Business can and ought to have higher ideals that go beyond shareholder value. If we are going to answer some of the most complex issues facing humanity today that rest on the interplay between macroeconomics and geopolitics, then trade and commerce must act on values that are noble, ethical and heroic.
“We have to see a form of business that is good for people and for the planet,” says Adam Garfunkel, Director of Junxion Strategy and ambassador for B Corp, a community of leaders who are driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
“There’s no doubt that capitalism has lifted people out of poverty”
Garfunkel says that B Corp embeds those ideas of performance, accountability and transparency and it that it is a process that makes business accountable for their actions in the best interest of societal organisation.
“There’s no doubt that capitalism has lifted people out of poverty,” continues Garfunkel “and lots of people around the world have better lives because of that”. Without a doubt, capitalism has spurred on the tiger economies of Southeast Asia, grown the middle class in India and China and has helped to write the contemporary narrative for many African nations. The Global South has flourished from today’s Neo-liberalist capitalism that began with China’s open door policy, the break-up of the former Soviet Union, and the rise of the World Trade Organisation.
In fact, global poverty rates have more than halved since 2000, however, recent report from Oxfam found that the world’s 26 richest individuals own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the global population. This wealth creation has come at some cost, says Garfunkel “We need far-reaching changes to the way society is organised if we are to avoid climate catastrophe”.
“B corps are exemplars of a better way to do business.”
Now, more than ever, is the time for a fairer capitalism. One that draws on our compassionate and idealistic values, and considers humanity in the context of equality, the fairer distribution of wealth and lessening the impact on our Earth’s resources. “To get to system change you need two things to be in place, you need recognition that the current system has failed and you need the existence of viable alternatives. B corps are the proof-points of the existence of this. We are exemplars of a better way to do business.”