Cultural Forces, Business and Peace


Join us for a discussion with panel of experts working at the frontier of music, business and peace.

Live Panel

20 July, 10 -11am ET (3 - 4pm UK)


Welcome to an ongoing discussion about topics specifically devoted to the relationship among music, business and peace, hosted by Indiana University and Business Fights Poverty for the months of June, July, and September. This conversation has been the aim of two conferences on “Music, Business, and Peace” at Indiana University led by scholars at the Jacobs School of Music, the Kelley School of Business, and the College of Arts & Sciences. Our intent has been to bring together national and international peace researchers, activists, and artists, to form a collective with the ability to assess and pursue peacemaking activities with the combined power of the tools presented in different disciplines.

**Read all the articles in the Music, Business and Peace series on the Challenge Page

This is the second part of an ongoing discussion series, you can view the first in the series here.


  1. Obtaining a sense of the ways in which business can foster peace.
  2. Having a better sense of how cultural factors have, in fact, had an impact on peace.
  3. Understanding how economic and regulatory efforts play a part in the operations of cultural forces in order to make them stronger dimensions of peace building.


Arlen Langvardt, Graf Family Professor of Business Law, Professor of Business Law & Ethics Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Joshua Perr, Chair of the Undergraduate Program and Associate Professor of Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Todd Haugh, Assistant Professor of Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Karen Woody, Assistant Professor of Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Abbey Stemler, Assistant Professor of Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University
Cindy Schipani, Waterman Professor of Business Law, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
David Hess, Associate Professor of Business Law, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Norman Bishara, Associate Professor of Business Law, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Joylon Ford, Associate Dean, Associate Professor, College of Law, Australian National University
Scott Shackelford, Associate Professor of Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Moderator: Timothy Fort, Eveleigh Profesor of Business Ethics. Professor of Business Law & Ethics, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University


  1. Each of the articles suggests that there is something about cultural forces - whether music, sports, or film – that somehow moves people, perhaps in a way that might be conducive to peace or at least to some kind of workplace or social harmony. Could each of you share how that happens/happened in the research you conducted?

  2. Given the discussion we just had in the first question, how do you think various cultural forces – again, for now focusing on music, sports and peace but not to exclude other aspects such as gender, business itself, and religion – might shape peace or at least some kind of workplace or social harmony?

  3. All the members of our panel are law professors who teach in business schools. How do these forces we have been discussing help to make for more ethical and peacebuilding businesses and how does the law (and business) help peace-related issues pertaining to music, sports, and film?

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Join the Discussion!

The CyberPeace sections of Scott Shackelford’s paper are largely about building a framework for, and governance around, reducing Cyber conflict to acceptable levels. What very specific actions does everyone think businesses can take to promote CyberPeace? What can your organization do? When it comes to governmental Cyber conflict, what can business do in that realm?

Regarding Perry and Langvardt’s abstract posted on the ethics of politicians using songs in their campaigns that musicians may object to, I propose a few principles for helping determine if it is ethical. What does everyone else think?

Degree of Political Difference: The greater the difference in political beliefs, the more concerning it is for a politician to use music without the artist’s permission.

Twisting of Music’s Meaning: If a song has a particular meaning and it is being used in a way directly contradictory to that, it is concerning. This is especially the case if the song is explicitly political and it’s being taken out of context to support something that it doesn’t fit.

Musician’s Expressed Opinion: If the musician clearly expressed a preference for music to not be used for political purposes or to not be used by a particular politician, then using it in such ways is more concerning.

Degree of Use and Importance to Campaign: The more the music is used, the more concerning it is if the musician does not approve

Music, film, sporting events, restaurants etc are all in the business of providing some kind of relief from the everyday grind. They give people a chance to forget about their job or difficulties in their life and to focus on something else. Every person that is either attending or enjoying these activities has this same desire…a personal example for me is the numerous times I have made a friend for an evening solely due to proximity at a concert or show. The artist we are there to see is a common interest and from there a friendship forms usually for the duration of the show and rarely would there be any interest to stay in touch. However this creates a peace and friendship between two previously unknown people as well as a positive mind set after leaving the concert.

The last part of my comment is inline with a portion of Music, Business and Peace - Sketching the Terrain in that these entertainment opportunities enforce and facilitate a sense of community both from a public opinion of the businesses involved but also amongst the people in attendance. Austin, TX where I live is a great example of this…there are numerous free and subsidized music shows one of the most popular being Blues on the Green in which thousands of people attend each month.
This event is hosted by a local radio station and many other local businesses sponsor it.

The shoe brand “Toms” is a great example of a business venture fostering peace but also profiting off the peace building.

When some buys shoes from Toms, I believe they donate a pair to those in need. Their efforts promote, peace, social harmony, and a good will for others. And Toms certainly benefits from their work as well. They receive positive public relations for their actions and perhaps customers in the shoe market are more likely to purchase from Toms if they know they can receive a pair of shoes but also help those in need.

Just the other day, while listening to a podcast, I heard of a sock company doing something similiar to Toms by donating a pair of socks for every pair bought. I think more and more companies realize the public relation and good marketing buzz efforts to help the poor, advocate social harmony, or foster peace has for their brands.

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Sports play a huge role in my life to creating social harmony.
One of my favorite things when I travel is to see a person wearing a shirt or hat from my alma mater, Indiana University. I can be in Atlanta, Georgia or Bradenton, Florida and see someone sporting IU gear. It immediately creates a bond between myself and that person and removes a invisible barrier to approach them and strike up a conversation with them about our Indiana Hoosiers.
And you see it with across other schools too with large alumni bases and a lot of fans of the athletic teams. Simply saying “Roll Tide” to an University of Alabama fan can mean anything from “hello” to “congratulations” to “thank you” as this ESPN commercial put it so well: ESPN Alabama Roll Tide Commercial.
The end of the commercial put it well, “It’s not crazy, it’s sports.”

Jowan, similar to your concert example, you see that social harmony and relationship building in sports too.

In fact businesses capitalize off of it as well. Buffalo Wild Wings airs commercials centered around sports fans coming to the restaurant to enjoy a game with people they do not even know: Buffalo Wild Wings Stranger

Restaurants and bars profit off the communion of watching sports together in one locale.

Russell, cyber conflict and the bullying, hatred, and vitriol that can happen on Twitter is quite sad.

I think people are more prone to say evil things over the internet and social media because for the most part people are faceless and anonymous. A fan of a particular sports team feels he or she can tweet at an athlete abusive comments because there are no real repercussions of confrontation. The medium of social media acts as a barrier to give those who want to engage in conflict an armor of courage and protection. Often times the best advice for people who are upset with their favorite athlete and want to spew hatred on Twitter is to not press send!

In order to promote CyberPeace, businesses first have to realize the importance of cybersecurity. Although we hear stories in the news all the time (Equifax, Target, etc.) I believe businesses still don’t take it seriously enough. If they did then things like the WannaCry attack (referenced in Shackelford’s paper) would have had far less impact. I say this because 98% of the computers that were affected were running Windows 7 which was 7 years old at the time of the attack (aka ancient in the software industry). Upgrading is a costly and difficult process, which is why companies did not do it in a timely manner and thought “Well nothing has happened from me not upgrading, so I guess everything is ok.” Businesses in today’s day and age have to understand the cyber threat landscape and the necessary amount of continual investment it takes to keep their customers data safe. If they don’t come to this realization and make cybersecurity a priority then we will continue to see stories in the news of hacks to major corporations.

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Wanted to test to make sure I’m “in” this morning and to welcome everyone to our discussion that will begin in a few minutes

Thanks, Tim. I look forward to it!

Hello All,

This is Todd Haugh. Happy to be joining the panel.

Thanks again for allowing us to join.


Good morning everyone. Thanks, Tim!

I know there are a couple of folks still logging in, but perhaps we can begin by each one introducing ourselves.

I’m Tim Fort from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University

Abbey Stemler, also from Kelley!

I’m Karen Woody from the Kelley School of Business as well

I’m Cindy Schipani from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.