Vanishing Point

Deb Westphal

As Chairman of the Board for Toffler Associates, Deborah brings skills and insights honed over 30 years working with some of the top minds and leaders of governments and Fortune 100 companies. Deborah has an MBA from Webster University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, and has completed extensive continuing education with Harvard Business School and Wharton Business School. She is also a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

Recent Posts

RAPPORT // A Call to Leaders: Rebuild Trust Through Truth and Vulnerability

Posted by Deb Westphal

Sep 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

“The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”

- Dr. Brené Brown

 

The word trust gets a lot of airtime. All it takes is a quick flip through your favorite news source or social media feed for a hefty dose of reasons why we question our trust in the media, each other, our government, and business. In its recent report Trust and Distrust in America, the Pew Research Center confirms we’re experiencing a crisis in facts and truth. It’s a highly detailed study but makes a central point that this sad state of affairs is tied to the distrust we have in our institutions.

 

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RAPPORT // Anticipatory Democracy is Shaping the Future of the World

Posted by Deb Westphal

Aug 29, 2019 8:38:00 AM

Anticipatory Democracy: The public’s active, conscious engagement in collectively shaping the future of their community, state or nation.[1] 

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RAPPORT // Visionary Leaders Balance ESG Responsibility and Financial Value

Posted by Deb Westphal

Jul 25, 2019 8:30:00 AM

“One thing, however, is certain: the world needs your leadership. As divisions continue to deepen, companies must demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate, particularly on issues central to the world’s future prosperity.”

– Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock

 

If you haven’t been paying attention, you may have missed the important shift happening across the global investment community. The drumbeat for corporate executives to actively engage environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues has gotten louder and no longer can be ignored. Socially conscious investors are raising the volume on their call to action for companies to integrate robust ESG strategies with existing company operations. The expectation is that it is possible for corporations to increase financial value while being accountable for helping to solve issues facing humanity.

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RAPPORT // The World Cup Victory is Evidence of the Power of Human Energy

Posted by Deb Westphal

Jul 10, 2019 10:33:48 AM

“Out of this massive restructuring of power relationships, like the shifting and grinding of tectonic plates in advance of an earthquake, will come one of the rarest events in human history, a revolution in the very nature of power.”

~ Alvin Toffler, Powershift, 1990

 

Millions of people around the world watched the U.S. Women National Team (USWNT) dominate the Netherlands to win a fourth World Cup championship - the most ever won by a women’s team. It was the second consecutive World Cup win for USWNT, which shared the honor with only one other team - Germany. Jill Ellis, the team’s coach, became the first women’s coach in soccer history to ever win two back-to-back World Cup titles. Even more impressive, that’s a feat that has been achieved only one other time - Italy’s men’s coach, Vittorio Pozzo coached to consecutive wins in 1934 and 1938.

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RAPPORT // The Future Is in the Hands of Our Youth – Are They Prepared?

Posted by Deb Westphal

Jun 5, 2019 10:14:06 AM

Next year marks the 50th year anniversary of Future Shock. The upcoming milestone presented the opportunity to recently open my well-worn copy to revisit the epochal writing. As the anniversary of this bestseller draws nearer, we will have more opportunities to discuss the impact of the Toffler’s work. One important idea presented towards the end of the book seems very fitting to discuss now, however, especially given our fast approach to the 2020 election season.

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RAPPORT // The Truth About the Kilauea Volcano – and the World

Posted by Deb Westphal

May 22, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Last summer, social media channels brought us stunning firsthand views of the violence, destruction, and extraordinary beauty of Hawaii’s erupting Kilauea volcano. Fast moving lava flowed from the summit crater through many underground tunnels and eruption vents. From May until August, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) provided daily updates of the amount of lava that was spreading across the island. By the time the eruption ended in August 2018, more than a mile of coastline was added along the big island’s southeast coast.

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RAPPORT // Is a State of Flow the Answer to the World's Biggest Problems?

Posted by Deb Westphal

May 8, 2019 9:03:16 AM

Earlier this week, an article from Packaging Digest came across my news feed and immediately caught my attention. The report, Nestlé Clarifies its Sustainable Packaging Vision, highlights the company's ambitious vision to make 100% of its product packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2025.[1] While this public goal is exciting on its own, what is really compelling is the increasing number of such announcements and articles. We're seeing more and more reporting on actions taken, progress made, and ambitions pursued and achieved to address climate change and global sustainability.

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RAPPORT //Notre Dame and M87 Sit at the Axis of Knowledge and Time

Posted by Deb Westphal

Apr 24, 2019 1:00:00 PM

 

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”

-Isaac Asimov

 

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RAPPORT // The Surprise of Discovering True Leadership on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Posted by Deb Westphal

Apr 10, 2019 8:59:00 AM

 

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

– Ronald Reagan, former U.S. President

 

The early hours of February 13th marked an important personal milestone. I had made it to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.

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RAPPORT // Greta Thunberg is Saving the World with Courage and Connectivity

Posted by Deb Westphal

Mar 21, 2019 8:58:00 AM

One day before #schoolstrike, the biggest day of global action focused on climate change, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In August 2018, she sat every day for three weeks outside the Swedish parliament in an independent protest. By January, she stood courageously before world leaders at Davos 2019 with a call to “hold no bars.” The day of #schoolstrike, an estimated 1.4 million inspired young people in 2,233 towns and cities across 128 countries stepped out of schools and into the streets to add their voices to hers.

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