Channel Conversation on Value

Conversation on Value
Hosted by Valeria Maltoni.
Value in economics is like energy in science – they’re expressions of the same thing. Value is energy in its social form. Therefore it is fluid, captures beauty and awe.
Questions of language are inevitably intertwined with questions of national/ethnic identity and class (the latter especially in places where there is a legacy of colonialism). The European Union has used multilingualism to promote integration and economic mobility while tempering the spread of English. Fluency, or even just proficiency, in English increasingly becomes a tool for economic mobility and access to global markets, audiences, and conversations. What are the consequences for other languages and identities around the globe, and the pitfalls of English’s dominance for native English speakers? In this episode of conversation on value, Valeria and Rosemary Salomone explore the cultural element of the spread of English – the soft power of English-language in music, movies, television, and social media.
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We all want to be treated like human beings. However, this is at odds with the belief that ‘respect is earned.’ If we agree that a baby is invaluable, we also need to acknowledge that there’s inherent value and worth in every person. How can we reconcile the narrative of earning respect with the principle that each human should be treated with dignity? Can we together reach a broader level of social consciousness? What does it mean to lead with dignity? In this conversation on value Valeria Maltoni and Dr. Donna Hicks talk about the value in embracing our own dignity and upholding that of others to heal human connection.
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“Machine” has been a prevalent metaphor for business since the Industrial Revolution. And it seems that automated systems of machine learning have become the current direction in search of ever higher efficiency and optimization. But, increasingly, the consequences of this trajectory have had an adverse impact on people. Disengagement on both sides of the business transaction is the most salient and pervasive. People are cultural beings, not resources to be harvested. How can we put value back into things and experiences to enrich culture and ourselves? Ritual design is an overlooked territory within our own commercial culture.

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Value in Emotion with Batja Mesquita

Emotions are not innate, but happen between people and signal a taking of a stance in relationships, both one-on-one and within larger social networks. That’s the thesis and argument in Between Us: How Cultures Create Emotions. A pioneer of cultural psychology, Batja Mesquita discusses her scientific research and work on emotion with Valeria Maltoni. The conversation ranges from the contours of “shame” and “anger” in different cultures, to the invention and uses of “love” and “happiness” in culture, from how moving away and toward another human being or group works emotionally, to how emotions could tie into stories in the world, rather than being actual mental states.

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Value in History How did we get to where we are? We’re generally pretty good at knowing the big things that happened in the past, but we tend to lose much of the nuance of how ideas formed and developed historically. A notion that has become central dogma in economics is due for serious reappraisal – the Free market ideology. Jacob Soll is a University Professor of philosophy, history, and accounting at the University of Southern California. In this conversation on value, Soll and Valeria Maltoni take a stroll down history lane

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We all like to think we’re good people, but in a toxic environment, we could go to the dark side. Strong organizational contexts push good people towards unethical decisions. In our conversation, we explore the when, where, and who of taking control over the influence of these dark forces and global value chains.

Dr. Guido Palazzo is Professor of Business Ethics at HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne. In his research, he is passionate about the dark side of the force and examines unethical decision making from various angles. He is mainly known for his studies on globalization, in particular on human rights violations in global value chains, but he also studies the reasons for unethical behavior in organizations and the impact of organized crime on business and society. Currently, he is examining the illegal toxic waste business of the Italian Mafia. He studied business administration and has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Marburg in Germany.

Learn more about Prof. Guido Palazzo here:

Good communication conveys a message clearly. Surprise helps the message stick. But there’s a little bit more to it than that. In this episode of Conversation on Value, Nick and I talk about what it means to find your voice, explain things.

Nick Parker was once the creative director at The Writer. Before that, he spent a decade as a writer, editor, and non-ironic corduroy-wearer at The Oldie magazine. And way back, he was a cartoonist for Viz and a joke-writer for the radio.

A business is one of the greatest problem-solving tools humanity has ever invented. A brand is what happens when a business takes Dolly Parton’s advice to figure out who you are, then do it on purpose.

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Value in Use: The solution to Humanity’s value crisis

In this episode, Valeria talks with Peter Tunjic, an experienced lawyer and commercial law theorist based in Melbourne, Australia.
Organizing corporations around the concept of exchange value is making the planet unlivable. The purpose of Peter’s millennia challenge is to develop a lens capable of predicting the current crisis and offering a safer alternative foundation for corporations, corporate law and corporate governance. He calls it the search for Phi.

Peter Tunjic’s research interests intersect corporate law, theory of value and non-equilibrium thermodynamics. In relating physics to corporate law, Peter supports his analysis and advice to clients with rigorous argument and reason. He also writes contracts. Find him at On Directorship.

Value in Language: “Connecting with Emotion” with Julie Sedivy
Julie Sedivy and Valerina talk about the interplay between language and emotion in creating identity and the value of this connection. "We only realize the value of something after we lose it,” says Julie. There’s an "ebb and flow of language in the mind" with migration. Julie says, “languages are the vehicles of our lives. It’s the means through which we communicate our values, and so on.” Language provides cultural context. Preserving the body of work in ancient Greece wouldn’t have been possible without continuity in language. What are the collective cons(equences) of the loss of cultural texture and nuance?
“Learn a language, gain a soul” because we access different parts of ourselves in different languages. E.g., Personality tests (English and Spanish). A Dutch study (English more competitive, Dutch more collaborative). Exposure to anglophone culture. Early childhood tighter emotional connection.

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In an age when so much content, including media, is limp and lazy when we're appropriate, precise, and thoughtful about the stories we tell we create value.
Christina Patterson is the author of Outside, the Sky is Blue and The Art of Not Falling Apart. While she’s thinking about the next book, she’s building a coaching practice with a related podcast, The Art of Work. (Guests in the current series include former Twitter VP Bruce Daisley, bestselling writer and palliative care consultant, Kathryn Mannix, internationally renowned cellist Steven Isserlis, classicist and bestselling author Mary Beard and T S Eliot-prize-winning poet, Joelle Taylor.)

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“What is value?” is perhaps the most urgent, yet neglected, question of our time.

In the 4th Century BC Aristotle thought the Value Problem concerned the best or most productive use of a thing. Unlike today, he made no distinction between value in use and value in exchange.

Though it is thousands of years old, the Value Problem still matters because it impacts directly the way we live our life, individually and collectively.

Valeria Maltoni is a strategist and linguist at Conversation Agent. Her Alma Mater, the University of Bologna, was founded in 1088 as a cooperative to co-create value in education.

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