(above) Naser Mousavizadeh
Key topics discussed included:
• This is a critical time to be discussing growth and leadership as both notions are currently being widely challenged
• We will need to find better ways for government and business to work together in order to make real progress
• The Arab Spring and ‘Occupy’ movement represent strong (social) significance, and also highlight opportunities for the sustainability of business
Session 2: THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH
A dynamic, interactive debate on the nature and scale of innovation needed for stable and sustainable growth.
Smart Growth - A conversation with Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman (Europe), Microsoft Corporation; Peter Lacy, MD, Sustainability Services, Accenture EALA and Malcolm Brinded, Executive Director, Upstream International, Royal Dutch Shell
(above) Peter Lacy
Themes that emerged included:
• There are two important gaps for business leaders - execution and transformation. Most business leadership is focused on closing the execution gap - where is the leadership that will close the transformation gap? This will require better regulation and new ways of working with the regulators.
• A key concern is how to get smart and inclusive growth (particularly job creation) working together. Technologically- driven smart growth frequently leads to job reduction or the need for completely new sets of skills.
• The energy, food and water nexus needs to be tackled collectively and holistically.
Inclusive Growth - A conversation with Neville Isdell, Former CEO, The Coca-Cola Company and Chris West, Director of the Shell Foundation
(above) Chris West
Job creation – a particular aspect of inclusive growth - was discussed in detail. Key aspects:
• More jobs are created through small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and therefore there is greater potential impact for employment creation through SMEs in the value chain, rather than through the core businesses of multinationals.
• This requires new business models for supply and distribution, raising enormous challenges in skilling and the financing available for SMEs.
• There are relative merits to ring-fencing these efforts in a foundation or including them within the core business.
Responsible Growth - A conversation with John Brock, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises and Doug Miller, CEO of Globescan
(above, from l-r) Doug Miller and Clare Melford
• Doug presented results of the latest Globescan/SustainAbility poll on sustainable consumption, conducted in partnership with IBLF – click here to view the findings.
• There is tension between the view that technological innovation can reduce resource-use sufficiently to tackle the scale of the problems, and the alternative view that we will need to consume less.
Session 3: LEADING GROWTH
A conversation with John Elkington, Founding Partner and Executive Chairman, Volans
(above, from l-r) Graham Baxter and John Elkington
Key issues discussed included:
• The dynamics of the world we are living in are changing. What is this telling us about the leaders we want and what they should do?
• Whilst the instinct in a time of crisis is to hunker down, lower ambitions and think shorter term; this is when leaders to stand back and think very carefully about the longer term.
To find out more about future leadership dialogues, contact Jo Wackrill (firstname.lastname@example.org)