2020 got off to an inspiring start with an event from our new client, Volans, whose ‘Tomorrow’s Capitalism: The Inquiry’ on 10th January saw initial insights of 18 months’ research shared with an invited audience of business leaders, regulators and industry associations to explore what it means to step up as leaders in the 2020s: a period of exponential change. The inquiry launched in 2018 with John Elkington’s recall of the Triple Bottom Line. The rationale being that business and ‘sustainability’ as usual is no longer fit for purpose.

Hosted at Aviva’s conference suits in the City of London, the audience heard from Inquiry partners including The Body Shop, SEPA, Covestro, Unilever and Aviva as well as leading experts in related sectors such as supply chain and the future of food.

Volans identified three defining elements of the emerging corporate leadership agenda to help businesses become catalysts for systems change:

1: Collaborate to build ‘3R’ businesses: Businesses should be adopting the 3Rs framework: “Responsibility”, “Resilience” and “Regeneration”. These are the characteristics required to thrive in a challenging, complex commercial environment and they require significant innovation and self-disruption.

2: Change the conversation between business and finance: This is about much more than ESG scores and sustainability reporting: the task is to create deeper partnerships between corporations and investors to co-evolve a whole new approach to investment and finance that emphasises outcomes and ‘directionality’, not just growth.

3: Become a Political Activist: There is no apolitical path to a sustainable economy. Progressive corporate leaders are being called on to step forward and engage in the tricky business of influencing policy and public opinion.

Read more about Volans’ work and the Tomorrow’s Capitalism Inquiry here.