In June, the British Academy hosted a three-day virtual Purpose Summit, as part of The Future of the Corporation programme. The programme brings to the fore a new definition of the purpose of business – “to profitably solve the problems of people and planet, and not profit from creating problems”.
The Purpose Summit convened policymakers, business leaders, investors and civil society to share ideas to transform business behaviour at this pivotal time. Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead for the programme hosted conversations with esteemed leaders, harnessing a breadth of diverse perspectives including Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress.
Discussions were curated to capture the diversity of perspectives to address the responsibilities across business leaders, investors, and the role of technology in the debate.
On Wednesday June 24th, Mohamed Amersi was invited to make some concluding remarks, to mark the end of the Summit.
In his closing speech, Mohamed shared three observations;
- The rise of the mindful, values-led purposeful organisation
The growing trust-deficit is triggering an emergent need where we need to see examples of responsible leadership and both individual and organisational integrity.“With the prevailing anti-globalisation climate permeating many geographies, trust in governments and institutions at an all-time low, it is about time for capitalism to step in and provide the leadership and unity that is badly needed.”
- The need for a long-term outlook
Shifting the time horizon away from short-term gains to long-term goals can encourage governance structures to re-think business outcomes and ways of working.“In this system, governance that maximises short term financial interests and only measures how much business gets done, is replaced with governance that embraces responsibility to society, long term goals and also measures more comprehensively how business gets done.”
- Systemic change is the pathway to lasting change
A holistic understanding of the opportunities at a systems level is essential to recognise the opportunity for collective action, vs. linear problem-solving in an increasingly complex, interconnected landscape.“To achieve meaningful systemic change will require a departure from the traditional top-down, hierarchical and linear approaches to innovative and adaptive approaches, engaging broad networks of diverse stakeholders sharing an aligned vision.”
The Amersi Foundation is the first and primary donor to the three-year Future of the Corporation programme. The programme presents a rare opportunity to align global stakeholders across public and private sectors around a mutual opportunity to support the growth of purposeful business.
Click here to learn more about the Future of the Corporation programme and watch the recording of the Purpose Summit events. To listen to Mohamed’s closing remarks, you can view the recording of the event here.