Featuring Pavan Sukhdev, Founder-CEO, GIST Advisory;
Moderated by Brad Gentry, Professor in Practice, F&ES and SOM, Faculty Director, CBEY
Many have questioned whether corporations can fulfill a social purpose while still earning a profit --- from the early American corporations chartered to serve a public purpose, to Henry Ford’s desire to “spread the benefits of the industrial system to the greatest possible number”, to modern “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) efforts.
However, the operating environment for business has increasingly moved away from encouraging companies to pursue social purposes in their business activities. “General incorporation statutes”, limited liability laws, and changes in the post-war period have led to a situation in which corporations now mostly act with impunity --- largely free of requirements to serve a public purpose or even report the damages they cause to society and the environment.
Last fall, Pavan Sukhdev a leading expert on the green economy, released the book Corporation 2020: Transforming Business for Tomorrow’s World. In the book, Sukhdev argues that in order for corporations and society alike to survive and thrive, we need to rethink the way the business world works. This requires not just action by corporations, but also the strength of governments directed toward transforming regulations and creating incentives for corporations to change and adapt. With the clock ticking toward 2020, Sukhdev is returning to Yale a year later to break down how his sweeping vision of how a better corporate model is being realized.
This event is part of the GE Colloquium in Sustainability Leadership, a speaker series focused on sustainability careers in the corporate sector, which is sponsored by the GE Foundation.
Image courtesy of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung/flickr