“A company is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system.” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum (Davos Manifesto 2020).
As the tumultuous start to 2020 has painfully demonstrated, our world and our way of life is facing wicked problems of critical proportions: climate disruption, species extinction, wealth disparities, human rights and privacy violations, and displaced populations. The corporate contribution to these crises cannot be denied – whether through environmental, labour, production and pricing practices. And with the combined annual revenue of the five largest global corporations exceeding the GDP of 75 percent of the world’s nations, companies wield unprecedented power over the global socio-economic landscape.
Thankfully, shareholder capitalism and a “profit at all cost” mindset is being challenged by the re-emergence of stakeholder capitalism, the notion that business must be accountable to employees, customers and communities as well as its shareholders. Whether through the negative feedback loop of the banking royal commission, or the positive outpouring of corporate support for the victims of our devastating bushfires, there is an opportunity and responsibility for companies not just to make money but to make the world a better place.
Read Georgina Safe’s Thought article on Conscious Capitalism to see how a return to good company practices is also good for company returns. Eager to do our bit, and understanding the devastation fire can bring, The Office Space will Offer the first month’s rent for any new physical office or virtual office sign ups in February to help small businesses impacted by the bushfires.
In Profile, we interview new Dress for Success Sydney CEO and long-term social justice advocate Tanya Jackson-Vaughan about the cycle of support they receive and impart to help disadvantaged women find employment. In Guide, longstanding Surry Hills resident Lisa Green shows us five ways to roll up our sleeves and volunteer in our ‘hood.
Our new culture Spotlight illuminates the wonderful work of artist Carla Fletcher, whose koala sketches are an emblem of hope for the future of our endangered wildlife.
Claudia Osbourne’s Pulse article looks at the wider goodness movement that is sweeping the world, a timely counter movement rising to face down the general climate of doom and disenfranchisement.
And our Insight talk series returns, re-energised for 2020, with three leading Sydney identities representing the commercial, community and cultural aspects of our Working for Good theme.
This is the goodness revolution we all need. Let’s all make it our business to work for good.
Illustration Credit: Niki Fisher http://www.nikifisher.org