"Few realised at the end of the last century that making globalisation human, promoting social entrepreneurship, tackling challenges of disaffection and poverty in emerging markets and communities, seeing how climate change and its social consequences could unravel any progress on development and threaten the planet and that giving real meaning to shared visions of sustainability would become central to the business agenda. But they have."


Founding CEO, Robert Davies



In 1990 a group of international business leaders met at the invitation of HRH The Prince of Wales to launch The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum (later International Business Leaders Forum) – the first non-profit global entity to focus on the role of business in society.  Supported by corporations both at multi-national and national levels, the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) was able to make a significant contribution to business leadership and to business practices over a period of 23 years.  Throughout its history it engaged with the most senior business leaders to help catalyse collective action and drive effective and informed business engagement in development challenges.


For more background on IBLF please see the excellent chapter in: Grayson,G. & Nelson, J. Corporate Responsibility Coalitions (2013) published by Greenleaf


Corporate partners in recent years included:


Abbott Laboratories










Pentland Group


Anglo American

Exxon Mobil Corporation




Apeejay Surrendra




Rio Tinto








Goldman Sachs










BG Group










Standard Chartered




Industrial Investors




Clifford Chance

Johnson & Johnson


The Coca Cola Company


Coca-Cola Enterprises




The Walt Disney Company


COFRA Holdings





Control Risks








Focus themes

IBLF has had an enduring focus on smart, inclusive and responsible growth.  Believing social responsibility to be ‘core business’ – a ‘must do’ not a ‘nice to do’ – IBLF’s work has influenced thinking and behaviour in the fields of: Education, Enterprise, Health, Peace, Tourism, Transparency and Vocational training. IBLF is also regarded as a world leader in its work on multi-stakeholder partnerships and cross-sector collaboration.


Focus countries & regions

Between 1992 and 2012 IBLF launched a number of city or national-level, stand-alone entities / programmes in: Americas • Bangladesh • Bulgaria • China • Czech Republic • Hungary • India • Indonesia • Japan • Malaysia • Middle East • Poland • Russia • Shanghai • Slovakia • Thailand • Vietnam • Zambia


Seminal publications

lBLF became highly regarded for its thought leadership in the fields of: Business Leadership; Business & Society; Re-defining Growth and Cross-sector Partnering for Sustainable Development. Building on first-hand action research and its own programmatic activities, IBLF produced many publications that are still widely read and highly influential including:


Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World - How Indian Business Leaders are Reframing Success, 2013

Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World: CEO Reflections on Leadership Approaches to New Challenges, 2012

The Impact of UK Companies on the Millennium Development Goals, 2010

The Business of Jobs: Developing Enterprise and Employability through Collaboration, December 2009

The Business of Health – The Health of Business, 2006

Human Rights: It is Your Business, 2005

Partnering for Success: Business Perspectives on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships, 2005

Health, Eating and Active Lifestyles: The Case for Engagement by Key Business Sectors in Solutions for Health and Wellness, 2004

Obesity in the Public Eye, 2004

The Learning Curve, 2003

Business and Human Rights: A Geography of Corporate Risk, 2002

Building Partnerships: Collaboration between the UN and Business, 2002

The Business of Enterprise: Meeting the Challenge of Economic Development through Business and Community Partnerships, 2002

The Business of Peace: The Private Sector as a Partner in Conflict Prevention and Resolution, 2000

Human Rights: Is It Any of Your Business? 2000

The Business Response to HIV/AIDS: Impact and Lessons Learned, 2000

Executive Summary: Business as Partners in Development – Creating Wealth for Countries, Companies and Communities, 1996


All the publications listed above and others will soon be available from


The Partnering Tool Book as well as partnership case studies, further tool books, reports and think pieces – all available from


Global programmes launched by IBLF:

Operating as a hub for new thinking and innovation, over the years IBLF influenced a number of important global initiatives (for example, the creation of the UN Global Compact) as well as the thinking and practice of many other UN and bi-lateral agencies. Between 2000 and 2013, IBLF helped to establish a large number of now independent and successful programmes including:

  • Business Action for Africa
  • Business & Human Rights
  • Business Standards & Transparency
  • Digital Partnership (
  • Employee Engagement
  • International Tourism Partnership
  • New IBLF Business Standards programme
  • Partnership Brokers Association
  • The Partnering Initiative
  • Youth Business International
  • Youth Business Russia
  • Youth Careers Initiative

Continuing The Work of IBLF

Many of the programmes outlined above continue the work of the IBLF in many different fields. As the core work of the organisation was concluded in 2013 three specific programmes were provided with an opportunity to become independent drivers of parts of the IBLF agenda into the future. These were:

The International Tourism Partnership

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) became part of Business In the Community from October 1st 2013. We are delighted to see the important work of this unique network of global players in the hospitality industry finding a home in a sister organisation which ensures strong continuity of ideas, staffing and programmatic energy on issues such as carbon measurement, human trafficking, youth unemployment and supply chain. To learn more about ITP please contact Stephen Farrant at

IBLF Business Standards and IBLF Russia - IBLF Global

The innovative work that IBLF has been undertaking in Russia, China and around the world in combatting corruption and helping organisations to shape ethical business standards, trust and compliance agendas will continue under a new entity called IBLF Global, with a primary focus on facilitating collective action. Our former Board member, Jan Dauman, is taking this programme forward as Chairman. He is working with Brook Horowitz - CEO Global Business Standards and Boris Tkachenko, who is continuing to head up IBLF Russia and Youth Business Russia. This team is looking to expand its footprint and impact at this critical time for trust in business and its licence to operate across the globe. To learn more about the plans for IBLF Global please contact Brook at or Jan at

The Partnering Initiative

The IBLF has been at the forefront of cross-sectoral partnerships throughout its life. Through The Partnering Initiative it has developed leading methods and approaches for successful interactions between corporations, civil society and government in pursuit of development goals and its Associate network provides access to some of the foremost experts in this space. The Partnering Initiative is also moving forwards as an independent entity and seeking to work at the heart of the burgeoning interest in this agenda around the world. To learn more about this organisation and its plans please contact Darian Stibbe at



“IBLF has done a most remarkable thing – it has led the way in the explosion of focus on the role of business in the world today. 


Drawing on the vision of its founding President, HRH The Prince of Wales, its inspirational CEO, Robert Davies, and its highly talented staff, IBLF gathered together a unique group of business leaders from across the globe to debate, challenge and change business culture in respect of the society in which it was operating.


With many multi-national companies now operating as partners in development and several of IBLF’s focus initiatives launched as thriving independent entities, the time has come to conclude our work. I can only say it has been a privilege to have been associated with this inspiring work for many years”


Mark Foster, Chair, IBLF