2024 Business, Government & Society Forum - Welcome and Opening Keynote

2024 Business, Government & Society Forum - Welcome and Opening Keynote

Stanford Business School's Inaugural Business, Government, and Society Forum

  • The forum aims to address emerging areas of debate and respond to changes in the world.
  • The school's mission is to create ideas that illuminate management and educate innovative leaders who can change the world.
  • The pandemic prompted the development of the Business, Government, and Society initiative to bring the school to the forefront of emerging areas and integrate research and teaching into leadership education.
  • The initiative has generated new classes, conferences, workshops, and research projects, and fostered partnerships with other schools on campus.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's Discussion on the Economy and Monetary Policy

  • Inflation has come down but is still above the Federal Reserve's 2% goal.
  • Tight monetary policy continues to weigh on demand, but growth in economic activity and employment was strong in 2023.
  • Recent readings on job gains and inflation have been higher than expected, but the overall picture remains one of solid growth, a strong labor market, and inflation moving down toward 2%.
  • The Federal Reserve will let the incoming data guide its decisions on policy and will hold the policy rate at its current level until there is greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably down toward 2%.
  • The Federal Reserve (FED) is considering lowering the policy rate this year, but the outlook is uncertain with risks on both sides.
  • The FED's goals are maximum employment and stable prices, and its independence is essential to achieving these goals.
  • The FED makes decisions based on technical competence, objectivity, transparency, and accountability.
  • The FED avoids mission creep and respects the limits of its mandate, focusing on its role as a bank supervisor and addressing climate-related financial risks.

Sundar Pichai's Conversation on Leadership, Innovation, and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Sundar Pichai reflects on his time as CEO of Google, noting the exceeded expectations of technology's scale, particularly in compute and AI.
  • He emphasizes the importance of not limiting one's imagination when considering the potential for change and growth.
  • Pichai discusses the progress made in self-driving car technology and its normalization.
  • Google constantly works to preserve a risk-taking culture and incentivize ambitious initiatives, as larger organizations tend to become more risk-averse.
  • The company encourages innovation and experimentation through initiatives like Google Labs.
  • Google's motto, "Don't be evil," emphasizes doing the right thing and making decisions that positively impact society and users.
  • Google invests heavily in research and development, particularly in AI, and believes that AI can help address regulatory compliance at scale.
  • Google's mission has evolved from organizing the world's information to providing answers directly, using AI-powered language models like PaLM 2.
  • Sundar Pichai discusses the challenges of providing answers to questions using AI chatbots, particularly when the answers might be value-laden or controversial.
  • He highlights the need for careful consideration and consultation with diverse groups when developing policies and guidelines for AI products.
  • Pichai expresses pride in Google's contributions to AI technology and emphasizes the company's commitment to open-source collaboration and continuous innovation.
  • Self-driving car technology has made significant progress, particularly in San Francisco, and is expected to continue to advance rapidly in the coming years.
  • AI has the potential to be a powerful tool for good, particularly in healthcare, but it must be carefully deployed in a responsible manner to maintain public trust.
  • The most exciting development in the near future is the continued advancement of large language models (LLMs), which have the potential to revolutionize various fields and workflows.


  • There will be a short break until 11:15 for parallel sessions, with refreshments available outside.

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?