Can big business really reform itself?

In 2010, global business council WBCSD asked its members to stop business as usual. After little progress, it is asking them again.

Impact Interview and Oped Visuals_Julian Hill
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They say that a leopard can’t change its spots. So is it rational to hope that in the jungle of big business, where predatory behavior has been the norm for centuries, the biggest beasts will not only change their appearance but their very nature?

Well, some of them seem prepared to give it a go.

The World Business Council For Sustainable Development (WBCSD), alongside some 200 multinational companies, declares a goal of “…working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.”

And in its latest report, Vision 2050, the WBCSD proposes an even bolder goal: “reinventing capitalism”.

In a detailed vision for advancing sustainability, the report emphasizes a need for radical shifts in business mindsets and priorities to drive systemic transformation.

The report declares:

“Now is the time for companies and investors to enter – and lead – the debate, not just about why capitalism needs to change, but about how we go about transforming it.”

This latest report is an update of a similar agenda that was unveiled 10 years ago, but which did not succeed in delivering the change called for. So is this update likely to fare any better? And how likely are the WBCSD members, even those which openly support the Vision 2050 agenda, to deliver on its strategic priorities?

Tech For Impact spoke to one of the report’s authors, Julian Hill-Landolt, to find out.

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Julian Hill-Landolt

Director, Vision 2050 at WBCSD

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Teymoor Nabili

Publisher & CEO, Tech For Impact

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