The Common Good

Davos- Business leaders call for social goals in corporate decisions Join our daily free Newsletter

Date: January 28, 2013

Businesses must include social goals in their mission and incentives, or they will eventually collapse and humanity will not meet its challenges for the next century, business and civil society leaders said, late on Saturday, at the 43rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

"The market cannot work, especially in the long term, if there is no moral foundation," said Jim Wallis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sojourners, USA. Wallis said that even Adam Smith would have agreed that governments must step in "when the invisible hand lets go of the common good." Wallis said that many people no longer trust business and government leaders, and that the World Economic Forum, with its representatives from different sectors, has the potential to restore trust across different parts of society and to create a new social covenant. "But the world is looking for values decisions, not just values discussions." Meanwhile, the economy faces fewer headwinds in 2013 compared with last year and will likely grow a modest 3.5 per cent, participants at the 43rd World Economic Annual Meeting were told in Davos, Switzerland.