Welcome to Top 10 Topics in 2021: A Brave New World

The world has changed a lot since our 2020 report. A global pandemic; an ongoing reckoning on race, inequality and social justice; a climate crisis; an economic shock; and increased political polarization have created challenging dynamics for companies and boards globally. The role of the board in managing risk and charting the course ahead is more critical today than ever before. This report delves into these wide-ranging and interlocking issues and offers insight on how directors and management must proactively embrace their stewardship roles in this brave new world.

Companies and boards are adapting to the priorities of the Biden administration and Democratic-led House and Senate, with an agenda focused on ending the pandemic, combatting climate change and advancing economic equity and social justice. With more than $17 trillion allocated to sustainable investing strategies at the start of 2020, the new Washington, in many ways, is aligning its agenda with that of investors.

This report looks at:

  1. 2020 Election Impact and Anticipated Changes
  2. COVID-19: Labor Implications
  3. Diversity and Inclusion
  4. Board Diversity
  5. Environmental, Social and Governance
  6. Stakeholder Governance
  7. Risk Management
  8. Privacy and Cybersecurity
  9. Trade Considerations
  10. Investigations and Enforcement Trends

You will note that the length of our 2021 Top 10 is notably longer than in previous years. This report is yet another indication of just how much boards have on their plate in our current environment.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.