The Global Foundation has called for a new era of ‘co-operative’, as distinct from ‘laissez-faire’, globalisation’.
We held two consultative discussions with nearly 40 of our members, in Sydney and Melbourne in July, at which we turned the spotlight on recent political and economic events, where we have witnessed a growing backlash against elites in the Western world and, at the same time, the global economy is barely muddling along.
It also followed on from the Foundation’s Rome Roundtable held in January 2016, and is building momentum for the next edition of the Roundtable, to take place in January 2017.
Foundation members expressed their strong commitment to ‘co-operative globalisation’, namely: an open world, with well-run markets, balanced by a social contract with the community, that encourages business to flourish while maintaining (or restoring) a happy society.
‘Laissez-faire’ globalisation’, on the other hand, where regulation and behaviour in the world of business and finance was less than adequate, would no longer be tolerated by the community.
Members expressed concern about the fractures presently occurring in society, with inequality growing, in many cases, to record levels. There is a risk that business will lose its social licence to operate, just at the time when stronger commitments by the private sector are needed to generate employment and prosperity.
Further, the Foundation committed to continuing to play its somewhat unique role, globally, in providing a platform for committed world figures from diverse backgrounds – from business, faiths and the community – to meet, to measure progress and to commit to practical actions that would mobilise the global economy on a more sustainable path.
The 2017 edition of the Rome Roundtable will provide the next major opportunity to bring together for this purpose.