Trials of the New World Disorder
You got to admire the elites. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report, sustainability is a big theme for this year’s meeting. But can business CEOs do anything about it? Do they actually want to pay for it?
It’s Trump vs. Thunberg, the young and the old, the now and then tomorrow. For climate change, things will only get worse.
CEOs and business executives enjoy talking a big game about social responsibility and climate change. In recent days everyone from BlackRock to Microsoft have set sustainability goals. Should we be impressed, worried or aware that lip service is in fashion?
Just what the world needs, yet another conference that’s a summarized repeat of other conferences. From economic to environmental, climate now is considered a broad overall risk for the planet. From forest fires to water shortages, it’s clear the economic cost of not being carbon neutral is going to get steeper.
Young People Inherit a Broken Capitalism
Young people know capitalism needs a major reform and overhaul. I’m not sure ‘Stakeholder Capitalism’ will be enough, but it’s a start. Investors and shareholders are caring more about ECG, environmental and climate governance. It’s the fashion of the times to care and share your plan about what your company can do about it.
No carbon taxes, no over-reaching collective goals, just corporate good speak. Those elites sure do know how to create a narrative.
Thousands of politicians and business leaders will address this question as they attend this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. US President Donald Trump, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi are among the guests.
Are human beings really realizing that Nature loss is a planetary emergency? A few decades too late? When top business leaders gather this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, they’ll applaud the work they’ve done over the past year to embrace “stakeholder capitalism” and address climate change. But will it matter?
Ecological Values in Business Mounting
How many more decades will it take humanity and capitalism to go from egocentic to ecocentric values? The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risks Report ranks biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse as one of the top five threats humanity will face in the next ten years. It’s young people who will inherit a world disorder of magnitudes of discomfort that Trump’s generation will never witness.
Davos 2020 will be held between January 21st and 24th, 2020. What BlackRock, JP Morgan or Microsoft say they will do won’t change the world, but it’s better than nothing. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event in the Swiss Alps and its theme is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Nature loss matters for most businesses – through impacts on operations, supply chains, and markets.
We need to listen to Thunberg and the Sanna Marins of this world. Business needs to follow fresh perspectives. Sustainability shouldn’t just be for green companies, but all companies. The world changes very slowly, but with the pressure of the environment, we have to consider that humanity’s survival may depend on adaptation to new ways of life. We must change the way we understand and relate to the natural world. This of course requires a shift in values, priorities and laws.
I’m not really sure that’s what the Elites have in mind for us, truly speaking. But the World Economic Forum is still a neat platform. Founded in 1971, WEF aims to “improve the state of the world”. Davos at least gives us a platform, some interest panels and perspectives on the future. A refresh of what matters into the new year in the business and political world, a sense of global anticipation about how we need to change to meet planetary needs.
Elitism and Stakeholder Capitalism
The Climate Action 100+, an initiative encouraging companies to become carbon-neutral by 2050, is a great concept. More companies are joining it. Businesses should work to source responsibly, minimize their footprint, innovate around the life cycle of a resource and be transparent.
The way we do business must change if we are to move in the right direction. The U.S. in particular has to step up and lead on sustainability, instead of just focusing on its own economy in isolation from other concerns.
What unhealthy capitalism is, is becoming clearer to an entire generation. Wealth inequality and a middle-class churn without even sustainability concerns is getting more serious. This is why Davos as a meeting of the elites is also a bit less respected. The concentration of power occurring in global capitalism means they decide how and where we become sustainable (and not us) or rely on old business norms that are permanently destroying our ecosystems.
It may be that pyramid capitalism and a lack of sustainable practices in business go hand in hand. You can’t solve environmental concerns without reforming capitalism. The U.S. and China don’t seem even remotely capable of reforming their corrupt systems. Centralization is getting worse in both super powers, not better.
Bribery is as common in China as greed & boys’ club politics is in the United States. The elites too have their rules. The code of law of elitism is don’t do anything that costs you too much, don’t sacrifice individual profit for the collective good.
Davos Shows our Geopolitical Order is Out of Date
Davos is not a representation of the world soul. It’s more like a show of respect for the changing of the times. We wait for the world to change, but simultaneity wildfires are ravaging an area of Australia larger than Switzerland. Dozens of people have lost their lives and 1 billion animals have died.
Human systems are not really good at change. We are dumb in recreating a better collective way of life. We don’t evolve institutions like democracy or capitalism effectively enough and it might be to our detriment.
Attendees who represent governments, companies, central banks and transnational organizations may or may not have a good time discussing “climate apocalypse”. Humanity almost needs a global government to centralize collective action at this point. This nation states model, all this bickering in the EU, all this trade war carnage between the U.S. and China — it’s simply not an effective model to address the global climate disorder.
Power games between the U.S. and Iran and China are not giving humanity more years of life. Trump likely knows less about stakeholder capitalism than Thunberg. A century ago, the goals of CEOs and other stakeholders — including surrounding communities — were much more closely aligned than they are today.
Capitalism has gone astray, into the hands of an elite, an elite that isn’t regulated but control the system. A system that’s no longer working for the rest of humanity.