22 janvier 2014

« Background and potential questions for a private session with CEOs »

A dialogue on the role of business

Yvan Allaire | IGOPP - World Economic Forum

« Dr. Yvan Allaire, Executive Chair of the Institute for Governance (IGOPP) and Chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Business- World Economic Forum, has prepared this context paper on the Role of Business which have been presented at the 2014 Davos summit.

According to Dr. Allaire, the long-term success and survival of a business depends, or will come to depend, on its ability to create value for its many stakeholders, on its pro-activity in coping with the social and environmental consequences of its operations.

There are no villains in this story, rather a system of ideas, pressures and incentives has come about which we must understand and change. What changes in which part of the current economic system are most likely to bring some movement in the right direction? Are there prime movers in the system? In other words, are there fundamental causes to the current state of affairs, which, if not directly addressed and changed, will thwart any effort at reform?

No one can know how the next ten years are likely to unfold, but as the world’s problems grow increasingly pressing, it is clear that the world of 2024 will not look like the world of 2014.

Already thousands of companies understand that financial success can only be sustained if the firm also creates social, environmental and ethical value. These firms are drawing on universal principles in areas such as human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption to redefine their strategic and operating models, and they are exploring new disclosure and reporting standards in order to drive a “race to the top”. New forms of collaboration across industries, governments and civil society are emerging to shape the market conditions for entire industries, to bring about purpose-driven businesses. »