Masters of Disaster

Stories of Risk, Ethics & Compliance. Host Leona Lewis interviews people about leadership, managing risk, ethics and compliance strategies for businesses, government, academia or society.
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Masters of Disaster



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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 28, 2016
What is “Design Thinking” and how does it apply to compliance? Design Thinking is an approach to product development, but more broadly, it is an approach to problem solving.  Popularizing “Design Thinking” is sometimes credited to the d.School at Stanford.  A good summary of the Design Thinking approach is the explanation of how students of the d.School approach product development. 

Students start in the field, where they develop empathy for people they design for, uncovering real human needs they want to address. They then iterate to develop an unexpected range of possible solutions, and create rough prototypes to take back out into the field and test with real people.  Our bias is toward action, followed by reflection on personal discoveries about process. Experience is measured by iteration: students run through as many cycles as they possibly can on any project.  Each cycle brings stronger insights and more unexpected solutions.  

Eric Lambert explains how Design Thinking can improve adoption and engagement of compliance programs.  By focusing on the needs of the “users” of the compliance program, it can be improved for both front-line employees and executive leadership, working to give them solutions that meet their needs. 

Eric is Associate General Counsel at Jostens with experience in contracts, e-commerce, marketing, supply chain, compliance, privacy, export, intellectual property, litigation management, and general in-house practice.  He seeks practical, creative, risk-appropriate solutions to facilitate business objectives.   

Eric holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester, and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.  He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).  Before joining Jostens in April 2014, Eric served as Associate General Counsel of Digital River, a leading e-commerce and e-marketing company.  Before Digital River, Eric served as a senior associate at Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren, a Minneapolis-based law firm, as a member of their Intellectual Property and e-commerce group.  Eric began his career in New York, working for Emanuel Publishing Corporation (a legal publisher), Prodigy Communications LP (an internet service provider), and IntraLinks, Inc. (a Software-as-a-Service provider). Eric resides in Lakeville, MN with his wife and two sons. 



Eric Lambert  



Harvard Business Review 

Mar 21, 2016

The “Internet of Things” (also commonly known as IoT), is here. IoT is also continuously growing. The IoT is not a single event; it grows exponentially with the addition of sensors gathering data and the addition of products connected to the Internet. The increasing computer processing power predicted by Moore’s law continues. Faster and more complicated data analysis becomes possible that promises unprecedented benefits to humanity and commerce.

However, the increasing complexity of IoT also multiplies the vulnerabilities open to hackers. For all of the promise of Internet of Things, IoT also presents an unprecedented and continuously shifting security and privacy challenges. What does the law have to say about these challenges?

Eran Kahana is a cybersecurity, intellectual property lawyer at the law firm of Maslon LLP in Minneapolis and a Fellow at Stanford Law School. He counsels clients on a wide variety of matters related to cybersecurity, technology law, trademarks, patents, copyright and serves in a variety of cybersecurity thought leadership roles.

Eran explains in his interview on Masters of Disaster that no single law prescribes what a reasonable data security and privacy program should be that addresses all the challenges of IoT. Rather, building such a program requires both a thorough understanding and holistic view of a multitude laws, regulations, and standards that speak to the collection, storage, processing and security of personally identifiable data. This program can be built using a hybrid law/regulations/standards approach, but only with a thorough understanding of the nuances between the laws/regulations/standards.

In addition to his work at Maslon and with Stanford Law School, Eran works closely with the FBI, DOJ, Secret Service and colleagues from the private and academic sectors to promote and sustain cybersecurity best practices. He also serves as a director on the Executive Board of Directors and as general counsel of InfraGard (MN Chapter). At Stanford, Eran writes and lectures on the intersect between law and artificial intelligence. He has been interviewed on cybersecurity, privacy and technology law at Bloomberg Law, BBC, KABC Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, and Stanford University Radio, KZSU FM.



Eran Kahana

Mar 14, 2016

In an episode of Parks and Recreation, a plan to put fluoride in the water of the city of Pawnee hits opposition from those who fear “chemicals” in the water supply. Tom (Aziz Ansari) helps Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) turn the situation around and get popular support for her plan to put fluoride in the water by re-branding fluoride as “T-Dazzle,” making the public image of fluoride sexy rather than scary. The episode is one of my favorite illustrations of how public perception, rather than science, very often dominates public policy regarding chemicals.

Toxicology is about exposure, the dose of a substance that a person needs to get before harm results. Some consumer advocates of safer consumer products frequently focus on chemical hazards without regard to risks. For example, if a chemical is perceived to be dangerous, such as lead, some consumer groups advocate that all presence of lead should be eliminated from consumer products. Toxicology focuses on risk, not just the presence of a chemical, but how it is used in the product and the potential for human exposure impacting health. For example, electronics may contain some lead, but the risk of to human health from lead in internal components in a TV may be very low due to low exposure.

Tom Lewandowski is a toxicologist and chemist intimately aware of the public’s perceptions of chemicals and the emphasis the public sometimes places on the presence of chemical hazards in consumer products rather than the risk of chemical exposure to human health. He is currently leading Gradient’s efforts in the emerging area of green chemistry. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Brooklyn College/The City University of New York, where he teaches environmental science and environmental health. Also, he is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington School of Public Health where he lectures on toxicology and risk assessment. In 2012-2013, he served as chair of the Society of Toxicology’s Education Committee, which works to increase science literacy and public knowledge of toxicology.

Tom works as a toxicologist and principal scientist in the Seattle, Washington office of the consulting firm, Gradient. He has over 20 years of experience in the areas of product safety evaluation, pharmacokinetics, metals toxicology, and developmental toxicology. He is an author of numerous book chapters and manuscripts relating to the practice of risk assessment and developmental toxicology. He is board certified in toxicology in the US as well as Europe.



Tom Lewandowski, Ph.D.

(206) 267-2924



“T-Dazzle” segment from Parks and Recreation

Mar 7, 2016

This week, Barb Guthrie, Vice President and Chief Public Safety Officer for Underwriters Labratories, Inc., speaks with Masters of Disaster about the new UL standard for hoverboards, UL 2272, now also required by the CPSC.  Barb’s interview follows last week’s interview with Tim Cassidy on the risks found in lithium ion batteries.

A graduate electrical engineer, Barb, began testing and certifying products over 30 years ago.  Obtaining her MBA, Barb facilitated reciprocity agreements contributing to the global trade of certified products.  She moved to Denmark serving as Executive Director European Operations establishing testing laboratories throughout Europe. Upon returning to the US, Barb combined her engineering, standards development and conformity assessment expertise with the mindset of a dedicated mom to create, design and execute UL’s global youth safety education program - Safety Smart® in partnership with The Walt Disney Company.

Barb serves on various Boards including ANSI, ESFI, Health World Museum, Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, Liberty Mutual, Bradley University and chair’s UL’s Consumer Advisory Council.  Barb is Vice Chair and Corporate Fellow for the UL William Henry Merrill Society and was the 2015 recipient of the Kids in Danger Best Friend Award.



Barb Guthrie’s Contact Information




UL 2272 Press Release

Facts about Hoverboards and UL Safety

CPSC February 18, 2016, Letter on safety of self-balancing scooters file:///C:/Users/Leona/Pictures/SelfbalancingScooterLetter.pdf

Safety Smart®

Masters of Disaster interview with Tim Cassidy

SNL sketch about hoverboards