Ralph Nader is one of America’s most effective social critics. His analyses and advocacy have enhanced public awareness and increased government and corporate accountability. And his example has inspired a whole generation of consumer advocates, citizen activists, and public interest lawyers who in turn have established their own organizations throughout the country.
The first organization Nader launched is the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Study of Responsive Law. Since 1969, the Center has produced innumerable groundbreaking reports on wide-ranging subjects such as air and water pollution, food, auto and occupational safety, pensions, Freedom of Information, various lagging government agencies, corporate welfare, nuclear power, and government procurement. Nader went on to found a wide variety of organizations, all aimed at advancing corporate and government accountability.
In addition, Nader conceived the idea for and helped establish the state-based PIRGs — Public Interest Research Groups — which are organizations that function on college campuses and in communities in 23 states. The PIRGs have published hundreds of ground-breaking pioneering reports and guides, lobbied for laws in their state legislatures, and called the media’s attention to consumer, environmental, and energy problems, as well as exploitations and deprivations directed toward students.
Nader also played a pivotal role in advancing and improving several major federal consumer protection laws such as the motor vehicle safety laws, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Pure Food and Drug Act, the Clean Air Act, and the landmark Freedom of Information Act, and he worked tirelessly to launch federal regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
An author, lecturer, attorney, and political activist, Nader’s life-long work and advocacy has led to safer cars, healthier food, safer drugs, cleaner air and drinking water, and safer work environments. In 2006 he was cited by The Atlantic as one of the one hundred most influential figures in American history, TIME Magazine has called him the “U.S.’s toughest customer,” the New York Times has said of him that “[w]hat sets Nader apart is that he has moved beyond social criticism to effective political action,” and in 1974, a survey conducted by U.S. News and World Report rated him as the fourth most influential person in the United States.
Nader remains focused on empowering citizens to create a responsive government sensitive to citizens’ needs. One of his top priorities is defending the U.S. civil justice system. Corporate lobbyists and anti-consumer legislators have worked on both the federal and state levels to restrain consumers’ rights to seek justice in court against wrongdoers in the area of product liability, securities fraud, and medical negligence.
Nader continues to work relentlessly to advance meaningful civic institutions and citizen participation as an antidote to corporate and government unaccountability. As he often says, “There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.”
Everybody's Problem: Overcoming Your Own Internal Bureaucratic Rigidity
Fixing Our Broken Economy
Going Green: Getting It to the Bottom Line
The Corporatization of America: What It Means for Your Dreams
Democracy & Its Erosions: Big Business & the American Duopoly
Turning Tides: How Business Can Turn Societal Change into Competitive Advantage
The world is changing, and it's changing every day. With each new breaking technology, with each new law, with each new product or service, we experience a shift in society - in how individuals act, interact, and react. Over the past fifty years, Ralph Nader has witnessed and observed these societal shifts, and noticed how they have created gaps in the marketplace.
Any organization with foresight can take advantage of these gaps. Though pursuing them can be risky, Nader - the world's most renowned advocate for mitigating risk - can provide a unique view into the huge opportunities they create, if executed correctly. According to Nader, organizations can ignore, fight, or embrace these gap issues, either at the benefit or detriment of the company, their industry and, ultimately, their consumers (and their bottom line). In an enlightening presentation, he uses his unique lens on business, government, and society - and the intersections of each - to offer a customized view of potential societal issues and marketplace gaps that, if addressed and pursued, will have a large impact on the future of business and society at large.
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