The state of the environmental emergency “is a code red for humanity”, declares UN Secretary General António Guterres. “The alarm bells are deafening & the evidence is irrefutable,” according to the UN. Firms ignoring the climate crisis will go bankrupt in an impending financial collapse, Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, warns. Meanwhile, the world is struggling through a global health catastrophe that’s only worsened extant failures of democracy, including a yawning wealth gap & racial injustice.
Sustainable brands understand better than anyone that you can grow your business even as you wholly commit to humanity & the planet—even during this unprecedented confluence of crises. In fact, you’ve come to learn that relevance & long-term prosperity for your business will absolutely depend on it.
But given the enormity of our exponentially expanding challenges, “mere” sustainability is now simply the table stakes to play the game: In order to really up the ante at pace with the increasing urgency, all business leaders must now take responsibility not only to stem the tide of devastation—but begin to reverse it.
How business does that is to Lead With We, starting at the top. Where we grasp that we’re not in the transaction business anymore. We have to think about our brands as leading a multi-stakeholder, participatory movement that addresses issues that elevate human & planetary health & prosperity.
The time is now. While the viral, humanitarian, & environmental crises the world suffers come at an unaccountable human and economic cost, they seem also to have framed a doorway to a new, much-needed & more sustainable definition of manufacturing, sales, marketing, & distribution—& a more robust, & equitable expression of capitalism.
In this session, Simon Mainwaring, New York Times bestselling author & founder/CEO of strategic consultancy, We First, lays out a radical reimagining & reengineering of business. It’s based on the idea of collectivized purpose, necessary for business to respond at pace to crises at the four most critical pillars of our species’ & planet’s survival—our only safety nets: forests, soil, oceans, and, most of all, people.
Using extensive case studies & proprietary data collated over a decade of work with top brands, global & local, Mainwaring will show you how the regenerative future of business is in our grasp—and the vanguard companies & brands leading this movement of movements, perhaps the most important shift in business since the Industrial Revolution. That future of life, work, & growth in which We, together, succeed in business while we restore & protect the social & living systems on which all our futures depend.
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Simon Mainwaring is the author of Lead With We, the Wall Street Journal bestseller that shows how companies address purpose, sustainability, and climate challenges in ways that build their business. He’s the founder and CEO of the award-winning strategic brand consultancy, We First, that’s a B Corp ‘Best For The World’ Honoree and a Real Leaders Top 50 keynote speaker in the World. He hosts the influential ‘Lead With We’ podcast, is a columnist for the CMO Network in Forbes, and wrote the New York Times bestseller, We First. He’s been a Featured Expert and Jury Member for the Sustainable Development Goals at the Cannes Lions Festival and U.S. One Show for Sustainable Development.