THE BLOG
09/26/2014 08:40 am ET Updated Nov 25, 2014

Third Global Forum on Business as an Agent for World Benefit

In the midst of all the chaos and conflicts that dominates the media and may cloud our vision of a better world, there is something remarkable happening. There is a powerful global movement gaining momentum that has the potential to ignite hope. Contrary to those CEO's who believe that the single aim of business is to make money, there are a growing number of visionary business leaders and academic scholars who believe that business can be one of the most powerful forces for good in the world.

Business as an Agent of World Benefit is a movement that is working to create "... a world where companies prosper, people excel and nature thrives". These leaders have discovered that that the antiquated mindset of profit verses people and the planet is flawed and not sustainable. They are proving that businesses can flourish and prosper by innovating to solve the greatest problems facing our society. Peter Drucker, an early advocate of this movement believed:

"... Every social and global issue of our day is a business opportunity in disguise... just waiting for the pragmatism of good business, its capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship, and its management for results."
Peter Drucker

A group of these insightful leaders are coming together for a very special gathering. They will be convening the Third Global Forum on Business as an Agent for World Benefit, at Case Western Reserve University, October 15 -17. Their theme is FLOURISH & PROSPER.

This will be an exciting gathering of visionary global business and thought leaders including:
• Martti Ahitsaari, Nobel Prize Laureate and former President of Finland
• Chuck Fowler, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Case Western Reserve University and President and CEO Fairmont Santrol,
• Lyell Clarke, President and CEO, Clarke
• Peter Senge, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management, Author of the Fifth Discipline
• Naveen Jain, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur and Technology Pioneer. Founder of Moon Express
• Raj Sisodia Co-founder of Conscious Capital
• Bart Houlahan, Co-founder of B Corp
• Michael Braungart, Founder and Scientific CEO of EPEA Internationale
• Chris Killingstad, President and CEO, Tennan
• Jodi Berg, President and CEO of Vita-Mix Corporation ("Vitamix"),
• Harry Halloran, Chairman and CEO, American Refining Group and ARG Resources
• China Gorman, CEO, Great Place to Work.

This is just a few of the visionary leaders that are coming together at the Forum to share their stories, strategies and to explore new and innovative ways for businesses to transform the tremendous challenges of our time into business opportunities that benefits us all.

They are a part of a growing global movement of thousands of business leaders around the world who are working in collaborative networks with academic scholars, scientist, entrepreneurs and civil society to eradicate poverty, to provide clean water and eliminate illiteracy. Their ultimate goal is to achieve global health and well-being for people and the planet. They are not just engaged in the traditional social responsibility or philanthropic endeavors. They are advancing a highly innovative business model, a new archetype where businesses prosper by innovating for the greater good. Their innovations are contributing to the global conditions for people and the planet to flourish and prosper.

The Business as an Agent of World Benefit movement is not just a hopeful dream. The seeds of this vision were planted decades ago. There were pioneers like Max De Pree, CEO of Herman Miller. Under the tutelage of Peter Drucker, Max led the company with a compelling vision that was born out of a larger vision for a better world. I worked for Herman Miller as Corporate Vice President For People. Our core values guided our decisions and behaviors. Our company values were: Participative and Teamwork, Shared Ownership, Valuing Everyone's Uniqueness, Family, Social and Environmental Responsibility, Becoming a Learning Organization and Financial Soundness. Some considered us radicals and even heretics however, the people of Herman Miller proved to the world that businesses can earn tremendous profits, quantitatively and qualitatively, by innovating for the greater good.

This vision has taken root and is blossoming into a movement that has the potential to lift us all. The wonderful thing about this movement is that it crosses all sectors and boundaries. It is not just occurring in businesses and academia, it is happening at all levels of society around the world. People, families, the Millennials, conscious consumers, conscious voters, retiring baby-boomers, investors - many diverse groups are working to create a world where people and the planet can flourish.

The most powerful catalyst for the proliferation of this movement may lie within each of us. People are discovering what is important in life. We want to flourish and prosper. We want clean water, clean air, good health and a sense of well-being. We want to learn and grow and to live and work with a sense of purpose. Whether we are business leaders, employees, consumers, families or individuals, we want our lives to matter. I believe people are yearning to liberate the human spirit. Like any great movement, the pursuit of a worldwide state where people and the planet have the opportunity to flourish, is an idea whose time has come.

"To live the lives we truly want and deserve, and not just the lives we settle for, we need a Third Metric, a third metric of success that goes far beyond the two metrics of money and power..."

Adrianna Huffington,
Thrive:
THE THIRD METRIC TO REDEFINING SUCCESS AND
CREATING A LIFE OF WELL-BEING, WISDOM AND WONDER.