On March 31, 2023, CEOs and board members discussed trust at the inaugural Digital Trust Conference organized by Mayer Brown, The Conference Board, Nasdaq, Bank of America and hosted at the Watson Institute at Brown University. The Summit was convened because corporate CEOs and boards have a governance obligation that increasingly extends to responsible data stewardship. The adoption of generative AI, robotics or unknown technologies on the horizon, as well as the building and maintenance of systems that are not only safe but known to be safe, represent the high-stakes scenarios today’s corporate leaders face and are at the heart of digital trust.
The opportunities for innovation that exist with well-placed public trust are limitless. The obligations for CEOs and boards to—and the ramifications for those who do not—understand and embrace these issues were at the forefront of the inaugural Digital Trust Summit. The private, invitation-only, full day event, which took place at Brown University, brought together 60 CEOs and corporate board members to identify ways to establish data leadership—thereby increasing corporate value and reducing exposure to financial scrutiny and loss.
- Brian Moynihan, Chair of the Board and CEO, Bank of America
- Dr. Lori Esposito Murray, President of the Committee for Economic Development, the public policy center of The Conference Board
- Rajesh De, leader of the global Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice, Mayer Brown
- Dominique Shelton Leipzig, leader of the Global Data Innovation and Ad Tech Privacy & Data Management groups, Mayer Brown
- Suresh Venkatasubramanian, professor, Brown University and co-author of the AI Bill of Rights
- Dan Bigman, Editor & Chief Content Officer, Chief Executive Group
Moynihan stated, “Financial services institutions are based on trust. We hold it. We help people engage with the economy. With that trust, we are able to provide great capability to our customers in the digital space.”
The panels covered practical suggestions that CEOs and boards can implement for trust governance, privacy, implementing an AI bill of rights as well as conversations around the value of trust leading to improved performance in income, employee productivity and customer loyalty.
“Participants explored ways they can set the intention to innovate through a culture of trust that goes beyond legal requirements to encompass data ethics,” said Shelton Leipzig. “The framework allows corporate leaders to anticipate, address and implement a culture that enhances responsible data stewardship. We are excited for the possibilities for growth for companies generated through digital trust.”
“AI’s rapid acceleration has heightened the urgency around data privacy and data security – issues that demand bold, collaborative leadership from the United States’ business and policy communities,” said Murray. “Our studies confirm that the number one issue of interest for CEOs and board members as they face the evolving landscape is trust. We are deeply committed to supporting this ongoing initiative.”
Byron Loflin, Global Head of Board Advisory at Nasdaq noted, “Companies should conduct scenario planning and crisis tabletop exercises to prepare for and anticipate responses to events that are unlikely, but that can range from moderately impactful to significant negative consequences.”
The discussion around digital trust is an ongoing one, and the Summit organizers announced their second annual Digital Trust Summit scheduled for March 28, 2024.