Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Search
Follow The Annenberg Learner on LinkedIn Follow The Annenberg Learner on Facebook Follow Annenberg Learner on Twitter
MENU

View This Program


Error - unable to load content - Flash


The numbers are in, and executives at Casablanca Cruise Lines (CCL) discover that the company can save as much as 80 million dollars if asbestos is removed from their ships by a company based in the former Soviet republic of Novastan, rather than by a U.S. company. But the Novastani standards of worker safety are far less rigorous. Does CCL help, or hurt, the Novastani people by bringing them this business—and is that question the company's concern? Panelists struggle to balance the value of bringing badly needed jobs and money to the workers against the price that these workers may pay in health and safety. Does outsourcing such work to developing countries create a "race to the bottom"? Or are lower, but reasonable, standards and pay a key competitive advantage for people trying to lift themselves out of poverty? As Casablanca executives struggle to reach a decision, it becomes clear exactly how difficult this question is.

While executives at CCL struggle with their old ships, the engineers at MaxiCorp have made a huge and exciting technological breakthrough: a device that can double a car's mileage. However, despite their best intentions, this company runs up against some uncomfortable risks with its new product, including several accidents involving cars using the device. The family of a person who was killed in one of these accidents now threatens to sue. Eventually a story is written about the accidents and the company's top people need to make some decisions about how to deal with it. How does the company grapple with the risk its clients may be confronting, especially when the company itself is unsure of the degree of risk? How do we as a society decide what is an acceptable rate of failure with new technologies that bring tremendous benefits?

Lastly, we are in the boardroom of a top Internet company, Wowie Info, where the two founders are deciding on where to bring their information portal next. The company already dominates North America and Europe. They decide to look at the Asian country of Jaigunda. But what happens to the values of a company dedicated to the free flow of information, when it comes to a country with a government hostile to the unfettered exchange of ideas? On the one hand, Wowie Info provides a service that could help this nation close its technological gap, encourage innovation, boost economic growth, and perhaps loosen the authoritarian grip of the government; on the other hand, by refusing to do business with a country that embraces censorship, the company could take a moral stand on freedom of speech. Wowie Info decides to move into Jaigunda, and eventually faces demands by the government to hand over their clients' names and information. They first demand the name of someone who is selling child pornography. Next, they demand the name of a blogger who is writing about police brutality. Both are crimes in this totalitarian country. What are Wowie's obligations to its shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and the community, and do they change when the nature of the alleged crime changes?

Program Credits


© Annenberg Foundation 2014. All rights reserved. Legal Policy