FEEM Research Seminar on “The complex pathway of Shared Value: Benefit Corporation and Integrated Thinking”
12:30 - 14:00
Following a series of global changes, today the rules that so far have governed the markets, the values, the development models paradigms and the world balances are rapidly changing. The current political, social and economic upheaval are generating new balance of global governance and drawing new scenarios of stronger competitiveness of global markets. Major global events of 2015 – the launch of Agenda 2030 and the new Sustainable Development Goals and the Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21) – led to the advent of the Sustainable Development era and have highlighted a series of complex and interdependence global challenges that – using the words of the UN General Secretary Ban-Ki-Moon “require integrated solutions”.
In front of this strong international commitment, the private sector have to face a radical change and a total rethink of its business model so that it can effectively integrate environmental, social, ethical and governance issues in enterprise strategies to meet the major global changes and can be able to direct the path of the world economy towards sustainability. The “Integrated Thinking” concept represents one of the best framework that permits this transformation, combining the essential components – structures, processes and activities – into a business model that makes companies able to create the so-called Shared Value. More and more companies are redefining their business model, values, missions and operations in sight of this concept, with the aim to efficiently answer to the actual challenges.
Today one of the best concrete expression of integrated company model is the Benefit Corporation, a new legal form which, blurring the profit non-profit bipartition, is characterized by possessing a unified vision of profitability and social and environmental impact. Born in USA and introduced at the beginning of 2016 into the Italian legislation, this revolutionary business model incorporate in its charter a so called “collective benefit”, reinforcing its mission and developing an approach to the market, a governance, structures and management tools that make it able to increase the effectiveness of its business in economic, social and environmental terms.
The objective of the seminar is to deepen Benefit Corporation model in its most innovative features and to compare this new type of company, able to intertwine in effective and innovative way the two faces of entrepreneurship, profit and non-profit, with the conceptual framework of the “Integrated Thinking”, in order to demonstrate that the Benefit Corporation represents today the best and more effective example of integration of business and sustainability. Thanks to their innovative characteristics, the Benefit Corporation can make a tangible contribution to the renewal process of the whole economy and can be the leverage of the raise of a new capitalism, in which the private sector is focused at the same time to economic and general benefit goals. The comparison will take in consideration the principal areas of a company, and for each of these will carry out similarities and differences, in order to build an ideological framework which shows and helps companies to modify their business models for a greener, inclusive and sustainable future.