Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership Forum

Once a year, an internationally recognized speaker comes to the Twin Cities to engage Saint Mary’s faculty, staff, and students, and the local business community in conversation.

From global migration to microfinance, world-altering events to the new world order, Saint Mary’s University’s annual Hendrickson Forum is a venue for thought-provoking information and discussion. Also at the forum, a local leader receives the Hendrickson Institute Medal for Ethical Leadership and speaks briefly about their professional experiences.

Watch the Recorded Presentation

2020 Virtual Keynote: Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., MPH

Blueprint: How Artificial Intelligence Can Build on the Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

Date: Nov. 10 at noon

Cost: This year’s virtual event, originally scheduled as a luncheon this past spring, is now free and open to the public. 

About Dr. Christakis

Named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and to Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” renowned physician and social scientist Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, helps us more deeply — and optimistically — understand our society as well as our individual and collective behavior.

His current research is primarily focused on two topics: the social, mathematical, and biological rules governing how social networks form (“connection”), and the social and biological implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (“contagion”). His lab uses both observational and experimental methods to study these phenomena, exploiting techniques from sociology, computer science, biosocial science, demography, statistics, behavior genetics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, and other fields.

The author of several books and more than 200 articles, Dr. Christakis was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010.

2019 Weaving the social safety net at home and around the world

Renowned journalist, Cokie Roberts, named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress (2008), is one of the most esteemed and brilliant broadcast journalists of our time. 



2018 Innovation Culture: Dare to risk more, fail faster, and seize opportunities

International best-selling author and global consultant Jackie Freiberg is dedicated to helping companies and organizations foster work environments where innovation is a product of risk taking, facing failures and seizing opportunities, all while empowering employees to do their best work.


2017 What's Next? Making Sense of a Global Economy

As The Economist’s editor-in-chief and former Washington editor, economics editor, and business affairs editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes delivers unmatched insights and global perspective on the various economic elements at work in presentations that are constantly evolving along with global economic conditions and circumstances.

Making Sense of a Global Economy: Question-and-Answer Session

2016 Global Leadership: Our Future with China

Jon Huntsman, Jr., former Governor of Utah (2005–2009) and former United States Ambassador to China (2009–2011) presented "Global Leadership: Our Future with China." Huntsman shared his keen insights behind modern news headlines—from China and the economy to business abroad, as well as intellectual property protection.


Our Future with China: Question-and-Answer Session

2015 The Ethics of Cyber Security

James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Retired U.S. Navy Admiral,  presented "The Ethics of Cyber Security." He brought to light how in our increasingly connected world, we digitally share more and more of our personal information, the security risks that brings, and what can be done at the business, national, and international levels to ensure our data security.


2014 Main Street Versus Wall Street

Sheila Bair, former chair of the FDIC, presented "Main Street vs. Wall Street and the New Financial Paradigm." Named second most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, Bair challenged “too big to fail” institutions on behalf of “Main Street.” Bair addressed turning short-term gratification into long-term economic stability, producing value to generate meaningful economic gains, and looking toward global challenges.


2013 Rocking the World Order

Dr. Ian Bremmer, president, of Eurasia Group, presented "Rocking the World Order: How Changing Politics, Economics, and Geography Impact Us." He addressed the seismic shifts taking place in the world order that affect the global economy and rise (and fall) of nations. He shared what experts track and also precautions people can take.


2012 Why Wikipedia Matters

Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia Foundation, presented "Why Wikipedia Matters." With nearly half a billion readers at the time, Wikipedia’s regarded as the most popular encyclopedia in human history. Gardner discussed how Wikipedia has changed access to information and what the future might hold.


Why Wikipedia Matters: Question-and-Answer Session

2011 Social Capitalism

Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, presented "Social Capitalism: An ‘App’ to Fight Poverty." Novogratz reported on Acumen’s progress in addressing practical health, food, and business issues based on her extensive international experience. Her empowering approach brought about change in global aid and development in the U.S. and abroad.


Social Capitalism: Question-and-Answer Session

2010 Global Migration

Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, professor of globalization and education at New York University, presented "Global Migration: Best Practices for Business and Society in a Changing World." At the time, one in every 35 people traveling via plane were working, living, or moving across national borders. Suarez-Orozco discussed modern migration and the profound implications for individuals, businesses, and society.


Global Migration: Question-and-Answer Session

2009 Leadership in a Global Economy

John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, presented "Leadership in a Global Economy." Howard discussed the role of world leaders in a new century, events addressing the growing concerns of globalization and global economics, the environment, and threats to international security. He explained ways and the degrees to which China, India, and the Pacific Rim may participate.


Leadership in a Global Economy: Question-and-Answer Session

2008 Globalization and the Economy of the Future

John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, presented "Globalization and the Economy of the Future." He provided a briefing on the world’s economy with commentary on globalization, where it’s headed, and opportunities for positive impact.


Globalization and the Economy of the Future: Question-and-Answer Session

Medal for Ethical Leadership

Mary Jane Melendez,
Chief sustainability and social impact officer for General Mills
President of the General Mills Foundation.

About Melendez

Melendez stewards the company's sustainability and philanthropy efforts, working closely with supply chain, sourcing, the foundation and other key business leaders to develop, coordinate and execute programs to achieve companywide targets. She is responsible for advancing collaboration to drive change by promoting environmentally and socially responsible practices across the entire chain, from farm to fork and beyond. Her role combines accountability for taking care of our planet and nourishing our communities to amplify the impact of General Mills as a global force for good.


Brad Hewitt, former CEO of Thrivent Financial


Rhoda Olsen, Vice chair of the Great Clips, Inc. Board of Directors


Inge Thulin, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of 3M


Mary Brainerd, president and CEO, HealthPartners


Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes


Doug Baker, Jr., chair and CEO of Ecolab, Inc.


Yvonne Cheung Ho, CEO of MEDA (retired)


Richard Davis, president of U.S. Bancorp


Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president of the Science Museum of Minnesota


Charles Denny, president and CEO of ADC Telecommunications (retired)


Warren and Mary Lynn Staley, CEO of Cargill (retired) and philanthropists

Award Criteria

Nominees for the award will be ethical leaders that reflect and have demonstrated the following principles noted in Doing Right in a Shrinking World by Brother Louis DeThomasis and Neal St. Anthony:

  • An attitude that embraces diversity, differences, and ambiguity;
  • An appreciation for the gift of globally diverse cultures including our own;
  • A creative imagination that leads not to change, but to transformation;
  • The language of stewardship and abundance that transcends ideology;
  • An acceptance of and enthusiasm for the positive integration of faith and finance;
  • An unwavering commitment to do good and to give more; and
  • Faith that the outcome of giving more is that we receive more for ourselves, and for all of humankind.

Nominees should demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Makes a significant contribution to the community
  • Employs ethical approaches that are innovative or creative, whether for a business or the community
  • Provides an example of an ethical decision that was in some way transformational for others (employees, customers, volunteers, the community) and the resources and influence used to accomplish this
  • Serves as a role model for young and emerging ethical leaders

The medal may be presented to any individual who is an ethical business leader and lives in the 11-county Twin Cities metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, or Wright counties) or the three-county Winona area (Olmsted, Wabasha, or Winona counties).

Those not eligible for this award include employees, current students, and those involved in governance, on a paid or volunteer basis, of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

About the Hendrickson Institute

The Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership is a center for excellence at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota for the formation of ethical leadership skills in our students and our community. By providing a forum for the exploration of ethical issues, the institute supports the university’s mission to "awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.”

Through intense inquiry on issues of ethical leadership and by fostering personal relationships, the institute is a resource for our students and our communities to explore, examine, and discover the truths in the world around us and the character within each of us.

Hendrickson Forum Sponsors:

For information on sponsorship opportunities for the 2020 Hendrickson Forum, please contact Senior Development Director Annette Roth at aroth@smumn.edu or 612-728-5199.