Brown Advisory Presents Navigating Our World
Navigating Our World is the podcast where we seek insights about some of the most pressing questions that we face as investors and as a society. We examine the forces shaping our world, moving capital and raising the future—with the thoughtful experts across our network. These conversations help us make better decisions for our clients, and we welcome you to join us.
December 5, 2023
Lithium is the lightest metal, so soft that you can cut it with a knife. Its structure gives it the ability to store large amounts of energy, making it ideal for manufacturing batteries. As the world moves to create a lower-carbon economy, it is not an overstatement to say that the energy transition may hinge on lithium.
To learn more about lithium, how it is produced, and its role in electrification and the shift to renewable energy sources, Brown Advisory's Erika Pagel sits down with Eric Norris, President of Energy Storage at Albemarle—the largest producer of lithium in the world.
S4 | Episode 4 | July 18, 2023
Nuclear power has had a controversial history. Today, however, it is often considered an essential energy source for a lower-carbon future. In a continuation of our NOW series on the energy transition, Erika Pagel sits down with Joe Dominguez, CEO of Constellation, the leading operator of nuclear power plants in the US. Joe and Erika discuss progress in shifting to a lower-carbon economy, where nuclear fits in, promising innovations, and what it will take to get to net zero by 2050.
S4 | Episode 3 | December 5, 2022
As investors, we know that climate risk is real—and that we cannot achieve real climate action without a material shift to renewable energy sources. So, as we think about driving toward a lower-carbon economy, we want to understand different opportunities and perspectives across the energy landscape. In this episode we are diving into renewables, and specifically into solar power. Brown Advisory's Erika Pagel sits down with Raghu Belur, the Co-founder and Chief Products Officer of Enphase Energy, which has revolutionized the solar industry with its microinverter-based technology. Erika and Raghu explore solar—in terms of economics, job creation, energy security and climate action.
S4 | Episode 2 | October 25, 2023
In part 1 of our energy transition series, Dr. Atul Arya, Chief Energy Strategist of S&P Global, said, "Energy companies are really good at putting steel in the ground and building stuff." In his mind, they must be part of the solution to create a low-carbon economy. So, in part 2, Brown Advisory's Erika Pagel explores the role of traditional energy companies with Allyson Book, the Chief Sustainability Officer of Baker Hughes, an engineering and technology provider that works with many of the largest global traditional oil and gas companies. How are the companies that built their businesses on fossil fuels facilitating a transition to a more sustainable, lower-carbon future?
S4 | Episode 1 | September 23, 2023
In conjunction with Climate Week, we are launching the first episode in our NOW podcast series on the transition to a low-carbon economy. In this first episode, Brown Advisory’s Erika Pagel sits down with Dr. Atul Arya, the Chief Energy Strategist of S&P Global, to discuss the race to net zero. They cover the impact of the war in Ukraine, the role of traditional energy companies, the promise of technology and innovation, and the feasibility of reaching the Paris Agreement’s critical but ambitious targets by 2050.
S3 | Episode 3 | December 2, 2021
Artificial intelligence appears poised to disrupt industries, improve customer outcomes, and enhance lives, and solutions based on AI are projected to contribute as much as $15 trillion to the global economy in 2030—more than the current output of China and India combined. The problem-solving potential of AI is seemingly limitless, and it may well change the way we work, travel, power our cities, diagnose disease, and organize our society.
And yet there are reasons to be cautious. Information is power, and that power can be used for good or for ill. In this episode, Brown Advisory’s Katherine Kroll explores the investor case for “ethical AI” and why failing to proactively ensure AI is used to help, not harm, is a material and salient risk not only to investment performance but to our society’s ability to thrive. She speaks with three of the foremost experts on ethical AI: Aza Raskin, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology; Arathi Sethumadhavan, Ph.D., Head of User Research for Ethics & Society at Microsoft; and Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning, World Economic Forum.
S3 | Episode 2 | October 28, 2021
Fortune recently ranked Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, near the top of its annual World’s Greatest Leaders list, and as long-term shareholders of PayPal, we agree with their assessment. We have watched Dan lead PayPal’s ongoing growth into a digital platform responsible for more than $1 trillion in payments globally last year. In addition, he has been steadfast and outspoken about the role of business in society and the need to modify capitalism. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Dan during our latest episode of the NOW Podcast. Brown Advisory's Ken Coe spoke with Dan about how he views his employees as his number one constituency; PayPal's role in providing working capital and creating virtuous cycles in low-income neighborhoods; the future of financial technology; the need for all of us to rise above our own self-interest to drive progress for all, and more. To wrap up the discussion, Ken brought in Jake Cusack and Efe Braimah from our frontier markets partner, CrossBoundary, to continue the conversation about opportunities in the fintech sector and making a difference.
Investing in Nature-Based Climate Solutions: A Climate Week Conversation with M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International
S3 | Episode 1 | September 23, 2021
Fortune recently ranked Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, near the top of its annual World’s Greatest Leaders list, and as long-term shareholders of PayPal, we agree with their assessment. We have watched Dan lead PayPal’s ongoing growth into a digital platform responsible for more than $1 trillion in payments globally last year. In addition, he has been steadfast and outspoken about the role of business in society and the need to modify capitalism.
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Dan during our latest episode of the NOW Podcast. Brown Advisory's Ken Coe spoke with Dan about how he views his employees as his number one constituency; PayPal's role in providing working capital and creating virtuous cycles in low-income neighborhoods; the future of financial technology; the need for all of us to rise above our own self-interest to drive progress for all, and more.
To wrap up the discussion, Ken brought in Jake Cusack and Efe Braimah from our frontier markets partner, CrossBoundary, to continue the conversation about opportunities in the fintech sector and making a difference.
S2 | Episode 7 | June 30, 2021
Blockchain technology offers the promise of a new era of secure, decentralized transfer of value on the internet—a future less reliant on trusted intermediaries and gatekeepers. Some have described blockchain as Web 3.0, unlocking the true vision of what the internet was meant to be, where users of applications are also the owners. Despite their recent—and signature—volatility, digital assets have grown into a $2 trillion market that extends well beyond Bitcoin and is attracting entrepreneurs, investors and corporate support at an accelerating rate. There is clearly a lot of innovation both in digital assets—or cryptocurrencies—as well as with the underlying blockchain technology. But how much is legitimate excitement about this revolutionary technology, and how much is inflated exuberance?
To explore the potential, and examine some of the questions hanging over the industry, Brown Advisory’s Sid Ahl sat down with three crypto experts: Joe Lallouz, Founder and CEO of Bison Trails (acquired by Coinbase); Ash Egan, Partner, Accomplice; and Ria Bhutoria, Principal, Castle Island Ventures.
S2 | Episode 6 | April 30, 2021
In this episode, Brown Advisory’s Meredith Shuey Etherington, a San Francisco-based portfolio manager, speaks with Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, and Craig Young, Managing Principal of Tidewater Capital, to examine whether the Bay Area and San Francisco can retain and even enhance its identity as the home of the innovation economy.
San Francisco has been a paradox for decades—at once a stunningly beautiful city at the epicenter of high-tech innovation, and a fragile community grappling with various social crises, the highest cost of living in the U.S. and a vast wealth gap. The pandemic intensified many of the city’s problems, and recent headlines have revealed a string of companies moving their headquarters from the Bay Area to Austin, Miami and elsewhere. Our conversation looks at the challenges and opportunities that will shape San Francisco’s future. Later in the podcast, Brown Advisory’s JJ Baylin and Amy Hauter join Meredith to discuss how we are investing in the future of cities for our clients.
S2 | Episode 5 | March 31, 2021
Online platforms--like Etsy and GoDaddy--have transformed parts of the economy and have made it possible for microbusinesses to survive and often thrive during the pandemic. For example, Etsy sellers contributed $13 billion and almost 3 million jobs to the economy last year. These two companies—GoDaddy and Etsy—have an unusual window into the power of microbusiness, so Brown Advisory's Emmy Wachtmeister sat down with Althea Erickson, VP of Global Public Policy & Impact at Etsy, and Alex Rosen, Director of GoDaddy's Venture Forward project, to learn more about these ventures and what they mean for the growth and resilience of our communities.
Then, Emmy sat down with David Powell, co-portfolio manager of Brown Advisory's Large-Cap Sustainable Growth strategy, to discuss the takeaways for investors.
S2 | Episodes 3 & 4 | February 22 & March 1, 2021
Solving world hunger—or “food insecurity”—is really hard. The solutions are not particularly sexy, and they require a very long-term outlook. We wanted to learn more about the problem and the innovators who are working to solve it.
In part 1 of this conversation, Brown Advisory's Emily High Daniels sits down with two leaders at opposite ends of the impact spectrum: Barron Segar, President and CEO of the World Food Program USA (the program was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize), is driving innovation and progress on a massive global scale. Mira Mehta is the Founder and CEO of Tomato Jos, a for-profit social enterprise whose mission is to make farming profitable and sustainable for smallholder farmers, while moving their communities toward the middle class.
In part 2, we welcome two more entrepreneurs: Ezinne Uzo-Okuro, CEO of Terraformers, is using her background as a NASA scientist to empower people to grow healthy food and create sustainable livelihoods. Manuela Zierau, Global Lead of H2Grow, works with communities to grow food—and well-being—in impossible places. Private Client CIO Sid Ahl and CrossBoundary’s Kirtika Challa join Emily to discuss investment takeaways.
Alan Jope Discusses the Secrets of Building a Purpose-Driven Business that Does Good and Performs Well
S2 | Episode 2 | December 13, 2020
Dr. Daniel Yergin—a leading global authority on energy, economics and geopolitics, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The New Map—sits down with Brown Advisory’s Jane Korhonen to discuss the future of energy, and how that future may shape innovation, international relations and the economy in the years ahead. The stakes are high: Climate change is creating an urgent need for a lower-carbon economy, and the incoming Biden administration will face the daunting challenge of reigniting the U.S. economy in the wake of the pandemic, and energy may be a critical catalyst of that recovery.
We are grateful to Dr. Yergin for sharing his insights with us. The episode also includes a follow-up conversation between Jane and Brown Advisory’s Chief Investment Officer, Paul Chew, in which they discuss some of the implications for investors.
S2 | Episode 1 | November 29, 2020
Thinking that you have to trade off financial performance and sustainability is a “false dichotomy” and a “ridiculous mindset,” according to Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, one of the largest consumer goods companies on the planet. Jope wants Unilever to be famous for three things: creating an envied portfolio of purpose-driven brands, proving the link between sustainable business and better financial outcomes, and serving as a beacon for diversity and inclusion—and he believes that radical transparency is the way to get there.
Brown Advisory’s Mick Dillon sat down with Jope to discuss radical transparency, attracting the next generation of consumers and employees, shaping social and environmental change, the power of capitalism and the need to evolve it. And then Mick and Brown Advisory’s Katherine Kroll sat down the next day to consider their takeaways as investors.
S1 | Climate Week Special Edition | September 26, 2020
With devastating wild fires and floods filling our news feeds, the consequences of a changing climate have rarely felt more acute or urgent. In the midst of Climate Week, Brown Advisory’s Karina Funk sat down with Kate Gordon, who leads climate policy for the state of California and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the intersection of business and climate.
As investors, we are constantly looking for opportunities to mitigate climate risk and support climate solutions. If we can help improve outcomes for the people impacted by climate change, we can generate returns for all of our stakeholders—our clients, colleagues and communities. With California as an epicenter of both climate-based tragedy and innovation, Karina and Kate talk about the ongoing crisis, investing in solutions, and the state’s announcement this week to move toward selling only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
Widening the Aperture in Venture Capital: A Conversation about Expanding Diversity & Inclusion in Silicon Valley and Beyond
S1 | Episode 13 | July 30, 2020
The data tell the story: Less than 1% of venture capital in the United States is invested in companies led by Black entrepreneurs. Add "female" as a data filter and it drops to 0.2%. Amid reckoning with legacies of racial injustice, we wanted to examine how a lack of representation in the startup ecosystem hinders access to capital for diverse founders. Brown Advisory’s Keith Stone sits down with three thought leaders in the venture industry—Charles Hudson, Richard Kerby and Monique Woodard—to explore paths to a growth economy where an expanded set of innovators and ideas can thrive.
“We're In It Together”: Why partnership is the key to understanding the universe and protecting our shared future
S1 | Episode 12 | July 7, 2020
Speaking with astrophysicist Jason Kalirai is a lesson in perspective. In this episode, Brown Advisory’s Ken Stuzin sits down with Dr. Kalirai to learn how he collaborates across national boundaries to explore the vastness of the universe and find answers to existential questions. As Dr. Kalirai points out, when you look at our planet from space, you see one world with no borders—just land, ocean, air and life—which provides a great antidote to our often polarized experience on Earth.
S1 | Episode 11 | June 30, 2020
Caryl Stern, longtime CEO at UNICEF USA and now executive director at the Walton Family Foundation, has spent her career focused on elevating the well-being of children. While Caryl is deeply concerned about the inequities that the pandemic is exacerbating, she is also profoundly energized about the current innovation, partnerships and social justice movements that can deliver quality education and opportunity for our next generation.
S1 | Episode 10 | June 23, 2020
The concurrent crises of the pandemic, economic fallout and racial inequities are creating a recipe for another crisis—in mental health. Brown Advisory’s Bertie Thomson sits down with Dr. Ray DePaulo of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kristen Roby Dimlow of Microsoft and Dr. Richard Frank of Harvard Medical School to gain a deeper understanding of the stressors, as well as solutions, posed by this challenging time.
S1 | Episode 9 | June 16, 2020
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide a framework for addressing global challenges related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. Achieving them was never going to be straightforward—and that was before we faced a global pandemic, economic crisis, and the manifestation of centuries of racial violence and injustice. Investors have a particular role to play in pulling levers that make a difference.
Brown Advisory’s CIO of Sustainable Investing, Erika Pagel, sits down with Lynelle Cameron of Autodesk and Brian Rice of CalSTRS, who are each focused on creating long-term sustainable impact through resilience and engagement.
S1 | Episode 8 | June 9, 2020
Technology rules the way we communicate, connect, consume and collaborate. For both companies and governments, this provides incredible economic and infrastructure opportunities, but also exposes massive risks to security and privacy.
Brown Advisory’s Lauren Cahalan sits down with David Edelman, director of MIT’s Project on Technology, the Economy & National Security, to discuss the challenges posed by technology’s penetration of all aspects of our lives, the responsibility of organizations to identify misinformation and protect our privacy, and how these issues have been heightened by the pandemic.
S1 | Episode 7 | June 2, 2020
For Dr. Carla Hayden, libraries are freedom in action: Whether physical or online, libraries provide all people access to information, opportunity and education. As the Librarian of Congress, and the first woman and person of color to hold this position, Dr. Hayden leads the oldest federal cultural institution in the U.S.—yet it is anything but stale. Brown Advisory’s Jacob Hodes talks with Dr. Hayden about digitizing millions of items, creating an app for burgeoning hip hop artists, and turbo-charging the Library’s online resources during the pandemic. In the podcast, Dr. Hayden shares her passion for libraries as pivotal elements of our social infrastructure—they link us to the lessons of the past and bring people together to create the future.
S1 | Episode 6 | May 26, 2020
Gen Z is the future. Born between 1996 and 2012, this generation is the most diverse cohort on the planet, and collectively, they represent over $140 billion in purchasing power. Brown Advisory's Katherine Kroll speaks with Gen Z experts Ziad Ahmed, Joel Flory and Denise Villa to talk about Gen Z's priorities—before and after the pandemic—and how Gen Zers are writing the future through their insistence on authenticity and massive online influence.
S1 | Episode 5 | May 19, 2020
Our house sits next to a river. We see the water slowly rising year after year and threatening to flood the foundation. Then, a house fire erupts. What do we do? If we don’t act against both the fire and flood, our house will be gone.
Doug Baker, Chairman and CEO of Ecolab, believes climate change is a serious business risk that must be addressed even amidst a burning pandemic, as he describes in his house-on-a-river parable. In conversation with Brown Advisory’s Karina Funk, Baker discusses climate risk and lessons of the pandemic from his vantage point at the helm of Ecolab, which provides technology for clean water, safe food and hygienic environments to three million businesses around the world.
S1 | Episode 4 | May 12, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic raises many questions about the U.S.-China relationship – including how the two countries will address globalization, supply chains, technology and the environment going forward. Porter Schutt talks with two long-time students of China, Andy Rothman, investment strategist at Matthews Asia, and Linda Yueh, economist at the University of Oxford, to delve into the economic, cultural and geopolitical implications of the crisis.
S1 | Episode 3 | May 5, 2020
According to Yascha Mounk, our guest on this week’s episode of Navigating our World, polarization poses an existential threat to democracy. In a conversation with Brown Advisory’s Jordan Wruble, Dr. Mounk examines the forces he feels are undermining our political systems, and discusses how the coronavirus pandemic might have the potential to bring us closer together. Yascha Mounk is the author of The People vs. Democracy: Why Democracy Is in Danger & How to Save It, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and a leading expert on global politics.
S1 | Episode 2 | April 28, 2020
What does it mean to lead with purpose? Tamara Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO of Schnitzer Steel, and Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy, have each leveraged the power of purpose to lead significant organizations. Brown Advisory’s Stephanie McCormick sits down with Tamara and Josh to explore the connection between purpose and financial performance, and how being “purpose-driven” helps them navigate this crisis.
S1 | Episode 1 | April 21, 2020
In an intimate and candid conversation, CEO Mike Hankin sits down with esteemed Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Jon Meacham to draw historical parallels with the current crisis, and discuss lessons we can take from past leaders about navigating challenging times.
S1 | Foreword | April 21, 2020
To kick off our Navigating Our World podcast, our CEO Mike Hankin shares his thoughts on why NOW is especially important during this crisis, and on the responsibility of business leaders to address the polarization around challenging issues -- including capitalism, climate change and more -- without taking sides.
President, Energy Storage, Albemarle
Eric Norris joined Albemarle in January 2018 as Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, he managed the company’s strategic planning, M-A, and corporate business development programs as well as its investor relations efforts. In August 2018, he was appointed President of the Lithium global business unit. Prior to joining Albemarle, Norris served as President of Health and Nutrition for FMC Corporation. Following FMC’s announcement to acquire DuPont Agricultural Chemical assets, he led the divestiture of FMC Health and Nutrition to DuPont. Previously, Norris served as Vice President and Global Business Director for FMC Health and Nutrition, and Vice President and Global Business Director for FMC Lithium. During his 16-year FMC career, he served in additional leadership roles including Investor Relations, Corporate Development and Director of FMC Healthcare Ventures. Prior to FMC, Norris founded and led an internet-based firm offering formulation and design tools to the chemical industry. He started his career in a range of leadership roles with the Rohm and Haas Company. Norris earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and German from Colgate University. Norris is a member of the board of directors of Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and is a member of the board of advisors of The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA).
President and Chief Executive Officer, Constellation
Joseph Dominguez is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Constellation, which employs 13,000 workers, has generating capacity of more than 32,400 megawatts and serves more than 20 million homes and businesses with clean energy. With revenues of more than $17 billion and total assets of $49 billion, Constellation comprises both the nation's lowest-carbon fleet among large power producers and the largest competitive energy supplier. Together, they are America's clean energy leader, producing over 10% of the nation's clean energy and helping America transition to a clean, sustainable future.
As CEO, Dominguez oversees Constellation’s clean energy fleet of nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric and natural gas facilities in 19 states, and the nation's top competitive retail and commodities business, which provides electricity, natural gas and other energy-related products and services to two million residential, public sector and business customers nationwide, including more than three-fourths of the Fortune 100.
Previously, Dominguez served as CEO of ComEd, an Exelon company, which powers the lives of more than four million residential and business customers, or 70 percent of Illinois’ population. In that role, he was responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to customers and oversight of the management of the electric grid for over four million customers in Chicago and most of northern Illinois.
Prior to joining ComEd, Dominguez served as executive vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy for Exelon, where he led the development and implementation of federal, state, and regional governmental, regulatory, and public policy strategies.
Prior to joining Exelon, Dominguez was a partner in the law firm of White and Williams, LLP, with a broad-based litigation practice counseling large and small corporations, institutions, and government entities. He is a former assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Dominguez earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He earned his law degree from Rutgers University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude, and was recognized as a Dean’s Scholar.
Co-founder and Chief Products Officer, Enphase
Raghu co-founded Enphase Energy with Martin Fornage in 2006. He has more than 25 years of experience in the clean energy and high technology industries, and has been at the forefront of developing Enphase’s leading integrated energy system—with solar generation, storage, monitoring, and control. Prior to Enphase, Raghu developed high-speed optical communication technology for Cerent, which was later acquired by Cisco Systems. Before Cerent, Raghu was an engineer at the Indian Institute of Science, where he played a key role in the development of an alternative energy gasification system. Raghu received an MSEE from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley.
We launched Navigating Our World in 2008 to mark our 10th anniversary as an independent firm. Each NOW conference is meant to embody our commitment to seeking fresh and diverse views, learning from experts across disciplines, and challenging conventional assumptions. While we have shifted our conference format to a podcast series due to the pandemic, we remain steadfast in our belief that thoughtful inquiry, encompassing varied perspectives, helps us make better decisions for clients and makes us more effective contributors to our communities. As a firm, we aspire to raise the future—and NOW helps us get there.