In the second half of the 20th century, much of the world enjoyed success and stability relying on a set of institutions well suited to the industrial economy. But recently, skepticism has grown that these arrangements are responding effectively to those they were designed to benefit.
Consequently, individuals are withdrawing from political processes in favor of changing the institutions they can influence — their workplaces. With transnational scale and economic power, global corporations now have the capability to lead on global issues and become a party to the social contract along with citizens and governments.
In this episode of The Better Question podcast, EYQ Fellow Chris Meyer and Yassmin Abdel-Magied are joined by Kees Kruythoff, Ex-President Unilever Home Care & Unilever North America Co-founder IMAGINE, and Ethan Zuckerman, Director, MIT Center for Civic Media.
Chris and Yassmin’s guests discuss the transformation of the industrial world to one of networks and information, requiring new solutions to essential social goods such as trust and privacy. But governments have yet to develop reliable solutions.
The past consensus was that if basic rights to security and self-expression were protected, markets would deliver economic justice. Now we must accept that people who cannot find work to feed themselves cannot engage effectively in political processes.
Consequently, people will increasingly rely on networks to influence corporations to shift the social contract and recreate these vital elements of society.
- Leaders of corporations and financial institutions are shifting their views on the importance of the private sector helping to meet social needs, such as sustainability, as well as business goals.
- Companies that listen, experiment, and explore how to act on global challenges will have an advantage in the talent market.
- Social and business goals need not be in competition, nor even separate, but part of a single plan that supports customers’ desire for organizations to act on and engage in global challenges – but this must be embedded in business behavior and core to the organization’s purpose.
For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. Read the transcript.
Duration 31m 04s
In this seriesSeries overview
EY Global Brand & Marketing Leader
EY Global Center for Board Matters Leader and Area Program Management Leader