What is inclusive capitalism, and why does it matter?

capitalism 2019

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Miguel Milano, President, Salesforce


The concept of building shareholder value has been a driving force of business since companies began to go public. Yet as businesses and governments adjust to the new realities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the idea that the ultimate value of business success is the extent to which it enriches shareholders is now being questioned in progressive boardrooms around the world.

The co-CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, recently called for an ‘inclusive capitalism’ that serves the causes of human equality and diversity and cherishes the ecology of the planet, alongside driving returns to shareholders. Other businesses have made the same call, paying wages at over the national average and providing a proportion of their profits as grants to social impact causes.

I have experience of this myself. I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship from Fundación la Caixa (La Caixa is Spain’s third-largest bank) to pursue graduate studies at MIT Sloan School of Management. This had a profound impact on my career and my life.

The technology driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution gives companies an ever greater influence on how we live, work and function as a society. As a result, customers expect business leaders to widen their focus beyond the narrow interests of shareholders.

This longer-term, broader strategic approach has proven rewards. McKinsey found that companies that take a longer view than quarterly shareholder reporting outperform their peers, with 47% higher average revenue growth and 36% better earnings growth.

An example from Kenya

In June 2018, I had the privilege of visiting St Martin’s School in Nairobi for the third time. It’s located in the middle of the Kibagare area, which is home to poverty, illness and substance abuse. It is also a place where profound and positive change is happening.

For my recent visit, I took a week of paid ‘volunteer time off’ to be part of the change. I was accompanied by a group of Salesforce colleagues and my family. We worked on a range of projects, including helping identify that a new borehole for water was vital and training students and teachers in basic coding and officeware. But, perhaps most rewardingly, we connected one-to-one with 300 students and recorded messages for their sponsors.

The experience was incredible, truly changing my perspective. When I reflect on it, I realize the power of a diverse and motivated set of people to do amazing things. It reminded me of my working life and the vital role of business as an incredible driver of change. Our urge to change the world can be so much stronger when the companies we work for support us on the journey.

Image: Salesforce

People want purpose

My experience in Kenya brought home a truth that I see in every business I work with, including our own. Today, people want more than financial incentive.

Workforce of the Future, a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, found that 88% of young people want to work for a company whose values reflect their own. Given that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025, this trend is here to stay.

I believe this transformative shift is driving positive change, and that we are entering the age of responsible business. But what does that really mean? And how can business leaders bring their organizations in line with the expectations of the modern age?

The business of changing the world

When Salesforce started almost 20 years ago, its founders shared a vision of a company that had purpose and societal impact built into its DNA. They created the 1-1-1 model: giving 1% of our time, product and profit back to the community.

This model is the foundation for all our philanthropic work. It guides each employee on their own journey to making a positive difference in the world. It is what drove me to support St Martin’s, and it gave structure and collective purpose to the entire group who worked on the project.

Salesforce may have pioneered this model, but it’s clear that the passion for giving back has grown well beyond the walls of our company. Pledge 1%, which is based on our 1-1-1 model, has become a global movement that aims to create a new normal where giving back is woven into the fabric of companies of all sizes from the very beginning. More than 5,000 companies in 80 countries have made the Pledge 1% commitment, and we expect to see many more do so.

Imagine what we could achieve

I am excited about the possibilities created by this new age of business. To work in an era where businesses aren’t just about making money, but about giving back to communities.

In Kenya, I’m proud to say that we made a lasting impact on the community. We left with a team that was more motivated than ever to continue to make a difference. That was just one project with one group of dedicated people – think about how much more we could do.

Imagine the change that businesses could make around the world if they were to adopt a new approach, one that gives people purpose and values. We live in uncertain times, politically, environmentally and economically. The one constant is that every individual has the power to instigate change. They just need the right push.

So I challenge you: what change are you going to make?

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU Budget 2020 conciliation talks suspended

Eurozone’s north-south growth gap to become structural

Air pollution: Most EU Member States not on track to reduce air pollution and its related health impacts by 2030

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

These are the countries best prepared for the fight against cancer

Prospect of lasting peace ‘fading by the day’ in Gaza and West Bank, senior UN envoy warns

Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

Learning lessons from across Europe – the hidden costs of COVID-19 on lung cancer

Why ‘video call fatigue’ might be making you tired during lockdown – and how to beat it

What is tuberculosis and why are deaths rising?

Mergers: Commission waives the commitments made by Takeda to obtain clearance of its acquisition of Shire

10 ways COVID-19 could reshape offices

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

4 lessons on human cooperation from the fight against Ebola

Collaboration and connectivity at ITU Telecom World 2019

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

What does artificial intelligence do in medicine?

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Progress made at COP25, despite lack of agreement to increase climate ambition

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Countries must invest at least 1% more of GDP on primary healthcare to eliminate glaring coverage gaps

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

Starbucks and FIAT again under Commission’s microscope: is Europe ready to kick multinationals out of the house?

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

India vs Virus: voices from the COVID front line

How the tech sector can power the shift to a sustainable economy

UN chief welcomes G20 commitment to fight climate change

Are we at risk of a financial crisis? Our new report takes a look

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Conserve Italia for participation in canned vegetables cartel

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

With 5 billion set to miss out on health care, UN holds landmark summit to boost coverage

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

Essential services on verge of shutdown in Gaza as emergency fuel set to run out

Here are three technology trends changing the way you travel

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

5 crises that could worsen under COVID-19

How can we make enough vaccine for 2 billion people?

China, forever new adventures

Quality Internships: Towards a Toolkit for Employers

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

YouTube stars get creative at UN, to promote tolerance

These Dutch tomatoes can teach the world about sustainable agriculture

daniela-runchi-jade-president__

A Sting Exclusive: “Education in Europe, fostering skills development inside and outside the school system”

How the mobile industry is driving climate progress on the scale of a major economy

EU defence gets a boost as the European Defence Fund becomes a reality

How the Belt and Road Initiative could support an ageing population

Better understanding the psychological impact caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our poisonous air is harming our children’s brains

EU legislation protecting home buyers approved in Parliament

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

Normal reactions to the abnormality of the pandemic

How climate change sparks innovation for fragile communities

Thai cave boys spared thundershowers, highlighting extreme climate disruption: UN weather agency

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

Why the euro may rise with the dollar even at lower interest rates

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

We must stop turning a blind eye to the world’s health crises

Living in a pandemic: what are the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of the youth?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: