Updated: 12/4/06; 10:20:43 AM.
Gil Friend
Strategic Sustainability, and other worthy themes of our time

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The venerable British consultancy SustainAbility has released its latest Forum - a discussion among various members of its Core Team and a total of 35 members of its Faculty/Network (on which I'm honored to serve) - on this timely question:

Will globalization help or hinder the corporate responsibility and wider sustainability agendas?

The key findings (with lots of detail and discussion behind each):

1: Globalization (and “planetization”) will continue, perhaps even accelerate - but could switch to a very different direction by 2017....

2: One species, Americanization risks stalling.... This is a political challenge for the United States, but also for the rest of the world.

3: China’s role is seen as increasingly dominant, with many respondents seeing this as a potentially negative influence....

4: Many non-OECD companies, like Gazprom, “get away with murder”...

5: Activists fear being accused of “crying wolf,” so risk understating the challenges....

6: Corporate social responsibility will struggle, at least as currently defined, to stay on the corporate radar screen—being seen as a second tier agenda in terms of management priorities....

7: Supply chains will be vital in ensuring progress....

8: Business continuity will be prioritized as security and other threats grow....

9: Political leadership needs to be transformed if we are to have any chance of motivating individual citizens and putting the global economy onto more sustainable tracks....

10: Business, meanwhile, is often failing to act consistently as a good global citizen....

Rather than re-state my perspectives here, I'll let you read and find them in the discussion. (A clue: it all depends of what kind of globalization, driven by what values and concerns. It's never neutral.)
9:59:11 AM    comment []  trackback []

On the road again
The autumn conference season is winding down, but it's not wound yet! In the last few weeks I've spoken at the NetImpact conference in Chicago (presenting about S-BAR - the sustainable business rating system - with Joel Makower, who then did the same at the SRI in the Rockies conference with our mutual colleague David Johnston). This week, the Business for Social Responsibility conference in NY, a teleconference conversation with Peter Senge, and then back to San Francisco for the Green Festival this weekend.

(Blogging, which is high on the priority list but not as high as clients and sleep, tends to suffer at times like this. OTOH, when a conference has wireless, I can often listen and knit at the same time. ;-)
9:49:51 AM    comment []  trackback []

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