Future of the Corporation - Purpose Summit

Monday 22 Jun 2020, 14:00 BST – Wednesday 24 Jun 2020, 16:00 BST

Purposeful Business in Times of Crisis

With the resilience of business and society tested to the limit by the COVID-19 pandemic, our assumptions around the roles of business, investors and government are shifting.

The British Academy’s Future of the Corporation review into the role of business in society brought to the fore a new definition of the purpose of business – “to profitably solve the problems of people and planet, and not profit from creating problems”. Eight principles supporting this vision were published in our November 2019 report, Principles for Purposeful Business, which outlined necessary reforms to company law, corporate governance, finance, measurement, and the role of regulators.

This definition and the associated principles now provide a robust framework for reshaping business policy and practice in response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to public health, the economy and the well-being of our societies.

The Purpose Summit will provide a platform for policymakers, business leaders, investors and civil society to share ideas to transform business behaviour at this pivotal time.  Our work, along with many others, has shown that there is a growing appetite in business for a purpose-driven approach. But what does this mean? And in times of crisis – whether the immediate COVID-19 pandemic, the related recession, or the climate crisis – how can purposeful business contribute to preventing, reacting to and rebuilding from crises?

The summit takes places virtually from 22 to 24 June 2020.

For all enquires, please contact Tara Vernhes

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How is business adopting purpose around the world?

Watch
  • Chair: Hetan Shah, CEO, The British Academy
  • Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead, Future of the Corporation
  • Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck
  • Ashley Grice, CEO, BrightHouse Consulting, a Boston Consulting Group company
  • Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
  • Anneliese Dodds MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

What is the role of stakeholders in purposeful business?

Watch
  • Chair: Dr Victoria Hurth, Convenor of ISO37000 - a global standard on 'Guidance for the Governance of Organisations’
  • Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead, Future of the Corporation
  • Frances O'Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress
  • Dan Labbad, CEO, Crown Estate
  • Emma Marcegaglia, Chairman and CEO of Marcegaglia Holding S.p.A, and Vice Chairman and CEO of Marcegaglia Steel Spa
  • Jim Snabe, Chairman, Siemens and Mærsk

How can technological change serve society through purposeful business?

Watch
  • Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead, Future of the Corporation
  • Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
  • Greg Clark MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee
  • Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University

How can investors and owners support purposeful business?

Watch
  • Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead, Future of the Corporation
  • Douglas Lamont, CEO, Innocent Drinks
  • Hiro Mizuno, until recently Chief Investment Officer of the Japan Government Pension Investment Fund
  • Phil Thomson, President, Global Affairs at GSK
  • Deb Oxley, Chief Executive, Employee Ownership Association

What can we learn from crises, past and present, in solving the problems of people and planet?

Watch
  • Chair: Roula Khalaf, Editor of the Financial Times
  • Professor Sir David Cannadine, President of the British Academy
  • Professor Colin Mayer, Academic Lead, Future of the Corporation
  • Mohamed Amersi, Chairman of the Amersi Foundation
  • Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance and until recently Governor of the Bank of England
  • Alistair Phillips-Davies, CEO, SSE
  • Darren Jones MP, Chair of the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee
  • Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University
  • Dan Labbad, CEO, Crown Estate

Partners and supporters

The British Academy would like to thank the following partners and supporters for their support of the Future of the Corporation programme.

If you would like more information about becoming a partner or supporter of the programme, please contact Michelle Waterman, Head of Development on 020 7969 5290.

Principal supporters

Associate supporter

Corporate partners

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