On September 13th 1970 The New York Times published an article by economist Milton Friedman titled, “A Friedman Doctrine: The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits”. In it he asserted that “corporations have no higher purpose than maximising profits for their shareholders.”
Five decades later and shareholder primacy has been shown to have had catastrophic effects. It is time to redesign and reset our economic system.
That is why on September 13th 2020, fifty years after Friedman’s essay, Imperative 21’s RESET campaign representing more than 70,000 businesses will call for a RESET of our global economic system to maximise shared well-being on a healthy planet.
“Fifty years of shareholder primacy has left us facing a climate emergency, collapse in our natural system, unjust and unsustainable levels of inequality and low trust across society. It is critical that leaders everywhere come together in a RESET where we account for our impact on all stakeholders and recognize the interdependence of people, planet and our economy. We must remove obstacles to justice and make sure we build back better with the many populations our current system has left behind. It will take radical collaboration between the private sector, public leaders and citizens to successfully create the economy we need,”
– Halla Tomasdottir, CEO, The B Team and co-chair, Imperative 21.
As the global health pandemic, economic crisis, and racial justice uprisings – as well as the accelerating climate emergency – have revealed, the system is broken: While more than 300 million workers are currently unemployed, 26 individuals own more wealth than half of humanity. In response, Imperative 21 has stewarded a co-creation process in collaboration with more than 250 global allies to develop the Imperatives for Economic System Change, which serve as the design objectives for an economic RESET:
The Imperative 21 network works towards a shared vision of shared wellbeing on a healthy planet, and recognizes that this vision requires a shift from shareholder primacy to stakeholder capitalism and that the shift is critical to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
We hope that you’ll join us in getting involved.
www.imperative21.co #imperative21 #letsreset
*Imperative 21 is a business-led network that believes the imperative of the 21st century is to RESET our economic system so that its purpose is to create shared wellbeing on a healthy planet. In addition to equipping business leaders to fulfill this purpose, Imperative 21 shapes the narrative about the role of business in society, and supports policy changes that accelerate the transition to stakeholder capitalism. Network stewards include: B Lab (certifier of B Corporations), The B Team, Chief Executive for Corporate Purpose (CECP), Common Future, Conscious Capitalism, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), JUST Capital, and Participant. They collectively represent more than 72,000 businesses across 80 countries and 150 industries, more than 20 million employees, $6.6 trillion in revenues, and $15 trillion in assets under management, and reach hundreds of millions of people every day who are increasingly eager to vote with their purchases, investments, and employment decisions.