Birthing a New Social Contract Between Business and Society

B the Change Weekly: August 23, 2019

Delivered on Fridays, B the Change Weekly delivers the most important and most relevant stories about people using business as a force for good. The newsletter features a weekly note from the B the Change team alongside insight and context on the stories we share here on Medium. Below is our latest roundup. To receive these insights directly in your inbox, sign up for B the Change Weekly today. Now on to the good stuff:

(Photo by Mari Helin on Unsplash)

“People want to buy from, work for, and invest in companies that serve a higher purpose than maximizing profit at any cost to people, communities, and the natural world on which all life depends. People are demanding a new social contract between business and society in which business and the capital markets create long-term value for all stakeholders. People are demanding it, in part, because they’ve seen a credible alternative in the B Corp movement that is leading the transformation from 20th-century shareholder capitalism to 21st-century stakeholder capitalism.”

This statement was made by the co-founders of B Lab in a Fast Company response to this week’s release by the Business Roundtable of a revamped mission statement that says businesses should value more than shareholders in their decisions — yet another big sign of a change toward a new economy.

Rejecting shareholder primacy isn’t a new concept for members of the Certified B Corporation community, who already are delivering value to all stakeholders. This week we share examples of B Corps that demonstrate how expanding your business to protect our planet and include everyone creates more robust communities where people are valued, empowered and heard.

In community,

B the Change

Happy Family Organics is part of the growing movement to do more to protect the planet through regenerative farming practices.

Expanding Access to ‘Democratize Organic’

To make the premium organic food category accessible to all families and advance a more inclusive and regenerative economy, B Corp Happy Family Organics has embraced the task of “democratizing organic.” Its programming that increases access to organic food and education includes a free online chat service for support on breastfeeding, starting solids, and other pediatric nutrition questions and concerns — helpful advice for many families.

Learn more about the ways Happy Family Organics votes every day through its business operations for better nutrition for all families and better agriculture practices for all farmers.

PS — Happy Family Organic is a sponsor of Champions Retreat, where B Corp community leaders will gather to share, grow and inspire. Check out the event schedule and register now!

Words Alone Won’t Make Necessary Change Happen

This week the Business Roundtable added its voice to a steady drumbeat stating the need to move away from the failed ideology of shareholder primacy toward a new culture of shared prosperity. But more than words are needed to make this vision a reality: This systems change requires corporations, and the investors who own them, to go beyond words and take action to upend the self-defeating doctrine of shareholder primacy.

In this Fast Company article, B Lab co-founders Jay Coen Gilbert, Andrew Kassoy and Bart Houlahan outline three opportunities to ensure that the ideas raised by the Business Roundtable and capital markets leaders like Larry Fink become actions that benefit us all.

A Web That Accommodates Everyone

The online world presents a new inclusion opportunity for businesses. By expanding and enhancing website access for people with disabilities, B Corps and other businesses can align with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals to “leave no one behind” and comply with future regulations that will require broader access for all online users.

On B the Change, Tim Frick of B Corp Mightybytes shares how to make your business website more perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust — for everyone.

Stay in the Know

Here’s your chance to catch up on all the good stuff we shared this week:

B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Birthing a New Social Contract Between Business and Society was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: B the Change


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