It is well known that the development of an economy is driven by confidence and aspiration. As we hop from a global health crisis to new geo-political ones, all sectors of leadership should be asking – what kind of future should we be forging during these disruptive experiences?
If we are sensitive to customer demands, population values and national/global risks, the answers should be glaringly obvious. As the world faces climate change challenges, as our future generations demand accountability on how we use natural resources, and, as compliance institutions demand business to report Environmental, Social and Governance disclosures, our economy must be guided by ambitions that balances purpose with profit for tangible impact.
On reflection I would prioritize the need for a strong coordination of growth, sustainability and inclusion. Growth is needed to pay for the transition that leads to prosperity and well-being. Sustainability is about ensuring that growth is relevant to the current and future generations. Inclusion is the opportunity for productive work and a satisfying life for all citizens that generates the demand that will propel growth. Indeed moving to an economy in which growth and sustainability and inclusion form a powerful dynamic is the imperative for the next era of a national economy.
A real and responsible economic model should ensure that all of our society should have access to basic and real needs such as food, water, energy, health, education, housing, income and work, political voice, gender equality, peace and justice, etc. All these needs must be provided within finite planetary boundaries defined by an ecological ceiling which includes climate change, ocean acidification, chemical pollution, freshwater withdrawals, land conservation, biodiversity loss, air pollution etc. A new economic model must re-frame economic shortcomings and set new goals. A successful economy is considered prosperous to a thriving nation when these measures are considered to accommodate an environmentally safe space compatible with poverty eradication and rights-for-all.
As responsible citizens, all with our own areas of influence and change-makers in our own right, we should be able to look at our children in the eye and confidently and tangibly reassure them that we are doing our level best to ensure that we are accountable to them and to their ambitions and aspirations. Business leadership, political leadership, societal leadership are being asked to deliver on this objective collaboratively with honesty, integrity, responsibility and credibility. This is our calling. On reflection this is our mission to which we must succeed.