Moderated by One Stone partner, Andrea Spencer-Cooke, sustainability guru John Elkington spoke to an audience of Australian businesspeople recently at a UN Global Compact event. The lively and sometimes provocative “Conversation with John Elkington” was hosted by Westpac in Sydney.
Questioning the impact of initiatives such as the UN Global Compact’s Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, John doubted that we should really be turning to major multi-nationals for meeting the challenges of the paradigm shift ahead.
To make his point, John used the analogy of two people meeting on a street one night. One lost his keys and was frantically searching under a street lamp for them. The other asked ‘Is this where you think you lost them? And the other replied “I don’t think so, but this is the only place where the light enables me to see.”
John’s right. New business models and new companies in China, Brazil and India hold the secrets to many of the solutions we’re looking for. The current shift to creating shared value will shed a lot of light onto the keys they hold.