Waving a magic wand for social impact

Jean Oelwang

Stanford Business Center for Social Innovation recently asked Virgin Unite CEO, Jean Oelwang, along with other thought leaders: If you had a magic wand and there was one thing you could change in the ecosystem for social impact, what would it be?

Jean who heads up Richard Branson and Virgins philanthropic arm stated that she would change the rules of business, for good:

The way the world does business has had significant positive impacts on humanity, but it has also become a big part of our problems. So here are some of the rules I would change with my magic wand.

Ensure a fair playing field by getting business out of politics. Stop pillaging Mother Nature and start valuing natural resource usage on balance sheets. End fossil fuel subsidies and give renewable energy a fair shot. Shift the lens from quarterly madness to long term thinking and reporting. Turn your customers into your community and truly listen. Invest in businesses that are going to make a difference in the world. Use your philanthropic dollars to break down barriers and stimulate new market based solutions to issues. Embrace unlikely marriages with government and the not for profit sector to drive larger scale change. Celebrate business leaders who are putting people and planet alongside profit at the core of all they do. Never accept the unacceptable and do business like there is a tomorrow.

Head to Stanfords Center for Social Innovation to read what the other thought leaders, Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of TechnoServe and Kevin Starr, Director of The Mulago Foundation, said.

Read more about Virgin Unite, and their mission to use business as a force for good.

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