The Greater Good

Want to boost women’s careers? Raise their expectations

work life

By Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation and Monique Villa, CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation

One of the advantages of the digital revolution is its immediacy. You read the news together with the readers’ reaction; you flick through pictures understanding how people relate to them. It’s a much more enriching experience, because it triggers a debate. So we thought we would bring the same approach to statistics. Take women’s rights, for example. Every year, authoritative reports track the number of women entering the workforce, their academic qualifications, and their average salaries. But this set of data doesn’t tell us the whole story. It doesn’t correlate with how women feel, how they fare day-to-day in the workplace, what they see as major obstacles to their career progress. To fill that gap, we decided to join efforts and to ask women directly, across the G20 countries. The findings were very revealing. (more…)

Thomson Reuters Foundation finds its Global Ambassador


By Antonio Zappulla, Director of Strategy & Communications, Thomson Reuters Foundation

In March, the Thomson Reuters Foundation hosted a week-long event to showcase its work and impact: Foundation Week. The event engaged thousands of Thomson Reuters employees across offices in London, New York, Eagan, and Bangalore.

During Foundation Week, our 2015 Foundation Global Ambassador Challenge was unveiledThe initiative offered all Thomson Reuters employees the opportunity to engage directly with the Foundation’s work. (more…)

What is diversity?

Chang Wang

This post is by Chang Wang, Chief Research and Academic Officer at Thomson Reuters. He was recently recognized as a 2015 Diversity in Business honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

From my heavy accent people can surely tell that I was originally from an exotic part of the world: I was born and raised in Beijing where I spent the first 28 years of my life: from K-12 to college, work, and graduate school at Peking University. I was confident I had an identity and – that identity had little to do with diversity. That identity evaporated when I became a graduate student at the University of Illinois and later a law student at the University of Minnesota Law School, where I became the member of a minority group and was forced to write, reason, and argue in another language.

“In which language do you dream?” A Swiss law student at the University of Bern asked me. She speaks four languages, so does every student in the class I teach at the University, some even more. “Don’t kill insects. They might be your relatives in the past lives.” a Tibetan monk told me. Buddhists believe in reincarnation. Therefore, you should demonstrate a reverence for all sentient beings.

Not until the second year of law school did I begin to dream in English… and swear in English; not until I began to listen to Mozart did I realize that some people hear musical notes, rather than words; not until I saw Kandinsky did I discover that fine artists “think” in colour and shapes. Not until I had my own first dog did I truly share the joy, sadness, and pain an animal experienced emotionally; and not until I settled in Minnesota did I realized that we all live in parallel universes – separated by language, history, time, and space – and yet we are all so similar. Diversity to me is seeing commonalities among different races, genders; and classes, and seeing differences and divergence among same race, gender, and class.


Become a better communicator in one day


Drawing on the values and global footprint of the world’s largest provider of news and information, our Foundation brings training solutions to companies, governments and organizations worldwide.

We’re pleased to announce the latest round of corporate communications instructor-led workshops in London, which are designed to make an immediate impact on participants’ professional capacities. We favor an interactive approach where delegates work on relevant case studies and get instant feedback from their peers and instructors.

Available courses: (more…)

Journalists under threat: Protecting freedom of speech


Freedom of speech is under attack. Since the beginning of the year, 32 journalists have been killed and 160 have been imprisoned because of their opinions. Several others are being harassed daily. How can international law protect journalists? Is it possible to strike a balance between security concerns and freedom of expression? And is the right to free speech an absolute one?

To address these questions, the Thomson Reuters Foundation has published the Handbook for Journalists and Bloggers, an innovative research that aims to become the ultimate tool to help journalists and bloggers around the world navigate the complex international legal framework that protects their rights to freedom of expression.

The result of a unique partnership between TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal program; and Reporters without Borders; the handbook has been produced by international law firm Paul Hastings, which provided 70 lawyers in 9 countries to work pro bono on the legal research which is worth the equivalent of $1.5 million in lawyers brain time. (more…)

Human trafficking – Big data will help combat a big issue


Last month, the Thomson Reuters Foundation brought some of Europe’s biggest financial firms together with law enforcement authorities in London, uniting their resources to combat modern day slavery. The financial institutions met with Europol and the UK’s National Crime Agency to identify the behaviors of potential people traffickers, to understand the dynamics of this global challenge and to ensure a greater understanding of how financial data might uncover the criminals.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation ran a similar project in the USA in 2012 with the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, which was credited with increasing significantly the reporting of suspicious transactions which might be linked to this cruel trade. The challenge is great, but the need to act is greater. More than 35 million people are effectively enslaved – trapped in forced and bonded labor, sexual exploitation, and other forms of servitude. Four in five of the victims identified in the EU are female.

The criminals involved use and generate significant amounts of cash – this fast-growing crime is estimated to be worth more than $150 billion worldwide – so clearly the money will emerge in the financial system at some point. The challenge for banks and law enforcement agencies alike is to identify such transactions and turn them into actionable intelligence which can lead to breaking the criminal networks.

It is astonishing that more than two centuries after the UK outlawed slavery that this practice can endure across the world. It is right, then, that we use the best in 21st century technology to track and ultimately unmask the beneficiaries of this vast criminal enterprise. At Thomson Reuters, we are working with clients and voluntary bodies to develop resources for companies which will help them to scrutinize their own supply chains and their sources of labour down to the subcontractor level.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the members of this new working group are to be commended for their contribution to stamping out this crime. Together they are marshaling considerable forces against those who seek to profit from slavery, and one that has no place in modern society.

Pride in London – Pride heroes!


By Timothy Smith, Content Manager, Thomson Reuters

Just what or who is a “pride hero?” That is the question we asked ourselves as we prepared to march to the theme of this year’s Pride in London festival. Was it one of the one million plus people who lined the streets of London? The 250 groups made up of more than 30,000 people that they were cheering? Maybe it was the 62% of people who voted to allow same-sex marriage in Ireland in May this year, or the governments of 18 countries around the world who now allow equal marriage rights for same-sex couples?

PrideIn Thomson Reuters we had own our heroes. They were the 90 people from all over the UK and Ireland joined by our international members from Europe and the US who made this our largest ever group to attend Pride in London, waving, cheering and proudly wearing Thomson Reuters t-shirts, orange capes in the glorious London sun. They were our creative services team who produced 5,000 orange crowns, 7,000 business cards and wristbands to hand out to the crowd; the same team who produced the Thomson Reuters Pride message displayed to all in Canary Wharf on our Jumbotron screen. It was also the Thomson Reuters staff who handed out Love Hearts in the London and Nottingham offices, and organised social and external events in the build up to Pride, to celebrate our sponsorship of the event for the first time. (more…)

Trust Forum Asia: Fighting domestic slavery and slavery in the fishing industry


The inaugural Trust Forum Asia, held on June 17 in Hong Kong, brought together more than 200 influential business and thought leaders to discuss real solutions to fight modern-day slavery and forced labour across Asia, a region with 60% of the world’s modern day slaves. Watch the wrap video of the event.

Aligned with the spirit and mission of the Foundation’s annual Trust Women conference, Trust Forum Asia touched upon a range of pressing issues, including protecting migrant workers and domestic “helpers” trapped in servitude, to achieving justice for exploited slaves in the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. The Forum also featured stories of survival and looked at the role of corporations in cleaning up supply chains.

It was truly remarkable day. Mrs. Anson Chan, the first woman and the first Chinese to hold the second-highest governmental position in Hong Kong, argued that the welfare of migrant workers must be a joint responsibility between home and host country government authorities. She stressed that both countries must monitor agencies fees and empower workers to know and defend their rights. (more…)

How law firms are helping tomorrow’s businesses in emerging economies


Tomorrow’s entrepreneurs are finding leaner, more cost-effective platforms to raise their essential finance, and a fascinating report issued this week shows law firms around the world are offering their skills voluntarily to helping social enterprises develop sustainable and successful businesses.

Economic development and microfinance projects are supported by some 40 percent of law firms which contributed to the second TrustLaw Index of ProBono. TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal program, and its index charts the amount of work law firms across the world are providing on a free, voluntary basis to charities, non-profits, social enterprises and individuals.

The report analyzed data provided by 141 firms from 77 different countries, representing over 49,000 lawyers. It found that over the last 12 months, these lawyers donated 2.08 million hours of free legal support, on average investing about one week (43 hours) of their time assisting clients on a pro bono basis.

According to the report, the unprecedented rates of economic development across Asia and the Pacific have attracted international law firms to these rapidly emerging economies, bringing with them the culture of pro bono activity. (more…)

What would you say to a polar bear? Meet a Thomson Reuters thought leader

Tim Nixon

We interviewed Timothy Nixon, Managing Editor of our Sustainability site: (more…)