Category Archives: Event

Better business for all

On April 20, Gong Communications founder, Narda Shirley joined other signatories to the Better Business Act at the House of Commons to lobby MPs for a change in the law. If passed, the Better Business Act would amend section 172 of the Companies Act so that businesses are legally obliged to consider all stakeholders. As it stands, company directors are accountable to shareholders with profit maximisation as their primary fiduciary duty.

 

 

This change would mean companies are no longer able to pursue profit at the expense of workers, communities or the environment. It could help transform the way we do business and free decision-makers to act in favour of balancing in long-term interests, rather than chasing short-term financial gain.

Better Business Day kicked off with a panel discussion featuring CEOs from graze.com, Pukka Herbs and Ella’s Kitchen, moderated by Financial Times journalist Joy Lo Dico. Innocent Drinks CEO Douglas Lamont, co-chair of the Better Business Act Campaign, told the audience: “We must remove that hiding place for directors that all they have to do is maximise profit in today’s world. Companies must now balance the interests of people, profit and planet.”

Mary Portas, the campaign’s other co-Chair added her remarks and shared anecdotes about her early career as a young female company director at the luxury retailer, Harvey Nichols. She reflected on the role she and other company Directors played, believing it was their responsibility in the ‘80’s ‘greed is good’ culture to encourage consumer consumption of brands without thinking about the effect on the environment or the workers in global supply chains.

The campaign has already gained over 1,000 supporters, including The Body Shop, Oddbox and Virgin StartUp. It was initiated by B Lab UK, which serves the growing community of UK-based companies which are certified B Corporations.

Gong founder Narda Shirley says. “We know from the work we do with our clients that lots of businesses are already acting in a way that takes care of their employees, communities and the environment. But the law has not kept up with this change in business culture – that is what we’re trying to address with this act.”

One of the key actions of the campaign is to get signatories to write to their MP. There is a template letter on the Better Business Act web site that cites a survey of members of the Institutes of Directors as finding a majority think the current Companies Act focuses too much on shareholders and not enough on wider stakeholders.

It also references Research by the Better Business Act which shows that companies run in line with the principles of the Act can expect faster growth in turnover and headcount; greater levels of employee retention and diversity, and higher levels of innovation.

The same research found that 76 per cent of people in the UK want businesses to be legally responsible for their impact. They think that business has a responsibility to protect the environment and the majority favour brands that do good in the world.

At Gong, we urge businesses to add their voice in calling on the government to change section 172 of the Companies Act to make this official. Let’s ensure that all businesses are held to account and are legally required to make decisions that benefit workers, communities and the environment, while delivering profit.

To join the campaign, click here.

The 13th Annual AVCA Conference

THE 13th ANNUAL AVCA CONFERENCE

Dates: 25th – 27th April 2016

Location: Sheraton Addis – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The AVCA Conference is the flagship event for the African Private Equity and Venture Capital industry and provides an important platform for GPs, LPs and investors interested in the continent to discuss the most pertinent opportunities and issues of the year.

The 13th annual conference focused on making the business case for private equity in Africa by highlighting the wide array of investment opportunities, strategies employed and success stories. It also saw the launch of two AVCA research reports, the AVCA/EY Exit Study, providing valuable data about the exits landscape in Africa, coupled with key information on how fund managers create value and deliver commercial returns; and finally the AVCA Sustainability Study which examined how private capital is helping to drive ESG standards across the continent.

Gong was on site managing all communications requirements of the conference.

https://www.avcaconference.com/

 

 

The Economist: The Future of Banking

 

Dates: 10th – 5th March 2016

Location: Shangri-La Hotel, 10, avenue d’Iéna, 75116, Paris, France

The Future of Banking Summit convened multinationals, new technology and emerging banking organisations and financial services executives, along with policy makers, economists and academics to discuss the sector’s prospects as the banking industry experiences systematic change.

It centred on the themes of stimulating innovation, investment and productivity within the financial and banking industry. Panellists discussed how, with increased regulation coinciding with the advent of new technologies in financial services, the banking industry could revolutionise their business model to meet customers where they want to be met.

www.economist.com/events-conferences/emea/future-banking

 

 

Economist Energy Summit

ECONOMIST ENERGY SUMMIT

Dates: November 4th  – 5th 2015

Location: Honourable Artillery Company, Armoury House, City Road, London, EC1Y 2BQ

The Energy Summit 2015 will bring together senior representatives from the supermajors, the smaller independents and national oil companies with executives in the power, utility and renewable sectors; together with policy makers, economists and academics to discuss and debate the future of the energy business and provide some clarity on what it will look like 15 years from now.

www.economist.com/events-conferences/emea/energy-summit-2015

 

Agri-Comms Drinks

AGRI-COMMS DRINKS

Dates: November 3rd 2015

Location: Near Portcullis House, Westminster

The next instalment of our monthly meet-ups to bring together all those involved in communications, media and PR focused on food security, nutrition and agricultural issues.

 

Dive In

DIVE IN – THE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION FESTIVAL

Dates: September 29th – October 2nd 2015 

The first market-wide festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance

The Corporation of Lloyd’s, the Lloyd’s Market and insurance in general must innovate and adapt to stay relevant.

Technology, globalisation, climate change – these factors are just a glimpse of the challenges ahead. Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) can help.

A diverse workforce and an inclusive culture are magnets for talent. When people feel valued and included at work, they achieve their full potential. Research proves both that diversity fuels growth and innovation, and that inclusivity boosts productivity and performance.

Dive In festival is specifically designed for people working in the Lloyd’s Market to discover more about the business case for diversity and inclusion.

It’s free to attend, with events running in venues across EC3 from 29th September to 2nd October. Each day has a specific focus and theme – starting with Women in Insurance, followed by Multicultural, LGBT and ending with Workability.

Dive In is an initiative of Inclusion@Lloyd’s, a collaboration between the Corporation of Lloyd’s, IUA, LIIBA, and the Lloyd’s Market Association, whose aim is to pool resources, widen perspectives and share best practice in diversity and inclusion to effect change faster.

www.diveinfestival.com

 

Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security

OLAM PRIZE FOR INNOVATION IN FOOD SECURITY

Olam will be announcing the winner of the Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security, in partnership with Agropolis Foundation, at the Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture on 16th March 2015 in Montpellier.

The prestigious event convenes leading agricultural scientists from around the world. The shortlisted candidates have been judged by an international jury in conjunction with the Louis Malassis International Scientific prizes. The winner will receive a total prize of US$50,000, comprising US$15,000 as a personal award and US$35,000 as a grant for further research.