Blueprint is rooted in
- That business has the ability to do tremendous good and mitigate harm to society
- That the values of society should shape the values of business and those within business.
In 2011 a group of senior business leaders approached the Archbishop of Westminster as they felt that the principles of Christian moral and social teaching, and in particular the tradition of Catholic Social Thought, could help bring about change in business.
This led to discussions on the role of business in society. One concern was that the current focus in business was business competence rather than the development of character to make the right judgements. It was felt that the concept of a “divided life“ – leaving the best of the personal values and morals formed outside the workplace at the door when at work – was both a symptom of this and an asset that should be brought to bear.
A small group was formed, initially under the sponsorship of the Archbishop, and this led to the development of the Blueprint initiative. The group recognised two complementary aspects of the current debate.
These issues are linked – once a business is clearer about its purpose beyond delivering a financial return, then it can and should be more overt about not just the competencies but also the character of the people needed to deliver that purpose.
So the aim of the initiative became:
Uniting Corporate Purpose and Personal Values to Serve Society
A conference was held in 2012 which explored how corporate culture has become skewed, or perceived to be skewed, in one direction: towards the pursuit of short-term financial gain at the cost of personal dignity and the long-term benefits to business and society. The conference explored what a new blueprint might be that will allow a culture to flourish that better serves us all.
Following the conference a wider group of people became involved in developing the thinking and approach of the Blueprint initiative. Various working groups were formed with representatives from a wide range of businesses, from NGOs, investors, academics, different faiths and other groups who work with business. The Framework to Guide Decision Making was drafted for the conference and this was refined to take into account input from the wider group. This wider group fed into the development of the Five Principles of a Purpose Driven Business which were developed in 2013.
It was always clear that, whilst drawing on the wisdom of faith and philosophy, the movement needed to be independent both of business and any other institution including any Church. Accordingly, in 2014 The Blueprint Trust was established as a limited company and registered charity. The purpose of the Trust is to promote the growth of the Blueprint movement, direct its energy, and ensure its continued independence founded on the Principles and Framework.
To ensure its permanent independence from business, the Blueprint Trust determined from the outset that it should be funded from charitable foundations and not take any membership fees or consultancy income from businesses.
An advisory board is in the process of being established.
Blueprint is a movement organisation not a membership body. It is independent from any stakeholder group and is funded by donations from charitable foundations and individuals.