On May 5, 1916, some of the most prominent business leaders in the United States gathered at the Hotel Gramatan in Bronxville, N.Y. to found an organization that would offer a forward-looking, non-partisan, and evidence-based response to challenges that threatened the continued rapid growth of America’s industrial economy.
While the specific issues—including the massive disruptions of World War I, and militant labor unrest triggered by tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire—are thankfully confined to the history books, the concerns motivating The Conference Board’s founders are in many ways freshly relevant for the world of 2016. Growing inequality in income and opportunities, the rapidly shifting balance of power among global economies, and the imperative to make capitalism socially and environmentally sustainable for generations to come: These are again dominant themes in the research, events, and networks we offer to more than 1,000 member organizations worldwide, and the public at large.
As you’ll learn on this centennial site, The Conference Board has been on the forefront of a century of transformations that have shaped the global economy we know today. From our early research on adapting the eight-hour workday and worker’s compensation laws in the U.S. to our current far-flung work in offices from Beijing to Brussels, our relevance has been backed by a constant commitment to objectivity, facts, and collaboration over the passions of the moment.
As we take time out to celebrate the first hundred years of The Conference Board, rest assured that these same principles are driving our daily efforts to understand and interpret the century ahead.
Jon Spector, CEO of The Conference Board