The Virus That Changed Everything: Alison Taylor of Ethical Systems on What COVID-19 Means for the World

July 21, 2020 LRN Corporation

“Privacy, and mental health, and remote work is something to keep a very very close eye on, as there are potentially some very big human rights issues emerging here.”

Alison Taylor

LRN’s Ben DiPietro talks with Ethical Systems Executive Director Alison Taylor about how COVID-19 is changing the world; what it means for ethics, compliance, ESG, and corporate activism; and how prescient her husband Peter Christian Hall was when he was years ahead of reality when he wrote a book about a pandemic and New York City.


Guest, Alison Taylor

Alison Taylor is executive director at Ethical Systems, a research collaboration on ethical culture, housed in New York University's Stern School of Business. Previously, Alison led BSR’s sustainability practice, and oversaw the supply chain practice and the Sustainable Futures Lab.

She focuses on approaches to sustainability through risk management, strategy, stakeholder engagement, transparency, ethics and governance, and organizational change.

Taylor has worked as a senior managing director at Control Risks, and for Transparency International, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and IHS Global Insight. She has experience in strategic intelligence, market entry assistance, risk consulting, due diligence, internal investigations, enterprise risk management, and ethics and compliance. She speaks and writes regularly on risk and organizational culture.

She is a board member of the ethics organization Center for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance, and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption. She is an adjunct professor at Stern School of Business.


  • [1:33] How did Alison become interested in risk ethics and culture?
  • [3:24] What prompted Alison’s move to become the executive director at Ethical Systems and what are her goals there?
  • [5:08] What impact is the Covid-19 crisis having on Alison’s company and her transition to executive director?
  • [6:36] What are the biggest changes that will come from the Covid-19 crisis?
  • [12:27] Will the current culture lead organizations to be better corporate citizens, or is it going to lead to a culture of survivalism?
  • [16:15] How has Alison’s husband’s book (American Fever) affected the way they are living through Covid-19.

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