Blueprint was pleased to be invited to present a paper at the Common Good Conference, June 21-23, 2018 at the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis. In this paper Charles Wookey, Helen Alford and Loughlin Hickey share the origins of A Blueprint for Better Business, the ongoing work towards advancing the common good through purpose-led business and early learnings from our work with some major companies.
Following Blueprint’s ‘Becoming a Purpose-led Employer’ panel on June 11th, we wanted to share five of the themes that emerged during the event.
Chaired by Andrew Hill, Management Editor of the FT, panelists include Kate Glazebrook, CEO and co-founder of Applied, the Behavioural Insights Team’s first tech venture, Maaike de Bie, General Counsel of Royal Mail, and Jason Stockwood, Simply Business Group CEO, previously MD of Match.com. The discussion focused on how businesses, from start-ups to large established companies, can best address the varying challenges of being a responsible & responsive employer.
This is just the first in our first in our ‘Principles of Purpose’ event series – our next will explore what it means to be honest and fair with customers. If you’re interested in attending future Blueprint events, please sign up to our mailing list.
In case you missed it, here’s Blueprint’s perspective on what it means to be a responsible and responsive employer and why it matters.
‘There is strong evidence that the current level of inequality is unsustainable from a political, social and economic perspective. We have changed the inclusive growth narrative, but now action must follow.’
Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20, speaking to the OECD Global Parliamentary Network, London, 5 April 2018
Governments cannot act alone if we are to achieve the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals) and support inclusive growth, businesses must play their part. As employers, investors and product or service providers it is critical for companies to recognise their role in meeting the needs of marginalised groups, reducing inequalities and shaping policy and regulation. In fact, it is in their interests to do so, because a more equal economy will benefit them. A recent report has estimated that achieving the Global Goals would open up more than $12 trillion in business savings and revenue and create 380 million new jobs by 2030. This would deliver financial returns, better-educated employees, and higher consumer purchasing power.
Looking forward how can businesses change their practices to achieve inclusive social outcomes? And what does the purpose-led business of the 21st century look like?
Business leaders associated with Blueprint, including Sir Mike Rake, Chair of Advisory Council; Sue Garrard, Blueprint Trustee and Executive Vice President, Sustainable Business & Communications, Unilever; and Sacha Romanovitch, Chief Executive, Grant Thornton joined the conversation with the OECD and representatives from 70 parliaments. Here we share their perspectives and experiences on what it means to be purpose-led and how businesses can support growth that delivers for society.
Over the last year, the discussion around how financial services, in particular investors, are responsible for the management of companies has grown. Activist investors, once seen as “corporate raiders” intending to radically change a company to increase stock value for short-term gains, are now viewed as possible stewards of increased diversity and better corporate governance. Mainstream investors have turned activist in areas such as weapons manufacture, climate change, excessive pay, diversity, and inappropriate behaviour by senior management.
Speaking to the OECD Global Parliamentary Network, hosted by the UK All Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) on Inclusive Growth at Parliament last month, Dr Hari Mann, Hult Business School and Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School, argued that the purpose of finance in society goes far beyond the role of investors and always has. Finance has a purpose, he said, and done well it has a huge impact and a significant role to play in society. He highlighted four defining areas where finance impacts inclusive growth.