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The age of ‘business on purpose’

4 June 2019 at 7:30 am
The upcoming Shared Value Summit promises to unpack the connection between purpose and shared value, and looks at how profit with purpose is set to become the norm.

Contributor | 4 June 2019 at 7:30 am


The age of ‘business on purpose’
4 June 2019 at 7:30 am

The upcoming Shared Value Summit promises to unpack the connection between purpose and shared value, and looks at how profit with purpose is set to become the norm.

In a world of unprecedented unrest and uncertainty, it is no surprise that purpose-driven business has gained significant momentum in corporate Australia. At the same time, shared value, fuelled by purpose, has moved from a buzzword to be recognised as a legitimate lever for modern businesses to thrive.

This connection between purpose and shared value will form the basis of discussion between business, government and community leaders when they meet in Sydney 18 to 19 June for the 2019 Shared Value Summit Asia Pacific to explore Business on Purpose.

With the fifth Shared Value Summit fast approaching, Helen Steel, CEO of the Shared Value Project, reflected on the achievements of the shared value community and her pride in seeing a growing portion of the business sector acknowledging that purpose is no longer just morally commendable, but vital to building Australia’s economy.

“Through the adoption of shared value, the business sector is realising that business is only as successful as the environment in which it operates,” she says.

“By using its daily operations for good, business becomes stronger and more sustainable. In this way, we can use capitalism to fuel the durable prosperity of people and the planet.”

The Asia Pacific Summit will pick up the conversation from the 2019 Shared Value Leadership Summit in Boston, where global leaders explored the momentous shift towards purpose in business – and the place for shared value in this growing movement.

It will particularly reference the comments made by the co-creator of the shared value concept, Professor Michael Porter, suggesting purpose is shared value.

With purpose posing a huge set of questions for businesses around leadership, culture, business models, communications, measurement and reporting, Peter Yates AM, chair of the Shared Value Project, told the Australian Financial Review that it is an opportunity best addressed by working collectively.

“The corporate world can make major breakthroughs to solve some of our most pressing and entrenched social issues if we successfully unlock the resources, innovation and skills of the corporate sector,” he says.

“Capitalism finds profit in competitive ways to solve problems and there is no reason the same principles can’t be used to solve social problems.”

The summit will also build on recent conversations such as those at the World Economic Forum where global leaders asserted that “profit with purpose is set to become the new norm”.

It also follows Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer which revealed that society has increasing faith in business leaders to lead action on social and environmental issues. In addition, it supports evidence that millennials are seeking more purpose in their careers, with over 80 per cent of millennials and Gen Z believing that business success must go beyond profits.

Join the shared value community in unpacking purpose and how it relates to shared value at the 2019 Shared Value Summit Asia Pacific in June.

Pro Bono News readers will receive 10 per cent off their tickets by using the code PROBONO. Purchase your tickets here.

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