At the face of miserable state of global health, women’s empowerment, and basic education have come up against headlines about the West African Ebola outbreak, kidnapping and harassment of girls trying to go to school – these are outcomes of inequality and injustice. The situation across the world same in some measures, for instance developed nations living is in more unequal than much of the so – called “developing world” – the city of San Francisco now has a higher inequality ratio than the country of Rwanda.
Today’s issues can be well-defined in three main ways: the disappearance of the middle class in mature markets; ongoing and extreme poverty in developing markets; and a lack of adequate education, training, and compensation for workers. These problems deteriorate growth, increase vulnerability to economic shocks, and inflate human capital inefficiencies i.e. employee productivity. That’s obviously bad for business, and corporate leaders know this.
Given the scale and complexity of the challenges, how can we evolve corporate sustainability to more effectively respond, and to proactively promote an inclusive global economy? In response to inclusive economy – it looks like on the following themes:
- Any contributions a company can make to society require a foundational respect for human rights. Companies must make an effort to protect the rights of those directly and indirectly employed or otherwise affected by that company. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights introduced a framework for compliance, but have they made a difference?, need to follow proactively.
- Job creation is an essential pillar of an inclusive economy. But as the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda tells us, not all jobs are good jobs. So there is a need to explore venues that how companies can ensure they are creating and sustaining good jobs in both mature and emerging markets.
- Engaged, prosperous communities help break the cycle of poverty and underpin business success. Companies have developed sophisticated community engagement strategies to drive socioeconomic development. There is a need to work out and explores best practices, challenges, and innovations to replicate across the world.
- Significant opportunities exist for business to contribute to the fight against poverty. The introduction of the new Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 will offer up a unique moment for partnership among business, government, and civil society. To contribute to this dialogue, there is a need to explore potential roles for the business community, industry sectors, and individual companies to support poverty alleviation, access to health, gender equality, rule of law, and environmental sustainability. Indeed, work out collectively how equitable and progressive taxation system make world more equal.
- Approach to corporate responsibility must evolve to respond to sustained and growing inequalities. Corporations coexist with society and depend on its stability, progress, and prosperity. Now there is strong demand to look into new evolving definitions of the responsibility of business to society, and it will reflect in to pursue in purpose-driven profit.
Inclusive economic growth and development offer noteworthy profits for business, as well as broader society. Businesses that craft and act upon a strategy to build an inclusive economy will contribute to social and market development, greater customer loyalty, access to talent and innovation, social and economic stability, increased productivity, and improved stakeholder relations.
The fundamental purpose of a company, whether a large corporation or a small business, is to create value. I am hoping CSOs to work with businesses to create more inclusive value, which will profit both society and business.