From “Never Medicine” to Acclaimed Physician-scientist

When he was a young man, Dan Lowenstein used to proclaim that he would never be a doctor. Fast-forward to today and he is not only an accomplished physician-scientist in the area of epilepsy, an award-winning medical educator, and an innovative and forward-thinking leader but he is also UCSF’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. As provost he oversees the university’s academic programs and tackles issues ranging from the modernization of the Parnassus Heights campus to the future of big data in healthcare.

In prior roles, he helped launch UCSF’s Academy of Medical Educators, led UCSF’s Physician-Scientist training programs, and served as Dean for Education of Harvard Medical School. In this interview with Dr. Robert Wachter, Chair of UCSF Department of Medicine, Lowenstein describes his circuitous path to a career in medicine, his passion for social justice, and the importance of authenticity for leaders. Find out how we went from “never medicine” to where he is today and what keeps him going.

Watch — Dr. Daniel Lowenstein – A Life in Medicine: People Shaping Healthcare Today

Investing for Good

What if you could align your values with your investment portfolio?

Leaders from the world of impact investing discuss what it means to invest for good. Their stories are fascinating and you will understand the path of early stage ventures that create meaningful social and environmental value.

First up is a panel with Lewam Kefela, Investor at VilCap Investments; Noushin Ketabi, Founder of Vega Coffee; Nancy Swanson, Executive Director of Linked Foundation. The moderator is Julia Sze an impact Investment strategy advisor. They discuss their paths to investing for good.

Then, Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Radicle Impact, talks about the problem with the banking system and how it can be fixed. She is the CEO of the Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to bring beneficial banking to low-income communities in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

Watch — Investing for Good: Women in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Series

Women in Leadership 2019

“Where on an imagined clock of equality do we now stand?” asks veteran journalist Lynn Sherr at the start of this year’s Women in Leadership panel.

Listen in as Sylvia Acevedo, Chelsea Clinton, Jedidah Isler answer that question and share their thoughts on the present and future of the role of women in America. Each panelist reflects on her road to leadership and details the support mechanisms and mindsets needed to get there when faced with adversity.

This is the second annual Women in Leadership panel – convened to celebrate and honor the legacy of Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space.

Watch — A Conversation with Sylvia Acevedo, Chelsea Clinton, Jedidah Isler, and Lynn Sherr

Is it Time to Rethink the Idea of the Amoral Economic Man?

There is a widely held belief that when designing public policy or legal systems, it makes the most sense to assume that all citizens are entirely self-interested and amoral. It’s a theory known as “homo economicus” or “economic man.” But, economist Samuel Bowles argues against that belief in his book The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives are no Substitute for Good Citizens. Bowles laid out the case for his argument during a recent talk at UC Berkeley.

Bowles says there are two key reasons to move away from the economic man idea. First, he says polices that follow the paradigm can be self-fulling – making the assumption of universal amorality truer than it might otherwise be under different policies. Second, he argues that fines and rewards often do not work as intended.

The problem Bowles argues, is that incentives can “crowd out” otherwise altruistic motives people might have for any given action. He cites the classic example of a daycare that imposed a small fee for parents who showed up late. The result? Many more late parents. The thinking goes that the fee turned being late into a commodity rather than an inconsiderate action. Thus, the incentive backfired, and ended up having the opposite of its intended effect.

However, Bowles says incentives themselves are not to blame. He argues they can be designed in a such a way to encourage good civic behavior, while avoiding possible pitfalls. For example, when Ireland wanted to get rid of plastic bags, lawmakers imposed a small tax. But, they paired the tax with a huge media campaign about not trashing the Emerald Isle. Appealing to citizens better nature made the difference, and most shoppers stopped using plastic bags within weeks.

Watch — The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives are No Substitute for Good Citizens

Career Planning for College Students

How can students leverage their college years to find their ideal career path? From connecting with an alumni network to finding the right summer job, your campus career center is here to help. They can take you beyond building a resume to thinking about your personal goals, the art of networking, and building marketable life skills.

Kris Hergert, executive director of the Career Center at UC San Diego, talks about how to work toward your future and translate the world of academic rigor to the world of work.

Watch Career Planning for College Students with Kris Hergert – Job Won