Philanthrocapitalists are to be applauded for their abundant generosity in seeking and funding solutions to some of the world's most daunting challenges, including poverty, healthcare, education and the environment, just to name a few. And all of our personal charity and volunteer service is vital. But to a great extent, we are often trying to fix problems that are being created anew every day.
At the root of these systemic social failures are the practices of some -- not all -- companies that degrade the lives of the poorest people in the world who have no voice. As some leading companies have shown, if other companies and their boards of directors truly commit to a corporate global vision of justice and peace, then businesses can make greater profits than they ever imagined, and people throughout the world would have food on their tables and live in peace.
I'm calling this a Corporate Global Vision (CGV). Heck, if everyone else can coin acronyms that take off on CSR -- corporate social responsibility -- let's do it right and think big. Let's talk about companies envisioning a better world and correcting their practices that are at the heart of the world's most serious issues.
Imagine if boards of directors of companies simply said no to mining minerals in ways that create incentives for violence and conflict, and no to employment practices that virtually enslave children. Imagine if instead, boards of directors insisted on fair wages, healthcare, clean water and education for their employees around the world. Not only would the world be a better place, but companies would have exponentially larger markets for their products. That's a lot of money for shareholders.
You and I are not bystanders in CGV. You and I are the key players every single day. We wear clothes, talk on phones, eat food and otherwise consume goods and services offered in the marketplace. Now that some companies are distinguishing themselves by improving their human rights and environmental practices, we can make choices and purchase from those companies. With new information, available through a variety of resources, we can become more educated consumers and investors and vote with our wallets.
CGV is on its way. Transparency and accountability are two forces that are helping as companies are expected to reveal information about their social and environmental practices. And corporate partnerships with NGOs and nonprofits that are experts in social and environmental issues help companies to achieve success with their CGV.
The smartest companies are leading the way, and the rest will have to learn and adjust. Together we can save the world.
Follow Alice Korngold on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alicekorngold