Written by Ashley Kemball-Cook

Blueprint for Better Business Trustee, Dame Barbara Stocking participated in a panel discussion on ‘The Good Economy’. The event was an all Party Parliamentary Group on Inclusive Growth chaired by Liam Byrne MP. The event started with a speech from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and then opened up to the rest of the panel. The other panelists were the CBIs Sir Michael Rake, Xavier Rolet- Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange Group, Frances O’Grady- TUC General Secretary and Clive Cowdery- Chairman, Resolution Foundation

Justin Welby’s speech posed that the economy is an outward expression of human beings nature. “The foundations of a good economy are given in the nature of human beings; creativity, gratuity, solidarity and subsidiarity”. Creativity is the basis of all of these and subsidiarity and solidarity are the means by which this creativity is managed and encouraged. Humans are naturally inclined towards creativity which starts with tending ones garden and ends with trade and commerce. “A good economy is one that enables creativity to happen”.  He goes on to say that a good economy is therefore one with full employment, education, skills development and what’s more “businesses of all kinds should be given the space to develop and create wealth and to fail to create, employment and prosperity for the society in which they live”.  Business is a great expression of human creativity but business and business leaders must be careful. As is evident in the 2008 crisis the collective of human greed and motivation can lead business astray. Welby finished his speech with a quote from the 4th Century theologian St Basil the Great: “Wealth is like water that issues forth from the fountain. The greater the frequency with which it is drawn, the purer it is, while it becomes foul if the fountain becomes unused.”

A very interesting panel discussion followed.  Mike Rake talked about how the crisis in public confidence in business was caused by bad behaviour and that this would not be fixed by words alone.  The gap between the haves and the have nots has got too wide and that rewards are shared unequally. Frances O’Grady spoke about how the majority of children living in poverty in the UK today have a parent who is in work.

Barbara Stocking asserted that to have a healthy economy we need companies to have a core purpose that serves society, that  place the dignity of the human person at their heart and act as a guardian for future generations.

A link to the event and all the papers published can be found here. Videos of the event can also be accessed here. A video of Dame Barbara Stocking talking about the Blueprint Movement can be found here. The Blueprint Principles and Framework can be found here.

Written by Ashley Kemball-Cook