Most ideas about what business is come from the 1930’s onwards when the idea of corporation, limited liability, first appeared.
But times change. The table above, from our CSR webinar, shows just how much has changed in 50 years. Maybe it is time to review the deep underlying paradigms about what business actually is?
For a start-off: business can no longer see the environment as a cheap place to go get materials and dump stuff. Rather, it needs to see our common biosphere, geosphere and atmosphere more like a library. Take it out, put it back in the same condition. If you are late or damage the book you get a fine.
Maybe the recent droughts and floods are reminders that the climate is changing and it is going to impact even Wall Street.
Off course growth is not possible indefinitely. All creature grow to maturity. If we are going to talk economic growth then we must take economic maturity.
Trickle down theory , where the rich spend and everyone gets a better life have not been shown to work that well in practice. Economic growth may be happening, but workers are not even sharing in productivity gains.
And even if there is money about, just because you have a great business idea does not mean you can get it. The public is footing the bill for the financial risks taken by banks (and the risks from nuclear power plants.)
All of this and more is taken up in our new webinar series – how corporations can respond to be a force in driving sustainable , equitable development.