MEXICO CITY - COVID-19 has sharpened the focus on many challenges the world has been grappling with, including rising inequality, insufficient access to adequate healthcare and education, and climate change. Long before the pandemic, people had begun to ask hard questions about globalization and technological progress.
Despite wealth creation and reductions in global poverty in recent decades, economic opportunity has remained elusive for most people, irrespective of ability. The resulting fracture of society poses a grave threat to the long-term health of businesses, citizens, and economies.
For many, the pandemic feels like a watershed moment in global policymaking. It is a rare opening to think big. In the crisis lies the opportunity to lay new foundations for a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economy. But what would such an economy and resilient society, look like? What principles should guide the difficult choices to be made? How to ensure everyone is on board?
Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG), a strategic partnership between the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)1and 35 major global companies, is one major initiative seeking to change how business is done. Founded in 2019 at the G7 Leaders’ Summit, it brings together private- and public-sector entities to aid development of more inclusive business models, which are in turn the building blocks of a more sustainable long-term economic model.
Here, inclusion means providing more equal access to good jobs and training opportunities. It means committing to diversity, gender balance, and human rights. These commitments can all lead to more trust and engagement vis-à-vis employees, customers, and other stakeholders, and to greater long-term value creation.
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