Maven is committed to the ethical exchange of professional knowledge, perspective, insight, and opinion via our Global Knowledge Marketplace- the world’s only knowledge marketplace accessible to all professionals, regardless of background, location, or financial resources. To serve our Members, Clients, and Alliance Partners, and to enable a secure, controlled, and conflict-free environment for paid knowledge exchange, Maven has constructed a comprehensive, technology-enabled Conflict Management System.
Maven’s Clients are a broad and diverse group, and their micro-consulting needs and approaches to professional knowledge gathering vary widely; likewise, our Members hail from every conceivable occupation and corner of the globe. Accordingly, we have constructed a user-directed, highly customizable platform to best serve the needs of all types of users and participants.
Maven’s approach to Conflict Management is built upon five key principles:
The following is an overview of these principles and how they are integrated into the Maven platform and our business processes.
All Maven Members must undergo training concerning how Maven works, Maven’s approach to Conflict Management, and the participant’s legal obligations under Maven’s Membership Terms and Conditions. This training is built into the Member registration process, which also includes a comprehensive review and digital signature of Maven’s Member Agreement. During registration, key aspects of our Member Agreement are highlighted and explained in additional detail, including:
- Prohibition of the disclosure of material non-public information
- Obligation to refrain from revealing third party confidential information to a Client
- Protection of Client confidential information
In addition, our Mavens are required to periodically undergo refresher training and to review and re-sign the Member Agreement.
All Clients must also undergo training concerning how Maven works, including the features and proper user of our Conflict Management System. This is done both in the form of live demonstrations and via online training similar to that conducted during Maven Member registration. Clients are periodically required to undergo refresher training in order to continue using Maven’s services.
Furthermore, legal counsel and/or Compliance Officers at all new Maven Client Firms are provided with a comprehensive overview and training on Maven’s Conflict Management policies, procedures, and Conflict Management System functionality.
During registration, all Mavens are required to provide certain key information that can be used by our Conflict Management System, Clients, and internal staff for conflict screening purposes. No individual is permitted to join Maven without providing all required information and legally attesting to the accuracy of this information.
Relevant information includes:
- Current Employment information, including employment status (Employed, Self-Employed, Retired, etc.), current occupation, name of employer, etc.
- A detailed and accurate self-written Knowledge Summary (“professional bio”) outlining the Maven’s experience, skills, and areas of focus.
- Additional employment history information beyond the minimum requirements. The majority of Members provide such information; to assist with this Maven allows its Members to upload a resume, CV, or exported online profile (such as a LinkedIn profile), and have the information contained therein automatically populated into the relevant sections of the Member’s profile. This provides additional data that is analyzed by the Conflict Management System to screen against potential conflicts.
All data provided by Maven’s participants is indexed and referenced against our proprietary taxonomies to ensure proper categorization and application of appropriate Conflict Management protocols.
Maven’s Conflict Management tools are designed to provide participants with powerful and flexible screening capabilities that allow them to avoid potential conflicts.
At a baseline, Maven’s platform automatically screens for and eliminates clear conflicts of interest. For example, Members are automatically screened out of participating in Consultations and other interactions relating to their current employer or related entities (such as parent or subsidiary companies). These stringent controls are hard-wired into the Maven platform and are not alterable by any party, including Maven’s internal staff; in other words, baseline Conflict Management settings may NEVER be “dialed down” (made less stringent).
They may, however, be “dialed up” (made MORE stringent) to meet the needs of the individual participant or firm. Maven’s Conflict Management System includes a suite of customizable screening tools available to both Mavens and Clients. These tools create additional filters that prevent interactions that may create a conflict for a Maven or Client.
Customizable controls include:
- Blanket “opt-out” for Members from particular types of interactions. For example a Member might be comfortable participating in Electronic Surveys, but not Telephone Consultations. A Member may adjust these settings at any time as their situation changes or needs evolve.
- Global screens against particular Member or Client types. For example, a Client may indicate that they only wish to interact with “Independents” (people who do not currently work for a company, such as independent consultants or retirees).
- Targeted screens against particular companies, individuals, etc. For example, a Client may indicate that they are not permitted to speak with anyone who currently works for “XYZ Corporation.” Likewise, a Maven might not wish to interact with Clients from particular companies or even a specific Client.
- Time-based screens. For example, the Client above might be permitted to speak with former employees of XYZ Corporation, but only after they have no longer been employed by XYZ for specific period of time.
- Project-specific screens. Maven’s system allows for automated screening of inappropriate or conflicted Mavens from particular interactions based upon their responses to custom “qualifying” questions.
- Both “Firm-wide” and individual controls. For example, a Client Firm may implement different levels of control for different types of users- perhaps more stringent controls for junior employees, and greater access/leeway to more seasoned professionals.
Moreover, Maven’s “opt-in” qualification system protects each party’s privacy throughout the search and consultant qualification process, gradually peeling back the privacy veil so that each party has ample opportunity to fully vet the Maven’s appropriateness for a particular inquiry before engaging in an interaction. Nobody is obligated to participate in any way, and either party may back out at any time upon recognizing a potential conflict.
4. VERIFICATION AND CONFIRMATION
Specific forms of Verification and Confirmation include:
- Required Client input on the nature and topic of a particular interaction BEFORE searching Maven’s network. This allows automated conflict screens to be applied to searches and avoids exposure to inappropriate profiles
- Required third-party identity verification for US-based Members prior to being permitted to accept an invitation to consult (international verification coming soon)
- Required Member acknowledgement of freedom from external conflicts related to the Client’s topic of interest (“I am permitted to discuss this topic.”)
- Required Member re-signing of Maven’s Member Agreement before EVERY Consultation
- Continuous, pervasive reminders of the participant’s obligations imposed on the participant (whether Maven or Client) by their Agreement(s) with Maven in every piece of correspondence sent by Maven’s system
In addition, prior to every Telephone Consultation, Maven reminds all participants of their obligation to decline to discuss any topic that would pose a potential conflict and/or to terminate the Consultation immediately.
All activity on Maven’s system is permanently documented and reviewable by our Clients and our Mavens.
- EVERY inquiry, Member response, and scheduling interaction
- EVERY piece of correspondence (email) sent from our system to Mavens and Clients
- EVERY Telephone Consultation, including the exact date, time, duration, and participants involved, as well as any feedback received from any participant
- Optional automatic Call Recording (subject to Client request and agreement by the Maven participant), Transcription, and Third-Party Conversation Monitoring
Our system also affords Client Firms’ compliance officers or other designees the ability to monitor all authorized users’ activity on Maven, and to establish permission blocks and clearance gates.
Finally, we are continuously enhancing our world-class Conflict Management System. We actively monitor the regulatory and legal environment, and our Development Team, Executives, Advisors, and legal counsel collaborate to develop and implement new policies, procedures, and tools for the benefit of our Mavens and Clients. Each software release contains new features to improve the flexibility, reliability and integrity of our system. Maven is committed to an objective, systems-based approach to Conflict Management that protects all users our Global Knowledge Marketplace.