News & Blog

The outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on the world we know seems impossible to overstate.

Despite weeks of anticipation and business continuity planning, the physical, financial, psychological, practical and emotional tsunami of the pandemic has threatened to overwhelm governments, international agencies, business and civil society organisations across the west, with fears for what might lie ahead for more fragile parts of the global ecosystem.

It seems very likely that private-civil partnerships will continue to grow in importance; a trend evidenced by surveys including the C&E Corporate-NGO Partnerships Barometer. How then can we encourage more holistic and effective private-civil partnerships that recognise a wider set of value creating points for different stakeholders – and optimise such value for all?

The freedom and space for individuals and organisations to share ideas, promote social cohesion, and advance shared interests – civil society space – is vital to flourishing societies that value diverse voices. The rules of law and freedom of expression not only underpin human rights, they also underpin stable environments in which business and society thrive.

Transformative thinking and action requires transformative thinking and action, not more of the ‘same old same old’.  This sounds obvious, but as the story below will demonstrate, sometimes ‘old habits die-hard’ and established views and biases are regarded as ‘truths’ rather than views and perspectives, that could and should be re-examined and challenged as organisations, markets and the landscape continues to evolve.

Takeaways from the C&E Breakfast Dialogue, Tuesday 17 April 2018.

In his January 2018 letter to CEOs Larry Fink of Blackrock observes that “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose” and argues that “without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential.

The forthcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) changes in Europe will provide a little relief from all those email lists that one seems to belong to without ever remembering where or when you signed up. As the uproar over Facebook and its dealings with Cambridge Analytica show, the regulations might also begin to address some fundamental questions facing our technological society.

Interest and business engagement in the concept and practice of shared value has been gaining ground since it was boosted in 2011 by Michael E. Porter and Mark Kramer of the Harvard Business School. 

With their focus on blending commercial and social value, inclusive businesses have long understood the benefit of partnerships to their business models, and such partnerships often involve other businesses, large corporations, as well as NGOs. But what is happening in the current corporate-NGO partnering landscape and what is the direction of travel?

Interest in the impacts of big business on human rights and demands for greater transparency have grown over recent years. The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) is the first-ever ranking of the world's largest publicly listed companies on their human rights performance. Following a methodology developed over two years and in consultation with over 400 companies, industry associations, investors, governments, civil society representatives, academics and lawyers, the final scores of its first pilot will be available in November 2016.  

Judging from the media scrutiny in some quarters, it must be tough being Mark Zuckerberg. Following the birth of his first child, and with thoughts of the world they would grow-up in, the young wealthy entrepreneur, together with his wife, pledges to give away 99% of his Facebook shares to good causes - and finds his altruistic gesture met with scepticism; his motives and intentions questioned.

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