Big names for Branson’s B Team
26 June 2013 at 10:33 am
Global business entrepreneur and Virgin airlines boss, Richard Branson has unveiled the initial 14 business leaders who will drive The B Team, his global Not for Profit promoting the triple bottom line.
Joining Branson and co-founder Jochen Zeitz, among others, are Kathy Calvin, President of the United Nations Foundation, Ariana Huffington, President and Editor-in Chief of the Huffington Post Media group, and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.
The announcement was made earlier this month in a live online broadcast to 500 gatherings in 115 cities worldwide.
“Today we want to start a Plan B for business,” Branson said at the launch.
“We are working with government agencies, the social sector and business leaders to get on top of some of the world’s seemingly intractable challenges.”
The selected leaders issued a joint declaration at the launch outlining three in initial objectives:
The Future of Leadership
Leadership that is fair, honest, positive and creative and underpinned by a moral compass.
The Future Bottom line
A move away from financial short-termism and expansion of corporate accountability beyond financial gains.
The Future of Incentives
Develop new corporate and employee incentive structures to shift market behaviour towards those incentives that maximise social, economic and environmental benefit.
“Business is integral to society, but it has also created most of the negative environmental challenges of this century, ” co-founder Zeitz said, having resigned after 18 years as Puma’s CEO to chair the program.
“Tackling these three challenges is a starting point for a ‘Plan B’ to form,” he said.
B Team leaders also acknowledged their own roles to play in transforming business.
“Before we comment on the practices of others, we ‘pledge’ that we will ‘start at home’. We will focus on ourselves, on our own business and industries, and do our utmost to ensure we meet the principles of better business,” the declaration stated.
Branson defended himself earlier this month when questioned by a British journalist over Virgin’s financial transparency.
“None of us is perfect, and, at Virgin, I spend 80% of my time on non-profit work,” he told The Guardian.
Branson’s Virgin portfolio is extensive, with its companies employing 50,000 people, spanning 34 countries and generating US $21 billion in revenue annually.
The B Team is encouraging the public to submit their views on a new charter for business at www.bteam.org.