What is the role of business leaders when it comes to taking a stand on social issues of moral and political controversy? And what does it take to truly drive social change within large global organisations?
According to The B Team – a global collective of 25 business and civil society leaders – “One of the biggest contributions we can make as businesses is to change ourselves, to transform our own business models, and use our companies to drive benefits for people and the planet – and in doing so, change how we measure success.”
It’s this commitment to driving social change that fuels The B Team’s initiatives, and this message that they want to bring to leaders, and the world at large, this week at Davos.
This year’s World Economic Forum has a programme focussed on ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World' – aiming to rededicate leaders, from all walks of life, to develop a shared narrative to improve the state of the world. The B Team, using the power of business, radical collaboration and their combined influence, are seeking to demonstrate that the more sustainable, equitable path is better for both business and society – believing that business can become a force for good, and that there is an irrefutable economic case for doing so.
“We need more business leaders and entrepreneurs to align their purpose to contribute to society. Those that do are uncovering new market opportunities, increasing their license to operate, making their supply chains more secure, mitigating risks to brand and compliance, and earning public trust. We’re looking for individuals to join us in championing this narrative, with plans to create regional teams in Africa, Latin America and Australasia” state The B Team.
The main areas that The B Team will be focussing on at Davos this year include:
- The promotion of open societies and civic rights. Business can’t thrive in environments where the rights of citizens are repressed. 3.2 billion people live in countries where civic rights are at risk through legal restriction, repressive acts and direct targeting of human rights defenders, campaigners and journalists. This weakens legislative systems, creates unreliable markets and uncertainty for business to operate.
- Supporting more business leaders demonstrating their commitment to responsible tax-practice. The B Team, together with leading companies, civil society, international institutions and investors are developing a set of responsible tax principles to demonstrate good governance in creating a stable, secure and sustainable society.
- Driving more businesses to ensure they peak their emissions by 2020. The B Team’s work in this area will encourage every company to demonstrate emissions reductions and innovations to date, and renew their ambition to go further, faster in 2018.
- Recruiting CEOs to join their Net-Zero 2050 Team. Join The B Team in advocating for policies that support an economy-wide just transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
- Prioritising research and advocacy on the issues of gender-based violence and human trafficking and slavery. Through this work The B Team will show impact throughout the business value chain.
- Improving and expanding the business response to the humanitarian crisis that more than 65 million refugees face today. Businesses have the power and leadership to support refugees and create opportunities for stable, sustainable livelihoods, and should lend their voice.
The plenary session will discuss the roles and responsivities of business leaders when it comes to taking a stand on social issues of moral and political controversy.