Chances are, you probably haven’t heard of Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. But this rule, adopted on Monday by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), brings with it the potential for big global change. Section 1504 requires that all oil, gas and mining companies listed in the […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Charmian Gooch co-founded the watchdog NGO Global Witness with colleagues Simon Taylor and Patrick Alley in 1993, in response to growing concerns over covert warfare funded by illicit trade. Since then, Global Witness has captured headlines for their exposé of "blood diamonds" in Uganda, of mineral exploitation in the Congo, of illegal timber trade between Cambodia and Thailand, and more. With unique expertise on the shadowy threads connecting corrupt businesses and governments, Global Witness continues its quest to uncover and root out the sources of exploitation.
In 2014, Gooch and Global Witness were awarded the $1 million TED Prize, along with the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, for their campaign to end anonymous companies. Gooch's TED Prize wish: for us to know who ultimately owns and controls companies and launch a new era of openness in business. Global Witness highlighted the importance of this issue in an investigation, aired on 60 Minutes, where they sent an undercover investigator into 13 New York law firms. The investigator posed as an adviser to a government minister in Africa and asked for thoughts on how to move money into the United States for a plane, a yacht and a brownstone. All but one firm offered advice.
The Panama Papers, released in April of 2016, further demonstrate the need for transparency. The papers paint a picture of how the rich and powerful around the world use offshore accounts and anonymous companies to move money. "This secretive world is being opened up to global public scrutiny," said Gooch, on the day the papers were released.
What others say
“Global Witness ... works to expose the corrupt exploitation of natural resources.” — New Times
Charmian Gooch’s TED talks
More news and ideas from Charmian Gooch
A trail of $2 billion in offshore deals that traces to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. The Prime Minister of Iceland, accused of hiding millions of dollars in investments. The Prime Minister of Pakistan’s family, linked to six luxury real estate deals in London. The Panama Papers, revealed yesterday, represent the largest data leak in history […]Continue reading