She helped pioneer last-minute deal travel — and currently presides over one of the world’s best known fashion sites. OZY is very pleased to have Michelle Peluso, CEO of the shopping site Gilt, present this Sunday’s Presidential Daily Brief. Recently appointed to the board of Nike, the former CEO of Travelocity, founder of Site59 and former global consumer chief marketing and digital officer at Citigroup is now injecting her enthusiasm into a site with 9 million subscribers. This week, she joins past curators such as Tony Blair, Jeb Bush and Arianna Huffington to share her take on today’s must-know news, people and trends.
The Presidential Daily Brief
And it has to stop. If we think of the militants in Syria and Iraq merely as terrorists, it bolsters the idea that military force alone can spell defeat. But what if ISIS makes more strides in behaving like a state? It’s already issuing fishing licenses, rejecting bribery and corruption, building infrastructure and seemingly becoming more predictable to its populace. Even former CIA chief and OZY columnist John McLaughlin has warned that allied victory is not assured. So it’s time, as we did in Afghanistan, to start thinking of political alternatives.
Anger is. While it may seem unbelievable that the loose-lipped tycoon is the GOP front-runner, Trump resonates with a quarter of Republicans. His statements, from Mexican “rapists” to Sen. John McCain’s lack of heroism, have been lampooned by Jon Stewart, Obama and countless columnists. But some see his no-holds-barred approach as a sign he can take on a dysfunctional Washington. With 37 percent of Americans feeling “angry” at the federal government, compared to just 14 percent in 1998 — after the Lewinsky scandal — it’s time we focus less on Trump and more on getting Washington back on track.
It may be time to name names. Data and national security are increasingly intertwined, and with the burgeoning Internet of Things promising an explosion in storage and consumption needs, the U.S. government needs to think long and hard about its role in supporting data security. So far, the White House has not publicly blamed — or taken action against — China for the Office of Personnel Management breach that left millions vulnerable. And with distinctions between economic and traditional espionage increasingly being blurred, the American response may set the tone for a new era of information warfare.
Chris Froome wins second Tour de France title. (France24)
Turkey seeks NATO meeting on strikes against Kurds, ISIS. (BBC)
Assad admits Syrian troop shortage, pledges victory. (Al Jazeera)
Kenya sees boom of babies named after Obama. (USA Today)
Car bomb strikes Mogadishu hotel in diplomatic district. (AFP)
Briton Chris Froome wins his second Tour de France. (SB Nation)
Call it the audacity of youth. Some 8 million tons of plastic get tossed in the ocean each year, and many experts have given up on the prospect of cleaning it up. But sometimes intractable problems need a dose of crazy thinking. Cue 20-year-old Boyan Slat, who in high school hypothesized that a system of floating barriers would do the trick — and then raised millions of dollars for his idea. Critics may have qualms, but Slat and his team are set to map the ocean’s plastic debris next month. I wish them great luck.
In 1995, I lost my uncle to AIDS. When we last spoke, he thought AIDS would be eliminated in my lifetime; I wasn’t so sure. But thanks to the ambitious Millennium Development Goals, tireless advocacy and pharmaceutical and health delivery work, he may have been right. The number of HIV cases has dropped by 35 percent since 2000, owing to education and rising awareness, and AIDS-related deaths are on the decline, thanks to advances in antiretroviral drugs. Putting an end to AIDS is now doable by 2030, so here’s to my uncle’s prediction.
Washington’s top cop, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, stands out from the crowd. She’s tough but a great listener, confident yet humble, persistent but warm and, best of all, she’s present. Lanier presided over a steep drop in D.C.’s murder rate between 2007 and 2012, only to see it climb again, alongside synthetic drugs — and yet she remains hugely popular. While she’s a role model for other officers — at a time of mounting scrutiny — she’s also a great example for business leaders too, and I enjoyed learning how Lanier leads with skill, humanity and grace.
How far will c-suite leadership go? In recent months, Apple, Salesforce and others, including Gilt, stood up against Indiana’s proposed “religious freedom laws,” while Wal-Mart and Sears pulled Confederate flags off their shelves well before lawmakers removed the one atop South Carolina’s capitol. This isn’t just social conscience, of course; the moves are good for business because they’re backed by consumer sentiment. Which makes me wonder whether the next target for corporations might be gun safety. While gun control remains unpopular, the vast majority of Americans support key policies like more comprehensive background checks.
Girl power means education. Research has shown over and over that investing in girls’ schooling pays big dividends. The movement even has an icon in Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, the Afghan teenager shot for insisting on her right to an education. But there’s a long way to go. Across developing countries, girls are still far more likely than boys to be kept from the classroom. A huge opportunity will come this September, when the U.N. is set to adopt its Sustainable Development Goals agenda — and prioritize young women and their collective future like never before.