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Even before the pandemic hit us, calls for change could be heard from every corner of the globe. Since COVID-19, these calls are getting louder and louder. It is time for us to listen and make a decision: Do we want to go back to the world as we knew it, or do we want to build better? 

Moving Beyond CSR: The Rise of the Fourth Sector in Business

June 19, 2019

A cloudy sky is reflected in the mirrors of an office building in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland. The concept of shared value can define the future of capitalism if consumers, employees and voters make it so.

For Benefit to All

June 18, 2020

As society waits impatiently for new signs of life, there is a growing divide between those who aim to restore the comfortable rhythm of status quo and others still who seek a new cadence. A stark divide between the dire circumstances we face as a society where one in four is unemployed and an opportunity to redefine our economy and our entire existence.

OPINION: Post-corona reconstruction programme: No going back

Thomson Reuters Foundation

3 May 2020

One simple unanimous global decision will help us tremendously: a clear instruction that we don’t want to go back to where we are coming from. We don’t want to jump into the same frying pan in the name of recovery. We should not even call it a ‘recovery’ programme.

To make our purpose clear, we may call it ‘reconstruction’ programme. Businesses will be made to play the key role to make it happen. The point of departure for post-corona reconstruction programme must be putting social and environmental consciousness firmly at the centre stage for all decision making.

Governments must guarantee that not a single dollar would be offered to anyone unless the government is sure that it will bring the maximum social and environmental benefit to the society, compared to all other options.

Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio economic impact of covid19


March 2020

We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people’s lives. But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core. The IMF has just reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021, declaring that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009. The IMF projects recovery in 2021 only if the world succeeds in containing the virus and take the necessary economic measures.

In the face of such an unprecedented situation in recent history, the creativity of the response must match the unique nature of the crisis – and the magnitude of the response must match its scale. No country will be able to exit this crisis alone.

Kate Raworth: Introducing the Amsterdam City Doughnut

8 April 2020

Today is the launch of the Amsterdam City Doughnut, which takes the global concept of the Doughnut and turns it into a tool for transformative action in the city of Amsterdam. It's also the first public presentation of the holistic approach to "downscaling the Doughnut" that an international team of us have been developing for more than a year. We never imagined that we would be launching it in a context of crisis such as this, but we believe that the need for such a transformative tool could hardly be greater right now, and its use in Amsterdam has the chance to inspire many more places – from neighbourhoods and villages to towns and cities to nations and regions – to take such a holistic approach as they begin to reimagine and remake their own futures.

Is the '4th sector' the future of international development?

03 October 2014

According to a recent report by Accenture Development Partnerships, digital revolution and innovative financing are reshaping the convergent forces that define international development, leading to a so-called fourth sector with the potential to become a game changer on how the industry works in the next decade.

The Covid-19 crisis is a chance to do capitalism differently

The Guardian

18 March 2020

It is time to finally learn the hard lessons of the 2008 global financial crisis. As companies, from airlines to retail, come asking for bailouts and other types of assistance, it is important to resist simply handing out money. Conditions can be attached to make sure that bailouts are structured in ways that transform the sectors they're saving so that they become part of a new economy — one that is focused on the green new deal strategy of lowering carbon emissions while also investing in workers, and making sure they can adapt to new technologies. It must be done now, while government has the upper hand.

Lessons from Nature for the 50th Earth Day

April 22, 2020

On the 50th anniversary of #EarthDay, what better guidance can we take than from Nature’s example? Read about the empowering metaphor of the Imaginal Cell's, and how to join
@futurereboot's Imaginal network, in Kim Polman's Earth Day article.

COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs

Schwab Foundation

4 May 2020

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs brings together over 40 leading global organizations to coordinate response for social entrepreneurs as they overcome the significant impacts of COVID-19.

Which world do we want after COVID-19?


16 April 2020

Right now, our focus should be on fighting the virus while ensuring that we keep our economy and financial system afloat. However, as we emerge from the immediate crisis, we will need to reboot our economy as quickly as possible, getting production lines up and running, with people back to work and earning incomes again. That leaves us with a choice: desperately fight to get back to what we had previously or try to reach a much better situation. What did we have before COVID-19?

Covid-19 Is Accelerating ESG Investing And Corporate Sustainability Practices


19 May 2020

As more and more investors and corporations are embracing good ESG performance as a strategic imperative, a window of opportunity is opening to "recover better", at least in some parts of the world where the voice of reason is still alive. But even if policymakers will fail their people, there is no doubt that the market-led forces that propel the sustainability movement will continue to gain momentum. Technological change, environmental imperatives and long-term social norm changes will propel ESG investing and corporate sustainability forward. These trends are irreversible and global in scope. Governments can slow down or accelerate these trends, but they cannot stop them. Intelligent ESG investing is bound to become the new normal. Those corporations that fail to transform their business models will be replaced by others that have the adaptive flexibility to thrive in a new world that values smart, clean, and healthy activities.

The Guardian : Amsterdam to embrace "doughnut" model to mend post-coronavirus economy

The Guardian

8 April 2020

A doughnut cooked up in Oxford will guide Amsterdam out of the economic mess left by the coronavirus pandemic.

While straining to keep citizens safe in the Dutch capital, municipality officials and the British economist Kate Raworth from Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute have also been plotting how the city will rebuild in a post-Covid-19 world.

The conclusion? Out with the global attachment to economic growth and laws of supply and demand, and in with the so-called doughnut model devised by Raworth as a guide to what it means for countries, cities and people to thrive in balance with the planet.

The fast and the curious
As a pandemic emerges, UNDP's Accelerator Labs mark a year of asking the right questions


Whether it's climate change, plummeting biodiversity rates, or unchecked consumption and waste, we already face unprecedented planetary challenges.

Now, the coronavirus COVID-19 has added an extra, deadly layer of complexity to the paths we must forge.

And we have a very limited time left in which to make the big changes that will create a sustainable and just future.

Now more than ever, there are no one-size-fits-all answers; new ways of thinking are needed.

The Fourth Sector Group wants to transform the future of business

22 July 2019

It is not uncommon to see business executives wearing Sustainable Development Goal lapel pins, with a wheel of colors representing the 17 SDGs.

But all too often, these companies see the SDGs as a way to brand their corporate social responsibility initiatives, rather than a reason to change the way they do business, said Heerad Sabeti, CEO at the multistakeholder platform the Fourth Sector Group.

Social good creates economic boost

QUT Online

15 May 2020

As unemployment rates skyrocket around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a world-first study has found social venture start-ups not only alleviate social problems but also are much more important for job creation than previously thought.

"For-benefits": A new economic order for the post-COVID era

Deccan Herald

6 May 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is threatening not only healthcare systems, but also the livelihoods of citizens and the stability of economies. With talk of stimulus and financial packages doing the rounds, this may be the right time to ask the question, is it sensible to go down the beaten path without exploring viable alternatives?

Devex: How social enterprises are playing a role in COVID-19 response


6 May 2020

In normal times, social enterprises utilize business models built around digital marketplaces, pay-as-you-go financing, vendor-managed inventory, direct-to-consumer delivery, and tech-enabled quality assurance to improve medicines' affordability, availability, quality, and access. And now, many of these social enterprises are finding innovative ways to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the communities they serve and to limit medicine supply disruptions for their customers.

Navigating through crisis: Lessons for social entreprises at the forefront of COVID-19


5 April 2020

At Acumen, we are committed to standing with the poor, and the leaders of our portfolio companies share that commitment—even in the face of a crisis. But we also know that many companies are facing an existential crisis and that difficult choices lie ahead. We believe there is much to be learned from our own CEOs, as they lead with humility, thoughtfulness and compassion. With unbounded respect and admiration for these intrepid entrepreneurs on the front lines, we offer some thoughts and observations

WEF: Stakeholder capitalism is urgently needed - and the COVID-19 crisis shows us why

World Economic Forum

2 April 2020

At the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos earlier this year, "all the talk was about purpose and stakeholder capitalism," she added. "And I think this is the moment to say, 'Okay. If we're serious about that, let's make sure that we bring that lens of stakeholder capitalism, of collective value creation, to the table in how we structure the details of things like the bailouts,'" Mazzucato argued, referencing recent government financial rescue packages in response to COVID-19.

Development disrupted: How business is changing development

12 November 2012

This article is produced and published by Devex Impact: a global initiative by Devex and USAID that focuses on the intersection of business and global development and connects companies, organizations and professionals to the practical information they need to make an impact.

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