Globalization: The Challenge of Sustainability And Inequality
Redefining Profit Beyond Cash.
When a company makes a positive impact on society or the community in which it operates, does its value increase? The current systems of valuation focus solely on the company’s book value and does not consider how the company provides benefits or value to society. Does the current system of valuation discourage companies to do more for society?
Perhaps what is needed is a system of valuation where a company that does more good for society or a specific community is recognised and rewarded for it through a higher valuation. If a company’s social value could be quantified and added to its book value then the motivation to do more good for society while making profits would be clear.
Can Being Green Make Green?
Environmental issues are getting ever more serious around the world. The impact of global warming calls for leaders, governments and society to take drastic action before it is too late. But what tangible action can we realistically expect from all concerned when the motivation is more altruistic than intrinsic? After all, the true benefits of saving the planet will only be appreciated generations down the road, and it is human nature to need to reap the benefits of our actions with some immediacy.
History has proven that when the motivation is profit, the call to action is all the more deliberate and immediate. Working with the proposition that profitability will drive action, can we then turn environmentally sustainable endeavours into profits and wealth generation?
Western Democracy, Eastern Ideals – Unequal Equality.
The West’s idea of democracy is not necessarily a universal one. Many of the nations of the West have achieved a higher per capita income and can be considered as richer countries in comparison to those in the East. This superior economic situation allows for a certain set of ideals when it comes to democracy. In contrast, in the East, the lower income levels mean that society is preoccupied with basic survival and making a better life than to be too bothered with political process and democracy. Here the Western picture of democracy is a luxury that simply cannot be afforded.
This situation dilutes the Western idea of democracy. In an impoverished environment, votes can be bought and power sits firmly in the hands of those who can afford it. Is Social Capitalism the path to a more balanced democracy?
The GCF 2020 Project – Social Capitalism At Work.
A socio-economic problem affecting a particular community in a Third World nation will be identified. Several global business leaders who have the resources to solve this challenge will be identified. They will then be given the task of providing a solution by creating a business venture that is profitable for all parties involved while creating wealth for the said community. This project will get the support of the government of the identified nation.
The processes and the development of the project will be documented and reported to the community of delegates attending the inaugural GCF 2020 via the forum’s official mobile application platform.
Palestine & Israel – Economic Peace In The Middle East
It would make perfect business sense (and common sense) to expand markets for greater profitability, regardless of ethnic, religious or political divides. Although in Israel and Palestine there exists one of the most prominent ethnic, religious and political divides in the world, there are still companies from both sides that do business across this divide and profit from the expanded markets they serve.
What if more and more companies from either side of the divide engage in mutually beneficial business activity? Could this lead to influence (or indeed pressure) the political powers to move faster towards establishing peace in this region?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Big Data – The World’s New Abacus
Information has never been so readily available to us. The Internet Of Things has brought huge amounts of information into our lives that it has shaped the way we live. The access to information determines how we work, play and do practically everything.
Businesses are becoming ever more dependent on information in order to be competitive. Every business decision can be based on an in-depth understanding of markets, sentiments, trends and the like. With enough information, risks can be calculated and outcomes can be accurately forecasted. The question then is whether business uses big data to cater to society’s needs or to shape it?
Modern Healthcare – Reserved For The Elite Or Accessible For All?
Modern advancements in healthcare have increased the life expectancy of humans today more than ever before in the history of mankind. And yet these advancements are not easily accessible to the majority of the world’s population. The cost of healthcare in many Western nations alone is so high that insurance companies are necessitated to ensure that most people will have access to it when needed.
Turning this question from an ethical standpoint to a business standpoint, should we ask if making modern healthcare more accessible to the masses would prove to be more profitable, while serving this basic human right to all?
The Indian Paradox – Extreme Wealth, Extreme Poverty. Is Social Capitalism the Solution?
The Republic of India is a nation of two extremes, where the rich have accumulated vast wealth while the poor eke a daily subsistence without knowing where their next meal will come from. While this stark contrast may be found in other parts of the world, it is most evident in India. Is having a society with such a huge gap in the ownership of wealth an ideal situation for business to grow and for sustained wealth generation?
Can the idea of social capitalism and more businesses embracing this method of wealth generation create an impact on Indian society? Can this gap be bridged for the sustainable future of all Indians?
Capitalism Made In China
Founded in 1949 as a hardline socialist country, the People’s Republic of China has steadily embraced the tenets of capitalism, especially since economic reforms were enacted in 1978 by the post-Mao Chinese government. Today, China’s economy is the second largest in the world and is likely overtake the United States of America sometime in this century.
But is China’s brand of capitalism unique? How can international businesses learn to fit well in this type of capitalist environment?
Enriching Communities Through Business and Innovation – The Social Capitalism Way Forward
Businesses are driven through innovation. Entrepreneurs have the ability to develop ways of doing things differently, to constantly disrupt the status-quo and build a better mouse trap. Driven by profit, it is entrepreneurship that has developed the world and given us everything from technology to entertainment, from healthcare to fashion. Our lifestyles are indeed formed through the innovations of true entrepreneurs.
When the unique skill sets that entrepreneurs possess are applied to address some of the world’s most common social problems, the outcomes can be outstanding. Can Social Capitalism then become the catalyst for entrepreneurs to accelerate this process for the greater benefit of humanity?
Rural Poverty In The Developing World
Impoverished communities provide the ideal breeding ground for a host of social ills. From delinquency and crime to ideological radicalization and terrorism, it is the destitute whom will seek solace and hope in any form or manner they may find.
When commerce and wealth becomes concentrated in the cities, the masses migrate leaving their rural homelands for what is perceived as better pastures. Those left behind face increasingly impoverished situations. Can businesses reach out to the rural poor in an effort to create wealth with the outlying communities and what would entice companies to include rural communities within their expansion plans?
New Media / Old Media
The advent of New Media has virtually catapulted the dissemination of news and information at an incredible pace. The tools of New Media have empowered everyone to be a reporter, broadcaster and editor. The impact of the New Media has been so enormous that it led to the downfall of long serving political parties, market brand leaders and products who chose to ignore the new status quo. It has also brought to closure several newspapers operating in the realm of the Old Media.
How can businesses and governments optimize on the power of the New Media in reaching out to various communities? Does the Old Media still have a role to play? Can an equilibrium be achieved between the Old and New Media?
Climate Change, Trade And The Plantation Industry
There is debate on the impact of the plantation industry on climate change. While some argue that plantations contribute significantly towards global warming, it is undeniable the social impact it has on communities especially in developing nations. Plantations such as oil palm provide jobs and opportunities for small landowners to participate in a cash economy.
Is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) established in 2004 and its Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) certification programme enough to ensure industry growth in line with environmentally sustainable practices?
Sustainable Cities & Communities
Goal No.11 of the United Nations Development Programme is to have sustainable cities and communities. Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces, and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.
Could the social capitalism approach realize this goal in the most efficient and practical manner?
The Democratization of Education
Direct, unbiased and undiscriminatory access to quality education leads to empowered communities. Through education, individuals will have better career prospects and higher earning power. Crime and other social ills are kept under control as quality of life becomes the focus and the goals. In such a healthy eco-system for wealth creation, businesses too will benefit from a growing market with stronger buying power.
It is self-serving that businesses ensure that education is truly accessible for all.
How can the proponents of Social Capitalism contribute to the democratisation of education?
Business Ethics In The New Global Economy
There is no universal guide to determine the perimeters of business ethics. The definition of what is ethical or morally acceptable in one society may greatly differ from another. The ethical business practices in nations of the poorer developing world are in stark contrast to those of the western nations, and this is largely due to the socio-economic gaps between the two.
While large corporations today are more concerned about the ethics attached to their public image, especially among their shareholders and future investors, can a genuine interest in fair practice guide corporate behavior? Especially now that investors are more sensitive for fair trade in conducting business.