“I honestly don’t know a business leader who doesn’t see that there are major issues on inequality, and that it may get even worse.”
~ Sir Mike Rake, former Chair, BT Group, Worldpay
Concern for the kind of world we’re leaving to future generations, and for the roles we’ll have played, has become increasingly common amongst business leaders — and that likely includes you too. Yet, few have truly transformed that concern into collective action.
What will it take to make tomorrow better than today? And where do we even start? This is what the Board Intelligence Think Tank explored in 2021, asking board members, youth leaders, environmentalists, creatives, economists, and other subject matter experts, one deliberately broad question: “What is the role of business in creating a fairer future for all?”
Different leaders care about many different things — that much is obvious. But after engaging with a wide cross-section of decision makers, asking them how we create a fairer future, what’s even more obvious is that a few key themes linger in most leaders’ minds:
- Three are key topics: opportunity and education, environment and climate change, and technology and innovation. They pose the greatest threat to fairness — but also hold the possibility to have the greatest positive impact on society.
- Two are barriers to progress: what we value, and how insulated leaders are. They are what’s preventing us from tackling these threats — and it’s here that business leaders have the strongest personal mandate for change. We need new ways of valuing the success of our companies, so we can set different incentives. We need leaders to be less distant from people who are impacted by their decisions.
In this report, we dive deeper into these themes, exploring what needs to change to enable business leaders to create a fairer future. Next year, the Board Intelligence Think Tank will start searching for answers, to equip business leaders with the tools they need to tackle these threats and overcome these barriers.
Download the report to find out ways you can make change in your own organisations and help to create a fairer future.
Our research was launched on 9th December 2021. To watch the webinar, featuring Stephen Welton, executive chair of BGF, Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, chair of Refuge and CEO of Ploughshare Innovations, and Lizzie Beale, board member at The Careers and Enterprise Company, click here.
Scarlett Brown is the director of the Board Intelligence Think Tank. Visit the website to find out how you can join our community of leaders who want to effect change, and for resources to help you make a difference.