There is increasing ubiquity in considering the ‘impact’ business has on people and places. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are mapped by corporations, ‘social enterprises’ are abounding, governments are launching ‘social impact bonds’ and there is integration of ESG considerations into financial analyses by traditional investors. Even archetypal profit-focused investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, include ESG and impact activities in their business. The notion of the social impact of business has become so mainstream that government at the highest levels – including G8 leaders and even the Pope – advocate the creation of institutions to give greater attention to driving social impact.
The ageing roadblock
‘Beyond the pure politics and economics, experts in Finland say the debate on ageing needs to be rethought. Prof Vaarama says that it is wrong to classify all people aged over 65 as “old”. She argues true old age starts at 80-85. Before that, people could still be working and be consumers in the new so-called “silver…
The human cost
In the midst of our data-age, true advocates of an evidence-based world view remain rare. Dr Hans Rosling is one. Economist Alan Krueger is another. He was, as Tim Harford chronicles in his moving obituary, ‘an authority on happiness and pain’, whose work spearheaded the ‘credibility revolution’ that would drag economics from the lofty heights…
The skills scandal
A pro-business government also needs to be a pro-education government – specifically, pro the education that equips students with the skills of the present and the future. The yawning gap between graduates and unfilled job roles suggest the UK’s current system, like many around the world, is struggling to achieve either. The Institute…
A penny for your thoughts
How do we square the mood of ethical consumption with the reality of the stock market? As the British high street continues to gasp its way through 2019, fast fashion brand Boohoo, doubled its profit and now sits on a £2bn+ stock market valuation. In its stratospheric rise, this retail giant has become a fable…
The new business playbook
As ever, The Economist said it first. Recent trends confirm that we are now in the era of ‘slowbalisation’. The hyper-growth of globalisation, which has fundamentally transformed global economies, national identity, ways of life and individual prosperity – for tremendous good and tremendous ill – has run out of steam. For those paying attention, this…
Purpose and Prosperity
“Mayer is a believer. Despite the great gobs of gloom he dispenses about some aspects of the global corporate economy, his book is a resounding paean and radical road map towards a bright future for the corporation and capitalism. Companies — the name derives from the Latin cum panis, implying to break bread together —…
New year intention
‘A decade after the financial crisis shook voters’ confidence in capitalism, the challenges to Friedman’s model have been gathering momentum. Now — even as US President Donald Trump pursues stereotypically “pro-business” policies such as cutting corporate taxes and regulations — they are starting to converge into something that looks like a new worldview, shared by…
‘Atwater was a single, poor, black parent who led Operation Breakthrough, which tried to improve local black neighbourhoods. Ellis was an equally poor but white parent who was proud to be Exalted Cyclops of the local Ku Klux Klan… When each listened to the other’s reasons, they realised that they shared the same basic values….