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Business in a Political Age

Political actors have a strategy for your business. Do you have one for them?


Business success requires effectively engaging what Kennedy defined as shapeholders — the political, regulatory, media, and activist actors that shape a firm's opportunities and risks. See Mark's 7A Framework.

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Winning Politically

Opposing forces have multiplied.  Winning requires force multipliers.

Irish PM N

Winning Geopolitically

A flatter world requires wider vision, narrower focus, closer friends

Winning Thru Trade

Unleashing trade's power to ignite growth and reduce friction

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Kennedy’s 360° Insights

 Globally engaged business executive, Congressman, Professor


 Kennedy is a thought leader on engaging to win, whether organizations engaging governments and societies globally, advocates seeking to achieve or avert action, or countries marshaling support for collective action.

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Bring Kennedy's ideas to your organization

Kennedy speaks and leads executive education programs around the world on Business in a Political Age, politics, trade, and world affairs.

Contact to confirm availability and honorarium.

Sign up for Kennedy's insights on public affairs or trade.

Kennedy in the news.

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LTaylor Swift's Apple Approach Lives Up to Her Name

Huffington Blog Post

Photo (© Kennedy) - London

"Two groups prevailed in their quest to receive compensation for their labor, but one quickly convinced a broad coalition that "You Belong with Me" while another's efforts withered on the vine for decades.

It took raisin growers over six decades to get the U.S. Supreme Court to confirm that the government could not take a major portion of their crop without compensating them. It took Taylor Swift less than a day to get Apple to reverse course on its proposal to not compensate artists for their music during the free trial period of its new audio streaming service.

Swift, working as an activist on behalf of all (sometimes starving) artists against the behemoth purveyors of their artistic creations, achieved swift results. The contrast between her approach and the raisin growers' gives insights to other seekers of justice."

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TPATPA Pivot Is Democracy at Work

Huffington Blog Post

June 19, 2015

"No one ever said legislating would be pretty.

President Barack Obama, Republican Congressional leaders and pro-trade Senate Democrats are working together to overcome special interest opposition on trade. This struggle is a perfect example of democracy functioning as it was constitutionally intended.

Those who lament partisan gridlock and political dysfunction will have a reason to celebrate if the Senate completes its half of the bargain. Passing the stand alone Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) measure that cleared the House with the commitment from congressional leaders that they will also advance an extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Obama to sign would be a win for American leadership in the global economy.

This is democracy at its best!

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The path to winning TAA, take two

The Hill opinion piece

June 15, 2015

"President Obama and Republican leaders working together to advance trade reflects democracy at its best: our elected officials setting aside partisanship to advance principles they hold dear. Obama worked Congress harder than he has on any issue, yet came up with half a loaf in his quest to obtain the trade promotion authority (TPA) that is essential to concluding Pacific and European trade deals vital to America's prosperity and leadership.

House Democrats' revolt against Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), normally a liberal favorite, presents a serious challenge, but also offers an opportunity for further Republican leadership."

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AHow to Swing the Votes to Win the TPA Fight

Foreign Policy Opinion Piece

Photo - Paris

June 4, 2015

"Achieving the decisive votes to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives will require targeting two groups — Republicans concerned with granting President Barack Obama more authority and Democrats fearful of union retribution. Figuring out how to build a message that can appeal to these two seemingly incongruous populations is essential to legislative success."

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NPCEngaging East Asian Capitals

GWU Course in Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo

Photo - with students at China's National People's Congress

May 24-June 4

Both my students from George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management and I are learning a lot during our visits with political, corporate, NGO, academic, and media leaders in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo.

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