POPULISM v CAPITALISM – BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR GOOD?
We’re clearly all activists now, as passionately confirmed at Echo’s 2019 Summit.
What we see is that organisations are successful only when they connect with their stakeholders’ needs and expectations. As these are radically changing and evolving, now is the time to systemically re-think, re-set and re-engage for a better world.
To help us re-shape a better future, international leaders gathered at Echo’s Summit to share their experiences and insights into why, how and what to do about it.
To watch the full videos of individual speakers, please click on those highlighted below.
We set the scene with our latest research, we are all activists now, capturing the discussions and calls for action from the online community, researching the perceptions of the general public and millennials, and assessing the concern among business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
From a lifetime of great leadership and deep wisdom, Sir John Parker GBE, Chairman, Pennon and Laing O’Rourke called for all organisations to ‘go beyond compliance’ as a leadership opportunity to meet societal needs as the only sustainable way forward.
Considering if industry can indeed change, Amanda Mackenzie OBE, CEO, Business in the Community warned of purpose-wash, while Jyoti Banerjee, Founder, Fronesys, explained the value of multicapitalism & changing the conversation. Jenny Scott, Founder Partner Apella, former Advisor to the Bank of England counselled that ‘if you can measure it, if you can put a value on it, then the board will sit up and take notice because you are then doing your fiduciary duty by trying to generate the most value for your organization'.
From one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds, with deep vision, commitment and purpose, Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer of Mubadala outlined the importance of being long-term ambassadors for change and impact, especially as new markets and activities drive an on-going evolution.
Britain’s Most Admired Company CEO, Paul Pomroy of McDonald’s UK&Ireland warned that ‘businesses need to take the CSR agenda seriously. Customers expect it of us. The new generation growing up look for where you are doing the right thing. Customers do understand that you are on a journey and that journey keeps changing. But as a dad, we all know we need to look after the planet and I think it’s important that businesses step up'.
Joining up to tackle pressing social problems, Su-Mei Thompson, CEO of the charity, the Media Trust, called out the wastefulness and inefficiencies of brands and NGOs fighting the same causes ‘but in parallel universes’. And as Cannes Lions Chairman, Philip Thomas, President Ascential, noted that at the Cannes Festival in the last few years, the discussion about purpose has moved to activism.
Finally, ending on loud and clear calls to action, we had our young entrepreneurs and leaders Seyi Akiwowo, Founder and Executive Director, Glitch calling on digital citizenship and activation, and Ella Robertson, Managing Director, One Young World to bring middle management with you to make sure changes are made in a sustainable way.
Taken together, the time is now. The future is here. It is up to all of us to take an active role.
Comments from guests
“It was a stimulating day. Delighted to be there.” Howell James CBE, Chair, Radiocentre
“Thank you for hosting us – my colleague and I really enjoyed the afternoon and the inspiring final session.” Patrick Burton, Head of Marketing & Communications, EMEA , J.P. Morgan
“I loved the line-up of speakers. It was good to catch up with old contacts and make new ones. Well done on this great event!” Kai Boschman, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, International SOS
“Thank you very much for inviting me to your Summit. I found it very thought provoking. Paul Pomroy from McDonald’s was definitely the highlight for me.” Flic Howard-Allen, Chief Communications Officer, EasyJet
“It’s an incredibly impressive event and the attendance was brilliant.” Toby Craig, Director of Corporate and Commercial Communications, City Football Group
“Congratulations on putting together such a brilliant event, covering everything from Tampon Books and turnarounds to corporate activism and climate change. Very impressed with the calibre of speakers and guests in the room.” Kate Bassett, Head of Content, Management Today
“I am not at all surprised you have enthusiastic attendance - the Echo Summit is an interesting and thoughtful event.” Jackie Elliot FPRCA, Chairman, Cathcart Consulting