, in every country in the 21st century, and the first global silver rights empowerment tool for a new generation of leaders, on the other side of the global economic crisis.  

Bryant will also speak to the power of the recently announced Wikia-HOPE Global Money Initiative, and our first partnership around Wikia-HOPE Global Money Morocco, a partnership with the Casablanca Stock Exchange, as an example of a global financial literacy empowerment tool, localized for every community and region, that can make a difference in the lives of people.

In the wake of the worst economic crisis for decades, one of the most urgent tasks facing governments is to restore people’s trust in the system, including both the business sector and the role of government. When the financial system crashed, millions of people saw their savings disappear and their living standards fall. Only a massive joint effort by the world's governments through the G20, bringing the developed and developing world together around the table, averted a complete collapse and possible depression.

 Now stronger governance, improved regulation and a focus on ethical business are essential if citizens are to regain their confidence in the financial system. Many of the right promises have been made, and changes are under way, but they will have to deliver results to restore people’s trust and rebuild credibility.

 Other lessons of governance have also been drawn, leading to a new determination to tackle tax evasion and to stamp out corruption, led in no small way by OECD initiatives such as the OECD Anti-bribery Convention.

 The need for such actions is clear. The cost of fighting one crisis has left governments hard pressed to manage their economies and ill-equipped to fight another crisis: financial regulation needs to work and put banks on a firmer footing; activities like tax evasion and bribery, which deprive governments of tax revenues, warp economic activity, and fuel inequality and underdevelopment, need to be eradicated.

 For the sake of keeping the trust of voters, governments also need to be able to reassure citizens that their affairs are in safe hands. They know that trust and good governance are essential for our economies to move forward.

Below is background on most of the speakers in this critically important session at the OECD 50th Anniversary in Paris, France, scheduled for tomorrow.

Iveta Radičová (née Karafiátová), Prof. PhDr. PhD. (born 7 December 1956) is the current Prime Minister of Slovakia and a member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party. She was sworn into office on July 8, 2010[1] as the head of a four-party center-right coalition government following the 2010 Slovak parliamentary election. She is Slovakia's first female prime minister.

Prime Minister

In early 2010, Radičová was selected as the SDKU-DS's election leader for the 2010 parliamentary election in a primary election, defeating former Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš. During the election campaign her party ran on a platform of fiscal discipline and pledged to reinvigorate the economy after it suffered a 4.7% decline in 2009.[12]

In the election on June 12, 2010, the SDKU-DS came in a distant second place with 15.42% of the vote, far behind the center-left Smer party of Prime Minister Robert Fico, which received 34.79% of the votes. However, Fico's coalition partners, the ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party and the national-conservative HZDS, performed poorly, with HZDS failing to win any seats in parliament. As a result, a coalition of four center-right opposition parties - the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the ethnic Hungarian Most–Híd party, and Radičová's SDKU-DS - were able to form a majority in parliament with 79 out of 150 seats. After Fico proved unable to form a new government, Radičová, as leader of the largest opposition party, was asked to form a government by President Gašparovič on June 23, 2010.[13] Radičová was installed as Slovakia's first female prime minister on July 8, 2010, heading a coalition government of SDKU-DS, SaS, KDH, and Most-Híd.

Radičová pledged that her new government would cut state spending to reduce the budget deficit, while steering clear of tax rises. She stated, "We are ready to take responsibility over the country at a time when it is coping with the impact of a deep economic crisis and the irresponsible decisions of our political predecessors." She also said that Slovakia's guarantee of 4.5 billion euros to the EU stabilization fund was exorbitant, but she also stated that she will not block approval of the scheme within the EU, though she sought to renegot
iate her country's contribution to it.[14] Her new government sought, through coalition partner Most-Hid, to rebuild links with Hungary that were badly damaged by the adoption of contentious language and citizenship laws.[15]


Soumitra Dutta

Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology, INSEAD, France

Soumitra Dutta is the Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology and the founder and academic director of elab@INSEAD, INSEAD's initiative in building a center of excellence in teaching and research in the digital economy ( Professor Dutta obtained his Ph.D. in computer science and his M.Sc. in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley.

His current research is on technology strategy and innovation at both corporate and national policy levels. He is the creator of the Networked Readiness Framework which provides the intellectual basis for the last nine editions of the Global Information Technology Reports (published by the World Economic Forum) which have become a global reference in national technology policy deployment.

He is the author of the Global Innovation Index which is published in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and focuses on measuring and managing the broad range of innovation prevalent in emerging markets. He also researches the impact of social media on organizations and societies and has written extensively on this topic including his recent book, “Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom” (Wiley, 2009). His other books include “Innovating at the Top” (Palgrave, 2009).

His research has been showcased in the international media and he has taught in and consulted with international corporations across the world. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and on the boards of several business schools and corporations.


Ted Menzies: Accountable - Accessible 

Born in Claresholm, Alberta, Ted Menzies grew up in the rolling prairies and foothills west of Claresholm on his family's farm.

Since his election to the House of Commons in June 2004, Ted has served as Official Opposition Critic for International Cooperation and Official Opposition Critic for International Trade.

Ted was a sitting member of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment. Upon his reelection in January 2006, Ted was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation and was a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade.

In addition to his role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, Ted assumed the additional responsibility of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade in January 2007.  However, in October 2007,

Ted was appointed to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance in October 2007 and was re-appointed in November 2008.

On January 4, 2011, Ted was sworn in as Minister of State (Finance).

Ted came to parliament with a strong background in agriculture, international trade and in dealing with various governments, which provided Ted the opportunity to speak to audiences not only in Canada but also in Australia, Mexico, U.S., and Europe.

In the late 1990s, Ted was working in the business of agriculture and international trade. His work with the Grain Growers of Canada, Western Canadian Wheat Growers, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance and the federal Agriculture, Food and Beverage Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT) gave him the chance to work with, advocate for and build coalitions with diverse groups on issues that were often international in scope with direct and local impact on neighbours, colleagues and all Canadians.

Ted is past President of Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) and past Vice-President and Chair of the Marketing and Transportation Committee of the Grain Growers of Canada.

Ted played an active role in, and often presided over, community, municipal, provincial, national and international boards and committees.
In 1975, he joined the local Claresholm Lions Club, of which he would later become president and chair various committees and would also serve for Lions Clubs International in various roles. In the late 1970s, Ted became politically active in the federal and provincial associations in his community. 

After working as Warranty Supervisor for Safeway Shelter Systems where he coordinated warranty work in Western Canada and the Northwest Territories, Ted started farming east of Claresholm with his wife, Sandy, and her family.

Ted and Sandy have operated Section One Farm Ltd., a 5,000 acre farm, near Claresholm, Alberta, for 30 years producing wheat, barley, canola, field peas, lentils, chickpeas and spice crops. Ted was an early adopter of new technologies such as zero-tillage to conserve valuable soil and moisture, global positioning for improved efficiency and hand held computers for record keeping.

Ted and Sandy raised two children Michael and Kari Menzies-Cunningham and have fivegrandchildren.


Federico Ghizzoni

CEO, UniCredit SpA 

Federico Ghizzoni was born in Piacenza (Italy) on October 14, 1955. He holds a Degree in Law from University of Law in Parma and started his career in 1980 as customer relations manager at Credito Italiano's Piacenza Branch. Having worked as the Head of Credit & Marketing Department at Piacenza Branch, Federico Ghizzoni assumed the position of Branch Director in Trieste between 1988 and 1989. Continuing his career as Director of Seriate Branch between 1990 and 1992, Federico Ghizzoni was appointed Deputy General Manager to Credito Italiano's London Office.

After having been appointed Credito Italiano's Singapore Office General Manager in 1995, Federico Ghizzoni became Executive Director responsible of Corporate and International Banking between 2000 and 2002 at Bank Pekao S.A, affiliate of the UniCredit Group. In 2003 Federico Ghizzoni started to work at Koç Financial Services, a 50-50 joint venture of Koç Holding and UniCredit Group.

In his capacity as Executive Board Member of Koç Financial Services and all its affiliates, Federico Ghizzoni has also been serving in the upper management, responsible for auditing, risk management, planning and control. After the acquisition by Koç Financial Services of Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi and its affiliates, he become the COO & Executive Board Member of Koç Financial Services and COO & Vice Chairman of Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi.

In July 2007, he was appointed Head of Poland's Markets Division at UniCredit, Head of CEE Banking Operations and Board Member responsible for the CEE Banking Division at Bank Austria AG.

In August 2010 he assumed the position of Deputy CEO and Deputy General Manager of UniCredit. Since 30 September 2010 he has been Chief Executive Officer of UniCredit and since March 2011 has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of UniCredit Bank AG in Munich.

He is Chairman of the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala Association in Milan, Member of the International Monetary Conference in Washington and Member of the Institut International d’Études
Bancaires in Brussels.



Marilena Lazzarini is Institutional coordinator of the Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do

Consumidor (IDEC, the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Defense) since January 2004.

She has been its Executive coordinator from 1996-2003. IDEC was created in 1987,

with Ms. Lazzarini as a founding member.

Ms Lazzarini has been elected (in October 2003) as President of Consumers

International - a three-year post at the helm of this international confederation of 250-

plus groups in some 115 countries. She has been a member of CI's governing Council

since the mid-1990s.

Lazzarini also heads the Fórum Nacional das Entidades Civis de Defesa do

Consumidor (Brazilian Forum of Consumer Groups), a national network of consumer

NGOs created in 1998, with more than 20 member groups from 13 states.

Between 1983 and 1987, Lazzarini was Executive Director of PROCON, the Sao Paulo

State governmental consumer protection agency. Previous to this, she coordinated food

supply projects within the Sao Paulo State Agriculture Secretary.


Marilena Lazzarini trained as an agronomist in the Escola Superior de Agricultura

(Esalq-USP), Sao Paulo post graduated in Regional and Urban Economics at University

of São Paulo (FIPE).


Steingrímur J. Sigfússon (Government Bio)

Mr. Steingrímur J. Sigfússon became Minister of Finance on February 1st 2009.

Mr. Sigfússon is born at Gunnarsstadir in Thistilfjordur, a farm in the North-East part of the country, on August 4th 1955. He is married to Bergný Marvinsdóttir M.D. and they have four children, Sigfús, Brynjólfur, Bjartur and Vala.

Mr. Sigfússon is the chairman of the Left-Green Movement, a political party formally established in 1999 in order to create a joint forum for leftists and environmentalists.

Mr. Sigfússon graduated with a B.Sc. degree in geology from the University of Iceland in 1981. He was first elected to the Althingi for the People’s Alliance in 1983 and has been a member of the Althingi since then.


Renato Flores

Professor, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil 

Renato G. Flores Jr is Professor at the Graduate School of Economics – EPGE/FGV, Rio de Janeiro; President of the Management Committee of programme PEP (Poverty and Economic Policy), based in Canada; President of the Brazilian chapter of the European Community Studies Association; Member of the Advisory Board of the Chaire Mercosur, at Sciences Po, Paris, and Member of the Fiscal Board of CEBRI – Brazilian Centre for International Relations.

He is a former Member of the Permanent Group of Experts of the Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, WTO, Geneva, where he also acted as negotiator for the Fourth Protocol of the Agreement on Telecommunications, after the Uruguay Round. He has an extensive academic career, in Brazilian and European universities, with a large experience in teaching, research and consulting. His main interests are in development economics and trade (theory and policy), European and Regional Integration in general and the links amongst International Law, Politics and Economics, within the context of globalisation.

He also holds interests in the economics of culture, being a member of the informal group of experts at UNESCO, Paris, on the measurement and analysis of aspects related to the Convention on Cultural Diversity. Before engaging in academics, he had important positions in the Brazilian government, at the federal (Ministry of Planning) and state (Rio de Janeiro) levels. He was a pioneer in providing public access to official data, something which became a key instrument for improving the debate on the social aspects of Brazilian development strategies.

He has worked with international organisations (the IDB, the World Bank, the OECD Development Centre) and foreign affairs’ ministries. At present, he is involved in the development of methodologies for global risk assessment in different contexts. His education includes the titles of PhD (economics), M.B.A. (financial engineering), M. Sc. (probability theory) and Systems Engineer


David Begg

General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions 

David Begg became General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in 2001.

For five years prior to that he was Chief Executive of Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian organisation working in 27 countries and with offices in Dublin, London, Belfast, New York and Chicago.

Mr. Begg is a Governor of the Irish Times Trust, a non-Executive Director of Aer Lingus, and a member of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC). From 1995 – 2010, he was a Director of the Irish Central Bank.

Mr. Begg also sits on the Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). 

Mr. Begg holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Dublin City University.


Lord (Peter) Mandelson (Wikipedia Bio)

Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, PC (born 21 October 1953) is a British politician belonging to the Labour Party who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004, served in a number of Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and was a European Commissioner. He was a key architect in the rebranding of the Labour Party as "New Labour" and its subsequent landslide victory in the 1997 general election.[1]

He twice resigned from Tony Blair's government while holding Cabinet positions. After his second resignation, he served as the European Commissioner for Trade for almost four years. He rejoined the government when he was made a life peer by the Queen and took his seat in the House of Lords on 13 October 2008.[2]


Bruno Strigini

President, Europe & Canada, MSD (Merck & Co., Inc.)

Dr. Bruno Strigini is President of Europe/Canada for Merck & Co., Inc., known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. He is also a member of the Executive Committee for the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations (EFPIA). Prior to the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough in 2009, he was President for the EUCAN II region at Schering-Plough, which included responsibility for EU mid-markets, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Strigini has an extensive background in the international pharmaceutical industry, having held increasingly senior executive positions in a number of companies and markets around the world. He came to Merck/Schering-Plough from UCB-Celltech, where he served as President for International Operations based in Belgium, having previously been in charge of UCB Japan/Asia-Pacific out of Tokyo, and prior to that head of global marketing, business development and strategy. His earlier career included positions such as Vice-President International Marketing in the UK and Managing Director in New Zealand at SmithKline Beecham, and Managing Director in France, the UK and Spain at the Fournier Group.
Strigini holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland, a master’s degree (MSc) in microbiology from Heriot-Watt University, UK, and a doctorate degree in pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Montpellier, France.


Christine Varney

Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, United States

Christine Varney was confirmed as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice on April 20, 2009, continuing a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. Immediately prior to her appointment, Ms. Varney was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Hogan & Hartson, where she served in a dual capacity as a member of the firm’s Antitrust Practice Group and head of the firm's Internet Practice Group. Her practice provided full service assistance to companies doing business globally, including providing advice on antitrust, competition policy, regulatory matters, privacy, business planning and corporate governance, intellectual property, and general liability issues. In addition, Ms. Varney was instrumental in the founding of several industry associations, including the Network Advertising Initiative and Online Privacy Alliance, working to create Internet best practices policies.

From 1994 to 1997, Ms. Varney served as a Federal Trade Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, and was a leading official on a wide variety of Internet and competition issues. She also pioneered the application of innovation market theory analysis to transactions in both electronic high technology and biotechnology. She led the government's effort to examine privacy issues in the information age, resulting in congressional and agency hearings, proposed industry standards, and increased government enforcement of laws protecting privacy.

Prior to becoming a Federal Trade Commissioner, Christine was an Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Cabinet. She was the primary point of contact for the 20-member Cabinet. She was responsible for the overall coordination of several major issues and initiatives between the White House and various agencies.

Before joining the Clinton Administration, Christine practiced law with Hogan & Hartson. In addition, she served as Chief Counsel to the Clinton/Gore Campaign, General Counsel to the 1992 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee from 1989 to 1992.

Ms. Varney received her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1986, an M.P.A. from SyracuseUniversity in 1978, and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany in 1977.


Richard Howitt 

MEP, Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility, European Parliament

An elected Member of the European Parliament since 1994 Richard Howitt has served as Rapporteur on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) during three successive European Parliaments. He proposed the setting up of and continues to represent the European Parliament on the E.U. Multi-Stakeholder Forum on CSR. Richard's 2007 Parliamentary report emphasised the need for the European Union to better promote and implement global CSR initiatives, specifically calling for EU support to the strengthening of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Richard Howitt MEP represents European interests in a number of international CSR initiatives, and serves as a Friend of the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, a Member of the Governmental Advisory Group of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an Ambassador for the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability project and a member of the Public Policy Advisory Group of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).

In 2007 in Oslo, Professor John Ruggie, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Business and Human Rights asked Richard to chair his consultation on the governmental obligations in his mandate, and Richard has regularly taken part in consultations on the mandate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Alongside his work on CSR, Richard Howitt MEP is Spokesperson of the Socialist and Democrat Group in the European Parliament on Human Rights.

Richard is also a leading member of the European Parliament's Committees on Foreign Affairs, and on Employment and Social Affairs.


Anne-Catherine Husson-Traore
Chief Executive, Novethic, France 

As a founding member of Novethic, Anne-Catherine Husson-Traore led in 2001 the development of In addition to defining the editorial slant of, Anne-Catherine publishes L’Essentiel de L’ISR, a quarterly publication for the French-speaking financial community which provides up to date information on international Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) practices, extra-financial analysis and shareholder activism. She was promoted Chief Executive of Novethic in 2006. As an expert on socially responsible investment, she is a frequent speaker at events on sustainable finance and often interviewed by the French media.

Prior to Novethic, she worked for the French television channel M6 (1987-2000). At M6, she was Editor-in-Chief and Director of a regional office, before being appointed Editor of the site. Before joining M6, Mrs. Anne-Catherine held a variety of positions in print and radio. She began to focus specifically on the Internet in 1998.

Anne-Catherine has a degree in Journalism from the Centre de Formation des Journalistes and a Master's degree in Public Law.




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