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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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TAmb. Carla Hills - Champion of Free Trade

Economic Club of Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Photo - presenting award with Congressman Tim Penny

April 13, 2015

It was an honor to present former United States Trade Representative Carla Hills the Economic Club of Minnesota's Bill Frenzel Champion of Free Trade Award. During the administration of President George H.W. Bush, Carla led the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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10 Friendly Questions for Rand Paul

Foreign Policy Article

April 8, 2015

My question:

"10. If the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is approved in the Obama administration, what criteria would you use to determine when you would push for its approval as president?"

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CNNBusiness Engaging on Political Issues

CNN International

Photo © Kennedy

April 3, 2015

"Businesses have to act morally, but they're in the business of business...There are many moral issues they could speak out on. Which ones they do is a function of which one aligns most with their differentiated purpose for their business."

"More companies should talk frankly than do politically. That's what I teach in my business in a political age course. But as they do, they're going through a cost/benefit analysis and those in this case went through a cost/benefit analysis and came to the conclusion it's in their benefit to speak out.

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JenkinsIndiana and Arkansas Fail to Understand That the Question Is Always the Answer

Huffington Post - Business

Photo © Kennedy

April 2, 2015

"When dealing with the political, regulatory, media and activist actors that I call shapeholders, the question is the answer to every political contest.

Legislators in Indiana and Arkansas were the latest to find out this hard truth. In an increasingly contentious world, it is vital to know that in a policy skirmish, the victors are usually the groups that were most prescient in establishing their question as the focus of debate in the arena where they will fare the best."


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BBusiness in a Political Age

Seminar - Deusto University

Bilbao,  Spain

March 23-24, 2015

It was great to teach Business in a Political Age at Deusto Business School with Michael Paese, Co-Head of Global Government Affairs with Goldman Sachs and a Member of the Board of Advisors for the Graduate School of Political Management.

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