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Business Society - Our point of view

Business:Society is a new conversation about what business is for. It is an open forum for debate on one of the defining issues of our times: the relationship between business and society.

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Generalized statements about the purpose of business outside of profit are no substitute for the rigor of an enterprise defining the particular contribution its core activities make to society. Companies can better understand the contribution their businesses make to the economic, environmental, and social progress of the local and global economy. They can make that contribution clearer to their wider constituency and share progress against their purpose on a regular basis. Recalibrating the purpose of a business in societal terms can help galvanize, inspire, and guide employees and investors, educate and inspire wider society, and support leaders in ensuring their organizations contribute to the common good.

Restoring and enhancing the reputational capital of business has a twofold importance for today’s business leaders – first, to address the declining trust in business within wider society and thus reinvigorate the positive impacts business creates, and, secondly, to understand and realize the opportunities inherent in the new direction being sought by the Millennial generation.

"We should get to a place where business is celebrated as a force for good in the world. In an ever more borderless global marketplace, the growing interdependence of national economies and private enterprise is significant. It is the core business of business – far more than traditional philanthropy – that impacts society most, for better or for worse. What business produces and makes available – from pharmaceuticals to fiber optics, energy to telecoms, textiles to tarmac, financial instruments to personal computing technology – is all about building society.

Already, CEOs are talking about the value their businesses bring to society. And their voices are being joined by an emerging generation of business leaders who see personal responsibility, corporate responsibility, and societal responsibility as one continuous line. There’s a real appetite for new ideas, original insights and passionate argument ... for business to regain its confidence and leadership in setting our shared direction."

Barry Salzberg, CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

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