Principles for Purposeful Business - Executive Summary

by The British Academy

Number of pages


The Future of the Corporation programme is one of the largest and most ambitious ever conducted by the British Academy, the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It lies at the heart at the heart of the future of capitalism, the future of humanity and the future of our planet. This second report builds on the November 2018 report, “Reforming business for the 21st century”. It revisits the case for change and highlights that climate change, the urgency of delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), technological developments, the increasing dominance of companies without significant tangible assets, and negative perceptions of business make this agenda particularly urgent. It identifies how change can and should be achieved. It sets out a series of principles to guide lawmakers and business leaders in any jurisdiction towards the policies and practices that can release the potential of business to profitably solve the problems of people and planet, and to prevent business from profiting from harm. The findings are summarised below. 

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